How can one become a zombie? I’m sure there are different kind of ways and I guess some are illegal. So I just concentrate on the photoshop method as it doesn’t require any unhealthy diet or some funny ritual.

First the result of the experiment:

The picture I took didn’t look too right as the zombie looked like it originated of some kind of Disney/Twilight movie. No evilness at all! Kids would ask their parents whether they could take it home.

The picture was taken with the following setup:

The blood comes from some cheap blood capsules I bought in a carneval shop, but I found this cool howto so that I can mix the blood myself next time.

To add some more punch to the picture I applied the Nik Bleach Bypass filter (actually my favorite filter) to the background layer. I reduced the global contrast and the brightness to get a picture wasn’t washed out from beginning. Additionally I increased the saturation till I got nice red for the blood that looked natural.

This looks much better, doesn’t it? The skin tone has still a bit of a too healthy colour (zombies are supposed to look a bit unhealthy, as they have a pretty narrow diet). For this reason a saturation adjusment-layer was added. In this layer the saturation was decreased and the picture’s hue was changed until the skin tone moved a wee bit to green.

As the colour of the blood changed its colour as well, one has to add a layer-mask that prevents the blood from changing its colour (basically one just has to colour these parts of the face black so that the background layer is shown). Still, I wasn’t too happy with the overall contrast of the picture and so I added a curves adjusment-layer where I tweaked the contrast a bit.

The zombie is still in very good shape and we’re going to add some more injuries. With the clone stamp this task was quite easy: The parts of the face with blood were used as source.

As the next step made use of the liquify-tool and I didn’t want to lose all settings and changes, I reduced all layers to a new layer.

With the liquify-tool a made a nice big hole in the head and enlarged the lower row of teeth.

Because I still wasn’t too happy with the head injury I used the clone stamp tool again to enlarge the area a tiny bit. Last but not least I used a black brush and just coloured the eyes black and, voilà, we’re done with the zombie.