I made this photo-edit instructable in honor of the fast approaching Halloween - this is a new take on the classic "spooky halloween cat."
This instructable will cover:
1. Making the severed finger
2. Placing it in the original image
3. Adding blood
4. Using filters and color adjustments to make the photo look spooky
Tools: Adobe Photoshop
Time: One hour
Step 1: Severed Finger
1. Start with a photo of a finger. I couldn't find one in the correct orientation for inserting into the kitten photo, so I took a picture of my own finger for this purpose.
2. Use the "Pen Tool" to make a path around the finger, and right click "Make Selection." Select a feather radius of 0, then delete everything outside of the selection. This will leave you with a roughly severed finger.
3. To make it more realistic, we need to add the flesh. Use a photo of raw beef, and cover the end of the finger, then erase the picture of the beef until there is an oval covering the end of the finger. (See photographs)
4. Use the paint brushes to draw a rough bone extending from the severed end of the finger.
The severed finger is done and ready to be added to the original photo!
Step 2: Superimposing the Finger
The next step is to take the severed finger you just made and successfully add it to your kitten photograph.
1. Drag your severed finger (without a background) onto the kitten photo.
2. Scale and move the finger until it looks to be in about the right size and in the right place.
3. Use the color balance to make the finger match the colors of the photograph. Image>Adjustments>Color Balance. I also had to apply a slight Gaussian Blur to the finger because the sharpness looked unnatural. Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur
4. Add a shadow by making a copy of the finger in a new layer. Use the "Quick Selection" tool to select the area around the finger and choose select inverse. The finger should be selected. Fill this selection with black, using a paintbrush. Move the shadow layer below the finger, and apply a Gaussian Blur, so that the shape is indistinguishable. Set the shadow opacity around 50%.
Step 3: Adding Blood
In this step we'll add blood. I chose to add blood to the kitten's mouth, a trail of blood as if the finger had been dragged here, and a blood splatter in the corner, just for interest. This can take a bit of experimenting to get the right look, but is quite simple.
1. First, we'll add the blood to the kitten's mouth. Download a free set of "blood" photoshop brushes from the internet. Using a dark red color, and a variety of the downladed brushes, paint blood onto a new layer. Set the blending mode of this layer to "Multiply" and play with the opacity until it looks natural.
2. Create a new layer for the blood trail and repeat the process in Step 1, but making a long, narrow streak. Again, adjust the opacity and set the blending mode to "Multiply"
3. Finally, use a larger blood brush and create a splatter in the corner.
Step 4: Adjusting the Colors
This step serves two purposes: the first is to create a scary look using dark colors and rough textures. The second is that it helps the superimposed finger and original photograph blend together and look more natural. This step allows for a lot of experimenting and creativity, but I'll tell you how I chose to do this step.
1. Create a new layer of all the images by pressing "Command-Option-Shift-e"
2. Adjust the colors by choosing Image>Adjustments>Color Balance. I chose to shift the colors toward blue.
3. Select "New Fill Layer" and choose "Black and White," then set the blending mode to "Multiply."
4. Download a texture from online and use it to cover the entire image. Set the blending mode of the texture layer to "Multiply."
5. Finally, touch up the image using the "Burn" and "Dodge" tools.