Instagram is getting more and more popular these days amid increasing smartphones and android phone users. That’s why it’s no surprise hundreds of images are uploaded everyday via Instagram application. So sad though for non-android or smartphone users that they cannot have the cool application. Well, I don’t have it either, but that’s not a problem anymore, as long as you have your PC and a Photoshop installed. So, for you all that have no Instagram like me, here is an easy tutorial to make your photo with effects like an Instagram. This is also known as Lomo (short for Lomograph) effect.
The photo above is credited to Theresa Hardy (via Vera Machado) and can be seen here.
First thing that we will do is to make the photo with higher contrast. Click the Adjustment Layer button below your layers palette and adjust the slider in the Levels dialog box, with values best for your photo. I’ve used the following settings below:
If you notice, Instagram-applied photos have the following features: high contrast colors, dreamy or blurry parts, color channels more pronounced individually, and focus is clear relative to the background, among others. Next thing that we will do here is to adjust each of the RGB color channels. To do so, click the Adjustment Layer icon again, but this time, choose the Curve… With the Curve dialog in view, apply the following settings:
Now, go back to your background layer and make a duplicate out of it. Click the Adjustment Layer and this time choose Gradient… Set the colors to black-and-transparent. Black-and-white is okay also as long as you lower the opacity. What we’re doing here actually is rendering a vignette to the photo with the black color at the bottom.
To reveal the focus of the subject (e.g., the dogs), we will apply Layer Mask by clicking the icon of it below the layers palette. Make the opacity at a low level (about 25-30%) so that you have room for adjustment and you can choose the right opacity for your picture. To do it, pick a large, soft brush and click to the center of the photo. Repeat painting till the desired effect is met. By the way, don’t forget to set your FG color to black to apply layer mask.
One of the most sought-after tutorial a Photoshop user needs to know is how to extract images, ranging from simple to the more complex one, like strands of blown hair, trees, and other images that has intricate edges. Dealing with backgrounds can be a headache also if it happens to be in different colors and hues. Flat, solid colors are the easy ones to work with, which is why most tutorials posted across the web uses this simple photos as their subject.
In this tutorial though, we will tackle the extraction work in a more detailed approach, and the use of the not-so-common Channels tool in Photoshop. Although I believe that the more advanced users of the program are very much familiar with this, especially with layer masking, and use this tool for their extraction work.
First, it’s important to note that our image is in RGB mode, and that we will be sticking in this mode throughout the course of this tutorial. If you read Part 1 of this series (or if you are already familiar with channel basics), you will recall that every RGB image contains a Red, Green and Blue channel. Let’s start by analyzing the 3 channels to determine which one will provide the best starting point for extracting the model from the photograph. Here are the greyscale representations of each channel.
Since the hair is going to be the most challenging part of the extraction, what we are really looking for is the channel where we have the best contrast between the hair and the background. The red channel would probably work, but it’s a bit lighter than is really ideal, so we’ll scratch that one.
The blue and the green channels are pretty similar in terms of the contrast between the hair and the background, so either of those would probably work. However, I think that the blue channel is probably the better option, so let’s go ahead and duplicate it. You can do this by either right-clicking and selecting Duplicate Channel from the menu, or by dragging the blue channel down to the new icon in the channels palette.
Now, with our duplicate blue channel selected, we are going to adjust the brightness and contrast. Select Image>Adjustments>Levels from the menu. For this image, I used the values below for the settings.
These numbers will vary drastically from photograph to photograph, but the basic idea is to adjust these values to the point where the background is white and most of the hair is black. The thin strands, however, should retain a certain amount of grey, as you can see in the screenshot above. Also, try to increase the contrast to the necessary minimum, since too much contrast can cause some of the finer details to vanish, and for some of the softer edges to become jagged and rasterized.
Now, the result is going pretty well. Let us enhance more the contrast by making the hair strands stand out and the background totally white. Afterwards, we’ll paint the image totally black. We will be using the Burn Tool and Paintbrush to do the blackening.
In this step, we will make a selection of what we just made. To do so, press Ctrl + click on the blue copy channel. Marching ants will be seen as a result, signifying the selection is executed. Click the RGB channel to make it active, then turn off your blue channel for now.
Next, switch back to your layers palette. Note that we have to inverse first our image before going to the next step, so go to Select>Inverse… This will result to white foreground (visible) and black background (not visible) as seen in the layer mask thumbnail that we will do next. Hence, with layer 0 (our original image) active, make a layer mask by clicking the mask icon below the layers palette. Here’s how it looks:
Create a new layer now or open an image that will serve as your new background. Drag this below your existing layer. In my case, I just made a blue gradient as my background as seen below.
