“Fright” or Flight
Creating a Dread effect using Adobe Photoshop can be useful in infinite ways. Since some of the products or services in the market are targeted to men, this would mean that the feel of the environment of the website of a client for instance is masculine and exudes power. Thus, in selling products such as motorcycle or big trucks, some of the images in the webpage may have perhaps some of the steps in this Photoshop tutorial like putting a fire or skull effect. This Photoshop manipulation can be also utilized for front covers of horror books or movie posters as well as other projects for the Halloween for instance.
Select the MAIN PHOTO. (Preferably a close-up shot)
It may or may not have a plain background, depending on your choice.
Adjust the color of the whole picture by pressing Ctrl+M to open the curve setup window or to do it manually, go to menu IMAGE < ADJUSTMENTS < CURVES. The picture should not be too dark or too light.
Basically we are going to stock images on the main photo. So now we have to open the image of a drought soil. Shortcut key: press Ctrl+O and select the photo.
Drag the drought soil photo over the MAIN PHOTO, overlaying it.
Position the drought soil photo over the half of the face. Go to TOOL BAR and click MOVE or PRESS V to show the TRANSFORM CONTROLS of the photo that you wanted to rotate. Hover the cursor on the corner points and hold LEFT CLICK and rotate to the desired position.
Go to LAYER TOOLBAR and change the LAYER EFFECT to MULTIPLY. You shall expect a transparent effect as shown.
Click the ERASER tool and erase the drought soil areas outside the face. To smoothen the transition of the edges, adjust the ERASER BRUSH (it appears as you click the eraser tool) by clicking BRUSH and choose any SMOOTH ROUND option depending how large the image is (in this case, we clicked number 17). Increase the RADIUS by dragging the sliders of the MASTER DIAMETER (in this case 70 px).
Ctrl+L to display the LEVELS WINDOW and adjust the input level of the drought photo (THE LAYER 1) to 2.13 to have a crisp effect, that is, the lightness or darkness of the layer will be emphasized (the light, lighter and the dark, darker).
Adding the skull effect to the other half of the face is basically performing the same procedures to achieve the drought effect. So now, open the file of the Skull photo.
DRAG AND DROP the skull image over the main photo. Position the skull over the portion of the face that you wanted to place the effect. PRESS V to show the TRANSFORM CONTROLS of the photo then rotate to desired position. Go to LAYER TOOLBAR, change the LAYER EFFECT to MULTIPLY.
Click the ERASER TOOL and erase the sharp edges of the skull, following the outline of the face near the hair area as well as on the areas near the nose and forehead.
OPEN the image of the fire then drag it over the main photo overlaying it.
Go to LAYER TOOLBAR and change the LAYER EFFECT to MULTIPLY.
To incorporate the fire background, click again the ERASER TOOL and erase the areas covering the face.
Give the photo a reddish effect to blend things up. Click IMAGES > ADJUSTMENTS > VARIATIONS. Adjust the value of VARIATIONS by dragging the sliders towards the end most of FINE level, as shown below. Then from the choices of samples, click the MAGENTA twice. Then click OK.
Lastly, adjust the color of the whole picture by pressing Ctrl+M to open the CURVE SETUP WINDOW . When the CURVES window appears, change the PRESET (found at the top of the window) to CROSS PROCESS (RGB) to give the entire photo a dark finish. Now you have successfully applied a Dread Effect to a photo.