photoshop creative

Build a puppet with selections

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
August 9, 2017

Turn a beautiful model into a marionette puppet using some basic selections in addition to a lot of creativity

1. Start with a new document

To begin, go to File>New (Cmd/ Ctrl+N). In the Preset Details, name your document Puppet-Girl. Set the Width to 230mm, Height: 310mm, Resolution: 300ppi, then press Create or hit Return/Enter.

2. Create the stage

Go to File>Place Embedded and select a wall texture. Drag it to the top and press Return/Enter. Duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and rename it Floor. Drag to the bottom, then open the Free Transform tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T). Drag the handles to compress the image and hold Opt/Alt while dragging to tweak the perspective.

3. Apply Hue/Saturation

With the Floor layer active, go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/ Saturation. Tick ‘Use previous layer to create clipping mask’ and click OK. Leave the Hue at 0, change Saturation to -100, and Lightness to -20, then click OK.

4. Place more textures

Go to File>Place Embedded, add a chess board and click Return/Enter. Press Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+G to create a clipping mask. Now tweak the perspective as you did in step 2. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T and drag the handles to adjust the perspective, keeping the same angle of the Floor layer. Change the blend mode to Overlay.

5. Complete the stage

Go to File>Place Embedded, and add a wood texture. Drag it down to partially cover the floor to create depth. Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N). Name it Colour, tick to create a clipping mask, change mode to Multiply, and press OK. Grab the Rectangular Marquee tool (M). Select the segments and fill with red.

6. Make a new adjustment

To make a new adjustment, go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Color Lookup and click OK. In the Properties panel, check 3DLUT File and choose NightFromDay.CUBE. Press F7 to go back to the Layers panel.

7. Adjustment mask

Click on the Color Lookup mask. Grab the Gradient tool (G). In Options, click to edit the gradient and choose the Black/White preset. Click OK. Drag the gradient from centre-right to the left. Now grab a large, soft brush (B). Paint over the wall and floor to create the highlights.

8. Create a group

Start organising the layers. Hold Shift and select all the stage layers, including the adjustments, then press Cmd/ Ctrl+G to place them into a group. Double- click on the group name and rename it Stage.

9. Add a woman

Go to File>Place Embedded and add a girl. Go to Select>Select & Mask. In the Properties panel, choose View: Overlay, set the Radius to 3 pixels, then grab the Quick Selection tool (W) and select the woman. Change Output to: New Layer with Layer Mask and click OK.

10. Replace colours

First go to Layer>Layer Mask>Apply. Grab the Pen tool (P) and create a path around the dress. In Options, click Make: Selection. Set the Foreground colour to yellow. Grab the Color Replacement tool (Shift+B). In Options, set Tolerance to 100% and paint over the dress and shoes.

11. Cut the joints

Now grab the Lasso tool (L) and select the right forearm. Press Cmd/Ctrl+X to cut and Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+V to paste in place. Rename the new layer Right Forearm. Press (V) and move the arm slightly to the right.

12. Create a flat end

Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N). Name it Flat_end. Grab the Elliptical Marquee tool (M), then draw an oval selection. Grab the Eyedropper (I) and sample the skin colour from the arm, then press Cmd/Ctrl+Delete to fill the selection. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+T. Rotate and resize, placing it over the forearm end.

13. Repeat the steps

Repeat steps 11 and 12. Cut the legs, hip, hands and shoulders. Create a flat end and use the Free Transform tool (Cmd/ Ctrl+T) to tweak the size and angle, and place over the joints to complete the puppet. Select the layers and place into a group (Cmd/ Ctrl+G). Name it Puppet.

14. Make the strings

Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N) on top of the layer stack, and name it Joint String. Grab the Brush tool (B). Set the Foreground colour to white. Press F5 and choose a hard brush, Size: 12, and paint in the strings. Use black to paint the shadows on the strings.

15. Apply make-up

Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N) and name it Make-up. Change the blend to Multiply. Set the Foreground colour to black. Grab a small, soft-tip brush (B), set the Opacity to around 25%, and paint around the eyes. Now use a very light-red colour to paint the lips.

