As in all image manipulations there are usually several ways to do the job. When doing an invisible this is particularly true. It depends on the original image and what needs to be replaced. In most cases using various areas of the original can create the missing background and either by cloning or duplicating, most of the needed area can be created.
Page 1: Basic information
In some instances interiors of the garments have to be created. Sometimes that can be done by cloning, other times it needs to be rendered and shadows added to create the right form, as in this case. Almost always the interior of sleeves, cuffs, necklines or shoes have to be created. I feel that using a second source image to create a background for an invisible removes the challenge and that challenge is the fun of doing an invisible in the first place.
I’ve chosen this image because it requires several of the basic elements found in most invisibles. I couldn’t find any that covered them all.
I’ll insert the usual disclaimer and say that this is just my way of doing this. You may find/have quicker, easier or better ways to do the same thing.
I’ve used just the basic tools and an occasional quick mask. Some minimal drawing is required but nothing that any of you couldn’t handle. It should be noted that each significant step is done on a separate layer, saved each time and noise has been added each time a color has been applied with a brush.
On to the tut.
Page 2: Step One
Here is the original, a photo of Cathy Bell. I chose this image because it maximizes the amount of body replacement needed which seemed appropriate for a invisibles example.
We’ll begin by using the clone tool and start removing her face, hair and the shadow she’s casting on the vent. On a new layer, making sure the “use all layers box” is checked, clone portions of the available vent over the areas you need to remove. I like to use a smallish brush, varying between a hard and soft tip. That makes it easier to get clean edges around items you’re keeping, such as the hat. You could also duplicate areas of the vent on another layer and place them into position. A little bit of touch up with a brush is usually required to fix anything that doesn’t perfectly line up with the cloning. If I get cloning “artifacts” I remove them by spot retouching the area with a click instead of a stroke, from a similar area of color, density and texture.
Page 3: Step Two
When that’s done we’ll have this.
In this step I also cloned out her arm and began cloning out portions of her leg as well. Cloning is obviously necessary whenever you have a texture or detail to duplicate. When you have a blank area, as in parts of the white funnel, you can simply brush in those areas of color.
Page 4: Step Three
Working on the other side of her legs I used the clone tool on the brown railing to keep the texture but used a brush and color to draw in the white and gray rails, sky and cast shadows. Remember to add noise to those areas you are adding with brush work.
Page 5: Step Four
When completed, that area will look like this.
Page 6: Step Five
To create the interior of the garment I started with a base color picked up from a light area of her shirt. Using a quick mask I brushed a flat tone on for starters. This does not truly replicate the look of the shirt in the original. I tried using the bright translucent color area caused by the sun but it looked incorrect. For some reason it looked artificial and kind of “electric.” So I opted to use a slightly darker color.
The interior of the collar is multiple layers of cloth and would be darker. I picked up a tone from the shadow side of her shirt to use there.
Page 7: Step Six
Here’s where a bit of drawing is required. With quick mask still active, using black at 10% opacity and a large soft brush, I added shadow to the inner areas of shirt to simulate the hollowness of the empty garment and create the illusion that it’s being filled out by a body.
I use only the edges of a large brush to keep the shadows very soft and build up the density with multiple strokes for better control.
When adding these shadows check to make sure they conform to the direction of the light source.
If the “marching ants” are distracting, you can toggle them off and on with Control + H in PS.
Page 8: Step Seven
Adding the shadow to both sides and the collar creates the illusion of form. I added a few suggestions of wrinkles which will be enhanced later if they prove to look correct. I also removed a section of shirt at the bottom, above the bikini, to give it a bit more of a flowing look. It’s very important when adding areas of color, to add a bit of noise to them to simulate the texture of the original. Usually a value of 1.55 to 2 will do it I also added a slightly darker tone, using a smaller soft brush, just under the left side of the bra.
Page 9: Step Eight
In the previous image you may have noticed a change to the lower left corner of the shirt. To simplify the area and enhance the flowing look I added a curl to the edge. It was done in the same simple drawing method: use a quick mask on the area, add a light base tone and create the form with the edge of a soft brush with a darker color and build up the density with multiple strokes.
Page 10: Step Nine
At this step several more things have been done.
Using quick mask, I drew in the shape I felt would look correct for the back of her bikini, reversed it, filled it in with the lightest tone needed and added form with darker tones brushed on in the same manner as the shadows in the previous step.
I chose to make it a lighter tone than the front of the garment to create a better separation…using the rationale that the bikini had a lighter lining as most bathing suits do.
I added a bra shadow by using a small soft brush, again at 10% opacity, with multiple stokes. I don’t bother with a mask for these small details. Since it’s on a separate layer it’s simple to erase any overlap.
The remaining bits of her fingers were cloned out on the right side of the shirt and with cloning and some brushwork the existing wrinkles and shadow were extended or adjusted.
At this point the wrinkles added to the shirt back seem to be Ok. So I darkened them a bit more and added slight highlights to give them a little more dimension.
Page 11: Step Ten
Using quick mask, I painted on the shapes needed for the interior of the shirtsleeve, collar label and boot. Using the same procedure as before, I filled in a base color and using a small soft brush I added the shadows and highlights for shape. The copy on the collar label was faked with a one pixel brush.
The bra straps were freehanded and a highlight was added to the shirt edge where her hand had cast a shadow.
Page 12: Finish
Just a final few things to finish the image.
A shadow cast by her cap and shoulder are the final steps. Using quick mask I painted on a shape guessing as to what the shadow should look like and added a color picked up from an area in the dark space between the red louvers. I reduced the opacity of that layer to 65% and had to add some yellow (edit> Color Balance) to get it the correct hue.
I repeated that sequence to create the shoulder shadow. There would be no shadow cast on the shaft of the vent since it’s not close to her.
The area of her boot showing a portion of her leg was retouched to remove the last remaining evidence of her body.
At this point I checked the entire image for anything that may have been overlooked in previous steps and to remove anything in the original that should be retouched. I found a few spots here and there on the shirt.
As you can see, the drawing element, as shown on her shirt interior, is basically simple. While some of you may not have tried this sort of thing before it will just take a bit of trial and error practice to master it.
I hope this will have been some help to those of you asking for some advice on doing an invisible. While they’re all a bit different, this example contains most of the issues in a basic invisible.