Picture of Spirit Of The Dead (Photoshop 7.0 or above)
Want to shock and scare your friends this Hallowe'en with the simplest of things, a photo?

With this tutorial I'm going to let you in on one of my secret techniques.
Why not? This is one of my favourite times of the year.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Selecting The Photo

Picture of Selecting The Photo
For this to work effectlively, you need to have a clear (preferrably high quality) image.
As you can see, it doesn't really matter about the darkness of the photo as you can fix this, all you need is a creepy pose would be excellent or even a blank pose works great. Head and shoulders works best as you can get up close and personal and see details such as they eyes (we will get onto that).
In my photo, I really opened my eyes so that the effect will really pop.

Step 2: Correcting The Photo

Picture of Correcting The Photo
step 2.jpg
If your image is a little dark, the best way to change it is to change the levels (Image>Adjustments>Levels)
Adjust the middle notch until the image is lightened as high as it can go without pixelating the image. Then adjust the notch furthest to the right to get the highlights correct, and finally the notch furthest to the left ever so slightly so that you can enhance the shadows a little.

(Oh no! The horrible image is revealed. Seriously, this picture is not nice!) 

duplicate the layer to be safe! (In the layers bar, right click on the "background image" and select "duplicate layer)
I always think the image works better with a blacked out background, but this part is up to you. Sometimes if the background is too light the black background won't work.
To do this: select a feathered and fairly large brush (for my image it's about 176 pixels.) When going closer to the head you'll want to use a smaller brush size and perhaps change the opacity in case anything goes wrong.
kwill22 years ago
Here's my attempt...
FloFreek (author)  kwill22 years ago
That looks great!! Really creepy ;)
DustySeven72 years ago
this where this goes when you keep at the graphics and photo manipulation. I used Photoshop CS5.5 when I did this photo..
vamp edit.jpg
DustySeven73 years ago
If you want to peeling/crumbling skin to blend and look creepier here is a tip. If you have not done so, create a layer that has only the skin. do this my selecting the skin area and pressing ctrl j to copy via new layer. hide the other layers. the skin layer will be slightly transparent. copy it 2-3 times and merge the copies. after this go to the channels. choose the channel that has the best contrast and copy to a new document. in the new document add a 2px gausian blur and adjust the contrast via levels (ctrl l) use only the middle and right markers.
save it as a psd with the name displacement map. switch to your original document. create a new layer and go to file>place>use you texture image. make sure you are still on the texture layer. after that go to filter>distort>displace. select the displacement map psd file you created. the texture will now me mapped the shadows and form of your models face. adjust the options to get the look you want and accept.
DustySeven73 years ago
For skin hue/pigment change. I select the the skin, feather the selection by 1px and copy via new layer ( ctrl j). click on the new layer and add adjustment layer hue and saturation. after you get the look you want click okay. while holding the alt key click between the adjustment layer and the skin layer. this will link the adjustment layer to only the skin layer. to enhance the effect. add a second adjustment layer with brightness and contrast. small tweaks on this layer. make sure the second layer is above the first. hold alt and click between the two adjustment layers. The second adjustment layer is now linked to skin layer as well.

This method is NON DISTRUCTIVE. meaning you can change or delete the effect and return to the original.
DustySeven73 years ago
for the copying they eyes to a new layer there is faster shortcut. With the eyes selected via laso etc press "ctrl" and "j". this is the shortcut key-command for copy to new layer
haha, mine didn't come close to yours, and the background is cheesy, and i didnt have enough shadows. but great tutorial!
dead kate.jpg
FloFreek (author)  kittigirl1233 years ago
Wow that's good! As I've said before it just takes practice to do it well, as well as developing your own techniques as you go along. But well done! :)
Henry30093 years ago
Wow! Really simple instructions that even I can follow - Cool!! I didn't know it could be so easy.
FloFreek (author)  Henry30093 years ago
It's easier than you think! Just takes time to advance your skills :)
scoochmaroo3 years ago
Lots of great information here, even before you get to the zombification!
FloFreek (author)  scoochmaroo3 years ago
Thanks! That's exactly what I was trying to achieve :)