Now it’s the finishing touches… Grab the Burn Tool and carefully brush away the fuzziness around the image especially the thin strands of hair. Don’t overdo it though to maintain some of the strands to its grayish state. Optionally, you can enhance the whole image by using the Curves in Image adjustments. Here is the final result :
Final Result Preview
In this tutorial, you will learn how to make someone’s face into a fruit, like a guava, in this case. Having this done, it’s fun to create your own version using your own or friends photos to amuse them. You can even make a fruit cartoon characters out of your friends if you’d like to. Cool, isn’t it? Let’s get started then…
What you will need:
2. Face Photo
Step 1 Open both the guava and face photos in Photoshop. After this, make a selection using the Lasso or Pen Tool out of the face, leaving the ears, hairs, and body behind because we don’t them (unless you opt to include it).
Step 2 Copy and paste the selected image into the guava, and then use the Free Transform Tool to resize and reposition it to fit well.
Your layers palette looks like this one upon pasting the face:
Step 4 Grab your Eraser tool (soft brush, size:60 px, opacity:30), then erase out the edges until the cut fades and no remnants of the edges are seen. After this, remove the noise to eliminate the grainy effect of the image so as to make it softer.
Now, that’s looking pretty good eh!
Step 5 Click the “Create new fill or adjustment layer” icon below your layers palette and choose Hue/Saturation… Apply the following settings:
Step 6 Back to Layer 1. Grab your Burn Tool (range:midtones, opacity:30, soft brush:30 px) and then brush over the eyebrows, eyebugs, nostrils, below the nose, and below the lips. This will give more accent to the shades and enhancing the overall look.
Step 7 Finally, pick your Blur Tool and brush out a little bit more of that grainy effect to have a smoother and cleaner look of the image. Don’t overdo it to preserve the natural look. That’s it!
* This post can also be viewed at PSD Rules.
Create a new document 600×600 pixels and fill the background with a black color, then a radial gradient (white to orange). Rename this layer as “Background”.
Make a selection out of the cattle egret below, copy and paste it into the newly-created layer, resize and reposition it using the Free Transform tool (Edit>Free Transform). Rename this layer as “Egret”.
Download macbadshoes’ watercolor brushes. Select one of the brushes of the set and paint a red (or any color of your choice) into the duplicated background layer (Background copy), then set blend mode to Overlay, Opacity and Fill to 100.
Create a new layer group and name it “Watercolor”. Switch back to Background copy layer.Use any shaped brush to paint a large watercolor orange or light red to this layer, then paint it and change its Blend Mode to Linear Light, Opacity and Fill to 80.
Under the group layer “Watercolor”, create a new layer (by default, this is Layer 1). Select a big dry brush or the one we’ve just used. Try different shapes and opacity. Paint randomly over the bird with different colors. When done, click Watercolor layer then set blend mode to Linear Light, Opacity 80.
This is how it looks now:
Merge Watercolor group layer (with the Watercolor group layer highlighted, right-click, then select Merge Group…). After this, go to Filters > Filter Gallery > Artistic > Dry Brush, set the values shown below and see how it looks.
For some finishing touches, grab a big soft brush and paint the edges of the image to make a reddish orange vignette.
Add your desired text, I’m using Parchment and Eras Light ITC here.
Finally, merge all visible layers, then apply Hue/Saturation using the Create New Fill. Set Blend Mode to Overlay.
Here’s the expected final result:
The Parchment Font is an eye-catching, classical font originated from the Old French and late Middle English times. Derived from the ancient form of writing material like the skin (parch), yellowish paper of old, and others of this type. Bringing back the old glory like this one just interested me so much and, as such, my pleasure to share this back to life.
Make a new document, 500×500 pixels, fill it with a gray paper pattern (Edit>Fill>Pattern…). You may fill it with a plain gray color as alternative, if you prefer to. When done, duplicate this layer.
Add noise (Filter>Noise>Add Noise…),render clouds (Filter>Render>Clouds…), then Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur…) with the following settings:
Grab the Text Tool and type letter “T” (or any letter of your preference). A “T layer” is created as a result and the image is like this:
It’s time to apply the layer styles. With the text layer still active, click the “fx” icon below the layers palette then set the following:
After applying the above layer styles, the result would be something like this now:
Go back to Layer 1 copy and we’ll make a little bit of enhancement, because our background is dull. So, click Create new fill icon (that half-shaded circle) then select Gradient…
Now, activate the text layer (the topmost layer), then click once more the Create new fill icon. This time, select Pattern then choose the brown skin.
Note: I’ve uploaded a skin pattern here then loaded it in the Patterns (Edit>Define Pattern) lists.
Here is the outcome, another variant of the images shown above:
Jigsaw puzzle is fun. Even more so when the pieces you’re about to assemble is your photo itself. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make an easy and cool jigsaw puzzle effect of a photo. Easy indeed that you can remember and do it at once for yourself. There are variations actually in creating such effect. I’ll explain that along the way. Let’s get started then…
Step 1. Open your photo in Photoshop. You can see in the layers palette that a Background is created. Make a copy of this by right-clicking the Background layer, then select Duplicate layer, or via the shortcut Ctrl+J.
