Deke’s Techniques: Making a faux HDR image in Photoshop

Published by | Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

In this week’s free movie, Deke continues the theme he began last week: presenting timeless techniques in seasonally appropriate situations. For instance, the faux HDR technique that Deke shows you how to create this week is useful throughout the year for creating a striking ambiance, but as Deke demonstrates, it’s particularly suited to the creation of zombies. And what better time of year to turn portraits of your unsuspecting friends into scary undead creatures? Take this admittedly hapless but certainly unscary fellow, for instance:

Deke begins by converting the image to the Lab color space and then applying a Shadow/Highlight adjustment to exaggerate the shadows and highlights. He’ll show you how to protect your Lab-based modifications by placing your layer inside the protective covering of a smart object (even Lab-created zombies need protection). Before applying a Levels command to sink the midtones, he’ll create a mask with the Color Range command. And when Deke describes a face “riddled with marching ants,” you can be comforted by the fact that he’s really just talking about a Photoshop selection. Apply some sharpening, and the result is this frightening creature:

For lynda.com members, there’s an exclusive video over in the Online Training Library® where Deke takes this effect to even more macabre extremes—going full-zombie with this effect:

Lab-created creatures, sharpening, marching ants, and masks. Photoshop, in Deke’s hands, has everything you need for a creative and creepy Halloween.

See you here next week with more of Deke’s Techniques!

• The entire Deke’s Techniques collection
• courses on Photoshop in the Online Training Library®
• courses by Deke McClelland in the Online Training Library®

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