Creating a Hovering Head in Photoshop

In this weeeeek’s creeepy Halloweeeen-flavored Deeeeke’s Techneeeeks, Deke cleanly severs a masked model’s head and leaves it floating above her not-very-bloody neck stump. The project was inspired by make-up tutorials like this one, but using Photoshop is far less messy.

He begins with this unsuspecting yet oddly masked model from the Dreamstime image library:

Model with greasepaint mask from Dreamstime

Some simple masking away of parts of the victim’s head, then Deke uses some fairly ingenious tricks to create and fill in the stump of her neck. A series of carefully chosen layer effects finishes this Heads Up Halloween horror.

Floating head created in Photoshop

If you’re a member of (or you take advantage of this week’s free week of LinkedIn Learning) you can catch the follow up movie, which takes it one step further by adding back the spine (ew.), which frankly makes it more horrific than a simple floating head.

Severed head in Photoshop with spine placed back in

If this is to grisly for you… then I don’t know what you’re thinking because I wanted Deke to put some worms crawling out of her neck stump. But, there’s a whole host of Halloween techniques you can get by going to the Deke’s Techniques library and typing “Halloween” in the search box. One of my favorite ungrisly episodes was last year’s Turning Day into Night.

Turn Day into Night in Photoshop

Deke’s Techniques bringing you tricks and treats every Halloween. Boo! (Yay!)

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