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Creating Hazy Ghosts

Author: Que Arres

Tools Needed

  • DAZ Studio or similar program
  • Photoshop

Introduction

This is a simple method for making hazy, translucent ghosts out of your renders in Photoshop.

400-0015.jpg

Step 1 - Creating the Base

First, we set up the scene. Here, we want to have our huntress attacking a seemingly harmless ghost. To make the effect, we have to render this twice: once for the background image without the ghost, and once for the ghost by herself. The ghost render should be in *PNG format, so that the background is transparent.

Now, we open up Photoshop

Step 2 - Making the Ghost Faded and Transparent

In Photoshop, open the render of the ghost and the background image. Copy the background image and paste it into the ghost file; this keeps the ghost in the same place you intended it to be. Drag the ghost layer so that is on top of the background layer. Make sure this layer is selected (layer 0 for me) and select Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation from the toolbar. Set the Saturation to -50.

400-0011.jpg

This makes our ghost look, well, faded. Next, go to the layer Blending Options and set the Opacity to 50% (or lower, for a more “hazy” ghost) and the blending mode to Screen.

400-0012.jpg

You should be able to see the background image behind her now.

Step 3 - Making the Ghost Hazy

Use the Outer Glow option and make it a gray blue (or whatever color you want your ghost to glow). Adjust the opacity of the glow to 25% and the size of the glow to 100 pixels. You can tweak these to your liking, but I find that these settings work well for me.

400-0013.jpg

Next, magic wand select the area outside the figure. Invert selection. Set the selection to Border (I used 10 pixels), then apply a Gaussian Blur (I used 5.0 pixels) to that area only. This is what the image looks like so far.

400-0014.jpg

A little too translucent, you say? Don't worry; we're not finished yet!

Step 4 - Final Touches

Select the Eraser tool. Set the opacity to 10% and slowly erase the bottom of the figure, erasing further down with each swipe. This creates a sort of gradient transparency, fading out at the feet.

To make your ghost stand out more, simply copy the layer (I have two copies in my picture).

That's it! Here's the final image:

400-0015.jpg