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Displacement Maps

Lesson 16 from: Retouching & Adobe Photoshop Techniques

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

16. Displacement Maps

Lesson Info

Displacement Maps

This is what this placement maps look like, and so she obviously didn't begin that way, it's a portrait, a fashion shot that I did of her, then I took a texture, worked it to match your face and then applied it, and so I'm just going to put through a couple more stephen idea, and this was all one shoot that I did, but I did tons more shoots like this since I did a couple images from the shoot like this where I don't know how well you guys can all see it on the screen, but she's blended into her background. So how this might apply for you and I again, this is more of a wacky example, but let's say that you have a wooden wall like a wall of wooden panels. If you have, if you're on a tripod and say you take a picture of that wooden panel, then you have the girl go stand against the wooden wall, take a picture, you can have that texture behind her look like wrapped around her, and the wall was swallowing her up something like that? Um also, maybe you have a big, beautiful flowing dress and...

you wanna add a pattern to it or words to it, or you have somebody who they bear back and you want to add a tattooed to their back. This is all how you would do this you're adding I'm taking a texture and you're wrapping around the form of the body so with that I'm going to grab a couple files and we'll get started and we should this is the one that's in my portfolio and here's another funky one I like that one there is I mean there's a time lots of fun stuff okay, so I'm going to grab first a texture that I need and then three face so what you need is you need a face in this example but it doesn't need to be it's the thing that's going to have something wrapped around it well really no better term than that and then you need your texture uh what you're doing fundamentally is you're creating a map a map of the highlights and shadows of the face or I'm just going to say face in this example so I have to say whores uh and so what it will do is to say okay we have a face here highlights on the nose and the foreheads and the chin the cheek and then shadows air underneath and how it'll create a map is it's gonna have an algorithm that basically says okay at the highlights take this texture and bend it out at the shadows take the texture and bend it in so when you make that map and you put the texture over it says spend out of highlights and shadows and so it'll look like it's wrapping around the face. Now if you have something that's like majorly sticking out, you can't do like three d like you have somebody's hand sticking out of you it's not going to look like the texture crawls up their arms it works best for flat surfaces. It also works pesto with things that aren't completely flatly lit. You need a little bit of shadow and highlights in detail to work with but also doesn't work well when things fall completely to shadow and blown out highlight because it blown out highlight there's nothingto hold the detail if that makes sense if it was a white highlight, you wouldn't see the texture wrapping around so he wants something kind of in the middle not too bright, not too dark but that that does have highlights and shadows kind of makes sense I'll give you an example of some of these photos and how they started originally and then we'll go through it to pick the mouth picture is up okay for this picture for it wrapping around how the photo started with something like that and ok a thirty cents or again but the photo started something like this and the colors are all r are all wonky because I was kind of messing with them for the final color that I wanted the picture, but if you're looking there aren't really any really dark spots and there are any really really highlights but there's something to wrap around and so you see the end the end image looks like that as it wraps around so let's grab a shot here close this one gonna show you what this one started off as this one started off like this and I did a major retouch on it okay, so you're going take your photo and you need both a base photo open and you need to have a texture selected so I already have these with all my layers I'm just going to delete this real quick so let's say that I choose this as my base photo what I need to do first is create that map ok so to do so I'm going to go over to my channels and I am going to command or depending on what you have controls it's pc command click on the rgb channel and this more or less made a selection of the luminous which means like the highlights and shadows in the face so to turn this into its own lair okay you click on what looks like the adjustment uh the lair mask button down here and it will create basically a new selection or a new alfa channel if you could if anyone's familiar with that so it created a channel here I need to save this as its own document something completely different so to do that and I'm going to run through this a couple times because it's like you do this and do that so he selected your base photo you commander control clicked on the rgb lair you hit your lair mass button and you have your alpha channel that it created in the top right next year channels and layers palate there's a drop flyout menu what you're going to do is click on duplicate channel and what it will give you the option is okay, so in duplicate this channel but I want it in a new document and so this is going to save the channel you've just created into something completely different like a a totally new document, so I'm going to call it to displace one alright when head okay? And so I have to displace one that it just opened up next to me. All right, so people following so far roughly we'll go through it one more time it's this place that's a million steps ok, so you've got that next thing I want to do is I want to make sure that it's gray scale so instead right now it's multi channel I go over to my image mode and make sure I'm in grayscale okay, so looking at this a couple things so when you are going to wrap you're going basically rapid texture around the highlights and shadows here what I need to dio is I don't want all the texture from the skin um you can't actually what