Bubble Head Photo Key
I wanted to make a key for a group photo. An obvious solution is to put the photo and a plain piece of paper up on the window and trace the heads by hand, then scan it. But it’s hard to match the bubbles with the heads in the photo because all the distinguishing features, such words on shirts, tree branches, and windows aren’t included on the tracing. I’ve tried several times to do it with Photoshop with little success. This year I lucked into a process that seemed to work. First I Posterized the image at a Level 4, which created lots of contrast between the lights and darks, and took out some of the smaller details. Then, under Adjustments, I selected Exposure and increased the Exposure and decreased the Offset and Gamma Correction until I could get clearer outlines of the heads with washed out facial expressions. I changed it to black and white only so I could print it easier, but color would result in even better identification. I added a number to each head using black text and a Outer Glow of 50% Spread and Size of 25% (at 300 resolution). The outer glow allowed the numbers to be seen easier and when it was positioned over a head, resulted in more of the outline look of the original hand-drawn version. But with the Photoshop version, the V-necks, words and stripes on shirts, etc. are retained so that when you were trying to match the head to the photo, you had some reference points to work with. I placed this picture into an Excel spreadsheet and matched the numbers with the names.