Ghost Dogs Playing Poker (ghosting Any Image in a Scene Is the Same)




Introduction: Ghost Dogs Playing Poker (ghosting Any Image in a Scene Is the Same)

About: Graphic Designer/Physicist in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. I specialize in Photoshop fantasy creations. I always need some work if you need something designed. My website has contact information


larger version on my website:

I used photoshop CS2, but any recent version will be the same with similar icons.
1 Picture to ghost something in it.

note: I have a PC if you have a MAC when you see CTRL it is the CMD button. I didn't want to repeat myself a million times. Put a sticker on that key if you can't remember. It is your punishment for me not being rich enough to have a mac :)

Shown here are the original dog playing poker which is PRE 1923 and thus public domain in America. So no copyright issues.
Also the room reconstructed empty, the tools we will use and the final ghost dogs playing poker

We will tackle this in two steps.

First we will reconstruct the room as if there were no dogs, everything currently behind a

dog we have to create by finding something similar in the picture, and cloning it into the

area currently holding dog image.

We then use a layer on the top of the layer palette that is the original, and select out

the dogs and their equipment turn it blue lower the opacity and paste it onto the empty

room as see through ghosts.

very cool no?

You can do this with any image, ghost people, ghost plants, ghost cars on a

street...whatever you want. Create an empty scene, select the ghost subject and blue and

low opacity Instant ghost.

So start reconstructing everything you can't see:

Step 1: Start at the Front. Velvet Chair Seats.

Chair Seats

The velvet chair seats are tough so do them first. We have only a little bit visible in

the front chair brown dog

That little triangle will be our source from the 4 visible chairs.

We start by using the polygon select tool to select the area outlining where the seats

would show if the dogs left. (basically 4 sort of trapezoid shapes.

Use the clone tool

press and hold ALT and click the middle of the red seat that is the source.

start painting tiny areas into the selected trapezoid shapes until you have red velvet

everywhere you need it.

Repeat cloning in little pieces carefully. Hiding the dogs.

When you are done.OPen the BURN TOOL

Set the burn tool to a small fuzzy brush like 17 or less by clicking on the brush size

arrow and sliding or selecting a preset

Make sure the red velvet layer is selected still

Use th burn tool to go over any areas that are in shadow to darken them

Burn along the very lip of the seat to show the 3D effect of the cushion

Go back to the main source and use the Clone stamp to fill in any wood that is missing on

the lower legs, and black out anything in shadow using the shadowed areas as sources.

open clone tool

ALT and click the source

paint as needed to fill in holes with wood and cover the dogs as much as possible in the

lower dark part under the table.

Step 2: Fixing the Wooden Apron Under the Tabletop and the Tabletop

Wooden Apron around tabletop

To fix the wooden apron under the table top.

Use the polygon selection tool to select a chunk of the visible front of the table.
copy and paste it (CTRL C) (CTRL V)
select the new chunk in the layer palette
open the warp tool from the top toolbar: Edit/Transform/Warp
Drag the far right nodea all up several pixels
Drag the middle right nodes up but less
Drag the middle left nodes up just a touch

This should make a nice curved piece similar to the chunk that would be hidden by the

front right dog.

Repeat the same thing but do the LEFT side up.

Slide the two new chunks into place.

You may reapeat the warp tool again to make it fit.

Erase any errors at the edges until it fits.

When you are done. select the ring of wood visible ON the table top and then use the clone stamp to recreate any missing pieces under cards, drinks etc.

select clone tool press ALT and click the source, then paint in where needed

Step 3: Rear Chairs Reconstruction

Chairs at rear and sides

When we are done, move the rear chairs lower down in the layers palette, and the front

chairs are at the top of the layers palette. The future dog layers will be in between, with

the wall paper all at the lowest part of the layers palette

To cover the rear dogs, we will use a combination of copying parts that are the same and

sliding them around to cover parts of dogs for instance. We also copy sections, flip them

horizontally and paste them in, for mirror images like on the picture frame. Other places

are just straigt cloning small areas with the clone tool.

