Introduction: Recreating Heaven's Door From JJBA in Photoshop

In order to recreate the Heaven's Door effect from JJBA, we are going to need a few images to start. Gather an image of a shocked man, like seen above. I've removed the background ahead of time since we'll be doing that later. Also grab an image of someone with tall flat top hair and an image of a newspaper page. Open up the shocked person image, then place the other two images as different layers. Hide the newspaper layer for now. Once that is done, we are ready to begin.

Step 1: Step 1 - Add the Hair

Using the pen tool, select around the flat top hair. It isn't necessary to get all the individual hairs, let it cut off if you'd like. Then click "Mask" on the top bar towards the left. This will leave only the hair we selected. Move the hair onto the shocked man's head. Try to line it up nicely. Now temporarily make the hair layer 75% opacity. Using the brush tool with the color black on the layer mask, we can edit the hair line to fit the character we are making. Set the brush's hardness to around 25% and draw under the shocked man's hairline. Also cut off the hair below the ears, keep it above. When you are finished, set the layer back to 100% opacity.

Step 2: Step 2 - Coloring the Hair

Create a new layer above the hair layer. Set this layer to 75% opacity and 75% fill. Now alt click between the two layers. An arrow should appear next to your new layer, pointing down at the hair layer. This allows us to only place materials on top of the hair below. Grab a brush and with a light grey color. Simply draw over the entirety of the hair. Use a 25% hardness eraser if you need to clean anything up.

Step 3: Step 3 - Coloring the Shirt

Create a hue/saturation adjustment layer. Put this between the man and the hair layers. Alt click between this layer and the man layer. This will make it easier to select what to adjust. Using a white brush, select all the area on the shirt for this adjustment layer mask. Don't select the buttons. Go to the adjustment layer properties and check the colorize box. Set the color to a blue-green color, leaning more towards green than blue. It should be around 90 saturation and -70 lightness. Now create another hue/saturation adjustment layer. Put this under the shirt color one, and alt click between the man and this layer. Now with the white brush select only the buttons. We will check the colorize box once again and make it a bright yellow.

Step 4: Step 4 - Creating the Paper Face

Use the pen tool to select inside the face. Make your selection from a bit past the left eyebrow over to the right eyebrow. The top should be a bit below the peak of the hairline, and the bottom should leave a little area for the chin. Click select at the top. Use the lasso tool while holding alt to select around the eyes and the mouth, removing them from the selection. Make this into a mask. Now go over to your newspaper layer and unhide it. Make the newspaper cover the entire face. Now drag the mask layer onto the newspaper. Move the newspaper over the face. Align it so the eyes and mouth can be seen through the holes.

Step 5: Step 5 - Shading the Paper Face

Create a new layer above the paper face. Alt click between these two layers to once again create that layer effect. Get a large around a 200px size brush with a hardness of 15%. Set the color to black. On this new layer, drag this brush around the outside of the face. A slight fading shadow should develop around the edge of the paper, making depth. Use a smaller brush, around a 80px size brush, to add some shadows to the mouth. Adjust the opacity anywhere between 100% and 70%. Go with what you prefer. Add a new layer under the face page to add some shading to the eyes. Same type of brush as for the mouth.

Step 6: Step 7 - Adding the Paper Face Pages

Copy the paper face layer three times. Put these layers to the left of the face, like a page folding. Move the top of the three over a bit, and the middle one over as well, so the edge is between the top and bottom pages.

Step 7: Step 8 - Shading the Paper Face Pages

Create two new layers. Place one above the middle and bottom. Alt click between these layers and the pages. Use a smaller brush, around a 80px size brush with a hardness of 15%. Create shadows for each of these pages. The bottom page should have darker shadows than the middle, so go over it twice.

Step 8: Step 8 - Adding the Nose and Eye Ridge

Hide all your layers for a moment except the person layer. Use the lasso tool to select the nose and the eye ridge. Copy these onto a new layer. Set it to a multiply layer. Place this layer above the paper face on his face. Create a black & white adjustment layer above it. Click alt between this layer and the nose/eye ridge so it only applies to this layer. Create another layer between these two. Alt click between this layer and the nose/eye ridge layer as well. Use the same shading techniques we used previously to define the nose and eye ridge.

Step 9: Step 9 - Removing the Beard

For the photo I used, the person had a beard. The character we are recreating doesn’t have a beard, so we need to remove what shows underneath the page. Create a new layer underneath the shirt color layer and above the person layer. Alt click between this and the person layer. Use the clone stamp tool to accomplish this. We can set the sampling to current & below so we can see what it looks like with our paper face, but not sample it. Use a combination of this and the spot heal tool to make it look nice. We can use the burn and dodge tool to adjust any lighting.

Step 10: Step 10 - Rotating the Character

The man himself is mostly done now, but we need to set up the scene. First, select all layers by holding shift and clicking on each of them. Next, hit ctrl + T to enter transformation mode. We're going to rotate the character a tad bit to the left, not too much. Then right click the selection and hit "Flip Horizontally". Reposition the man so he is relatively centered.

Step 11: Step 11 - Creating the Background

We'll start by adding the background color. Simply make a layer at the very bottom and fill it with a light unsaturated orange. We can now use the magic wand tool to select the orange only. Tolerance should be about 30 and sample all layers should be checked. Click on the orange and select it. Now right click your selection to invert it. Now only the man should be selected. Create a new layer and use a black brush to fill in that selection on the new layer. Once that is done, move the selection a bit to the right and down. Make this a multiply layer with about 60% opacity.

Step 12: Step 12 - Adding Action Lines

Go to the polygon tool and make a three sided polygon, a triangle. Once you have made one, use ctrl + T to make it tall and thin. Place it on the outside edge pointing towards the center of the piece. Use ctrl + C and ctrl + V to copy and paste the triangles. Use ctrl + T to keep rotating them towards the center. Make them be of varying sizes. Once you have enough, go ahead and select all the polygon layers, right click them, and hit "Rasterize Layer". Then, while they are all still selected, right click them again and hit "Merge Layers". Once you have done that, you have completed the piece.