Clash of the Titans: Medusa

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The Gorgon Queen Medusa is back in the Clash of the Titans remake. In the new film she’s a bit easier on the eyes than the old-school version. This project will teach you how to make your own snake-woman. Just be sure not to look her in the eyes.


Here is the main stock photography and image pack used to create the final product. Some
stock resources of some beautiful snake parts from Deviant Art can be found here and here.

Open a new Photoshop project (Ctrl+N) with canvas dimensions of 1600×1086. Open the picture of the main swimsuit model and Ctrl+A to select all of the image, Copy (Ctrl+C), then Paste (Ctrl+V) into your blank canvas. Use the Lasso tools to cut around the figure deleting the background. Press Ctrl+U to bring up some options and pull down the Saturation by -65.

Do the same with the large snake body and paste it on top. Here is where I found this great cluster of snakes that’s used in the following image. Press Ctrl+T to scale the parts appropriately.

Go to the snake body layer and use a large, soft eraser brush with the opacity
and flow to about 35-45%. Use diagonal strokes from top to bottom to make the
snake blend in with the human form. At this point you can cut out the girl’s face
and drop it in and Transform (Ctrl+T) to scale it proportionally. Don’t forget
to hold down Shift while scaling so her face doesn’t get stretched incorrectly.

Now you can begin to erase some of the neck to blend like you did the snake skin. You can also use the Eyedropper Tool to sample some colors to paint into blend more.

A mixture of airbrushing colors in, erasing and the Smudge Tool can make the blend more seamless.

At this point press Ctrl+Shift+N to create a New Layer and make sure it’s at the second to the top. Set the Foreground color to green. The one I used specifically is hexidecimal color #1C2109. In the Layers Window you notice the Blending Mode is set to “Normal”. Change this to “Overlay” and notice everything with a green tint.

Click on the face layer to activate it and then create a new layer so that it is made above it. Use the lasso tool to trace around the lips and start to paint in some black. Ctrl+D to deselect so you can airbrush more black around the eyes. In the Layers Panel lower the Opacity and Fill both to 35%.

Go to the layer where her face is and draw some fang-shaped selections. Make sure some of the tooth color is in the selection because we are going to need that pigment.

Use the Smudge Tool to pull the color down so that it fills the selection with the light color to create her fangs!

She’s already starting to look like Medusa now. Let’s see what she looks like in an environment. Open the cave background image and drop it in behind her.

Now for some Detail work. Cut the belly out of this snake art.

Position and rotate it like so using the same transform methods.

Use a “Linear Light” blending mode for this snake belly layer.

The way she’s posed, Medusa is twisted at the snake body. So we actually have to have the belly scales wrap around to the back. To do this, erase some of the stomach scales at a diagonal. I also drew some selection cuts into the scales with the Lasso Tool. To keep multiple selections up at the same time hold down Shift while drawing the cuts.

Delete and Ctrl+D to deselect. Finish this part but using the Smudge tool to blend in the cuts you just made.

Now for some more clean up. The way the scales are blended, you can still see the bikini bottoms. Since Medusa doesn’t have actual legs we should probably get rid of that. Click the eyeball icons to the left any layer with snake body elements. We’re going to use the Clone Stamp Tool on the human female layer. Hover over this area of skin and hold in ALT+Left-Click to sample the skin area.

Now paint over the cloth with light strokes. You’ll have more control if your Opacity and Flow settings are around 40% on the Clone Tool.

Pretty much all of the techniques shown thus far can be used to create this result.

Unhide the snake layers and now we should have a nice skin to scale transition.

On a New Layer start painting in some solid yellow like this. Sometimes I would paint outside the lines and simply magic wand the area outside the figure on the body layer, and then click on the yellow paint layer to delete the excess. Some areas that were just erased away with the eraser brush.

Turn this layer’s blending mode to “Linear Burn” and she has a nice reflective yellow light color.

Paste in the fire image at the very top. I made this image by combining various stock images of flames.

The “Screen” blending mode will make all the black vanish leaving only the fiery inferno in the foreground.

The gauntlet and snake jewelry were just cut and paste jobs. You can also use the Burn Tool to create darker areas to better match the lighting. The bikini top was a little too colorful so I airbrushed some black in and made some small Lasso Tool selection cuts to paint in those small strips of yellow light.

Whenever I create cinematic images I love to put this grain texture file on top with an “Overlay” blending mode.

Now it has a sweet film grain quality.

I decided to go crazy with it and just fill the scene with more flames and a ridiculously gigantic hurling fireball.

Click here or the image above for the full HD wallpaper and simply leave a comment below for any thoughts or questions!

About the Author:
Mark is an animator and ad designer for WebProNews. He has a passion for illustration and 3D art.