Apr 27 2009
I already showed you how to make semi-transparent people using Photoshop in my Dead Jedi Effect tutorial. In this one I’ll show you how to make people invisible. My inspiration comes from one of my all time favorite movie trivia sites, FilmWise.com. The site was started in 1999 and has a wide variety of creative movie quizes. The one that inspired this tutorial is called the Invisibles Quiz and tests your movie knowledge by showing you a still shot from a film with all the people removed leaving just their clothes behind:
The steps to producing this effect are few, but the difficulty is dependant on the image at hand. The hardest part is adding the parts of the background that are currently hidden by the person’s body. The more complicated the background, the more work you will need to do to make it convincing.
I’m going to use a fairly easy image–this picture of Leo Laporte interviewing Jeff "Dr. Tiki" MacPherson–and I’m just going to show you how to "disappear" Dr. Tiki… Leo can stay.
Step 1: Get rid of what needs to get gone
I have titled this step thusly because it is less a matter of cloning out all the "Jeff" that is showing and determining what needs to be replaced with background and what needs to be replaced with, in this case, "shirt." In this screenshot I show what parts I’m going to hide and the edge I’m going to preserve.
Here is where your cloning skills come into play. All the areas that I’ve scribbled on need to be replaced with whatever is behind them: the head needs to be replaced with more shelving and nick-nacks and the hands need to be replaced with demin.
To do this, create a new layer where you will keep all your cloning. I’ll start with cloning out Jeff’s left hand: set your Clone tool to Sample "Current & Below" and uncheck "Aligned" if it is check. Next set you sample point by Alt-clicking on a PC or Option-clicking on a Mac in an area where you can sample a lot of the demin texture. Now simply click around and hide Jeff’s hand. It going to be messy, but we’ll fix that next. See what mine looks like?
Now use the Healing Brush tool and sample an area of even demin texture by Alt-clicking on a PC or Option-clicking on a Mac. Now click around and soften the hard brush edges you created with the Clone tool–avoid the edge of the demin where the Healing Brush tool will try to blend it into the floor behind Jeff’s leg. Here’s what I’ve got now:
Do likewise with the other hand on the other leg.
In order to show the shelf behind Jeff’s head, we have to get creative. I could scour The Lab’s Flickr stream and find a shot that shows the rest of what’s on that shelf, but that’s the easy way out. We need to clone shelf over Jeff’s face using the currently exposed shelving. Try not to clone anything that catches the eye–like that "Electric Playground" mic flag–that will scream "look at me!!" I’ve chosen repeat the Tuneview box…it’s not ideal, but at least it doesn’t attract attention:
Step 2: Add inner-clothing texture
Create another new layer to hold your inner-clothing textures. I actually create a separate layer for each place on the photo where I put in inner-clothing texture, but it’s up to you.
Working on the original image layer, select an are of Jeff’s shirt that you can use to fill in the area that is still showing Jeff’s chin and neck. Copy (Ctrl-C on PC, Command-C on Mac) the area, click to your new inner-clothing layer in the Layers pallete and Paste (Ctrl-V on PC, Command-V on Mac). Move the pasted texture so that it covers a bit of Jeff’s chin. It likely won’t cover over the whole area we want to hide, so Select All (Ctrl-A on PC, Command-A on Mac) and then use the Move tool while holding down the Aly key on the PC or the Option key on the Mac and drag a duplicate of your texture to a new position to cover more. Repeat this procedure until Jeff’s neck and chin are covered.
Remember how we blended the hard brush lines when we made the denim texture? Use the Healing Brush tool to sample an area of Jeff’s shirt and blend out these harsh square edges too (make sure you deselect first).
Next we’re going to mask out the parts of the inner-clothing texture we don’t need. I’m going to teach you a little masking power move to do this.
First, add a layer mask to this inner-clothing texture layer. With the layer’s mask highlighted in the Layers palette, go Ctrl-I on a PC or Command-I on a Mac. The shirt texture should have gone away–that’s perfect!
Take the brush tool an paint on top of Jeff’s shirt around his neckline, but don’t cross the line onto his skin. Reveal all of the shirt texture in the areas where you don’t want it. I’m totally serious–this way is easier than erasing away the parts where you don’t want it.
When you are done, go Ctrl-I on a PC or Command-I on a Mac again.
Repeat this procedure for the texture inside the shirt’s cuffs and we’re almost there.
Step 3: Shading and details
This is my favorite part.
Grab the Burn tool and highlight the image thumbnail of your inner-clothing texture layer in the Layers palette. With a largish soft brush, set the Burn tool’s Range to "Midtones" and its Exposure to "50%" and start shading the inner-clothing texture. Imagine where the light in the photo would cast shadows on the inside of the shirt and use the existing shading as a guide. Generally, the outer edge of the texture layer should be darker than the inside.
Next, grab the Dodge tool and set its Range to "Shadows" and its Exposure to "50%" Use it with a fine soft brush to paint in highlights where there would be creases in the fabric that catch light or maybe even stitching.
Now, for bonus points, I’ll add a little white tag with a shadow to the inside of Jeff’s shirt on its own layer. Repeat the shading with the other inner-clothing textures and you’ll be done:
I hope you enjoy playing with this technique.