Puss in Boots

In this lesson I will describe in great detail how to draw wool to an animal that you have carved. This lesson also includes the use of the QuickMask mode (Quick Mask), which will be used most of all in the “tricks of drawing wool”, various ways of creating shadows on the grass and other recommendations and tricks.

Final result:

Step 1. Sources
To create a kitty in boots, I used several source images, which I will post separately during the lesson. Here they are all together:

Step 2. The first source we need is a source with a cat. I found it on sxc.hu. This is a huge site with free downloadable and free stock photos. Of course, you can use any animal for this lesson, as long as he has the same coat as our kitten.

Step 3. We will cut the kitten. I did this using the quick mask mode. I’ll show you how to do it. Open the original image with the cat and click on the quick mask icon. Make sure the background and foreground are set to black / white as the default.

Step 4. I used a soft brush size of 9 pixels for the parts where the edges are most sharp. I enlarged the image to 200%, in this case I don’t need to be extremely scrupulous, since we will redraw the fur, so we will correct any error later in the next steps. When you create a mask for the cat, the area to be painted should be red. In case you made a mistake you want to correct, you can easily do it with the tool Eraser (Eraser), and then return to the tool Brush tool (Brush) and continue to create a mask (approx. To adjust the mask layer instead of Eraser (Eraser) you can also use the tool Brush tool (Brush), simply switch colors from black / white to white / black using the X key).

Step 5. During the creation of the mask, we got to the areas where the wool became more. We do not need to draw such sites vainly, because they do not interest us. In no case do not capture the background area, so creating a mask, paint the areas a little way back from the edge, but at the same time, do not back down too much, because our cat is not on a diet. In these areas, you can use a brush with a larger size …

Step 6. Here you can see the final result of my mask:

Step 7. Click on the quick mask icon again, as shown in the illustration for the second step. You will see that the part that was colored in red is now represented as a selection area. Click Select> Inverse (Selection> Invert)as shown in the picture, or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + I. You should now have the cat selected.

Step 8. Now create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N), copy the selected area (Ctrl + C) and paste it into a new layer (Ctrl + V) (note. Before copying, make sure that you have the main layer active (in the picture “Background”), and when pasted, the new layer you created must be active).

Step 9. Make the layer with the original source image invisible by clicking on the small eye icon next to it.

Step 10. This is what you should have on screen now. I moved the cat a little closer to the center of the screen, now we have space to add a sword and boots. If they then do not fit into your document during processing, you can simply increase the size of the canvas. (Image> Canvas Size (Image> Canvas Size)).

Step 11. Now we need the second source image. Periodically save your document with a cat, then if your computer suddenly freezes, you will have saved most of your work (this happened to me many times in the past). Open the second source in Photoshop. I created the hat mask using the same method as when creating the mask for the cat, starting from the third step, but now I use a soft brush of 9 size during the whole process, since we will not need to redraw the nap on the hat, except, of course, feather . For them, you can use a larger brush. It’s okay if you capture a small part of the background when creating the mask, because it is blue, and we are going to add a blue background to our collage in the future, so in the end it will not be noticeable.

Step 12. After you cut the hat using the quick mask mode, copy and paste it onto a new layer in our document on top of the cat layer, in the same way as we did when inserting the selection with the cat. I stick to brevity here because you can simply go back a few steps and see how to use the mask. Then we have to attach the hat to the cat. Go to menu Edit > FreeTransform (Edit> Free Transform) (Ctrl+T) and move it into place.

Step 13. If the hat does not fit the cat’s head, you will need to change its size while remaining in the free transformation mode, just make sure that the small rope icon is pressed, as I call it (you can see it in the picture below):

Step 14. Now we need to make a better hat using the menu Edit > Transform > Warp (Edit> Transform> Warp). Now you can deform the hat, fixing it better on the cat’s head.

Step 15. Here you can see that the hat is sitting much better.

Step 16. I’m going to erase some areas that partially overlap the cat. But we will not do it blindly. Set to layer with hat Opacity (Transparency) by 65% ​​as in the picture.

Step 17. Here you can see the result of my work. Compare it with step 15.

Step 18. Now we can install again Opacity (Transparency) for a hat at 100%.

Step 19. Go to another source. Boots … Here is our source code with boots. But before continuing to add, we need to tie the layers with the cat and the hat together. In this case, we can move them anywhere, and they will move together, so we will not need to move them, like a mosaic, separately.

Step 20. Select the layer with the hat by clicking on it with the right mouse button, then hold down the Ctrl key and select the layer with the cat.

Step 21 You can see that both layers are gray in color (they can also be blue), which means that they are highlighted. Right click on one of the layers and select LinkLayers (Link layers).

Step 22 If you look in the upper right corner of the navigation window, you will see that the cat is located in the middle of the canvas. Now we will move the cat and hat up.

Step 23 Click on the tool Move Tool (Move tool) and move the cat with the hat higher.

