A Work in Progress: The Mystic's Strings



This guide was made for entry:
The Mystic's Strings
In Contest:
puppetize me


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My own photo of my own hand.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 1

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Carefully cut out the hand and pasted it over my black canvas.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 2

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Next the mystic. Using the awesome hooded man stock, I cut out the head and erased the neck and collar. I also warped down the right part of the hood so that it doesn't stick out to the side so much.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 3

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Cut out the mouth and chin in order to puppetize the mystic. A difficult-to-see step here is how I cut out the hood and lowered it, covering his eyes entirely.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 4

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Used inner shadow effects to make the mouthpiece appear more 3D and puppet-like. Attached two strings which are basically grey lines with layer effects: soft bevel and gradient overlay. Added alot of heavy shading to the face, accenting the cheekbones and the shadow cast by the hooded.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 5

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Began to puppetize my (now the mystic's) hand. Started by removing each finger and cutting it into a seperate layer folder. Each finger will get alot of extra layers later on. This is an example using the 5th finger.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 6

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...and rounded both the edges of the palm and the finger. This process is repeated for each finger.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 7

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Finished cutting out (off?) the fingers. With my awesome Photoshop CS5 Extended features, I use 3D repousse on the palm and bevel it outwards slightly.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 8

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First part of hand puppetization is complete. Nudged the fingers back to rejoin with the palm.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 9

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And this is where things got tedious. I had to divide each finger into three parts and reattach them all as if by string. This is, once again, an example using the 5th finger. I originally thought that this particular digit needed only one cut (two parts) but I divided it into three later on.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 10

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Now to fill the flat surface between the split finger parts. I just used clone stamp set to "all layers" to paint some of the finger texture onto a new layer under the finger. Darkened with curves and hue/sat. I added a barely visable string between the parts but I delete it later on.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 11

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Short example of a triple split on the next finger. I duplicate the finger into four layers, leaving one intact and hidden and the other three erased, each to different lengths. The result is the three parts of the finger.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 12

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Reattaching the finger parts using the same clone stamp filling. The intact finger is left hidden.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 13

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Finished puppetizing the hand. Soft drop shadow is added to each finger (no global light) to darken the area where it meets the palm.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 14

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Strings are added. Copied from the mystic.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 15

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Added shading and detail to the hands. Added small black dots (holes) where the strings are attached to the hand and drew some blurred, transparent lines for the shadows of the strings. String shadow blend mode is set to overlay.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 16

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Finally to the elephant. This was a bugger to cut out...you'll notice that I accidently included the foot of the other elephant but I delete it in the next step.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 17

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Began to detach the limbs of the elephant, just like with the hand. I cleaned up the edges of the elephant as well as replaced the obscured front foot with one from the back.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 18

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This is the final result of the elephant's limb-moving. Each limb is copied onto a seperate layer and rotated into the shown pose.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 19

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Used puppet warp (oh, the bleeding irony!) on the trunk to bend it into the desired shape.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 20

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Finished warping.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 21

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Now to puppetize the elephant. I darkened each limb with inner shadow and rounded their edges. The trunk is also split into three parts, joined together by subtle strings.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 22

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Painted in the elephants shadow. Masking part of the shadow with the soft, transparent brush, I was able to make the shadow fade and blur more as it parted from the elephant's hind legs. I also added a black-transparency gradient over the top portion of the image, fading out the strings where the near the "ceiling." I erased the gradient layer where it overlayed the mystic.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 23

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I chopped out the mouth of th elephant like I did with the mystic, but decided against adding a string to it later on as to not clutter the image.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 24

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Copied the hand folder (without the strings or elephant) and vertically flipped it. Dragging the new folder all the way under the rest of the layers, the hand is darkened by the gradient from step 23.

And pardon the missed major step: I also added strings to the elephants limbs, trunk, head, and body in the same way as with the lower hand's fingers.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 25

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Attached the elephant's strings (not the lower hand's) to the upper hand by simply erasing them with layer masks and adding the same black dots.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 26

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Hands and elephant are finished. Added alot of shading to the elephant and added a few adjustment layers to the whole image, darkening the mood.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 27

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Now for the puppet necklace. Started by, yes, of course, cutting out this idly posed puppet stock.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 28

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Pasted the puppet into the document. Cut out and rotated the limbs into the below position.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 29

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Began to make the necklace. Duplicated the puppet a few times onto another layer, arranged them and transformed them into a chain-like pattern.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 30

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Chain complete. Later copied it and flipped it onto the opposite side.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 31

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Used layer masking to erase part of the chain where it disappears behind a solid object. (I could have, I suppose, just moved this beneath all other layers but this seemed most comfortable to me for some odd reason.)

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 32

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Darkened the entire necklace with a curves layer.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 33

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Began to add the enchanted glow. Used Obsidiandawn's beautiful glitter brushes here, to which I applied a faint outer glow. To the puppet neckpiece, I added a very wide, faint glow and a gradiant overlay (turquoise-transparency) set to overlay blending.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 34

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Used a soft brush at 60% opacity to randomly fade out some of the glitter. Also added the same gradient overlay to the necklace band and gave the neckpiece some intense shading.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 35

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Here I basically just repeated exactly what I did on the neckpiece, now to the elephant. Added glitter; outer glow; wide outer glow on elephant; faint gradient overlay to elephant; faint gradient overlay to thumb, 5th and 4th fingers.

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 36

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Copied and merged the entire image, then duplicated the merged layer. Filtered the top of them to high-pass, set its layer blending to overlay, and reduced opacity. It's done!

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Step 37

Final result

Creation of The Mystic's Strings: Final Result

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Comments

no avatar
candermac says:

Excellent, good work

(5 years and 1300 days ago)
avatar wazowski
wazowski says:

Can be easily transformed in a tutorial

(5 years and 1300 days ago)
avatar Disco
Disco says:

Absolutly brilliant!

(5 years and 1300 days ago)
author says:

Thanks all! Waz, I was thinking about it...just worried that I'll then need screenshots of my layers palatte. I'll give it a shot, at least.

(5 years and 1299 days ago)