I usually do is I displaced after it's been retouched but I wanted just to wrap around the highlights and shadows so what I want to do is I want to blur it a little bit um you actually blur the picture so that that texture isn't picking up every single bump it's just it's wrapping so I'll go to filter blur goshen blur and honestly to pixels is more than enough like you don't it's just meant to make it a little softer okay and then you have the next step is if it's kind of a grady in't for creating that map the brighter the highlight the more it bends it out the darker the shadow the more bends it in well looking at this right here um it's kind of flat and so what you could do is you can help it along if you want so you could grab levels and add some contrast in yourself some dragging a white point and I could also drag a black point or if you guys are more comfortable now that we've done it so many times you can paint in your highlights and shadows and that's what I do a lot uh for displacing maps I'll create a new layer turn into soft light you've done a million times and then all kind of dark and down if I wanted to wrap around her cheekbone more mayfield darken it down there a little bit and maybe want to grab a highlight appear on the cheek more and see you khun kara's kind of start and shape the photo and some of you want to be a little darker here someone's kind of wrapped around the face and you can kind of just build it so I'm just going to say that's good for them for now I'm going to save as you have to save this file as a psd or it won't work so I'm going to grab a photo shot file psd I'm going to save it on the desktop so I can find it and I'm gonna lose it to displace one and hit safes and hit okay so that is my displacement map it actually made it's going to make a map of the highlights and shadows that was good okay, now I need to go back over and open up a texture and so I have all these different textures here that I could choose from um let's choose kind of pick one let's choose this one maybe and the key is for these is I need to make sure and I purchased task the textures and I photographed the other half so I got some of them from like I stock photo is a download other ones I bought I buy them different places online the key is if I go back I find this photo I have to make sure the texture when I displace it has to be the same size because if you stretch if you apply it and then you stretch it it won't match up these have to be identically sized so when you apply that work that when you click and drag it over the vorpal match so I need to check right now and see if these match and I honestly this is not the texture used the force I don't know no click and drag it and let's see so actually just check with the file sizes those this image is let's say for three six eight four three six eight summer is going to make sure the same size and I'm going to save that on my desktop so I have it correctly size so let me to save this and the desktop as my texture and I got that saved so what we have at the moment is we have the closest figure or desktop I have my displacement mouth slightly blurred bringing out the highlights and shadows I have my texture and then I have that original file so I need to apply the warp onto this texture so it's gonna bend it to the face so when I open up the texture in photo shop and what you do is you go to filter distort and this place and it's going to bring it up. And the numbers that you want in here are ten and minus ten. Okay, what this is saying is okay, we bend up for a highlight and a bend in for a shadow. How much? How many pixels? How much percentage? Um so you can get away with less for more subtle. And you can get away with more for more drastic. But what tends to happen is you're just working with a certain amount of pixels. So if you go my fickle fifteen minus fifty, you're stretching your pixels. You will actually see it streak as if you were in liquefy and you were dragging a really long distance, so I usually can I find that I use you can get away with twenty, um sometimes twenty five, but any beyond that I use you can actually see this streaking of the pixels. Okay? And when I hit, okay, what is asking me for is what file on my displacing it's saying what? What am I getting this map from how my warping and so that's when you pick your psd that you saved click open and you see a little movement, I'm going to undoing, doing undue, okay, you won't be able to see it with your naked eye see that before and after so it worked out to the contours, the face it's really subtle you wouldn't be able to process it in your mind if you'd actually be able to see it like if I do this really extreme let me just grab one I'm going to do it again real quick but go more towards the fifty like when I said it start streaking so you can see it for go to filter distort displace and I go to fifty in minus fifty hit okay, select the same thing this is when you start to see how you could see the lip here are my ways to undo that real quick see the lip so you can actually see where her mouth is open so the more extreme yugo is when you start seeing it and let's see if I even see it at fifty maybe maybe the streaking isn't so bad at fifty here, so it starts to kind of stretch things, so if that doesn't bother you and you just think it looks like a pretty painterly effect, then go for it that's fine. So I'm gonna say this or I went about flatness and so now I have a texture it's distorted it's displaced and I need to go back and grab the photo that I want to add this too, so the photo that I displaced for was this open it up okay, let me hide all these of the layers real quick because this was a previous, so we'll go to the original and I went click this target photo and drag it holding the shift key on top of the new fold o photo if they're sized the same when you quit the texture over and drag it, they should line up and so then you'll have the displaced, the work lining up with the photo correctly going hold, shift, click and drag it okay, and what I'll be able to dio is this is when you change your blend mode and so you can see it so overlays soft, light, hard, light like you could try them all whatever works for what you're trying to dio so let's pick soft light, for example, or overlay something like that or hard light and I would just kind of flipped