Hey everybody, I thought I'd do a quick walkthrough on how to turn your profile pictures into virtually any super hero or villain like the Mark Hamill/Joker mash-up I made in the picture above with the power of photoshop and minimal artistic skills in 15 minutes or less (and that's pushing it).
Step 1 - Choose a picture and prep it
To get all of the unwanted background elements out of the picture, you can use the Magic Wand tool to select large portions of unwanted space and delete it, or start off with a larger Eraser tool size to get rid of the majority of it and use a smaller eraser to fine tune the edges around yourself without accidentally losing an ear. You'll also want to create about 3 new layers, one for hair color, one for clothing/masks, and one for any necessary eye color changes (can vary slightly depending on costume design). For the sake of being artsy, I took my picture below and used Liquify in the drop-down Filters menu on the bottom of the picture, basically so I could center the picture without it just looking like a blocky torso (yours does not have to exactly the same).
Step 2 - Pick a hero or villain and a good reference picture of him or her
Step 3 - The Brush Tool
All I really did with Mr. Hamill up top was cover his hair with 1 plain green layer from the brush tool in one of the layers on top of the actual picture and lower the Opacity of the layer until it looked like the flat green layer was actually just the color of his hair. The Opacity slider can be found directly above the Fill menu and list of layers. Opacity will vary depending on your hair or clothing style, color and the color you are intending to change it to, I used 38% Opacity in the picture below and the same principle applied to Mark's suit and face paint/skin. If you weren't dressed for the character you can pretty easily draw a simple logo, or any other features you'd like to add, they don't have to look perfect and the filter should take care of any sloppy art, it's supposed to look kind of cartoony anyways, right?
Step 4 - Pick a Filter
This is the easiest part of the whole easy process, all you have to do now is shift select all layers, right click and merge them, then pick a filter in the "Filter Gallery" option under the drop-down "Filter" menu and once you've added any background elements pick any filter you think looks cool and you want and you should be set. As with all of the other things in Photoshop, you have to mess around and adjust the sliders on the filters you find interesting to get it just how you like it. The filters I used most often in the pictures bellow were either Poster Edges (with an Edge Thickness of 10, an Edge Intensity of 0, and a Posterization level of 2), Cutout, Film Grain, Dark Strokes, Stamp, or Patchwork. I used one filter for each photo but you guys can go as crazy as you want with combinations, this is just something fun I thought I'd share with all of my fellow hero fanatics and I hope you guys have as much fun with it as I did!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them down in the comments and I'll provide any and all help I can. Hopefully this will help you guys pass the time until Dawn of Justice arrives and Spidey swings into the Avengers gang, until then, be responsible with all of your great powers and stay fly, MoviePilots!