With Halloween just around the corner, we’ve been dusting off the pumpkin ornaments and trying to outdo each other in the costume stakes here at Tuts+. While we trade childhood stories of black bin bags for witch’s costumes and bed sheets with eye holes for ghosts, we thought we’d treat you to a funky Halloween tutorial.
I’ll be using this image to walk you through the action:
Brush Over Your Subject
Make a new layer called brush and brush over your subject. In this case, I’m only selecting the pumpkin because the effect is quite intense and any more would overwhelm the image.
Choose a Direction
The action pack comes with the choice of four directions. I’m using bottom to top so that the effect starts from below the pumpkin.
Be patient when the action runs, it can be a little system heavy. When it’s finished, you should have something that looks like this:
Don’t panic, the first thing to do is hide the Background Colour and Shadow layers highlighted here:
The effect on your subject will still have somewhat of a rough edge but should look a lot better.
Work out What Each Layer Does
There are a lot of layers and so a lot of combinations you can try, resulting in a huge number of results, but I’ll take you through some of your options now and start from the bottom, up.
The best thing to do is to switch off and on each layer, so you can see what it does before you start making adjustments.
Hide Wide Blur, which will bring some of the detail back to the fingers.
Lower the Opacity to Lessen the Effect
Lowering the opacity of the Bottom Light Layers (highlighted) will help to bring some detail back in and lessen the intensity of the light at the base.
Turn on Hidden Layers
Turning on some of the Photo Glowing Edge light options can help to hide any rough edges around your main subject.
Adjust Particles and Bokeh
The great thing about this action is that things like the glow particles are all on different layers, so you can increase or decrease them as you want. They’re also grouped together in a folder, so you can take the whole effect down if you want something more subtle. It’s the same with the bokeh layers.
Here I’ve adjusted the Particles to 30% opacity and the Bokeh to around 40%.
Brush Out Rough Edges
You can use the Photo Details layers to disguise any rough lines. I’ve brushed over the egde of the pumpkin and the stalk to hide the hard lines
Change Up the Colours
The next big section that you’ll probably want to play with, is the Colour Option section.
Colour Option 4 is a good one to switch on for this image as it’ll bring some nice contrasting green to the shadows – that fits well with the Halloween theme too. Knock the opacity down a little; I’ve turned it to 56%
As we’re going for real drama with this image, I’ve turned Overall Contrast up to 47%
You could probably spend a long time tweaking and adjusting layers, but when you’re happy, finish up, save your work and you’re done!
Hope you have a horrific Halloween (in the nicest possible sense) and if you’d like to try your hand at some more terrifying tutorials *cough* then look no further: