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Please Throw Money– We’re Broke!

May 23, 2011

I did a little spoof of the Royal Wedding— here’s the final.

Scroll down to see how I created the confetti.

Royal Wedding spoof with Obama marrying pig symbolizing the national debt, money confetti raining down

I began by downloading a photo of a $100 bill. I sharpened it, added some posterization, and boosted the contrast. Then I used Photoshop’s Liquify tool
to give Mr. Franklin a rather regretful expression: Hundred dollar bill with Ben Franklin made to look sad by manipulation with Photoshop's Liquify tool

There are many Photoshop tutorials for creating confetti, and the technique is simple: choose extreme brush settings to create ragged, scattered “strokes.” The trick in this case is to employ the Clone Stamp tool, not the Brush tool, because we need to “sample” the $100 bill, and then clone bits and pieces of the sampled area.

Since confetti tends to be “squarish,” I used a square brush and set the Spacing to 160% (trial and error). If you don’t already have a square brush, you can easily create one by using the Rectangular Marque tool to draw a square, then fill it with Black, and choose Edit>Define Brush.

Photoshop dialogue windows showing settings for Clone Stamp Tool for making confetti

To create well-scattered confetti of different shapes and sizes:

Check the Shape Dynamics box and set both Size Jitter and Angle Jitter to the max of 100%. One can fine-tune the results by experimenting with the Roundness Jitter and Minimum Roundness settings.

Check the Scattering box, then move the Scatter slider to 1000% and check the Both Axes box. Experiment with Count and Count Jitter to fine-tune the resulting density of the confetti.

After choosing these settings, I created a New Brush Preset so I wouldn’t have to worry about recreating that particular brush each time I wanted to use it.

Photoshop dialogue boxes showing Shape Dynamics and Scattering settings for a brush to create confetti

To create the illusion of the $100 bill disintegrating into confetti, I had to first cut off the lower part of the bill. I selected the Eraser tool, set it to Brush mode, then selected my new brush preset as defined above. I carefully drew the Eraser across the bill, creating a jagged erasure line. Then I went back and drew the Eraser across any points where
the two halves of the bill had not been completely severed. Finally I had a clean cut with ragged edges.Hundred dollar bill jaggedly cut in half by using Photoshop's Eraser tool with settings for making confetti

I deleted the lower portion of the bill, then selected the Clone Stamp tool. I again chose the new brush preset with its “confetti settings.” I sampled the remaining top portion of the $100 bill by clicking on it with the Clone Stamp tool while depressing the option (alt) key. Then I drew a swirl of confetti. I repeated the above steps several times, varying both the brush size and the place where I clicked on the bill.Royal Wedding spoof with hundred dollar bill becoming confetti falling on Obama and pig representing trillion dollar debtThe resulting confetti had a nice randomness, but I could see it was too thick in places, and extended too far down. I deleted a lot of it, and moved bits and pieces around to create better balance and boost the white space around the principals, like so:

Royal Wedding spoof with Obama marrying pig symbolizing the national debt, money confetti raining down

Here’s a close-up of the happy couple.Close-up of Royal Wedding spoof with Obama marrying Debt Pig, and Harry Reid and Joe Biden as bridesmaids

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2011 10:37 AM

    This is very funny. Keep up the good work. I am a young artist and it is inspiring to see humorous illustrations such as yours


    • June 10, 2011 12:17 PM

      You made my day, sir. Many thanks for the kind words. Always nice to meet a fellow artist. I like what you’re doing with Hobo Joe. Keep pluggin’, and thanks for stopping by! : )


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