Sunday, February 23, 2014

How to Make Things Look Metallic in Photophop

Post by Elisabeth TenBrink Kelley, co-founder

     So, I'm a Photoshop tinker. I've messed with countless pictures I got from the internet, and even a few of my own. But if you look at my stuff, you'll see that I'm not very good at drawing, and I'm worse at coloring it on the computer. Something that has long evaded me was how to make something look metallic, particularly silver. I recently found out how. Keep in mind that I am using CS4, so you may have a different layout than I do.



     Here I have all of the layers labeled. "Outline" is everything black, "shine" is set on Overlay and gives the gem and silver their slight sheen, "shadow 1" is set to Overlay and is the shadow near the gem, "shadow 2" is also Overlay and is the one that touches the runes, "runes" is the runes carved into the metal, "color" is the grey of the metal and blue of the gem, light is simply there for reference of the direction of the light source, and "original" is the original drawing.

     In preparation for the next step, I hid every layer but "outline" and "color" (accomplished by pressing the eye icon next to the layer) and then merged them using the Merge Visible command found by right-clicking a visible layer. As you can see, this leaves it looking very bare and flat.

     Next I go into the Filter drop-down menu, then the Sharpen menu, and select Smart Sharpen. A window similar to this should show up:

     Turn the Radius up to about half way or higher. Play with it until you find a good combination of Amount and Radius (I would say at least a quarter of each) and press Ok. You can't read it here, but I have Amount set to 20 and Radius to 24.3.

     If you have a large image, like mine was, it may display something like this.

     Here's the final product! Using different settings can give you a different look if you want, but as you can see it looks a lot more natural than the original version.

Miss TenBrink Kelley is an aspiring author and poet, as well as co-founder of the blog.

     We have an art contest going on right now, for those who are interested. The winner gets their entry displayed at the top of the blog. To see the details and submit, click here.

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