Step 24 Your navigation should now be like this:

Step 25. Now we need to cut the boots from the original image, which I showed in step 19. We cut them separately in the same way that the cat and the hat were cut, using a quick mask, which I described starting from step 3. The time has come for a more accurate work, the same as when creating a quick mask for a hat, use a small brush to create a mask near the edges.
When we process all the edges, we can paint over everything inside. Then, copy and paste the selection into a new layer that needs to be positioned above the cat layer, just like we did with the hat in step 12. Place the boots with the tool Move tool (Move tool) in the desired place where the legs should normally be located. We also attach boots by changing their shape, as we did with the hat in 13 and 14 steps.

Step 26. To begin with, we will increase the size of the canvas, because in the next step we will work with it. Do this by going to the menu. Image > Canvassize (Image> Canvas Size) or using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + C. In the window that appears, you will see a menu where you will read Height set its value to 150% (percent). Then click OK. Tie the layers together again, as I described in steps 21-22, but this time turn on the layer with the boots. Move the selected objects lower, now you have more space for the sword. The next thing we have to do is go to the original image, from where we cut the hat in step 11, only we don’t need a hat anymore, now we are interested in the sword.

Cut the sword with a quick mask, as you did with the hat and boots in step 3, copy and paste it on top of the other layers, as described in detail above. Place the sword so that it seems as if the cat is holding it in one paw and propping up the other, as if she is considering it. We need to work hard on his position so that he looks better.

Step 27. Create a new layer and place it under all the other layers. Select one part with the tool Marqueetool (Highlighting), as I showed in the picture below:

Step 28. I filled the highlighted rectangle in blue.

Step 29. Do the same with the lower part, which remained unpainted, now fill it with blue color, but already a little lighter than before.

Step 30. In this step, we will add a line that will be the separator between the floor “floor” and “wall”, using the tool and Linetool (Line).

Step 31 Choose a tool Linetool (Line) and change the background color to black. Draw a line all the way from one edge to another, just not very wide. Make sure that it is held exactly at the junction of blue colors. Duplicate the line and set the parameter Opacity (Transparency) by 65%. Then, place this line with the tool. Movetool (Move tool) over another line. Now duplicate this line and place it clearly under the dark line. Opacity (Transparency) of this layer should also be 65%.

Step 32 Zoom into the image using the slider below the navigation window and erase small errors on those layers where necessary, like around a sword and boots. Clean up your work … When processing the contours, use a small soft brush. I usually use a 9 or 5 brush so I can work more clearly.

Step 33 Now we have moved smoothly to the moment when I will explain how to draw wool. First, I’ll start with the cat’s paw. As you can see, the wool should be clearly redrawn here … Click on the layer with the cat, so you will select it. Via RectangularMarqueetool (Rectangular selection area), I highlighted the area where the paw is located. Not very big and, at the same time, not a very small area … just a paw that we need. Copy and paste the paw on a new layer and drag this layer above the sword layer … The wool that we will finish painting will look better, covering the sword a little, will it not?

Step 34 Select the layer where you have only one paw and choose the tool for it Smudgetool (Smearing), as i did in this image. Size – 2 and 72% intensity. Let’s start creating strokes from the inside to the outside. Make sure you do not spend several times at the same place. Change the intensity of your brush and sometimes you can even change its size between 1 and 2. I usually vary the intensity setting between 40 and 95. Spend more time on this process and draw the details more carefully to achieve the best end result. I also usually bring my image closer to see the areas better, at the moment it is increased to 200%.

Step 35 Then, the next step is to cover the strokes made in 34 steps with smaller strokes, starting a little further from the edge, ending with small strokes where our wool comes out, so we will actually create another layer of wool. These strokes should not be too much, they should only add more depth of wool. As you can see in the image, now the result looks very realistic, like real cat hair.

Step 36 Now we need to do the same with the legs of the cat. Navigate to the cat layer and select the parts with the tool. RectangularMarqueetool (Rectangular selection area), where the legs in the boots are depicted, copy and paste them onto a new layer. Place this layer above the layer with the boots. Erase unnecessary areas that go on the boots, using the technique described in step 16 with a hat.
Then we can start drawing the wool again using the tool Smudgetool (Smearing) size 2 and intensity 80. Change the brush intensity from time to time, but don’t draw too much wool here, as we want the edges of the boots to show through the wool a little, like in this picture:

Step 37. We continue to draw wool on the hat. Let’s move on to the layer with the cat again and select its head in the place where the edge of the hat passes. You can do this in a few steps, since the hem of the hat is slightly curved. Start also drawing wool here, but make sure that the strokes here are not very long. I am sure that you have filled your hand in this technique, and if not, go back to step 35 and refresh the wool drawing technique in your memory. Also do not forget the ears.

