Making a Photogenic Zombie

Introduction: Making a Photogenic Zombie


One day browsing the internet, i came across a site i just took and left the site. Again after a few days i came across the same site, i just took a look and left the site, the third when i came across this site, i decided to make a Google search 'instructables'.
My eyes flattered, just all like mined people.
That's how got on instructables.

I am writing this as my first instructable. I decided to take part in this contest and create a scary photo.
This instructable guides you in creating a  zombie from the photograph of a Japanese women in kimono.

Before we begin

General Details:

Difficulty : 6/10

Time required to edit and to recreate this image(When the plan and your imagination is ready with the requirements :-) It took me more than 10 days to complete it.)

Beginner : 1 day
Intermediate : 4 hrs.
Pro : 1-2 hrs.

Required Photo editing soft-wares:

Pixlr (Online edition)Express & Advanced  version(
Adobe Photoshop CS6.

Resources the the main image :

A Japanese women in kimono
Human skull(partially broken at sides)
Human skull with a gunshot mark on it.
Human spine(only upper portion)
Human bone(elbow bone)
Human bone(finger bone)
Scary image of a Zombie with its wig hair

Resources for the background image :

Scene of dark night with moon shinning in light.
Decorative twig tree
Eagle on a branch of a tree.

Image resources for texture:

Jute Bag

Resources for special effects :

Brushes-Crayon Brush
Textures-Jute bag

You may also require an active internet connection.

It is recommended that you create or edit the images in high resolution.(At 350 ppi)

What you will from this instructable :

Basic photo editing.
Puppet Wrap.
Lightning effects.
Reconstruction of images.
Refine edge.

Pixlr Efficient and Advanced.

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Step 1: Lets Get Started

Start image(The original image- The Japanese women in Kimono)

Cleaning the background

Lets begin with this image(The Japanese women in Kimono).
Open this image in Photoshop.
Make sure you Select the background as transparent.
Clear the background first using magic eraser to clean the white background.
Then Select the Background Eraser Tool from the toolbar.
Set the tolerance as 32% hardness as 50-90%(0% is the best)
Begin erasing the outline of the image with the eraser.
For cleaning the fine section such as hair-
Either set the tolerance of the eraser from 5-10%.


Select The polygon tool from the toolbar.
Select the rough area such as the hairs.
Select the refine edge above.
Adjust the Settings accordingly. 

Step 2: The Skull, Wound and the Spine

In this step we would prepare the main skull with its wound.

The Skull

First erase the background of the skull.
Set the hardness of the eraser at 0% , tolerance at 10-32% and select 'Find edges' from the option above and now move the eraser along the outline of the skull
Give a clean touch to its teeths.

The Cracks and the Gunshot

Open the image that has the gunshot marks in the skull.
Erase everything except the marks.
Now use the background eraser with hardness at 0% tolerance at 50% and Select the 'Find edges' option and clean everything except the scars(only the cracks)

Now paste the gunshot cracks on the skull
Place the right section of crack mark over the right eye area.
Adjust the size by using Free Transform or by pressing Ctrl+T.

Now(selected) Go to Edit menu → Transform → Wrap.
Now you see the mesh created over it.
Just click on the point and drag in such a way that it should look above images.

This gives it a realistic look if the skull.

The Spine

Open the image containing the upper portion of the human spine.
Erase the background of the image also remove the skull.
Don’t erase the shoulder(we need it as reference while resizing it later)

Step 3: Placing the Objects

The Spine

Create a new layer “spine”.
Paste the edited spine in that layer.
Now taking the length of the shoulder(of the spine) resize the image to match with the length of the shoulder that of the Japanese women.
You may set the opacity of the layer at 75%(or anything) for your conveyance.
Now taking the middle of the breadth of the neck rotate the spine after that Go to Edit → Transform → Perspective.
Remove the head but not the hairs and that rose.(we will need that look during “presentation” step)

Now again, create another layer “skull”.
Paste and resize the the skull.
Make sure that the skull touches the edges of the head of the women.
You may change the opacity of the layer to 70% for your convince while resizing.
Now carefully erase the part of the neck from the main image.

Make sure the skull layer is placed above the spine layer.

Erase the portion of the shoulder outside the collar

Step 4: Adding the Fingers and the Elbow Bone

Adding the elbow bone

(only useful if you are going to a create a torn cloth effect near the elbow)

Open the elbow bone image, clean the background.
Paste it in the main image
Place it on the elbow area.
Flip it horizontally(Go to Edit → Transform → Flip horizontally)
After that also Use the perspective transformation tool.
Enlarge it from left.

