Return to the Photoshop

Well, it's been a very long time since I last used Photoshop for doing my hobbies (creating sigs, renders, or individual posters :p), and I think my skills have rotted in some aspects.

Although I've got a Mac (which they say are designed for designers), I still don't think it will suit me if I'm not familiar with the interface. Fortunately, Adobe has done quite well in keeping the Mac interface similar (and perhaps the exact same interface) to Windows. Don't blame me, due to economic and financial reason, I've been a loyal Windows user for more than a decade =A= and I think I love it; I won't fully leave to the Mac side. Call me a drag or anything, but I've been a happy user in a multi-platform world (yes, I have a Mac, a Dell, a Samsung, an iPad, and a BlackBerry, and my family uses Nokia phones) so I'm not one with those so-called 'fanboys'.

Anyway, I'm here to present one of my work. The original picture is, of course, credited to the original illustrator and uploader.

The Original Picture
So, the character for today's operation is Asuna from the anime Sword Art Online. I knew this title from a light novel, and I thought the artwork was quite interesting, so I gave it a try. And I'm glad I did, the artwork isn't disappointing at all IMHO.

Oh, and please don't mind the pose... I'm currently trying to refresh my rendering skills, and this might just be it, with a solid white and brown colors as the background, it's a very easy prey for the Magic Wand.

With a few tolerance tweaks, I manage to have a very good cut by selecting out the white background and the brown land. By adjusting the settings through 'Refine Edge', the cut is getting better.

One thing that gets in the way, though, is the green life bar above Asuna's shoulder. You see, it's covering her hair. Therefore, after you manage to get a cut of her, you'll need to get rid of that, and cover the tracks.

Unfortunately, the only technique that I know of covering the tracks is to re-draw and cover the gap from scratch (I also tried using the Content-Aware fill, but it didn't work as I expected. Thus, I came to this alternative). And that's what I did. Fortunately, the stylus that I bought for my iPad was detected flawlessly by my MBP's trackpad, although a press is needed continuously to draw. Therefore, I use it to redraw the hair line using Pencil Tool. It was pixelated, of course... but the blur and smudge tools indeed did their job quite remarkably. I even had to use the original picture to predict where the hair line will go.

After redrawing the hair line, I realize that the Magic Wand also deletes the line on top of her head. I had to redraw it but fortunately, only small parts of the line were missing.

In the end, it looked pretty good :D
The Final Result
From afar, there seems to be nothing wrong on the render, but if you look closely, you'll spot it. I still can't 'blend' the 'patch' with the original picture, but I'll assure myself that I'm learning to do so.

What do you think? Feel free to drop your critics, suggestions, etc. in the comments section below. Finally, thanks for reading and see you soon :D


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