Many people have taken advantage of the Obamafy plugin for Photo Booth software (works on a mac).
For some reason, I couldn’t get the plug-in to work, so I sought a way to do it in Photoshop, without a plugin. I couldn’t find anything on how to do this, so I figured it out and wanted to share it.
It wasn’t that complex. Here’s a step-by-step guide. It works best with a photo that is lit from one side, so that you have a shadow area. To do this, you need a good understanding of photoshop. You will be using filters (halftone and cut-out), and photoshop tools (paint bucket, lasso, marquee) and color range.
- Download from the internet the obama art that you want to imitate. Consider that there are 5 colors in your pallet: red, pale blue, pale blue stripes, black (or very dark blue) and white (or cream colored).
- Take your pre-existing photo and add filter>artistic>cutout. Select 5 or 6 levels, to match the number of colors in your pallet.
- The first part you want to get out of the way is the half-tone portion (the stripes). Look for the line that indicates the beginning of the shadow area. This should be between the light area of the face and the darker area. In my case it is the tan area going right down the middle of my nose.
- Use the lasso tool to get a rough selection of the face area. This is so that you only get the highlights in the face for this color.
- With the face selected, go to select> color range and select the tan color. Now just the highlights in the face should be selected.
- Using the paint bucket, select the light blue in the obama photo that you want to imitate. Dump the color in your selected area. Do Not deselect.
- To create the stripes: filter>sketch>halftone pattern (select Pattern Type: line) and adjust the size of the stripes to your choice.
- Now, using the rectangular marquee tool, select half of the image. Use the paint bucket tool to dump your background color. If your hair blends into the background, like mine does, you may have to use the lasso tool to avoid selecting the hair.
- Select the other side of the photo and do the same thing to the background. Make sure the hair is separated.
- For me this was the trickiest part. My hair isn’t black, and making it black makes me look silly. So I just made the hair on the right red, and the hair on the left blue.
- Now fill in the other colors using the paint bucket from your cut-out photo with corresponding colors:
- lightest color and highlights= white or cream
- middle to light color= light blue
- shadow of face and darker shadows= red
- darkest areas= dark blue or black
Clean up the spots that you missed using the clone tool. As a final touch, you can expand the canvas size of the image by a few points (image>canvas size) until you have a poster-like border (make sure your background color is cream or white).
P.S. More information is coming out about the photo that the original Shepard Fairey poster was possibly derived from. I have read that Fairey copied it off of the internet which has legal implications for such a iconic image. And certainly, an ironic act for someone who has been burned by intellectual property theft himself. At a minimum, it is good for a scholarly discussion. But I think it is irresponsible to comment without more facts.