You may need this bone later.

Adding the fingers

Open the finger bone, clean the background.
Flip it horizontally and paste it in the main image.
Re-size it and place it next to towards the end of the elbow bone.
Leave Some place vertically and create a duplicate layer of that image(finger bone)(Create 3 more)
In the same way now create the thumb.
In this way there should be 4 fingers and 1 thumb.
To make the fingers appear curled.
Again make duplicates of that image, rotate it so that it appears vertically straight. Skew(Edit → Transform → Skew) it and tapper it towards its end and place it next to the end of the finger bones.

After following the above steps

Erase the hand portion from the main image

Place the elbow bone layer below all layers.

Step 5: Creating the Hairs(Part 1)

Creating the hairs(Part 1)

Zombie are from the dead. This is the skeleton zombie. But can it have hairs??

Open 'Zombie with the wig' image.
Use the Magic Eraser Tool form the toolbar.
Set the tolerance at 100%
Click anywhere on the white surface to clear the background.
Now make a rough outline of the wig from top to bottom.
Don’t waste your time making a fine outline just make a rough using the Polygonal Lasso tool, Photoshop will take care of the rest.
After making the selection click on the 'Refine edge' from above or go to Select menu → Refine Edge or press Alt + Ctrl + R
Now the dialogue box appears.

Q)What is Refine Edge?
A)One of the most difficult and frustrating tasks in photo editing is making a clean and decent selection on photos that involve super fine hair, fur, leaves, and any fiber like elements.

Use of this function in Photoshop enables the user to perform these tasks with ease.

Smart Radius-Automatically adjusts the radius effect as per the selection.
Smooth-Can smooth-en the surface of selection along the area of radius.
Feather-From the edges of the selection creates a blur effect.
Shift Edge-Enhances the possibility to shift(increase or reduce) the area of radius effect.
Refine Radius tool-Deselects the area of selection.
Erase Refinements tool-Erases the refined(effect)area.

Select Smart Radius
Adjust the radius area. The grater the value the greater the area of effect. You may also increase the shift edge.
To exclude a part of selection select the size of brush and its hardness.
Select the part on the selection that has to be excluded.
To erase the refinement Select Erase Refinements Tool select the part that has to be erased.

Step 6: Creating the Hairs(Part 2)

Creating the hairs(Part 2)

The the copy of the previous image(Copy Merged Edit → Copy Merged or Shift + Ctrl + C)
Place(paste) this piece of hair over the skull.
Now to reconstruct the transformation the hair we are going to use the Puppet Wrap feature.

Q)What is Puppet Wrap
A)You can reconstruct the whole image by dragging, shifting edges, etc through the puppet mesh. This function lets users systematically distort the images as required.

To select Puppet Wrap go To Edit Menu → Puppet Wrap
If you don’t want to see the mesh deselect 'Show Mesh'.
Select density as More Points.
Now before we begin first create a pin towards the top of the image i.e. create the pins where you are sure that you don’t need transformation there .
Create the pins in this way.

After the first two pins(from top to bottom)now add the third pin to the hair wig(At the lower end of the wig).
While the pin created and clicked move it towards the edge of the skull.
In this same way, create the transformation of desire i.e. by stretching, twisting, extending, etc. to any shape of desire.

Step 7: Creating the Hairs(Part 3)

Creating the hairs(Part 3)

For the second hair wig the procedure is same but the only difference is that we will also include a small part of the forehead connecting the hairs(Scalp).

Open the image again(the zombie with the wig).
Use The refine edge function.
Copy the refinement and paste it on the main image.
This makes portion of the hairs connecting the forehead acts as the lower end of the scalp on the skull.

Step 8: Creating the Hairs(Part 4)

Creating the hairs(Part 4)

Now we will come back again to that zombie with the wig.
We will again follow the same procedure.
Open the file, clear the background.
Now the change is that, we will be making a selection(by using Polygonal Lasso Tool)only a part of the wig. It will be just in a straight line(there wont be any curves or anything)

Copy it merged and paste it in the main image.
Rotate it, so that it appears horizontal.
Place it in the middle between the pieces of hair over the scalp.
Activate the Puppet Warp function.
Add the first two pins(On the area of wig, on the skull).
Now add the third pin at the end of the wig bend it towards down.
Place this layer below the first and second layers(of wig)

Step 9: Creating the Hairs(Part 5)

Adding More hairs and rearranging them

You can keep adding more hairs toward the lower portion of the wig.
The hairs can also be Puppet Warped to make appear hairs floating in air or make them appear over the shoulders.

