Texture wrap around a sketch

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I'm a photoshop newbie, looking for an answer to my latest question:

I sketched an image of a dragon for a friend, and I'm trying to add scales/etc to it on photoshop. I want to use an image of scales and wrap that image/texture around the features of the dragon. I can paste the picture on top of the dragon, but how do i get that "wrap around" look? As the scales wrap around the leg, the scales on the edges would warp and shrink as they curve around the leg, yes?

Hopefully this makes sense, thanks for any advice!

-Emily
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Emily Paarman

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Posted 2 years ago

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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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Photoshop does have some 3D features but this seems like a 2D approach may suffice. 
Convert to a Smart Object and use 
• Warp 
• Puppet Warp 
• Liquify 
• ... 
to achieve the desired effect. 
You may have to use multiple copies of the SO and »stitch« the surface together. 

When talking about specific images and how to edit them it is often useful to post them or at least post relevant sections of them for illustration and testing. 
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Max Johnson, Champion

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While Christoph is correct, I think the best solution for what you are trying to do specifically is to "Displace" the texture based on a displacement map. Or put more simply, you make a black and white image based on your dragon that tells the texture how to get smooshed around, then use a filter to alter the scales layer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHNO4...
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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A valid method; the Displacement Map need not be black-and-white, though, by using two channels one can control horizontal and vertical offset separately. 
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Max Johnson, Champion

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Oh? I have never seen it used that way... thank you for the tip!
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Emily Paarman

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Thank you both for your answers! I will try out both methods :) Since my drawing is a sketch without shading, it looks like i'll have to add some shading around the edges and wrinkles in the skin in order for the displacement map to work? 
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Emily Paarman

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Awesome--that makes total sense. Can't wait to get started and see how it turns out. Thanks!
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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Especially if there are overlapping body parts like arms. 
In such a case I would recommend using multiple Smart Object instances with Layer Masks. 
That way one can also Clipping Mask Layers for light and shadow to the pertinent parts. 

Since my drawing is a sketch without shading, 
Please post (a pertinent section of) the image. 
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Emily Paarman

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Here is the scanned sketch of my image. I am going to trace over it in photoshop with my wacom, clean it up a bit, and then use a picture of snake scales to use as the texture. Thankfully, its a bit more simple that a full dragon body, but the face and forelegs are going to be a challenge I'm afraid. It's guarding a door, in case you're wondering, ha!



...And for the texture, possibly something like this:




I hope this helps, I'm sorry, I feel like such a beginner at all of this--my medium has always been pen and pencil, so i'm really in unfamiliar territory here. But like I told my friend, I'll give it my best shot. 

I also stumbled across this video tutorial using a scale texture brush. He shaded spheres to give them a 3-d appearance and lightly applied the brush over it. Maybe that would work instead?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0WfZsGACNk

I really do appreciate your time, thank you! 
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Cristen Gillespie

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And then, of course, there's the Zentangle approach. Simply meditate, grasshopper, and as you draw each scale by hand, you're a step closer to enlightenment. . . <BG>
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Emily Paarman

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hahahaha I mean as tempting as that sounds i think work on my enlightenment later ;)
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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I think the problem will be the transitions of the skin  textures on different parts (arms/shoulders/chest). 
I think Liquify quite OK for the task, Puppet Warp not as convenient. 
In any case: Use a Smart Object (and copies of it) filled with the Pattern and rotate it to fit the general direction, as Smart Filters you can go back and edit them later on, no matter whether you use Displace, Liquify or something else. 
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Emily Paarman

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wow! that's fantastic--that should work perfectly for me. Looks like I found my answer :) Thanks so much!
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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But you may want to use Curves )or Levels Layers) instead of Solid Color Layers for the lighting/shading.