Deke’s Techniques 234: Creating Volumetric Monster Parts with Photoshop Shape Layers

What, you ask, are “volumetric monster parts?” Well, check out this week’s free movie and find out. OK, it’s really just me replacing the mundane word shapes with the awesome phrase monster parts. And that’s basically this week’s Deke’s Techniques in a nutshell: Deke started with a sketch he created with his son Sam, turned it into shape layers, and then gave the alien dude real volume with the use of deftly applied layer effects.

In other words, this semi-frightening visitor from the absurd mind of McClellands was created solely by entering parametric instructions to Photoshop. (OK, a bit of pen-toolery was required in the transformation from a pencil-and-paper sketch, but the lovely shading of our hero’s green complexion was created primarily from entering editable values into Photoshop’s Layer Style dialog box.

The final McClelland alien monster come to life in Photoshop

For instance:

This oval shape went from standard ellipse to other-worldly eyelid by the application of a few layer effects, Gradient Overlay, and Inner Shadow: 

Layer Styles create volume for a monster's eyelid

Then those same parameters were duplicated to the Body shape and enhanced for true alien-monster rotundity with the addition of an Inner Glow and Stroke effect.

The Layer Style can be repurposed and tweaked for the body

See how this creature comes to life outside the absurd minds of Deke and his possibly alien offspring. (Just kidding, Sammy. Or maybe not!) And if you’re a member of, Deke’s got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to create these bloodshot eyes with yet more layer effects and judicious masking. He’s got bloodshot eyes because traveling the distance from Deke and Sam’s minds to our galaxy is exhausting!

The bloodshot eyes are also the result of layer styles and masks

Don’t have a membership to You can get a free week’s trial right here. Deke will be back with another free video on this creature’s creation next week. Don’t close your bloodshot eyes!

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