We look for areas that basically repeat and use as much as we can that already exists.
Here we will fix the area below the grandfather clock below it. We already have the chair

on a layer above, so it will always be on top:

Step 4: Recreating the Chair Backs in the Background and Sides

Recreating Chair backs

Luckily the chairback at the front is intact so we can select it with the polygon

selection tool

copy and paste it (CTRL C) (CTRL v)

open the warp tool

at top toolbar: edit/transform/warp

Straighten out the chair by clicking on the dots (nodes) and move them slightly.
Where the chair is on an angle down, pull the dot up, where it is too high pull down.
Generally the left side goes down, the right side goes up. Until we gat a nice head on

view of a chairback.

use the magic wand set to 255 to select the entire chairback

use the clone brush to paint in the right colour from the two chairs on the right. One for

the edge hilight and the other for the grain. cover the chair slowly.

Click ALT on the source

With clone brush paint small areas on the silhouetted dark chair until it looks good.

When you are done select all the layers that make up that chair (hold SHIFT and click

their names in the layers palette)

right click and hit MERGE LAYERS in the popup box

make five copies for the other back and side chairs (CTRL C) (CTRL V) 4 times.

Select the new chair and slide each roughly to where the hidden chairs are.

Open the warp tool again and use the nodes to warp the head on view into the shape of the

chair that is hidden. Try to only move mostly vertically so as not to fatten the chair.

Repeat until all the chairbacks are in place.

Use the eraser tool to hide anything that is behind the table.

Step 5: Grandfather Clock and Right Wall

Now we have to reconstruct all the elements in the background the clock, wallpaper and picture frame. we will use, cut and paste, cut and paste with a flip, and just some cloning for these parts. shown in the image with the arrows indicating where the sources come from.
Starting on the right with the clock and right wall:

Grand Father Clock

Luckily the top and bottom of the grandfather clock and the wall beside it are the same,

so we can just use the polygon select tool to select the upper clock and wall, copy it

with (CTRL C) paste with (CTRL V) move it down to cover the dog in the far right chair

(the reconstructed chair goes over it a higher layer on the layers palette)

temporarily set the opacity of the clock part layer to 75%

use the eraser tool to reveal the chairs in front of it

use the clone tool to fix any problem aread if need be.

set the opacity of the clock layer back to 100%

The far Left wall has a large area of wallpaper, that is the same process.
cut the section, paste, slide it down, erase extra.

Step 6: Pictre Frame Flip Horizontal

Picture frame

The picture frame is mirror image on both sides, so it is easy to fix.

polygon selection tool to select a chunk of the left side of the frame

copy with (CTRL C) paste it with (CTRL V)

In the top tool bar flip it with: Edit/Transform/FlipHorizontal

Slide it over and erase what you don't need.

You can see the result in the middle of the previous image shown again here that it covers the dogs head area easily

Step 7: Wallpaper and Other Background Elements


The wallpaper and corner of the wall onthe left, can be cut pasted and dragged down to cover the area behind the chairs on the left same as the grandfather clock.

polygon select the upper wall
(CTRL C) (CTRL V) move down

The rest of the wallpaper can just be fixed with cloning (tedious but easy)
Select the clone tool
While pressing ALT click on an area with wallpaper of the colour you want to cover

In small strokes paint in the areas needed from the source area.

Be careful to go slowly
and not go beyond the barrier at the source (the distance form the origin of your painting

is the same as the distance from the area you clicked ALT. So if for instance you are an

inch from the point of origin in the painting area, you are an inch form the area you

clicked ALT if that is the back of the chair, and you are going for wallpaper, you went to

far. (CTRL Z) will undo any errors. Work in small areas.

Again I am showing the background areas that are now covered over the original image. These cut and pasted layers must of course end up showing behind the chairs, so they must be LOWER ont he layers palette than the chairs.

Step 8: Green Felt

Green Felt

I wanted to redo the entire oval on the green felt.

I used the zoomed in (Ctrl +) and out (CTRL -) and with the polygon selection tool, selected the area
where the green felt on the picture is so I could clone in the rest of the missing felt

Use the select tool to select around the outside of the ring, and the inside of the chairbacks keep the multiple select button turned on, or hold down the SHIFT key throughout the selecting

The clone tool will then only paste over top of the areas that are selected and you don't have to worry about being messy and you can paint without painting out the chairs and things by accident.

