Emo Reversal Tutorial for Photoshop CS3

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I've always thought Photoshop CS3 is like LSD for bad pictures. A few minutes of shooping turns the wicked into the wonderful, the flat into the voluptous, and the horribly obnoxious hambeast subjects into the invisible subjects. (God bless you, eraser tool).

For this tutorial, we will be focusing on a specific category of bad pictures currently plaguing the net, and quite possibly your My Pictures folder - Emo pictures. Bland, poorly lit, misaligned, and unbelievably depressing, emo pictures are one adjective away from being your typical Korean TV drama.

Just take a look at this subject:

Don't you just want to start unleashing big buckets of vomit pity on this picture? :(

Any guy with a sane taste normally would. But we here at Public Static are about pro-activeness. So, armed with a tool called Photoshop and a good dose of tolerance for ugly, we'll perform De-emo-fication on our lucky sample and teach you how to do it from your own home.

(This week's article is cowritten with my good man, F!shCake, an accomplished multi-award winning graphic artist who is as good in Photoshop CS3 as he is with masturbating. In the dark. With handcuffs on. David Blaine got nothing on this guy.)

1. First, basics. Open the sample image and duplicate it. Go to the Image - Adjustments - Threshold and move the slider all the way to the left until you are left with just a little blob of black. Move the cursor over the picture and then shift click to place a marker.

2. This time, move the slider all the way to the right until you are left with just a little blob of white, the brightest point of the picture. Move the cursor over the picture and then shift click to place a marker.

3.Go to Image - Adjustments - Curves. There, you'll see three eye droppers. Left eye dropper goes to the darkest point marker, right eye dropper goes to the brightest point marker. The middle dropper goes to the grey area. Now we can slide the marker to the left to enhance brightness, or the right to enhance contrast. Note that increasing brightness will not affect the actual IQ of the subject, just the picture's appearance.

4. Next, we're going to fix the lens-induced anemia, because nobody really likes pasty white people. NOT EVEN MIMES. Go to Image - Adjustments - Hue/Saturation and color your heart out. How much blonde is too blonde? The sky is the limit.

5. Now that we're working with a picture that actually looks like a colored image, let's fix the half-hidden face. Select the left portion of the mug with the polygonal tool and hit ctrl-C then ctrl-v to copy and paste.

6. Using control-T (transform), hit flip horizontal and then place it over the other half of the face to remove the bangs. Feel free to take a fifteen minute break if you need to throw up. Press enter, when you're happy with the results.

7. Merge the two layers of the face by pressing Ctrl-E. Use the healing brush to make sure the grafted right side of the face merges with the original right face. If still vomiting at this point, seek psychiatric counseling immediately.

8. Take a sample "happy" hair from the internet and paste it on the original sample. Use Ctrl-T (transform) to make sure the hair will nicely fit the crown of our subject. As a general rule, the funkier the hair, the better.

9. Create a vector mask on the hair sample layer. Click on the soft brush tool and set the brush flow at 18%, set background colour to black then paint away the artifacts from the sampled "happy" hair.

10. Use the brush tool to paint the forehead back, the way they do it in Nip/Tuck and the way they don't do it in Rambo. Using those guidelines, make it look natural.

11. Use the dodge tool and the paint brush to remove the guy's eyeliner. No self-respecting man should ever wear eyeliners, under any circumstances, even if he's got cancer and it's his only cure.

12. Remove the shirt's awful print using the clonestamp tool and the healing brush. Don't forget to repaint the jacket's shadow back once done.

13. Use the pentool to create a vector selection on the outline of the shirt. Make the selections as show in the image and press okay.

14. With the selection active, go to Image - Adjustments - Hue/Saturation. Click the colorize ticker box and adjust the sliders to give the subject a "happier" shirt tone. For this case, "yellow", says F!SHCAKE, "yellow is the new motherfuckin' black."

15. Add a decal to show that our subject is finally going back to the right side of the fence (read: not the gay side)

16. Next, we put a smile on the guy's face. A smile is the difference between a victim of society, and a deranged serial killer (a happy one, at least). Select the mouth using the rectangular marquee tool.

17. Select Filters - Render - Happiness :)

18. In the happiness dialog box, select the settings as indicated. Don't expect too much though, it's only a computer generated smile and chances are, the guy in the picture will still be a dick afterwards.

19. Let's take a bit of a break to look at our subject. That's one creepy, albeit happy, mother fucker.

20. To make sure our subject's expression isn't off cue, go to Filter - Stylize - PIRATE PIMP*

21. Play around with the settings, hit OK when done.

And, we're done! Given you didn't puke your guts out to death before finishing the tutorial, you're now the proud owner of a well-made piratey looking picture. Congratulations! That's one less picture bringing down the average happiness of mankind. We've done our part, and now you can too! (p.s. start with your own pictures, then your family, then your friends, then My Chemical Romance)

Maan, I hate My Chemical Romance.

*(optional, for users of the Y'arr plugin v1.1)


Dani said...

Tutorial win!

jesse said...


Kyn said...

*hands down*

Anonymous said...


Everyone's Uke said...

Those filters = DO WANT 8D

rei said...

what a masterpiece! :D

Anonymous said...

Thank you :-) you should look at this emo boy one on this blog:


Search This Blog

Most Reading