Deke’s Techniques 264: Turning Yourself into a Zombie in Photoshop

264 Turning yourself into a zombie

This week marks the beginning of the traditional multi-week Halloween celebration here at dekeOnline, with a Deke’s Techniques episode in which Deke shows you how to turn yourself (or me, in this case) into a zombie.

We start with this photo of these two poser wannabe zombies taken at last years ADIM conference. Try as she did, our photographer and make-up artist, Kindra, had too much flesh to work with to effect a fully credible undead couple. So Deke broke out the Photoshop CC to make us much more appropriately gaunt and even gave me a pair of slightly disturbing fangs. After painting in some shadows and giving his own eyes an eerie glow, we look much more suitably scary.

The key to much of this transformation came from the Liquify filter, which now, in Photoshop CC, can be applied as an editable smart filter.This gives you the chance to fine-tune your flesh and teeth sculpting. Equally appropriate for this project, the new Liquify dialog box consumes the entire screen:

Deke also adds some hand-painted shadows, layer effects, and blur to finish the effect. It’s enough to make a girl hungry for brains. Giant Photoshop expert brains…if Deke’s not back next week, it’s because I got hungry.

Check out the video above to see how Deke crafted the effect, and if you’re a member of, you can watch an exclusive movie this week in which Deke explains how he blurred and texturized the background to make a more suitable atmosphere for our undead selves.

If you’re not a member of, you can get a free week’s trial at to check out the exclusive videos.

Next entry:Illustrator CC One-on-One Mastery: Now with Touch Type Tool Tutorials

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  • They look real and awesome.

    They look real and awesome.

  • undead

    Such a beautiful couple you make….... However I don’t think I’d be too excited to wake in the middle on the night and see you two standing at the foot of my bed….....Oh the horror. smile

  • Halloween technique

    You are such a genius Deke, I love your techniques.  I created this of my wife and I based on your teachings AND I had a load of fun doing it too.  Thank you so much for everything you do for the community smile

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