Use the central green area as your source.

Open the clone tool (ALT and click the source area)
paint in small circles around the table blending as you go as best you can.

ALT and click for new source in new areas as you go.

So now you have a final empty room constructed

Step 9: Empty Room Filled Back Up Again

Now we have an empty room with no poker chips cards or dogs.

I did this with a little more finesse by recreating layers for the chips, cards and dogs separately and then ghosting them separtely as well, but for the purpose of this you can just do them all in one layer. If you do them separately you have to reconstruct some of the cards and chips that are under the paws, and a couple bits of dog leg behind the cards. This is done just by finding parts that are mirror images, or just cloning. Same process as you did to recreate the chair backs.

So assuming you did all that, and they are on three different layers, I will show you what do do once they are selected.

We will do the dog layer and then you can repeat it for the others.

Put a layer of your original source on top of the all your layers and select it.

Use the polygon select tool (best with the mulitple select on, so you don't have to hold shift for half an hour) carefully select all around all the visible dog parts in the original image.

We want the OUTSIDE of that selection so we will invert the selection by pressing (CTRL ALT i) at the same time.

press delete.

That should give you only the visible parts of the dogs showing (you can also mask the dogs instead of deleting if you know how to do that. I did, same result but reversible)

Just the dogs is shown in the image still brown.

dog ghosts

To make them ghosts we need them blue and low opacity we get this by:

In the top tool bar click on:
check the colourize box in the bottom right side of the popup for hue&saturation
slider settings hue 203 saturation 33 lightness 26 (or whatever you think looks nice and light blue or grey)

select the blue dog layer and set the blending mode to SCREEN and opacity to 79%


If you cut the chips and cards out separately:

Repeat the same two steps with all the cards, chips, and bottles (doing them separately

allows for more control) You may set the colour adjustments to slightly different

settings, perhaps a on the hue&saturation slider set the LIGHTNESS slider a little higher

sor the cards are whiter.


So everything is blue and low opacity:

Once you have all the layers for the ghost parts, you can tweak them by erasing on one of

the layers that overlap any other ghost layers with a soft eraser brush, and erasing some of the edges of the

ghosts to make them more misty.

Final tweaks using the DODGE tool (this is the opposite of BURN TOOL it is like painting, instead of darkening colour, it bleaches the existing image) to make parts lighter say around the edges that are darker than desired because

the fur was black on the picture. I also dodged around the eyes and most of the paws. The

same sized brush as the erase above is fine.

If you want to make some final colour adustments, feel free to draw freehand in some parts

with a blue, white or grey small paintbrush to define the edges as needed.

Step 10: After Tweaks

Once you have your image done you can do some final tweaks. Use the clone brush to fix some spots here and there, maybe dodge and burn things ligher and darker. I like to save the image and then file/saveas.... and make a jpg, and then open it and tweak that.

OPen the new file you just saved as a jpg.

File/open then browse for it.

I like to resize it down a little bit to hide mistakes and then sharpen it up a bit.

in the top tool bar:


Then save the jpg again.


You can do this same type of technique with anything. Here we cloned all from the original painting, but you can ADD other parts of other paintings or images to make some neat stuff, or if you just can't find a part of the painting that is similar to what is missing. We could have for instance found a chair that WAS visible and added it instead of creating it from the existing ones. It helps to choose starting sources that have repeating parts (ie. more thanone chair, or wallpaper sample or pattersn. Symmetry is very helpful. Half a lamp can be easily copied, flipped and pasted to recreate the whole thing easily.

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    10 years ago on Introduction

    Great tutorial! For some reason I really like the shot of the empty room.

    This looks really good! It really shows how much time you put into it. I also really like that you made the cards and chips ghostlike. It makes it really seem like the whole thing isn't really there and not just the dogs. Bravo :)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Reminds me of the Haunted Mansion ghosts at Disney. Definitely put some work into the Instructable, too. Looks really awesome.

    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Have you entered this in the Photo Editing Challenge? If not, I really think you should.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    my second kick at the prize....fingers crossed.