Step 38 Our next step is drawing the feathers on the cat hat. We use the same technique that was used when drawing wool, but this time use a bigger brush and set the intensity a little stronger. Change these indicators, but the differences between the intensity indicators should not be as big as the indicators when drawing wool. Make long strokes and make sure that their directions change a little, also make sure that all strokes are of different sizes. See how I did it:

Step 39. We are almost done. Almost … A little rest from drawing wool … It was really important for us to devote a lot of time to this drawing, because it will make our painting ten times better. Now you have a lot of experience in drawing wool.
Save your psd file, also save this document in jpeg format, take a good look at your work, if you find flaws or something you would like to change, you can return to the previously saved psd file and make the appropriate changes.

And so I make cats, rabbits, dogs, bears and other animals with fur similar to those listed.

Step 40. I didn’t finish … looking at my final result, it seemed to me that something was missing … So I returned to find another original image … background … This is what I found and decided to use.

Step 41 If you have not yet linked all the layers with cat attributes, then you need to do it now … To do this: you need to press the ctrl key and hold it, left-click on each layer with the cat attributes, including wool and sword. By doing so, you will see that each layer is highlighted in dark gray (approx. Or blue). Now right-click on one of the layers and select Linklayers (Link layers). We have already linked some layers, so we need to link, those that have not yet been connected. You can also merge all the layers of the cat now, there are 3 ways to do this:
1) Click on the layer with the cat that is at the top of the layers panel, and press Ctrl + E.
2) Click on the top layer with the cat with the right mouse button and click Mergedown“(Merge layers).
3) Go to the menu (the top layer with the cat should be selected), as I showed in the illustration and select Mergedown“(Merge layers) (note for the Russian version: you need to go to the menu Layers> Merge Layers).
You can do this until all the cat layers merge … I usually check that I have a copy of the psd file with disconnected layers, so I can always go back to work and change something if I want to do later.

Step 42 I copied and pasted the layer with the image of the background below the other layers and gave the required size using the tool FreeTransform (Free transformation) how to do this, I described before in step 12.

Step 43 As you can see, the cat now looks like it is in free flight … We need to fix this and make it stand on the grass and I will also show how to create a realistic shadow using the settings Brightness/Contrast (Brightness / Contrast). To start, create an oval selection around the cat’s feet using the tool EllipticalMarqueeTool (Oval selection area). Make sure that the grass layer is active while you are creating a selection area.

Step 44. Copy and paste the selection in a new layer and place it between the cat layer and the grass background.

Highlight cat boots and change their transparency so that you can see flowers through them so that it is easier to work with them.
Go back to your new layer with an oval-shaped patch of grass and wipe off all the grass that covers the boots with a small soft eraser, but save the flowers with the stalks! Make sure you only wash the grass that covers the boots.

Step 45. Change the transparency of the boots, and you will see that the image looks like that in step 43. Duplicate the grass layer where we just washed the grass from the boots and select the first of these two layers (we will not touch the top layer with grass). Now we need to draw the grass in the same way as we painted wool and feathers. If you forgot how to do this, please go to step 34 and refresh this technique in your memory … You can play a little with brush size and intensity until you are satisfied with the result.

Since the grass is thicker than wool, you will need to use a bigger brush and a little harder, so you can paint the grass a little longer. We do not need to finish drawing all the grass, only in some places, in which case it will look like the boots actually stand in the grass. When you start hatching, make sure that you do not touch the flowers, otherwise there will be yellow spots on the tips of the grass. If suddenly you make such an error, immediately cancel the last action (Ctrl + Z) or go to the History window and go up a step.

Step 46 When you are done with this, we will start creating a shadow.
First you need to see if there is any shadow in the image. You might find something to compare with and where to get an example of the direction of the shadow. The tree in this image casts a good shadow, and I’m going to show you how I will make a similar shadow for the cat.

Let’s go back to the background layer with the valley and the tree. Draw again with the tool EllipticalMarqueeTool (Oval selection area) oval selection. We will rotate this selection a little in the direction in which the shadow should go. Copy and paste this selection onto a new layer and place it on top of all layers with grass. Do not worry about the parts that cover the grass that we just drew with you and the boots, we will correct this later.

Step 47. Now you need to convert the oval into a shadow, using brightness and contrast. Select the layer with this oval and go to the menu Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast (Image> Correction> Brightness / Contrast).

Play with the settings until you are satisfied with the color (we need to darken the oval, giving it the same color as the shade of the tree). When you like it, press approx. Place the layer below the other layers with the ovals on which we drew the grass. Now, as final touches, we need to erase the parts of these layers covering the shadow we created and make the edges of our shadow sharp.

Drain two ovals with grass, on which we drew it. Use the tool Erasertool (Eraser) (with a not very big and stiff brush) for this layer and carefully erase bright blades of grass that we did not finish on top of the boots. Now go back to the shadow and take a large … very large soft brush … and carefully erase the edges of the shadow so that they are no longer too clear and sharp …. Just do not wash too much!

Step 48 I completed the creation of my kitty in boots. You can save your work in jpeg format or any other format that you like. I hope you found this lesson useful. Successes you with your creations!

Author: Eladine

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