By Kirk Nelson
What You’ll Be Creating
Transform your youngster into the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz! And pay no attention to that person behind the Photoshop…
1. Gather the Resources
The throne room of the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz was visually distinctive in the film. Curtains in the background, some sort of throne or altar structure, smoke and fire, and of course the giant, green, floating head!
Download the WizardOzResources.zip file attached to this tutorial. Inside you will find four images that we will use to create the throne room setting:
- antique-2896_1920.jpg (original source)
- stage-curtain-660078.jpg (original source)
- Steam1.jpg (original source)
- Fire1.jpg (from my personal collection)
Remember seeing the huge, disembodied head of the Wizard the first time you watched the Wizard of Oz? It was scary and intimidating! It certainly wasn’t smiling.
So coach your child to pose for a few shots, and ask them to express some negative emotions with facial features. Try for things like disdain, contempt, or disgust to get some interesting expressions.
2. Set the Scene
Before releasing our smaller counterpart into the wonderful world of Photoshop, let’s set up the throne room first.
Open the image of the stage curtain. It’s in the attachment for this tutorial and it’s called antique-2896_1920.jpg. The color needs to be changed to green, so add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and check the colorize box. Set the Hue to 122, Saturation to 32 and Lightness to -43.
Create more dramatic contrast to the curtain image by adding a Curves adjustment layer and creating a slight S-shape for the curve.
Open the organ image, called antique-2896_1920.jpg. Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to create a careful selection around the main structure of the pipe organ. Then go to Edit > Copy (Control-C).
Return to the curtain image and use Edit > Paste (Control-V) to deposit the organ into our throne room scene. It comes in way too large, so use Edit > Free Transform (Control-T) to see the transform handles, which can be used to scale the layer down to fit.
The organ is way too bright. Add a Curves adjustment layer and clip it to the organ layer with Layer > Create Clipping Mask (Alt-Control-G). Then adjust the curve by adding a central point to the line and dragging it downwards.
The red hues of the organ need to be toned down so they are not as noticeable. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and change the target color from Master to Red. Then set the Hue to +9, Saturation to -38, and Lightness to -40. Clip this adjustment layer to the last Curves adjustment layer with Layer > Create Clipping Mask (Alt-Control-G).
Open the Fire1.jpg image and drag it over to drop onto the throne room document. Then use Free Transform (Control-T) to scale and rotate the fire into place at the bottom of the image. Set the blending mode to Linear Dodge (Add) and reduce the Opacity to 95%.
Open the Steam1.jpg image use the same process to place the smoke into the throne room document. For the smoke, use a blend mode of Screen and an Opacity to 64%.
Duplicate the smoke layer with Layer > Duplicate Layer. Then flip the copy horizontally with Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal and position the layer on the other side of the fire. Use the Edit > Transform > Warp to give the smoke a slightly different shape so it isn’t an obvious reflection of the first layer.
Before handing the project over to the younger member of this creative team, open the photo you two have chosen to use for the project. Then close any other documents that are open except the main throne room we have been working on.
3. Hey Kids!
First of all, thanks for helping out! Have you had a chance to watch the Wizard of Oz movie with your parents? It was probably one of their favorites as a kid. Your parent has already set up a scene where we can turn you into the great floating head of the Wizard of Oz! So let’s get started.
You should see the picture of you open in a program called Photoshop. To the left side of the screen is a Tool Bar. In it, look for a little brush that has a dotted line around it—this is the Quick Selection Tool (W). Use it to “paint” a selection of your head. You should see a blinking line of dots showing the selection.
Near the top of the screen, look for a Refine Edge button. Press that to get a new window with a bunch of settings. Change the Radius setting to 3 px, the Smooth setting to 15, the Feather setting to 5 px, and the Shift Edge setting to -20%. Then press OK.
Looking at your photo again, we want to copy the selected area. So go to the top menus and find Edit > Copy (Control-C).
Look along the top of the screen for some tabs. These are showing the documents that are open in Photoshop. There should only be two right now: your photo, and the Oz Throne Room scene. Click on the throne room’s tab to see that document.
Now go to Edit > Paste (Control-V) to paste the selection of your face over the throne room scene. If you look in the Layers panel you can see that this is on a layer by itself called Layer 1.
While still looking at the Layers panel, right click on the layer containing your face and choose Convert to Smart Object. This makes that layer safer to edit in creative ways.
Go to the menus at the top and choose Edit > Free Transform. You will see a box around your face on the screen. Click and drag on the corners to resize it until your face fits into the scene like you remember the glowing face of the Great Wizard!
Do you remember how huge the Wizard’s head was? We can make yours just like that too! Go to Edit > Transform > Warp to get a different set of handles around your face layer. These let you drag on the corners and intersections to change the shape of the layer. Make the top part of your head really, really big, and your neck rather thin too.
Now to add that mysterious emerald glow. Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation (Control-U). When the settings box comes up, check the Colorize box and set the Hue to 120, Saturation to 70, and Lightness to -40. Then click OK.
Look again at the Layers panel and find a setting near the top of the panel that says Normal. This is called the Blending Mode. Change it to Lighten so that your face looks as if it’s made of light and you can see the smoke showing through it.
Now go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All. You won’t see anything looking different, but now there’s another little white box next to the small picture of you in the Layers panel. This is the mask thumbnail. This will help us control how the edges look around your head.
Next grab the Brush Tool (B) from the tool bar on the left. Then right click to get the brush options and select the Soft Round Brush. Make sure your paint color is black, and then use this brush like an eraser to paint out the hard edges around your hair and neck, or any other areas that don’t quite look right.
Nicely done. Your image should look something like this now.
4. Finish Effects
Now that we have our wizard looking on, let’s add a few subtle effects to the scene to finish it up. Work together on this part. If the child feel confident enough to follow the steps, encourage them to do so, but be ready to help out if they get stuck!
Add a new layer under the Fire layer for Painted Smoke. Use a Soft Round Brush with a midtone grey and low opacity to build up some haze behind the smoke and give it more substance.
Switch to black paint and add some darkening effects behind the fire to help it stand out more. Be careful here—it’s just to add contrast to the flame, not shadows to the scene.
Add another layer and grab the Gradient Tool (G), setting it to the Foreground to Transparent preset and Radial shape. Hold down the Alt key to sample an orange color from the fire. Then create the gradient radiating up from the flame. Set the layer blend mode to Color Dodge and the Opacity to 60%.
You Are Done!
All Hail the newly crowned Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz! Just don’t pull back that curtain!
How did your new wizard come out? Show us in the comments below!
I hope you and your child had as much fun with this project as my daughter and I did! I’ve got more Photoshop for Kids! tutorials along with some photo manipulation projects, custom brushes, and even more Photoshop fun. Check out my profile here at Tuts+ for my other tutorials, quick tips, and courses.
Read more here:: Adobe Photoshop for Kids: Become the Wizard of Oz!