Cool Retro-Look Effect in Photoshop

Transforming your boring photo into a retro-look effect can be more appealling, really cool, and fun. This can be achieved basically by filters and layer styles. An easy-to-follow tutorial which you can do it in a few minutes.

You can download the image below here. This will be the photo we’ll be using here as an example. You can have your own photo to work with if you prefer to.

This is the final result we’d like to achieve:

Step 1 – Opening and duplicating the photo
After downloading the photo, or if you have already one ready in your gallery, open this into your Photoshop and duplicate it.

So, by now, you have your ‘Background’ and ‘Background copy’ as seen in your layers palette.

Step 2 – Darkening the photo
To really have that old-look effect on the photo, we have to darken this a bit in preparation to the next step that we will do. So, to do this, go to Image>Adjustments>Levels… With the adjustment levels box in view, follow this settings: 60, 1.00, 220 (from left to right).

And we have this photo as a result right now:

Step 3 – Applying film grain
Duplicate the ‘levels’ layer first then rename it later into ‘film grain’ layer after this step is done. Meantime,to make that photo looks really old, we will apply film grain effect into it, e.g., Filters>Artistic>Film Grain… Apply the settings below:

> grain: 4
> highlight area: 0
> intensity: 10

Step 4 – Color Halftone application
Last with the filers. Apply this time the halftone color to the photo: Filter>Pixelate>Color Halftone… Set the maximum radius to 4, and leave the others into their default values.

Step 5 – Applying the layer style
Yay, we are almost done! So, done in pixelating (halftone) the photo, we’ll move on in applying a layer style into it.

Duplicate the ‘halftone’ layer and rename it into ‘soft light’, because we really have to convert the blending mode from ‘Normal’ into ‘Soft Light’. To do so, click the blending mode option (which is set to Normal by default) then scroll down and choose Soft Light (or, depending on the result, you may choose other blend mode like Darken, Color Dodge, Multiply, or whatever that may best suite your taste).

This is what we’ve got now:

Step 6 – Changing the background of the girl
First, we have to make a new document, same size as our stock photo (384×352), then fill with black.

Apply the following filters : Noise – 10, Render – Clouds, Gaussian Blur – 50.
Radial Gradient: BG color- 11143d, FG color- white. Draw a gradient from center to the top right corner (or any corner for that matter).

Apply Halftone (Filter>Pixelate>Color Halftone… max radius: 4. After this, make a selection out of the girl by using the Pen Tool, copy it, then paste it onto the new layer we’ve just created. Fix edges by using the Eraser in soft brush and blur it a bit.

Sans the border, you’ll now have a new white-to-blue background for the girl!

Last Step – Creating the border
There are 2 ways to make the border: by applying right away Stroke (fx>Stroke on your layers palette) and just fill in the value how thick is your border and what color; or, make a new document larger than the size of our stock photo, say adding 50 pixels, more or less, depending what thickness you want, aside from the color of your choice.

The color applied here is e19e1d, following the latter option (e.g., making a new document).


Romantic Image Effect Inside A Glass

How would you like one of your most memorable photos placed inside a drinking glass that looks like a real souvenir ready to be given to your friends, or for keeps? That’s pretty cool, right?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to easily put any image into any object or place you want. As an example, I’m showing you here how to put a newly-wed couple’s photo inside a drinking glass. The steps below will guide you all the way how to do it, from start to finish.

Stocks needed:

Step 1 – Open a new document (File>New…)
First off, we’ll open a new document where we will be creating a backgrount for the stocks that we’ll be using here. Calculate the size of your canvas. This will depend how you imagined the end result looks like. When done, duplicate it.

By now, you should have your Background and Background copy layer as shown in the layer dialog box below:

Step 2 – Make a gradient background
With the Background copy as the active layer, select the Radial Gradient (click first the Gradient tool in the tool box then select the Radial icon located at the top left part, e.g. the 2nd icon from the left).

>foreground color: 131444
>background color: white

Step 3 – Add Noise
Still with the above active layer, add noise into it (Filter>Noise) with the following settings below:

Step 4 – Apply Gaussian Blur
To complete creating our background, we’ll have to apply a little bit of Gaussian blur to get a nice, soft effect. To do this, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur… and follow the settings below:

For now, we’re initially done with the background. We’ll make some more adjustments later depending how the elements (stock images) blend well.

Now, we’ll get into the interesting part… One by one, we will be putting our stock images into place in the canvass.

Step 5 – Place the drinking glass onto the canvass
Open the drinking glass photo first because it is where the newly-wed couple image will be placed into. After that, make a selection out of it by grabbing the Quick Selection Tool, Copy, then Paste it to the Background copy layer.

Step 6 – Resize and reposition the pasted drinking glass
Resize and reposition the image into the center of the canvass, a little bit to the left to give room for the bottle later (Edit>Free Transform).

Step 7 – Place the newly-wed couple photo onto the drinking glass
Open the couple’s photo, select, copy, and paste it onto the glass (with the photo opened, go to Select>All… then Edit>Copy; click Background copy layer to activate it, then Edit>Paste). Apply Free Transform tool to resize and position the image exactly onto the drinking glass, as shown below:

Step 8 – Fitting the image right
Erase the portruding parts of the couple’s image by using the Eraser Tool, brush mode, soft brush. By the way, before erasing, lessen the opacity of the image (not the brush) about 50% or less so that the glass is visible and can serve as guide in erasing the unwanted edges of the image. When satisfied, bring back the opacity to 100% by dragging the slider to the right in full.

