How to create the famous iPod silhouette
From the classic opening credits of the James Bond films to Apple’s original iPod campaign, silhouettes have proven they can be the basis for powerful and iconic imagery.
Traditionally, the easiest way to shoot a silhouette was to place the subject against a bright background or backlight and expose for the brighter regions of the image. This plunges the subject into darkness, silhouetting them against the background.
Here, we’re going to show you a technique that partially silhouettes the model, with the shot taken so that a small amount of light just helps to pick out some of the facial features, giving the subject the look of the famous iPod silhouette.
In Photoshop, we’ll show you how to subtly fine-tune the highlights falling onto the model using Levels adjustments, and then how to superimpose the model onto the background.
Breaking away from the often dark, moody backdrops of the Bond movies, we’re going to take a look at using the Marquee tool to create simple coloured circular shapes that, once converted and ready for Smart Filters, can have texture added by applying simple black to white circular overlays to an attached Layer Mask.
A little Gaussian Blur will help to blend them in with the background. As usual, all the files you need to follow our tutorial are on the DVD, so let’s launch Photoshop and get started…
How to make the famous iPod silhouette
01 Create the shapes
Open ‘Silhouette_Before.jpg’ from the DVD and duplicate the Background Layer using Cmd/Ctrl+J. Select the Background Layer, using Cmd/Ctrl+A, then delete to remove the model. Go to Image>Canvas Size and change it to 4270 by 3661. Create a blank layer and add a Layer Mask. Select the Elliptical Marquee tool (hit M) and then draw a circle.
02 Add colour
Select the Paint Bucket tool (hit G) and fill the circle with red. Select the Gradient tool (hit G) and the Radial Gradient option. Select black as the foreground colour and draw into the Layer Mask. Go to Filter>Convert for Smart Filters, deselect, press Cmd/Ctrl+D, then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, and apply a blur of 24 pixels. Repeat the process on new layers to finish creating the background.
03 Add the silhouette
Switch on the top model layer and change the Blend Mode to Darken. Use the Move tool (hit V) to position the circles. Click the model layer, add a Levels Adjustment Layer with values 55, 0.65, and 241. Right-click and select Create Clipping Mask. Use Cmd/Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E to flatten the image, then Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal to finish.
Although the Marquee tool is usually used for making selections, it also offers an easy way to create simple shapes such as circles or squares. You also have the option to create more complex shapes by using add or subtract from the tool options at the top of the screen.
However, if you want a bit more variety with your background shapes, there are two alternatives.
First, to use Photoshop’s Shape tool – this gives you a huge selection of shapes from arrows to stars that can be used in a similar way – you’ll just need to right-click the layer and rasterise them before adding the mask and Gaussian Blur.
For more advanced shapes, open an image with the shape that you want and then use either the Polygonal Lasso tool or Paths to create the outline of the shape. You can then use this selection to create your shapes.
This entry was posted on Monday, May 7th, 2012 at 7:00 am and is filed under Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed.
Tags: photoshop tricks