16. Draw a tattoo

Create a new layer and name it Tattoo. Grab the Custom Shape tool (Shift+U). In Options, set Fill: Black, Stroke: No colour, Shape: choose the Spade Card. Draw the shape, then go to Layer>Rasterize>Shape. Change the blend to Soft Light. Add a mask and hide the unwanted areas.

17. Add shadows and highlights

Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N). Name it Shadows and Highlights, tick to create a clipping mask, change the Mode to Overlay, check ‘Fill with 50% gray’ and click OK. Grab the Burn tool (O) to paint the shadows, and use the Dodge tool (Shift+O) to paint the highlights.

18. Link layers

Close the Puppet group. Hold Shift and select the Puppet group and the Shadows/Highlight layer, then go to Layer>Link Layers. Open the Free Transform tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T) and reduce the puppet girl’s size to around 70%.

19. Place the hand

Go to File>Place Embedded and add a hand. Go to Layer>Rasterize>Smart Object. Grab the Quick Selection tool (W) and select the hand. Create a layer mask, then apply the mask. Open the Free Transform tool (Cmd/ Ctrl+T). Resize the image and place on the top of the puppet.

20. Draw the strings

Create a new layer, name it Puppet Strings. First, define the brush colour and size. Set the Foreground colour to white. Grab the Brush tool (B), then press F5. Choose a hard brush, Size: 8. Grab the Pen tool (P). Draw a path to create the first string.

21. Convert to lines

Convert a path to a line. Right-click over an anchor point and choose Stroke Path, then click OK. Now delete the path by right-clicking and choosing Delete Path. Repeat these steps to create more lines. Add a layer mask, and mask away parts of the string over the arms and legs.

22. Use layer styles

Use the layer styles to add subtle shadows and textures to the strings. Go to Layer>Layer Style>Bevel & Emboss. Choose Style: Inner Bevel and tweak the settings to create the shadows. Now click on Pattern Overlay. Choose the Dot1 Pattern, set the Blend to Normal, Scale: 30% and click OK.

23. Duplicate the image

Hold Shift and select the Puppet group, the Shadows and Highlight, the Hand and the Puppet String layers. Now press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate it, then press Cmd/Ctrl+E to merge. Rename the new layer Puppet Shadow.

24. Create the puppet shadow

Press Cmd/Ctrl+U to open Hue/ Saturation. Set the Lightness to -100 and click OK. Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 10 pixels and click OK. Drag the layer between the puppet and the stage. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T and skew the image. Set the Opacity for the layer to 50%.

25. Introduce more images

Go to File>Place Embedded and add a playing card. Resize it and drag under the Puppet Shadow layer. Go to Layer>Layer Style>Drop Shadow. Adjust the settings and click OK. Now place the shadow in a separate layer. Go to Layer>Layer Style>Create Layer. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T and tweak the shadow.

26. Create chess pieces

Create a new document and then go to File>Place Embedded and add a chess piece image. Now go to 3D>New>3D Extrusion from Selected Layer. In Properties, set the Extrusion Depth to 0mm and then hit Return/Enter.

27. Make it 3D

Define the 3D shape. In Properties, open the Deform panel. Click on the top-right Deformation Axis, tick Bend, and set the Horizontal Angle (X) to 360°.

28. Apply materials

In the 3D panel, click on the Template Extrusion Material. Now in Properties, click on the Presets window and choose Satin Black, then tweak the settings as you want.

29. 3D render

In the 3D panel, click on Infinite Light1. Drag the handle to position the light. In Properties, adjust the Intensity. Now go to 3D>Render 3D Layer.

30. Apply Camera Raw

Click on the Puppet Strings layer. Now create a snapshot, press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+E. Go to Filter>Camera Raw Filter. Tweak the settings to add more contrast, adjust the tones, and boost the colours. Navigate through the different panels to fine-tune the image.