through them, so you see one that you like? Uh, what I find is what you'll notice in this one or what you see is that everything below is going to pick up the color of your texture. So that's, why the skin's going to turn pink? And maybe you don't want the pink showing through, so maybe you're going to go ahead and pull out the pinks and the top layer or maybe you'll go ahead and de saturate the skin tones so it's just id right now I just pulled out the saturation of the skin tone so now take a look when I overlay and see how the textures wrapping around the lip it changed the shape of that texture on the lip and I can change us to any color that I want and what I tend to do is I tend to bring out the features a little bit more I'm using soft light like we've been doing before and I try to define the face a little bit and darkened things down and of course not that it even makes sense that the patterns on her face but there wouldn't be a pattern on her teeth not that there be a pattern on her face, but you could paint black to remove it in this case off of her teeth and then if you watch this, what ends up happening as you're gonna have to go back in with soft light and lightning because it was darker if I had the photo for example correctly exposed let's say that this was is it correctly exposed image, which would probably be let's say it's gonna lighten it up like something like that's more correctly exposed when I throw the texture back on it's too bright it's a little bit too bright and I lose him the detail there so I usually just do tweaks ok is everybody ok ok ok but uh so I'm gonna say it really I want to say it verbally once and then do it one more time ok alright so verbally with no cues you can take notes this is this is the most event this most complicated thing that I do uh in uh this class I do some more complicated things in life all right so the first thing that you want to do is figure out the photo or the face that is going to be the bass like what is going to be the shape okay so it might be somebody's face it might be a person up against a wall whatever that base photo is when you open up that photo you go over into your channels and you commander control click on the rg bealer that creates a what that's going to create a selection of luminosity it just to see a few dancing some of those marching ants you can't really see this election because its selection of highlights and shadows so next thing you do is in the bottom of that channels panel there is what looks like a a lair mask ah icon you click that and it creates a new alfa channel which means it basically took that a luminosity and it put it into a new channel so you have that so now you have something that's like a new channel that's the highlights and shadows so the next thing you're going to do is in the channels bar in the top right hand corner there's a fly out menu where you'll click duplicate and when you duplicate that's, how you're going to say this as a new a separate file so it's a duplicate and then you say this is target document and it's going to be new you going to save it as a new document so it is putting it in its own place so you can save it trying to make it something clear like, you know, displacement, math, it's the map, for example and then what you have is you have a file that you need to change this has opened it up it separate from the original, you need to change it to grayscale you don't want any color information there so you can go to image mode grayscale yeah image showed great skill and then what you need to do is soften it a little bit, so goshen blur of like two pixels is totally fine. You can even do less than that, and then I usually want to make the highlights and shadows even darker, even more pronounced so I could do it by increasing the contrast or painting on the highlights or painting in the shadows something like that so that that contrast in the contours of the face or if she's someone's up against the wall you want to make it darker and maybe darker closer to the wall and brighter on the front of the arms so it has something to wrap around you're gonna flatten that and save it as a psd and it has to be a psd so you've got that all saved out the next thing you do is you've selected your texture or whatever your overlay pattern is going to be and you have to make sure it's the same exact size as the target document where it's going to end up has to be identical so you can figure out how you want to do that whether it's a cropping thing or whether it's making sure the pixels of the same size so once you open up that texture you go to filter distort displace and this is where you're going to do your bending and it'll ask you basically how far to go horizontally and vertically so how much to bend in and out um ten is a good starting point it depends I mean I did fifty there and it doesn't look so bad I guess it depends on the texture that you're doing because it's a it supposed to be a photo realistic texture maybe like wood and I mean it would start to distort it so here since it's supposed to be more pants really it's painting of flowers it looks okay so you would do one of the elements horizontal ten, the other minus ten or twenty minus twenty. Um and I've tried it where you vary the numbers and make them different. It works sometimes, I don't know, I usually keep them the same. So ten afghanistan, when you hit. Okay, it's going to ask you, all right? So we're going to be bending this texture, but what are we bending it based on and that's, where you give it the displacement map you created originally of the face. So when you select the psd from where you saved it and you hit, okay, and your computer will process for a second and it will bend the texture, so you're going tohave it and you'll see your texture, and it kind of worked a little bit. So you open up your original face photo war, the background or whatever it wass, and you hold shift and you click and drag that texture onto the photo, so now they're lined up. You have the base photo, the texture and it's been displaced, and then you change your blend mode and so you can change your blend modes overlay soft, light, hard, like I mean any one of a number of things they all have different. Uh, effects and then it's just tweaking from there so maybe you want to darken down certain areas the face for example in this