If I could have my pick of superpowers, turning someone to stone would be near the top of my wish list. Especially today. Oh come on, you know you’ve thought about it too. It’s the perfect revenge when someone tries to steal your taxi, take the last seat on the subway, stubbornly debates the reason behind global warming (we’re on the tail end of an ice age people) or COMPLAINS that you didn’t ASK them if they were hungry BEFORE you made them a delicious ham, mushroom, and swiss omelette... sigh.
Just think about it, a quick digital snapshot of that special someone, an image of marble or concrete from iStockphoto, the Hard Light blend mode plus a layer mask and POOF! You’re relaxed and in your happy place.
All kidding aside, this is a really neat technique and one that showcases how layers interact with one another when you change their blend modes. Today we’ll flex our sculpting skills on a handsome man I bought from iStockphoto (I think he looks quite statuesque) and this slab of marble I found bu searching for "stone background". Let the carving begin!
Prepare the person
Step 1: Open the offender’s image and immediately duplicate the background by pressing Command + J (PC: Ctrl + J).
Step 2: Turn the layer copy into grayscale using the method of your choice (NOTE: You don’t have to do this, but I like the end result of beginning with a grayscale image). Personally, I like using the Channel Mixer. Just hop up to the Image menu and choose Adjustments > Channel Mixer.
Step 3: In the resulting dialog, click the Monochrome button at the bottom left and adjust the channel sliders until you have some nice contrast going on. Click OK.
Prepare the stone
Step 4: Pop open the stone image and press Command + A (PC: Ctrl + A) to select all. Copy it by pressing Command + C (PC: Ctrl + C).