Star Sapphire Photo Manipulation

The hype machine is starting for the Green Lantern film helmed by Casino Royale director, Martin Campbell. The main cast is firmly in place. The Lantern’s love interest, Carol Ferris is not likely to be seen in superhero form anytime soon so I took it upon myself to create a photo manipulation of a live-action Star Sapphire.


This is the printed comic character that inspired the project.

Photo manips use collage techniques to envision fan mockups of would-be costuming. I’m gonna go step-by-step about how I achieved the final product in Photoshop instead of scissors and magazines like I did when I was a youngin’.

The first thing I did was right-click and duplicate the image and use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to cut out the background. I also cut out the dress to keep the contour of the legs. Her poor arm got hacked off because we’re going to replace it with a completely new one.

I used the skin from this swimsuit model to replace the legs.

Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation from the top menu brought up the following window; the settings were dialed to match the original girl’s skin tone.

I used the original legs as a guide to cut out these new ones and to retain her lovely proportions. Ctrl+T scaled the new skin to cover the areas I needed.

On a layer beneath her right leg I repeated the process for her left. Since this leg is behind the other, the layer order is important.

Here’s the replacement arm that was cut out.

Everything else was cut out again and Ctrl+T transformed and scaled into place. Her old fingers were showing behind the new arm so I just painted in some black.

This is the bustier she ended up wearing. It was a nice already purple, so that saved a step.

Here she is with the top cut out and scaled accordingly.

I used the lasso tools to draw this area to delete.

While transforming other parts, holding down CTRL and pulling the corners, skewing can be achieved.

Here’s another piece of leather that was used for the other arm.

I painted in the swimsuit bottoms black and at this point you can already see a costume change.

Star Sapphire has this insane collar so I just used this car hood to cut out and place.

She also wears classy boots.

Here is the art reference for her mask.

I needed two boots, but the one in the foreground was enough to give the information to paint another. A black area was painted and above it I used Lasso Tools to draw this shape to paint white in.

Similar techniques were used for the mask and here’s what she looks like with some accessory details.

Now I’m going to show you how I turned a blonde into a brunette. Nothing against blondes, of course. Her hair was carefully traced with the Lasso. Ctrl+C copied, and Ctrl+V pasted her golden locks into a new layer. Ctrl+Shift+U stripped the color out of the hair.

Ctrl+L brings up the levels window. These settings turn gray hair black:

I made a new layer at the top to paint in some purple. I went to other layers first, such as the right glove layer, and clicked the outside of the glove with the Magic Wand Tool. Ctrl+Shift+I inverted the selection so that only the glove was active. I went back to the new top layer and painted in purple. I continued this for the boots, mask, etc. In the Layers Panel, the blend mode was changed from “Normal” to “Overlay”.

Now many items should have a purple hue to them. At this point I linked all the layers of the figure and pressed Ctrl+E to merge them.

Here is the righteous starfield that serves as the background.

And this is the stock image of a light burst that’s layered on top of the stars.

Basically there are 3 main layers behind the figure. The starfield as is. The light burst layer blend mode is set to “Screen”. The third layer above that is filled with purple with its layer blend mode set to “Overlay”. I duplicated the main figure for some more effects. I double click the first figure layer which brings up the “Layer Styles” window. I added a soft white Outer Glow.

The copy was filled with white by using 2 Layer Styles: Stroke and Color Overlay that both used white. I created a new layer above this, linked and Ctrl+E to bake those layer styles in. OK then Magic Wand inside the white and at the top menu did Select>Modify>Contract 15 pixels to delete. Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and she got some additional glow in front of her. Whew!

For some finer details used the paintbrush with a sponge shape to paint some more light on her costume.

A lot of work for small details, but the small ones make a big difference.

All that was left to do was some typography and some grain. Photoshop has its own grain filters, but I’ve got this sweet file I love to use.

Everything was flattened and desaturated a bit. (Ctrl+U) The grain layer was added and set to Overlay and this final product is what I ended up with.

By Mark Rivera

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

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