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Hammerhead Shark Photo Manipulation

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Details

Difficulty: Advanced

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An ingenious wordplay can provide a substantial dose of humor and amusement. Pixelmator can be used to provide a graphical outcome for your own play on words. Follow this tutorial to create a literal interpretation of the hammerhead shark’s name.

The Clipping Masks, Brush Tool, Layer Masks and other features of Pixelmator are used in this tutorial.

hammerhead shark photo manipulation pixelmator tutorial final

Resources

Notice: Unfortunately, the stock photos used in this tutorial are not free for public use. To follow the steps in this tutorial either purchase them or try to find equivalent photographs.

Step 1

Open Pixelmator and create a new document. The image size used in this tutorial is 900x600 pixels. First, copy and paste the image of the grungy paper. Go to Edit > Transform and resize the image to roughly the same size as the canvas. Then, reduce it’s Opacity to 70%. After that, create a new layer and name it Color. Use the Paint Bucket Tool (N) to fill it with blue color (#0080f) and set it’s Blending mode to Color and the Opacity to 20%.

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Step 2

Now, lets add a vignette effect. Create a new layer named Vignette and fill it with black color using the Paint Bucket Tool (N). Then, use the Elliptical Marquee Tool (Y) to select the centre part of the layer. Use the image below as a reference. After that, go to Edit > Refine Selection, set the Feather to 70%, Size to 70px and click OK. Delete the selected part of the image by pressing the Delete key on your keyboard. Lastly, reduce the layer’s Opacity to 40%.

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Step 3

Lets start working on the shark! Copy and paste the image of the shark, flip it horizontally (Edit > Flip Horizontal) and resize it to about 26% of the original size (Edit > Transform). Also rotate the image until the shark’s body is parallel to the edges of the canvas.

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Step 4

Then, use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to select the outline of the shark. To remove any rough edges from your selection go to Edit > Refine Selection, set the Smooth to 10% and click OK. After that, copy and paste the selection into a new layer. The original image can now be deleted as it will not be used anymore. Lastly, let’s give the shark a matte finish. To do that go to Image > Shadows and Highlights, Lighten the Shadows by 50% and Darken Highlights by 100%.

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Step 5

Next, lets remove the bluish color on the shark’s belly. Create a new layer named White, right-click it and choose Create Clipping Mask. Then use a soft rounded brush to add strokes of white on the lower part of the shark. Use the image below as a reference. If you have trouble selecting an appropriate brush - consult the tip below. After that, set the layer’s Blending mode to Color.

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Tip: To select a brush that has soft and transparent edges open the Brushes Palette (Show > Show Brushes). Then, click the Action button in the palette and choose Default from the drop-down menu. Select the brush that is situated first from the right on the first row. Adjust the size of the brush by changing its Diameter and change the softness by reducing the Hardness of the brush.

tip

Step 6

Now, copy and paste the image of the hammer. Rotate it 90° to the left (Edit > Rotate 90° Left) and reduce the layer’s Opacity to 50%. This will make the image of the hammer see-through making it easier to position. After that, go to Edit > Transform and reduce the size of the image to about 23%. Use the Move Tool (V) to position the hammer as in the example below:

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Step 7

Next, use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to select the outline of the hammer’s head. To remove any sharp corners go to Edit > Refine Selection, set the Smooth to 10% and click OK. Then copy and paste the selection into a new layer. The original image can be deleted as it will not be used anymore. Lastly, rotate the hammer (Edit > Transform) so that it matches the curvature in the shark’s body.

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Step 8

Now comes the interesting part. The image of the hammer will have to be adjusted so that it blends nicely with the body of the shark. First, right-click the layer that contains the hammer and choose Add Mask in the drop-down menu. Then select the Brush Tool (B) and choose a soft circular brush. Then add strokes of black in the layer’s mask, where the hammer intersects with the shark’s body. Use the image below as a reference. This will make some parts of the hammer transparent.

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Step 9

Next, lets make the hammer’s texture appear more skin-like instead of metal. To do that duplicate the layer Hammer, right-click it and choose Create Clipping Mask. Then go to Image > Invert Color. This will change all the colors of the image to exact opposites of the originals. After that, set the Blending to Vivid Light and reduce the Opacity to 40%.

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