Deke's Techniques 461: Create a Bat-Faced Moon for Halloween

Quick note (11-27-2015): the goblins have invaded's YouTube channel this week, so I've embedded the video straight from the lyndaLibrary. Have no fear (despite the daunting black block above), it will take you to this free movie.

In this weeeeek's freeeee Deeeeke's Techneeeeeks, the annual Halloween shenanigans begin. Of course, to Deke---lover of all things Halloween---creating a Photoshop composite in which bats make a smiley face on a creepy moon is referred to as a "timeless" technique. Yes, my darling dekeEnsteins, to Deke this is timeless:

A bat-faced moon composite with real bats in Photoshop

Hmm, on second thought, the compositing techniques you'll see during the course of this video are pretty darn timeless (within the scope of the quarter-century Photoshop has been around). You'll start with this traditional, arguably timeless, but boring moon:

The moon against a boring background

And add some creepy atmosphere with this grungy background---via good old-fashioned blend modes and a well-placed vector mask:

A grungy background for a Photoshop composite

Then you'll take these cute little bats and warp them into a familiar (but in this case, spooky) happy face:

Some adorable bats to add to our Halloween composite

So I guess, the outcome does have some fairly old-school, workhorse techniques going on.

And if you're more inclined toward Illustrator-based bat-faces, and if you're a member of (or you sign up for a free 10-day-trial), Deke's got three exclusive movies this week in which he recreates this idea with vector-drawn bats and moon. (Ironically, creepier despite it's cartoonish nature.

A bat-faced moon created in Illustrator

Deke's creepy timeless Techniques, every week (with bonus Halloween episodes)!


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