So I met a nice gentlemen when I was out scouting yesterday. Didn’t quite catch his name, but we got to talking. It was mostly him talking. He was going on about war, purple hearts, Charlie this, and Charlie that. I don’t know. He keeps rambling, so I told him, “Hey buddy, while you’re flapping your gums a million miles a minute, lean up against the parking meter for me, would ya? I’m gonna take a nice photo of you for my Photoshop tutorial if that’s cool with you.”
The gentlemen told me that he seen the fork-tongued Devil in his living room back when he lived in Kansas, then he says “Yeah, that’s cool. What’s this for anyway?” I had him relax his shoulders a little bit. Told him to give me a big smile. Snapped the shot, and says, “Well, you like to talk about purple hearts so much, so I’m sure I’ll think of something.”
Since Memorial Day is coming up, I thought for today’s Photoshop lesson it would be a good opportunity to teach you how to turn a purple heart Vietnam War veteran into commemorative poster. I’d like to dedicate this one to all of those that risk their lives in war and get shot in the leg like my good war friend here – and I wish I caught his name but he was talking so damn much – so we’ll just call him Bruce for the sake of this demonstration.
Let’s go to war, shall we? We most certainly shall Photoshoppers.
Step 1: Watch Tons of War Movies
Part of being a good Photoshopper is knowing how to get in the zone. Sometimes it’s music, sometimes it’s a fifth of whiskey, and sometimes it’s a combination of both. This particular lesson, we will be getting ourselves into the war zone so to speak.
Since I don’t have money to go rent movies or pay for cable, I went over to my Mom’s house to see what I could dig up. She had a bunch of romantic comedies and at least a dozen Billy Blanks Tae Bo instructional videos for some ungodly reason. Billy Blanks would do in a pinch, but then I dug around some more and found a copy of the movie Forrest Gump. Perfect. If you don’t have a copy of Forrest Gump, feel free to watch some other classic war movies, like Hot Shots! Part Deux starring another Charlie – Charlie Sheen.
Step 2: Photo Correcting; Bringing Bruce’s Eyes To The Forefront
Above is the original, untouched photo of Bruce, our ponytailed war veteran, who was kind enough to volunteer not only his services for America, but also for this Photoshop tutorial.
As you can see, the pipe smoking bulldog Marine Corps ballcap has left a dark shadow, and it’s difficult to make out Bruce’s nice eyes. I will teach you how to do a photo retouch so that we can make those eyes sparkle like sliver bullets. Here is the before image of the isolated layer that I will be starting with.
So I was just thinking of this. Do you guys remember in the movie where Forrest Gump is sitting on the bench talking to some guy, and he says something like, “Oh, yes sir. The bullet bit me right in the buttocks. They said it was a million dollar wound, but the Army must keep that money, cause I still haven’t seen a nickel of that million dollars.” I was just thinking of that line, and man I wish someone would shoot me in the ass and give me a million dollars. It would get me out of doing these Photoshop tutorials, but I’m broke as a joke, so let’s keep on keepin’ on.
Go to the Layer tab. Select New Layer Adjustment from the drop down menu. There’s a bunch of options from the drop down menu that I have no idea what they’re for, so don’t even bother asking. I played around with the Levels, Exposure, and the Brightness/Contrast. Go ahead and play around with the levels of those layers until Bruce’s eyes begin to brighten up a little.
Step 3: Let’s Get Dodgey
The Dodge Tool can be found on the left hand side of your tools menu. The icon looks like a lollipop. I have no idea why why it looks like a lollipop, so don’t bother asking me that one either. There’s no time for questions. Actually, there probably is time, because Forrest Gump is the longest movie in the history of movies. I took a two hour nap, and he was still sitting on the same bench talking some poor lady’s ears off.
Select the Dodge Tool, set the exposure level to about a 4 or a 6, and start painting around Bruce’s eyes to lighten them up. Don’t go too nuts painting around with the lollipop. It should be a very subtle change, but you’ll notice a big difference when I add the final background in the last step. Here’s a side by side comparison of the two photos just so you have an idea for now.
Step 4: The War Is Over
Screw this. I don’t have the patience anymore. I don’t think I ever had it in the first place, so I’m skipping steps 5 through 112.
It’s hard to do these things sober, but when I was eating hotdogs for lunch with Bruce yesterday, he says that the Devil told him during that night back in Kansas that he needs to get his life together, and stop shoving powder up his nose. Then as the Devil was talking to him, Bruce snorted a few more lines of coke off the coffee table. He dusted off the remaining powder, looked up, and he seen that it wasn’t the fork-tongued Devil afterall. It was Jesus H. Christ sitting beside him on his sofa couch having a nice living room chit chat with Bruce. That was the last time he did cocaine, so if Bruce can pull it together, so can I.
I decided I’m only gonna drink on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from here on out. Something profound happened to me when I used the Dodge Tool to bring Bruce’s eyes to the forefront. It was like the legally blind, right eye of the purple hearted Bruce peered out from underneath the bulldog ballcap, and spoke directly to me. The eye whispered, “You foolish dimwit. I’m concerned that maybe you’re drinking too much. I’ve been there before, man. Not with booze, but with narcotics and mountainous piles of blow. Time to end the war and wrap this sonofabitch up, soldier. It’s time you end the war with yourself as well.”
Welp, sounds good to me. So here’s your commemorative poster of the purple heart Vietnam war veteran. I added a background with fighter choppers and dramatic clouds cause I thought it looked pretty cool. I kept Bruce’s parking meter so he could have something to lean on since his leg was all shot up, and gave him a badass purple heart tattoo. I played around with the brightness and contrast layers some more, watched about 6 more hours of Forrest Gump, and here you go.
Congratulations on making your purple heart Vietnam War commemorative poster. Join me next time as I teach you how to Photoshop Jesus H. Christ sitting on the bench next to Forrest Gump and telling him to shut his piehole with all the lying, life if like a box of chocolates, overly exaggerated, drawn out stories. Honest to God, that movie is at least 4 hours long. Billy Blanks needs to give Forrest Gump a few Tae Bo’s to the back of the head or something, and tell him to speed it up a little.
Well anyway, a special thanks to all those that have volunteered their services and to those that gave up their lives to make this world a better place. You are gone but not forgotten. See you dimwits the next time.