This is how it looks now:

Done with the main element, accessories next…

Step 9 – Place the bottle to the canvass
Open the bottle photo, make a selection, copy and paste it onto the Background copy layer, beside the glass on the right (see image below).

After that, apply a shadow of it: click “fx” icon located at the bottom of the layer dialog box, then select Drop Shadow with the following settings:

Step 10 – Apply drop shadow to the glass
Like what we did to the above (bottle), we will apply also a drop shadow to the glass with the same settings.

Step 11 – Add the floral vector
Load the floral vector photo onto the canvass, at the lower left corner; apply the Free Transform tool and rotate clockwise 90 degrees, lying exactly levelled at the bottom. Stretch to the right until it reaches almost half of the bottle below it, and stretch upward up to the base of the glass. Refer image below…

Step 12 – Erase unwanted parts of the floral vector
Take the Eraser Tool, set Mode: Brush, soft brush. Use medium size on the edges and smaller sizes between curves. Set Opacity to about 75%. Just a little work here because the color blends well with the background. We could have used the layer mask otherwise.

When done, apply a Gaussian Blur, 1-1.5 pixel radius, and we should now have like this:

Step 13 – Apply Gaussian Blur to the Glass and Bottle Layers
Apply Gaussian Blur each of the said layers, with the same settings as the floral vector.

Step 14 – Applying a livelier look of the Background layer
The general look seems to be a bit dull, so we have to adjust the lights more by applying layer styles – either by Multiply or Linear Burn mode. If you prefer a bit stronger effect, you can choose the latter. I used the Multiply mode here, Opacity to 100%. Before going into this, don’t forget to Merge all visible layers first.

Step 15 – Coloring the Circles (optional)
Although this is optional, you might like those circles to be multi-colored abd have aa cool look on that bottle. To do it, grab the Elliptical Marquee tool and draw circles (smaller or the same size) on the circles seen on the bottle. One by one, fill them with colors of your choice (after choosing the color, go to Edit>Fill…).

Step 16 – Finalization
For the final touches, we have to adjust the image colors a bit to highlight areas that needs more lighting and darkening. We will do this by going to Image>Adjustments>Curves…

Flatten image (Layer>Flatten Image…), and there you are!

Multi-Colored Eyes, Lips, and Hair

Earlier, I’ve made a tutorial on how to make a multi-colored photo. This time, with a different approach, I will show you how to make a multi-colored eyes, lips, and hair, bringing a cool, savvy effect you surely would like!

As always, this tutorial is easy-to-follow.

Here is the final product we shall work with…

Open a photo.
Here is a photo of Go Ara, a Korean beauty which I snipped from one of her photo gallery. You can google it to have a picture of her, if you like. You can have any photo to work with, maybe a photo of a friend or yours yourself.

After opening the photo, double-click the “Background” layer. This will then become “Layer 0”, which means it is an open layer and ready for any succeeding editing work.

Create a Colored Gradient
We will be using this colored gradient throughout, to paste onto the eyes, lips, and hair of our subject. Apparently, this is one of the main element needed in our subject and is quite easy to do. To create this,

1. Make a new document (File>New…). A 200×200 pixels would do. It can be resized anyway by using the Free Transform tool later. Set color to black. Double-click this layer.

2. Go to Filter>Render>Fibers…

3. Click the “fx” icon below the layer dialog box (or right-click layer) then choose Gradient Overlay. From the box that appears, click the Gradient (black-to-white) option which will then lead you to the Gradient Selector box. Select that multi-colored gradient. The Gradient Overlay box will look like the one below now.

And the black-and-white fiber that we’ve created earlier would now become like this on your window:

For now, we’re done with the color material that we will use. It’s time to paste it onto our target parts.

Select, Copy, and Paste Gradient

Throughout, we will be doing the same process in selecting, copying, and pasting the created gradient, as said earlier. Plus, of course, a use of the Layer Styles and Opacity. How is it done, we’ll proceed :

1. Select the gradient we’ve created (Select>All), copy (Edit>Copy);

2. Go back to the photo layer, then paste the gradient (Edit>Paste) over the lips.The lips are covered by now and can’t be seen. Set the Opacity to 50% (or lesser) so we can do the next – selecting the lips to be colored.

3. Grab the Pen Tool (from the Tool Box) and select the lips. When done, right-click mouse and click “Make Selection”.

4. Go to Select>Inverse. This leaves the lips intact when we erase. So, grab the Eraser and erase the selection.

5. Set the layer Mode to Overlay and Opacity to 50%. You can do a little bit of Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) to 2px, depending what suites you best. Yay, we’ve finished the lips! One down.

Here is the result for the lips:

6. Next, the eyes… Just follow the procedure above to get the desired result. Do it first with the first eye, then the second.

7. Do the same procedure for the hair as above but only this time, the gradient will fill-in exactly the whole photo. Just the size, because the hair is big, of course.

Almost done here except for the edges that needs to be fixed. To do this grab the Brush tool, set to smooth, and Opacity to about 60%. Brush carefully around the hair edged especially those with excessive colors that doesn’t blend well with the hair color. Blur (Gaussian Blur) a bit to about 1 to 2 pixels to smooth edges and blend well.

And there you have it!