Coca Cola Illustration

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© Article and photography by William Manning

I enjoy creating illustrations using photography as my foundation. When I’m not shooting a specific assignment for a client I often wonder the streets or parks around town looking for Photoshop parts, in other words I create images that will end up in a composite somewhere down the road. Most of these composites end up as an illustration.

This lesson is based on the use of One One Software’s “Perfect Photo Suite 7”. Perfect Photo Suite 7 can be used as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements and Apple’s Aperture or it can be used as a stand alone. The Perfect Photo Suite is made up of 7 programs, Layers, Mask, Portrait, Effects, Black and White, Focus and Resize. All are unique but in this lesson I’m going to use Perfect Effects.

The original photo came from an assignment in coal country in eastern Kentucky. The photo was taken in a small country store full of old things and most importantly old Coca-Cola artifacts. I knew when I was photographing this store one or two of the photos might find a way into my creative workflow back in the office. When I received the new Perfect Photo Suite I browsed my library and sure enough I came across this photo knowing it might work well for some experimentation. As with any creative software, you sometimes don’t know what photo lends itself to certain effects but with the bold red colors and the big shapes I knew my chances were good.

Step by Step Process to a Cool and Refreshing Coca Cola

Perfect Photo Suite 7

Step 1. Open photo in Perfect Photo Suite 7 ( I used the stand alone program). Select the Effects tab from the top right menu bar. From the left column of presets select Grunge – Grunge Goddess. (There are very few options for this preset but if you would like you can play with the options found in the right hand column under Effects Stack. A Blending Options block will appear and you can play with the sliders). For my purpose I went with the preset as is.

Original Photo

Original Photo

Step 2. Click the Add button under Effect Stack and a new layer is added. From this point you have the option of using another preset from the left side column. I selected the HDR presets and choose HDR Look Surreal. Once you select this preset then your image will show the results, you then have the option of making a few adjustments from the Options tab under Effects Stack. I did change the amount to 70%. Once you are happy with the changes you made then hit the Apply button at the bottom right hand column and the layers and effects will be merged together. After the effects are applied then you can hit Save button at the bottom right hand column.

Original image after applying Grunge Goddess and HDR Look Surreal.

Original image after applying Grunge Goddess and HDR Look Surreal.

Step 3. Open your image into Adobe Photoshop and duplicate the background layer. Activate the background copy and then open this layer into Perfect Photo Suite from the Automate menu found under the File menu. From the Automate menu a pull window appears with your Perfect Photo options, choose Perfect BW. Select a Black and White preset to your liking. I selected True Film and  32 Kodak Panatomic X. Once you have selected your preset you have lots of options in the right hand column. Play with the Brightness, Contrast, Blacks, Whites, color filters, etc.. and work your image to your liking. I always play with the Film Grain as you can see in this example. After you get your image looking right for your taste then hit the Apply button then the Save button.

Step 4. You now have two layers, the original layer and the Black and white layer. Now apply a layer mask, (layer mask can be found at the bottom of the layers palette which is the third icon from the left, a square with a circle in it). Select your brush tool and set the opacity to 40% to 50% and paint over the items you want to bring color back into. In my case I brought all the red items back. If you set the opacity as I suggested you still have some of the black and white effects, in my case I wanted to maintain the film grain.

Step 5. Activate your original background layer and pop the saturationof the most important colors, in my case I popped the red and yellow saturation. You can find the saturation controls by going under the Image pull down menu, adjustments and then Hue/Saturation. You can choose Master or each individual color.

Image after converting in Perfect BW and applying a layer mask and bringing the reds back into the Coca-Cola items.

Image after converting in Perfect BW and applying a layer mask and bringing the reds back into the Coca-Cola items.

Image after adding sky and grass and applying Perfect Effects, Glow, Deep Forest. This can be considered finished if you like the results.

Image after adding sky and grass and applying Perfect Effects, Glow, Deep Forest. This can be considered finished if you like the results.

Step 6. At this point I suggest you Save your work. Now flatten the layers and duplicate the background layer. You should have two identical layers at this point. Make sure your duplicate layer is your active layer. I have decided I want to replace the yellowish wall with a sky. I select a sky and drop it into my working file. (to drag a layer from one image into another simply go to the layers palette of the image you want to move and drag it into the window of the working image). Drag the sky layer in-between your other two layers. Now you can cut out the wall, to do this I simply select the Pen tool and mark points to frame out the wall I want to remove. After my selection is made with the pen then select the Paths palette and choose Make Selection from the pull out menu. You should see marching ants to indicate your selection.

Step 7. Choose the Eraser Tool and erase inside the marching ants. Your sky should appear.

Step 8. I now want to replace the wooden floor with grass. Follow the same steps as above but replace the floor with the grass.

Step 9. Once I have the sky and grass in place I need to add Noise to these two layers so they have the same feel and appearance as the rest of the image. To do this I select the two layers and choose the Link Layers icon. This icon can be found at the bottom of your layers palette, t looks like a chain link. Once they are linked then any changes you make will apply to both layers. Go to the Filter pull down menu and go to Noise then Add Noise, Gaussian and check Monochromatic. Move the Amount slider to your liking.

Step 10. Save your work once again. Now flatten your layers by going to the Image pull down menu and select Flatten Image.

Step 11. Duplicate your background layer. Open your duplicate layer in Perfect Effects, go to the File pull down menu and Automate and Perfect Effects. Your image will now open in Perfect effects. Once open go to the Glow Presets and select Deep Forest or any preset of your choice. Choose Apply and Save.

Step 12. If you like the image at this point you can call it finished or you can do as I did and add a border. Before you add a border I suggest you go ahead and Flatten the images and Save. Then open the image back into Perfect Effects as you did in step 9. Play with different borders, I choose Borders Sloppy – VincentHit Apply, Save and a Save again in Photoshop and your finished.

After playing with several borders, I selected Sloppy Borders, Vincent. This is my finished illustration.

After playing with several borders, I selected Sloppy Borders, Vincent. This is my finished illustration.

 

© Article and photography by William Manning