Contour Mapping with Distort > Displace

Deke's Techniques by Deke McClelland

In this week’s free episode of Deke’s Techniques, Deke uses a displacement map in Photoshop to contour lines across his model’s face, using luminance values extracted from the original portrait to create the distortion.

He begins with this image, courtesy of our friends at the Dreamstime image library:

Dreamstime image 101910263

Then he creates a simple stripe pattern to be laid over the original image:

Stripes pattern in Photoshop

Then, by applying some Gaussian Blur and luminance adjustments to red channel, he eventually creates this “map” which will tell the stripes how to bend based on luminance levels in this file:

A displacement map file created from the images red channel.

If you’re a member of Lynda.com or LinkedIn Learning, Deke’s got two exclusive movies this week. In the first, he takes the image in progress and applies a gradient map that swap out the luminance levels in the image with the colors of his custom gradient.

The gradient colors are mapped to luminance levels in the image

In the second exclusive episode, Deke uses an old school arbitrary map (which maps colors to luminance levels on a channel-by-channel basis) for a decidedly different effect (even though the colors are virtually the same as those he applied above).

An arbitrary map lets you apply colors based on a channel-by-channel luminance level.

Deke’s Techniques, using old school Photoshop features to make modern effects.

Next entry:Riffing on Your Contour Map in Photoshop

Previous entry:Jogging Your Creative Memory with the Note tool

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