thank you! BUT OKAY. LET’S… TRY AND… FIGURE THIS OUT. i usually rely on textures but for this tutorial i’m just gonna play with adjustment layers. it’s not an exact replica since the psds i make for myself are just bases, to get the basics of the same style down. but i end up adding on 23942-34 more layers anyway, because each cap has different lighting, coloring, etc.
warning: i don’t really have an organized process so this might end up being a bit… long… and messy. ps: i use cs5, no vibrance layer involved so this’ll probably still work on most photoshop programs.
1. lighten the cap (layer -> adjustment layer -> curves)
curves layer (128,64) and (191,48)
note the arch in between the nodes. i tend to go for that instead of, say, something like this:
because i like to work with screencaps that appear “flat” and “light” so that i can soft light/overlay/multiply as many layers as i can to test the effects without the screencap going dark on me. later on, i just adjust this curves layer’s opacity to suit the additional layers. not the other way around.
2. coloring aka excessive use of the selective color layers
what i usually do is emphasize the basic colors first. but in order for them not to go super saturated on me, i also manipulate the “black” slider.
reds: +100 magenta, +100 black
greens: +100 cyan, +100 black
yellows: +100 yellow (for this color, i didn’t manipulate the black slider because i want the color yellow to pop)
cyans: +100 cyan, -78 magenta, -80 yellow, +52 black (this is also to make sure that the cyans/blues keep being cyans/blues, that’s why i put both magenta and yellow in the negatives. just so the other colors don’t go haywire and i have a more or less dominant color in mind for the cap)
tip: personally, i like making separate selective color layers for each color. like, i’ll make a layer only for the reds, another one only for the greens, etc, so that if i need to emphasize and/or wash down a color, i can just duplicate the layer or lower the opacity, and regulate it using that method.
3. gradient map (layer -> adjustment layer -> gradient map)
because i made my cap light and flat, i’ll need those shadows back.
i used the usual black->white gradient:
i set this layer to multiply 30%.
(not much of a change, just darkened it a little)
4. black & white layers (layer -> adjustment style -> black & white)
i rely on these layers a lot tbh. i just… love them layer a lot. what i do is set a layer to soft light 50%. for this edit, i used three duplicates, the result of which is this:
lookin’ recognizable already, aye? :3
then i want to emphasize the foreground (that is, dany) to add some dynamic quality to the cap. so, i duplicate the black and white layer again (which brings us to four layers of black and white) then i use the layer mask and erase everything on that layer mask except dany. should look like this:
just spend as much time as you want on this step. it really depends on your cap. what i ended up with, in total, was five layers of black & white (each set to soft light 50%). the upper two layers had dany layer-masked.
the above steps are basically the basics of all edits that i do. depends on what color i want to pop, how dynamic i want it to be, how light, or how dark.
these next steps are for emphasizing colors. usually, i break it to three parts: background, clothes, hair + skin.
create new blank layer before the initial curves layer like this
i use the eyedropper tool (hotkey “i”) to pick out the color of the background. it gives me #c7d2d6. i know, i know. that color’s too pale. so go to your color picker:
and slide it horizontally. get a bolder, more vivid shade of the color you got from the eyedropper. for me, it’s #6690a3.
select your brush tool and color in the background. set that layer to multiply 20%. this is to make the color of your background more solid and, err, recognizable. my layers look like this:
same method as the background. create a new layer below your initial curves layer. get the eyedropper tool, get a sample of the color on dany’s clothes. then use a more vivid shade of that color. i used #a8a574. set this to multiply 30%.
mine looks like this:
i’m not satisfied with how muted the colors of her clothes are, so i duplicate the layer.
much better :3
7. hair + skin
same process as the clothes and the background. except use a different layer for each. one for the hair, one for the skin. because they might require different opacities.
for the skin i used #b8a98f then for the hair i used #2c699.
skin layer: multiply 30%
hair layer: multiply 50%
(just play around with these values and see what looks best for your cap)
8. (optional) photo filters
i want to emphasize some more details, like dany’s clothes. so i create a photo filter with the following adjustments:
using the layer mask, i deselect everything except dany’s clothes. this layer should also be underneath the initial curves layer. like so:
so now it looks like:
i want MORE DRAMA. MORE FLAIR. so i add more photo filter layers. for this i used the following photo filter layer (same placement underneath the initial curves layer, immediately above the original frame. so my layers palette looks like this):
i set this to soft light 50% then i duplicate it.
now it looks like this:
then i’m like AHHHH TOO BLUE. BUT NEVER FEAR. let’s create another photo filter layer with the following adjustments:
place this layer on top of all the other layers. it’s all special and shiz. set this to multiply 40%.
now it looks like this:
it already looks nice as it is but i want it to be a liiiittle bit lighter. so i go back to my first curves layer. duplicate it. and set the duplicate to 30% opacity.
AAAAND DAS IT. hehe i hope it made sense. :3