photo where got to light up here? Maybe I want to go in and dark in that down because it'll bring back the texture so I could go in here and create a new layer on soft light and paint black it's a little lunch, but I could bring back some of this textured just by doing that, you know, I'm darkening it down or maybe I wanted the highlight on the lip to stand out a little bit more and so I could paint that in so I'd be a little bit more to find and you're just tweaking from there and messing with the color so that's, how displacement math work right now it's a texture on the face but it could be somebody blending in with the background texture on address tattoos any number of things so should I take questions or should I run through it visibly one more time now that I've run through it, there was one quick question from caz mob there's a shadow under the chin that didn't cause a warp in the texture wise out it did it did cause one but your brain is telling you okay that the texture it's further back but it's not enough that it knows to look majorly distort it so it did and if you turn up if you were able to turn on and off the other c right there it bends a little bit it's just a small amount and it bends for the entire shadow this is when if you want to emphasize this that you can go ahead make a selection and this is if you're getting really advanced command j and what you could dio is you can command tea and then start warping things let me right click warp unlock things in place and you can start working textures if you wanted to do it yourself to emphasize uh this is more of you for you were like a little more painterly than I am but let's say for example I have these things lined up I worked this majorly I turn on that other layer and you have to blend this better because right now you have two textures lined up but if I paint the effect ofthe down here doesn't make sense for people who are curious about this uh if I paint the effect the original effect off down here and I worked it myself you'll see a more visible bends that you created but by default if you're doing everything it it won't they only does a little bit so you can kind of fake it in other words awesome I have a two part question for you from harada's who says how did you get inspired he or she is saying I love this look how'd you inspired to bring this into fashion photography? And then the second part of the question is do you when you're going to do this do you have to light a subject in a specific way in this studio to enhance this like say you're you know you're gonna do this, you light it definitely I have I have an example of why did a shoot recently for j'adore magazine where it is completely one hundred percent lit specifically for what I'm doing in photo shop on deacon bring out example I've only one focus it was all new to you don't have one for that we could show him created life but if you check out my website it's the ones that look like people are painted in black liquid latex it's not it's all photoshopped they're just covered in vast lane but it's lit in a way that it can look like latex like a black latex and post for this the first all the inspiration I was looking online and you know when you don't have any work in your pores you got a lot of time to look at stuff s o I was living in london and I just started my fashion photography career so I had a whole lot of time to go to museums and look at our online and just endlessly look at other people's work um and I found a japanese artist I do have it written down in the original block post I wrote for this somewhere the japanese artist name, which she did if she had a projector like an actual like a regular projector and she took pictures of flowers, projected him on people's faces and then took photos so the real photos like you burned a paradise project on someone face and you could tell that she was inspired by georgia o'keeffe some of the images so it was really interesting and so I thought, why don't I do something myself where I can kind of apply a flower texture? That's not a photo it's not supposed to look photo realistic and looks like body paint but it's not and the story behind this wass I lived in london, I called my mamma and I said, hey mom there's this thing I want to dio where you can wrap a texture and photo shop I've seen somebody do it with tattoos I don't know what it's called I don't really know what it is, but I know it exists and so she went to a bookstore and since you know several years ago and she searched through every single thing that existed found out what it was bought the book scandal emailed it's me and it's actually I pieced this together from a couple different thing it's a mixture of displacement maps plus adding textures kind of put all together in one I have seen it before use in fashion for diesel ads um diesel hat I think it was more cg I though where diesel had these people look like they're kind of eaten by camouflaged into the background so I thought it would take one more picture to run through it one more time and then I'm going to finish out by looking at some of the photos you guys have sent my way giving a couple critiques a couple things that I would change very cool okay it definitely took me forever to figure this out lots of effort thanks, mom, I'm on school okay wouldn't pick a photo let's see what this one is okay, so this one was like, nice and easy. I like this I thought this was really fun a very fun photo and actually this is the same textures we just use so I'll grab a different texture and show you what it looks like with a different texture okay? Someone really all these layers. All right? So you have your original photograph pretty un remarkable credit, so it doesn't and notice that I was very careful not to blow any highlights or lose any shadows that I wanted to have details because that's what you're concerned with so un remarkable photo click over to my channels and command or if your pc control click on the rgb lair and you get those dancing ants because it's made a selection of the luminosity and you click down here on the wear a mask and what it really does here is it saves it as a channel, so it just says, okay, making a new channel so I click on that. I can't, uh, command ti tu d select it's created this channel. If I hit the fly out menu, I can duplicate the channel, which is going