Tie a knot in the neck of a giraffe

Final image

Source materials:

Create a new Photoshop 550px X 800px document, resolution 72pixels / inch. Paste the file with the background of the desert.

Flip the image of the desert horizontally and trim the bottom.

Add a Black and white (Black and White) adjustment layer or go to menu Image-> Adjustments-> Black and White (Image -> Correction -> Black and White), and apply the following adjustments:

Create a new blank layer, take a large soft white brush. Change the brush shape with Brush Settings (Brush Settings) and apply an oval silhouette. Brush along the right edge of the layer.

Create a new adjustment layer. Gradient map (Gradient map) above all previous layers – desert and soft light spot.

Specify the gradient settings as shown in the screenshot below:

Insert an image with a giraffe

Place the image with a knot above the “Giraffe” layer

Add a layer mask to the “Node” layer. To create a smooth transition between a knot and a giraffe silhouette, erase the selection as in the example below.

Let’s make a knot under the coloring of the skin of a giraffe. Add adjustment layer Black and white (Black and White) to the node layer. Put this layer in clipping mask mode. Right click on the adjustment layer and select Create Clipping Mask (Create clipping mask).

Apply the settings from the screenshot to the adjustment layer. Black and white (Black and White):

Go back to the layer with the giraffe, duplicate it, place the created duplicate above the layer with the node. Apply blend mode Multiply(Multiplication) to it. Create a clipping mask for the duplicated layer, add a layer mask, fill it with black color, then make visible only the selected areas of the node. Use a white brush for this or make a selection using Polygonal lasso (Polygonal Lasso) and fill the selected area with white color in the layer mask.

Below you can see these areas in disguise.

Here is the result of previous actions.

Paste the skin texture above the knot layer.

Apply blend mode Multiply (Multiplication) to the texture layer.

Create a clipping mask for the “Node” layer from the texture layer. Hold the Alt key and move the cursor between these two layers. The cursor changes its shape to the icon of two connected circles with an arrow to the left. Click the mouse.

Take Eraser tool (Eraser) and select a brush with jagged edges, and then erase the lines. You can do this with Eraser tool (Eraser) or using a black brush on the mask layer.

Also erase the areas (shown in the screenshot) where there is already a skin texture.

Let’s make the neck node shadows closer to the original neck shadows.

To enhance the shadows, duplicate the node layer (image with yellow clay sculpture) and place it above all created layers. Go to menu Image-> Adjustments-> Black and White (Image -> Correction -> Black and White) and apply the settings as in the screenshot below.

Then adjust Levels (Levels) for this layer

Next, go to the menu Image-> Adjustments-> Gradient Map(Image-> Correction-> Gradient Map)

Apply blending mode to this layer. Multiply (Multiplication). You can see the adjustment layer. Gradient map (Gradient Map) from the previous step in the screenshot below, but you can apply the gradient using image correction without creating a correction layer and a clipping mask.

Duplicate the black and white node layer and increase the black shades with corrective levels. Move the black and gray marker to the center. Apply blend mode Soft light (Soft Light) to duplicate.

Here is the result: Merge the layers with the giraffe and the knot.

The top of the giraffe has become too big and heavy. In order to create a more cartoony and balanced silhouette, let’s stretch our legs. Select, cut and paste these giraffe body parts as new layers:

Then stretch the center piece using a free transform or Edit-> Content-Aware Scale (Edit -> Scaling based on content), try and see which method works best for getting a good result.

Move the edges of the pieces close together and merge the giraffe shape again.

Draw dark brown ovals and place them under each foot. Apply filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) 2-3 pixels.

Duplicate the shape of a giraffe. Load a duplicate selection and fill it with brown. Go to menu Edit-> Transform-> Flip Vertical (Edit -> Transform -> Flip Vertically). Move the mirrored layer down below the giraffe shape. Go to menu Edit-> Transform-> Distort (Editing -> Transform-> Distortion). Move the corners of the shape as in
example below.

Apply blend mode Multiply (Multiplication) to a layer with a shadow. Add a layer mask to the same layer. Click on the icon Quick mask (Quick mask). Then fill the bottom of the shadow with a gradient.

Turn off Quick mask (Quick mask), you get a soft selection of the lower part of the shadow. Apply filter Gaussian blur (Blur according to Gauss) for the selected part of the shadow (8-12px). Then make an active layer mask and fill the selected area with black. Play with the opacity settings to get a softer shadow effect.

And here is the result!

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