Step 2. Create a new layer by clicking the icon below the layers palette, just beside the trash bin. Put this layer (which is now layer 2) between the Background and Layer 1, then fill it with white color (Edit>Fill…). This will serve as our backdrop as we make the pieces in the process. You can have any color, gradient, texture, or pattern you want. Not much of importance, not unless you prefer not to fill all the canvas with rectangles, so that parts of the background is visible.
Step 4. Create a layer mask on the above layer (e.g. Layer 1). The selected area via the Rectangular Marquee Tool will now come into view. Going pretty good. One piece down. So make another one…
Note : Include this in Step 4. I almost forgot about the border of the rectangle. I used the Outer Glow here (click fx below the layers palette then choose Outer Glow, size 3-5, depending on the size of your photo, color white). Another way is the Stroke style which you can choose Color, Gradient, or Pattern for your border. The latter offers you more options. You can also transform the rectangles in any size and position you want thru Transform Selection (Select>Transform Selection…).
Step 5. Duplicate Layer 1 (which is already masked), but before doing, click first the chain between the image and mask icons to unlink it. In so doing, you’re making a copy of the layer without the same selected mask. Otherwise, you’re just copying the same image.
Step 6. Done with duplicating Layer 1, click the mask thumbnail first, then drag the image (actually transparent rectangular layer on top of the first image) to a desired area. You can freely place anywhere you want in the canvas.
Step 7. The rest is easy. Do the same process as above to make more rectangles until it fills out all your photo, or, to your desired output. That’s just it!
Here is another variation using the Stroke instead of the Outer Glow:
In this tutorial, we will be making an ordinary melon (rounded, of course) into a squared (cubic actually) one. Do it for yourself how easy and how powerful Liquify Filter is in manipulating objects like the one shown here. Although easy, it can also be tricky as it will turn your work into a messy one rather than succeeding to the outcome you intended to do. The rest of the tutorial can be easily followed.
Step 1. Make a new document (700×600) and fill it with black color. After this, create 3 group layers namely, BG (for Background), melon, and gradient. We’re doing this so that our work will be organized and can be easily tracked when we need something to edit. It should look like this now:
Step 2. Now, we’ll deal in creating the background. So, go back to the first layer that we’ve created, i.e., Layer 1, then drag it under BG group layer so that it will become part of all the layers that we will create under it.
Step 3. With Layer 1 still active, pick your Brush Tool and select Dried Blood brush and set it to around 600 pixels in size. Click onto the canvas aligned horizontally, in RBG order, from right to left. With that done, apply Gaussian Blur.
Step 4. Open the grunge texture, select, then paste onto the background (Layer 1). Set blend mode to Overlay, Opacity:50. A new layer (Layer 2) is created as a result.
Step 5. Switch now to melon group and create a new layer. Layer 3 is created by default. After this, open the melon image, select it via the Quick Selection Tool. Apply Refine Edge to ensure a clean edge of the melon. Copy this and paste it onto the newly-created layer (e.g., Layer 3).
Step 6. The fun part of the tutorial. Select Liquify (Filter>Liquify…) then set the following values in the dialog box that appears. Other settings are set to their default values.
In applying the Liquify filter, slowly drag the mouse pointer outward and inward to transform the melon into a square shape. Don’t stretch too much in the same area, otherwise the unevenness of the texture will be clearly noticed. Stretch a bit too inside when making a stretch outward on the edges. Here is the result after applying the filter.
Step 7. Switch back to the BG group layer. We need to make the melon stand out so we need some highlighting. Pick Brush Tool (soft), big size. Click at the center of the canvass, then set appropriate opacity. Here is the result:
Step 8. Time to make some colored gradient strips across the image. So, switch now to gradient group layer and create a new layer. Layer 4 is created, by default because the last layer created is Layer 3.
Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool and make a long rectangle across the image. Then click your Gradient Too (linear) and make a gradient, red, green, then blue. Below it are 3 white-transparent gradients. Use Free Transform Tool to resize and reposition diagonally.
Step 9. Putting the grapes. Open this image and paste it below the melon. Make a layer mask, then erase the branch and other parts. Then grab a large soft brush (black), opacity to 25, then paint below the images. You can use linear gradient in place of the brush if you prefer to.
Step 10. Put the ribbon by selecting, copying and pasting it onto the melon, resembling a real fruit gift. You can download the ribbon here.
Step 11. For the finishing touches, duplicate the melon layer, then flip vertically. Drag the copy at the bottom of the melon to have a reflection of it. Apply a linear gradient, black-transparent, low opacity. Set blend mode to Overlay or Soft Light, Opacity to 50.
Added notes : In the original making of the above finished image, I applied several fill or adjustment layers in enhancing the image like Hue/saturation, Levels, Curves, and Color Balance. Feel free to experiment using them to have better results.