to give me an opportunity to save it, and so I can save it as whatever. But this is the key. I have to make sure my destination is new and I can call it math too, because it's going to the second map that I'm doing today, so I'm gonna call enough to and so this opened up just now into a new document when I switch overto layers and I go up to my image it's in multi channel, I needed to be gray scale, so I switched over to grace kill, and I want to be sure to blur the image a bit, so I'm going to go to filter fuller, gosh and blur and just a couple of pixels is fine. And I can build in some highlights and shadows if I wanted this point, um, I might do it a little bit later and so right now I'm just going to pump up the contrast just a tiny bit. Make the picture, look a little three dimensional, a little bit more, three dimensional and flatten it. And I'm going to say this as a psd save as map to psd on my desktop. So I click oka and it saved it. The next thing that I need to do, however, is figure out what texture I want, and I'm going to go back and pick a textured I have all floral textures. Um, let's trying this one. Maybe I need to make sure it's the same size. So when opened up in photo shop and let's see, this one is what I see. Six, four, five. One is not going anywhere. Close is big. Six, four, five, one. Not too bad head. Okay? And I want to save that texture out someone to save this as floral texture on my desktop so I can find it floral texture to okay, good. And I need to displace it now. So I need to add the texture to it so I can go to filter, distort, displace. And I'm going to go extreme for you guys were going to do fifty and minus fifty, but remember how last time there's, a couple places where it started to really stretch the texture of the face? It won't work with photo realistic things, like somebody wrapping into real wood boards, so hit okay and ask me for what I want to displace in this time. I called it math to know ahead, okay, open, you know, see the pixel shift and you saw it right there, a shift to the mouth ship, and if you notice it kind of went in opposite directions because the highlights went up in the shadows went down to kind of see it move, so I've got that and I'm going to save it real quick, and I could go back to my original photo and I'm trying to say, was this the original? I could go back to the original cummings to leave these, so you go back to that original photo, which was here, I can grab my texture, and I need to be holding on to the shift key because that will line it up isn't move tool, shift, click and drag going, tow line it up there, and then I changed my blend modes so overlays awfully hardly on my first go twos. It's going to be something more intense than that? We need something that strike hard like you know maybe that will work for me um what I ended up doing kind of flipping these around that's pretty something totally different um so maybe I like multiply but I need teo lighten up a little bit underneath so that it shows up more and so it's I mean, I understand of doing kind of a lot of tweaking and a lot of moving things around and typically kind of medium toned photos for displacing work better for example, the dark photos that I used, I think it was here that photo I had to do a lot of the shaping myself and you don't see any of that original photo underneath in this instance it's actually just all wrapped around so if you look at the ones that tend to work the best it's kind of a neutral that's kind of mid toned area uh say see how like the darker ones are a little bit more difficult cause it kind of hides everything again neutral so for this one would end up having to do is a lot of tweaking and probably another displace bring back the tongue a little bits you could actually see what it looked like and I'd probably just check a couple other sound like that to that looks fun a couple other effects as well so any final questions on display so I know I'm like just click into the sorry I'm super distracted like that looks nice see how you don't have any idea like you don't know how to work and then okay, maybe we don't want that skin tone to be showing is much too de saturate you know a little bit underneath and so maybe you just bring back the pinks and the lip and you only have, like a little bit of a pink lip that you bring back and the tongue and then you painted off of the teeth and you know whatever it is whatever you want, which is awesome. Okay, so lindsay, how would this work on african american skin? Would you have to light it like, really almost over light it because I was slightly over light it because it will work definitely I mean, it will absolutely work, but you probably over light it and then if it looks too bright you want a darknet down later I do it imposed, but I'd give yourself the detail toe work with originally the highlights and shadows in the detailed to displace upon and then later on if you want to darken it down and enhance the highlights and shadows you can but it it absolutely will work we have several people who you mentioned earlier that you can use this technique with tattoos and so we have several people candlelight addie far saying how how would you do that identically like a tan tickly the same thing um what you would do is you pick whatever your shape the tattoo is and you have to line it up. So on the new document in the size that you have, that tattoo has to be exactly where it would be in the back when you save it out into new documents of the tattoos this small um you do a document a blank one to say ok it's going to be right there on the back and you have to have the document be that size if that makes sense because they're gonna have to line up um and you would do literally the exact same thing you would take that so you have a nude back and you have a kind of bent in and lit in a dramatic way. You take that back, you would turn that into this placement map. You'd open up your tattoo making sure that the tattoos in the same relative place so when you distort it based on the back shape it distorts appropriately so you do your, you know, filtered to start this place and then you drag and drop it and um tattoos it depends on the skin use you look good and multiply on overlay. It depends on the color and what you're trying to do. But they both mean tattoos. They're pretty easy to dio.