Step 10: Compressing the Clothes

Compressing the Clothes

As the skeleton zombie cannot have have any skin neither and fats. So we will randomly select the areas which contain the fats. The most prominent areas are the butt and the belly. We will remove these fats now.

Select the belly area Using the Magnetic Lasso Tool.

The Magnetic Lasso tool automatically detects the edges. This guides you in selecting the accurate outline of the image.
Start with the tool, just keep moving the cursor over the outline. It will automatically assign the the selection. If in case it does not make an point on an area and continue moving the cursor.

After selecting the belly area Transform using the wrap tool(Edit → Transform → Wrap).Make the desired changes for the belly area.Then Separate only this selection(only the belly)

Repeat this same near the butt area too.

Step 11: Restoring Blank Spaces

After you carefully re-connect the edges the belly again(Make sure that you have the separated the section and pasted as a new layer) you may notice blank spaces like this.

Using Artificial intelligence, photoshop can help to restore those blank spaces by guessing the pattern or texture form the nearby area.
This function is called as the Content-Aware and the tool is called Heal Brush.
Auto Heal Brush-Automatic but not accurate.
Heal Brush-manual but accurate.

To restore these spaces select the Heal Brush, Press Alt and click at an nearby area from the blank space. Re-patch the blank space using this tool.(Always select mode as replace throughout the instructable)
Patch tool can also be used to patch a whole area.

After restoring blank spaces erase the overlapped area(especially near the belly area).

Step 12: The Eyes

To create the eyes we will be using the brush tool.
The color selected will be #ed1a39 or Red.
Set the hardness at 0%
Start with the brush from the center of the eye socket.
Move it in a circle.

Repeat this step for another eye too.

We will also be creating an angry look with the same color.

After creating the 'angry' eyes save it as .JPG, .PNG, etc.

But we will be applying that angry look at last to create a Glow type effect.

You may also transform the upper portion of the eye socket and wrap it upside
This will make it look more scary, angry and dangerous.

Step 13: Creating the Torn Cloth Effect or the Deep Cuts(optional)

Creating the torn cloth Effect or the deep cuts(optional)

The wound

The skeleton zombie wont have any skin, so its wont have any skin cuts or wounds. Although to make the image more scary you may create some wounds.

Open that zombie image from whom we extracted the wig.
Make this selection(the area of the cut from the fore head towards to mid area between the nose) roughly by using the polygonal tool or accurately by using the Magnetic Lasso tool or using the Quick Mask tool(Shift + Q, also same for exiting the Quick mask mode, brush can be used, opacity and hardness can also be specified.)(The quick mask mode will give out better results when used along with Refine edge function).
Then refine the edges.

Copy and Paste in the main image.
Clean the edges sharply.
After cleaning, select it, right click on it and select 'Load Selection'.
Inverse the selection by pressing Shift + Ctrl + I.
Use the brush with hardness at 23-35%, fill at 92-93% and the brush strokes as 'Lino Crayon' .
Now use the brush inside the selection, move the brush along the edges.
This creates the wound, the brush represents the torn edges of the cloth.

You can also create torn cloth effect

(continued from above)
Erase inside the selection
after that re-select the selection and press Ctrl + Shift + I to inverse the selection.
Use the Lino crayon and the dry brushes as the eraser, one after the another.
It gives a torn effect.

Now to add the jute cloth texture to it(Jute Bag).

Again inverse the selection.
Open the gunny-bag image Select the Clone stamp tool and while holding Alt select a point.
Now back to  the main image.
Create the gunny bag texture then using the Color replacement tool set the hardness at 100%, color as white and recolor the texture.

The cloth effect is ready

To create a good look of the zombie keep both the effects(Torn cloth effect and the wound).

Step 14: Creating Bleeding Teeths (Optional, Useful While Creating High Quality Images)

We wont be making blood all over the teeths but we are going to leave blood traces in the gaps between teeths.(Optional)

Erase the background of this image, copy and paste it in the main image.
Overlay it over the teeths, rotate it 90 degrees, flip it vertically and re-size it.
Now set the eraser fine with hardness at 0%.
Clear the blood except near the gaps.

