I have an image of a car and I want to make it look as though it is painted with a flag on it. This is an idea time to use a displacement map so first lets look at what a displacement map does. All it really does is to distort the flag so that it fits the contours of the car. It is just as simple as that.
So first you need an image of a car and an image of a flag. These are the ones I used. (The size of my car image is 3072 pixels x 2048 pixels … so the instructions may need to be adjusted for different sizes).
1. First select the car and copy it to its own layer. Save layered file as "Car"
2. Next duplicate the image and call the duplicate "Map". My Map file had two layers … (Background and Car) so I deleted the Background layer and just kept the Car image
3. Next do Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Brightness & Contrast (Brightness -19, Contrast + 36), then Filter Blur>Gaussian Blur. I used 8
4. Now flatten the image and save it as a .psd
5. Open both your "Car" image and your "Flag" Image. Clicked on the Flag image and do … Select>All, Edit Copy
6. Next click on the Car image and do … Edit Paste
7. The Car image should now have three layers (Background, Car on its own layer and Flag). Lower the opacity of the flag layer and move it around until it looks.
8. Now return the opacity to 100% (do make sure your flag layer is still the active layer at this stage.)
9. Next Filter>Distort>Displace (Horizontal 10, Vertical 10, Stretch to fit, Repeat Edge Pixels … these are just the standard settings). Click OK and select your Map to load… when you click on open then your flag will distort to the shape of the car.
10. The images will now need tidying up. To do that you need to regain the selection of the car so Control Click (Mac Command Click) on the layer thumbnail then click on the flag layer and do Select>Inverse, Edit>Delete
11. Use either the eraser to remove the excess flag or a layer mask. Then lower the opacity of the layer to around 60%.
12. Finally go to the layers palette and drag the car on its own layer to the top of the pile then experiment with changing the layer blending mode. Try multiply or soft light they both work well.
There you have your repainted car.
Enjoy painting :)