Class Materials

bonus material

Keyboard Shortcuts
Retouching Checklist
Beauty and Retouching
Creative Techniques

Ratings and Reviews


Fantastic Photoshop course. I knew Lindsay was great at Photography, Lighting, Posing and Public Speaking, but I am really blown away by her mad (great) skills at Photoshop. Lindsay really is a fantastic teacher. She turns what might be a more or less dry topic into a fun and entertaining topic. Thank you Lindsay and thank you CreativeLIve. You have a real superstar with Lindsay Adler.

a Creativelive Student

This is a great workshop for photographers wanting to learn and hone in on their retouching skills. As a photoshop user and photographer of 10 yrs I have been able to take away some further techniques to help better my skills and more or less tailor them. I would suggest you have some adv beginner knowledge of photoshop because I don't think some of the techniques you will be able to keep up with unless you buy it. There are two things that I wish she did better in her teaching and that is to teach new users to label all their layers and what they are as you are working. As you can see Lindsay ends up with 20 layers and unless your the one doing the editing you will have know idea what is what when you have to go back to it. So its best to teach this in the beginning so people get into the habit of organization early. Also I wish she used a Wacom. It really does cut your editing time in half and you have more solid movements in precisely selecting areas of a photo. From a photographer to other photographers. Use a wacom. You can start with a basic baboo for $89 and when the apple wireless mouse cost $69. Time is money, and a wacom truely save time! I used to use a mouse and my trackpad and once I switched I was like OMG what was I thinking before! So I wish she just emphasized that point more. Overall I think it was $99 well spent.

Christian G.

Not only is Lindsay very knowledgeable and a very good teacher but I REALLY TRULY appreciate her no-BS, straight-forward style.. No time wasted on long tangents talking about herself (or what have you), on cute remarks or on off-the-mark humor. She has showed us many great techniques, has presented to us various creative/different ideas AND she has also really been able to explain "how she thinks of a solution", how there is a bit of trial and error, "even" at her level.. All in a all, a truly excellent course and worth every penny!! Thank you Lindsay and thank you to the CreativeLive team for a great course!!

Student Work