Step 15: Creating the Background(Part 1)

The background is simple.
I will be using Photoshop as well as Pixlr Express, we will prepare the main part in photoshop and give the final special effects in Pixlr Express.
In the first part we will be using Photoshop to create rough image. In the second part  we will use Pixlr Express & Pixlr editor(Advanced)

The background of the 'Background image' will be transparent. But for conveyance during editing we will be adding black paint as the background. After editing black paint shall be erased.

First we will take a good image of 'Twig tree'.

Clean the background of the image, erase the unwanted objects too.
If the tree looks distorted, try reconstructing it by joining, warping, puppet wrap, spot heal, etc.
Add the mushroom type objects that are  present at the lower ringside of the twig tree image.

After the first image the second ones-
A scene with the moon shinning, light dispersed in the sky.
Erase the background except the moon and its light.
Copy paste that image to the main background file.
Place it behind the tree branches.

The third image-
An 'Eagle on a branch of tree' image.
Erase the branch and the background.
Inverse the color(Go to Image menu → Adjustments → Invert Or press Ctrl + I)

Place the eagle on the branch.
Select the lower end of its legs. Transform it, increase its length. Repeat it for the other end too, also make sure to add the lower end of the wings.

Now save the image without the black background
Make sure its resolution is 2835 x 7087 i.e. 10 : 25 OR 1 : 2.49

Step 16: Creating the Background(Part 2)

In this part we will be using the Pixlr's online editing service- Pixlr Express.

Open the image.

Adding the background image :

Select Borders then select the desired background image.
Then go to adjustments  → Add image.
Open the Japanese zombie women.
Re-size the image.

No we will add some effects-Mainly Camile & Thomas.

Go to Effects → Soft → Thomas.
Set the amount at 28%. Apply the changes.
Now again go to Effects → Soft → Camile.
Set the amount at 46%.

Next is to add an overlay

Go to Overlay → Olga → then select Amalia.
Apply the changes.

We also change the Vibrance

Q)What is Vibrance?
Vibrance is a smart-tool which cleverly increases the intensity of the more muted colors and leaves the already well-saturated colors alone. It’s sort of like fill light, but for colors. Vibrance also prevents skin tones from becoming overly saturated and unnatural.

(Photograph is included in this step to let you understand better)

Q)What is Saturation?
A)Saturation is a uniform bumping up the intensity of all colors in your shot, regardless of the starting point of the colors. This can result in clipping (over saturation of certain colors which results in loss of detail in those areas) and over saturation of skin tones leaving them looking too orange and unnatural.

(Photograph is included in this step to let you understand better)

Go to Adjustments → Vibrance
Set it at +13.

Step 17: Adding the Angry Eyes(Part 1)

This and the following part concludes this image.

Add the 'angry eye' image in this document.
Re-size it accordingly.

A blur(Focal blur) effect will be added.
This will blur everything, expect the eyes and partially the skull and the hairs.

Go to Adjustments → Focal blur.
Change from radius focal blur to bar focal blur.
Now you can see 2 parallel lines and 2 parallel dotted lines.
The straight two parallel lines totally excludes the area of blur.
The other both lines partially blurs within.
Anything beyond the dotted lines its effects to the maximum percent of blur(Percent of blur has to be specified).

Resize the two straight parallel lines(non-dotted) to the breadth of the eye.
Change the angle of focal blur.
Set the Glow boost at 53%.
Apply the changes.

Now go to Adjustments → Auto fix.
Apply it.

Save the image.

Step 18: Adding the Angry Eyes(Part 2)

Hey Stop! Dont close the browser.
Get back and open Pixlr Editor(Advanced).
Open the previously saved image.

Now select the Burn tool.
Let all other things such as brush size opacity, etc. remain default.
Burn the upper area of the eye, move the cursor in a circle.
Repeat this on this same eye twice or thrice.
Then move to the next eye.
Then again repeat these steps.

Now use the brush tool.
Set the brush size at 50 px and hardness at 0% and color Black.
Set the opacity at 36%.
Move the cursor over the upper portion of the eye in a circle once.
Then set the opacity at 18%.
Again move the brush along in the circle part; not once, but twice.

Zoom out and you will see your image is ready.
Don't forget to save it.

Step 19: Presentation

The Zombie Family

Halloween Photo Editing Contest with Pixlr

Finalist in the
Halloween Photo Editing Contest with Pixlr

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    2 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nicely done! The way you did the background with the tree makes it look like a painting -cool effect.