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Ed Hopkins creates The Thing

By Adam Thur     October 04, 2002

Welcome to my tutorial on The Thing. What follows is the step-by-step process I used to turn actor Robert Patrick (X-Files) into the ever lovin' blue-eyed idol o' millions. This was done on a Mac using Adobe Photoshop 5.0.

1. Find a nice photo of your chosen actor. A solid background makes it easy to separate the image. Duplicate the layer and mask out the background. Always mask instead of erasing so you can more easily change your mind and fix mistakes.

2. To alter the facial features, copy/paste each one (with plenty of surrounding skin) into its own layer and use the transform command. Widen the nose and move it closer to the eyes.Enlarge the upper lip to fill the gap. Move the eyes farther apart. Widen themouth and forehead. Feather the edges of each layer to hide the seams.Make a merged copy of the new face but keep all the old layers for safety.

3. Mask out the hair, ears and clothes. Place a sphere (a shaded circle) where the skull should be in a new layer below the face.

4. Use hue/saturation to colorize the skull and and face to the same orange hue. Color the eyes blue. Feather the edges of the face to hide the seam. In a new layer, draw a pattern of cracks over the face using the pencil tool. You'll want to use a comic book for reference. The Thing issue #5 (Nov. '83) has a nice tutorial in the back on how to draw these cracks.

5. Merge the cracks onto a solid gray layer and use the emboss command. Draw some random black dots and emboss them at a lesser depth to add texture.

6. Overlay the embossed layer onto the head. Copy and paste the brow into a new layer and add a drop shadow.

I put this head onto a Bowen Designs bust to complete thepicture. However, you could use the above techniques on a photo ofbody-builder to make your own body. See Darth Zaiyen'stutorial on adding bulk.

ClickHere To See The Final Image

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