This past week I had a challenge with one of my assignemnts. The hero for The Falcon Prince is scarred over most of his body & face, scars made from magic, all kinds of scars, burns, scrapes & puncture wounds.
Since this is the thrid book in a series I wanted the design to continue with the same style, which featured the heros naked chest (as the series is erotic romance). I tried to find appropriate images with men in robes or draped in fabric to hide his scars but that search was not successful.
So, I had to find a way to create believable scars and still keep the cover sexy. An internet search didn’t give me much help though a few tutorials sparked ideas.
I gathered a few good textures of rusted walls and cement as well as an image of real scars from dreamstime.com.
Beware the following images may be too graphic for you.
The backgrouned looked like this before I started the scars.
Then I created a displacement map. For a good tutorial on how to do that visit here.
I placed the first texture over the image, on a new layer, and distorted it with the displacement map.
Afterwards, I created a mask and used a large soft brush at %30 opacity to mask the edges and the white spaces.
Oh, and I forgot, I desaturated the texture layer (Image->Adjustment->Desaturate). Then I set the layer to soft light with an opacity of 30%.
I did the same thing for the next texture (Displacement->Mask->Soft Light->Opacity t0 70%).
For this layer I used the Burn & Dodge tools to accentuate certain areas and give the layer more depth.
For the third texture layer I used the image of the scar and followed the same procedure as the other two layers (Displace->Mask->Burn&Dodge->Desaturate) only I set this layer to Overlay and with opacty to 80%.
At this point I decided I wanted a few more cuts on this back so I used a small hard brush at a low opacity to paint lines and create depth by going over the center sections more than once.
I used a mask to soften the edges and followed the same steps as before (Displace->Soft Light->Opacity).
I added a wash layer to blend the whole design (solid color layer set to overlay at opacity 70%) and adjusted the brightness & contrast.
Here is the final version.
What do you think? Are the scars realistic? Too realistic?