Instagram-Effect in Photoshop

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.

01Bring in your photo in Photoshop. With your selected photo now on the window, a corresponding layer of it is also created as a result as seen in your layers palette (named ‘Background’).


The photo above is credited to Theresa Hardy (via Vera Machado) and can be seen here.

02First 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:


03If 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:





04Now, 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.


05Apply Lens Blur (Filter>Blur>Lens Blur…) with the following settings:


06To 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.


07Set blend mode to Screen (or Soft Light/Overlay), opacity to 50%.


FinalResultLet’s take a look at our before and after images shown below to compare the original to that of the edited one. Well, I hope you enjoyed it. Try it yourself!


Guava Face Photo Effect

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:
1. Guava

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 3 Set the appropriate color balance adjustments depending on the image you use. What we’re trying to do here is to make the face color nearest to that of the guava’s.

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.

Parchment Font Text Effect

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.



Linear Burn




Step 1

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.

Step 2

Add noise (Filter>Noise>Add Noise…),render clouds (Filter>Render>Clouds…), then Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur…) with the following settings:

Step 3

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:

Step 4

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:

Step 5

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…

Copper Gradient

Step 6

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.

Mode: Hard Light

Here is the outcome, another variant of the images shown above:

The Making of Square Melon

Fruit Gift


Grunge Texture

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.

Shiny Chrome Text Effect


Here’s the final image we are going to make:



Step 1. Make a scanline background.

To do this, create a new document, 1×6 pixels. Set foreground color to gray (50%) to fill the layer created. Next, set the foreground color to a lighter gray than the first one (35%), pick the Pencil Tool and shade one-third of the rectangular shape we made (e.g., the top part).

Step 2. Create a new document.

Open a new document, 1200×600 pixels, fill with the scanline pattern you’ve just created, then fill layer with blue color.

scanline (gray)

scanline (gray)

scanline (blue)

scanline (blue)

Step 3. Type the text.

With the foreground color set to white, type the text you want to work with. You can use the serpentine font like the one I used here.

serpentine font

serpentine font

Step 4. Applying the layer styles.

With the correct settings and values in applying the different layer styles, we will be able to create a beautiful and shiny chrome text effect here. Using a different font and color background may give different results. Experiment value variations to meet the desired outcome. Afterall, your own creativity and originality is the most important and which this tutorial hopes to give inspiration.

The following guides you through the process of the layer style application.

4.1 Bevel and emboss

Bevel and Emboss

Bevel and Emboss

4.2 Contour



4.3 Stroke



4.4 Drop Shadow

Drop Shadow

Drop Shadow



You can do your own style and variations, like the ones I did below. To do it, create a new layer above all the layers in the layers palette, fill that with any background you want (Select>All, Edit>Copy, Edit>Paste), then make a clipping mask (by right-clicking the layer, then select Create clipping mask).



Grunge Metal Text Effect


First, you will need to download the two textures below and convert them into Photoshop patterns later. To do this simply open each image then go to EDIT >> DEFINE PATTERN in the menu.



Create a new transparent document 670px * 400px at 72dpi as seen below.

To keep our psd file organized first click on the folder icon in the layer pallet 3 times to create three folders and name them FRAME, TEXT, and BACKGROUND respectively.

This step up to step 6 involves with the making of a frame with a footer-like signature of your website resembling a watermark.Let’s proceed…

Create a new layer within the FRAME folder and name it frame. Activate the shape tool by typing U, make sure the rectangular shape tool is selected, then draw out a square similar to the one below, leaving a little room on the top and bottom.

Activate the layer styles dialog box on your shape layer by double clicking on it or by going to LAYER >> LAYER STYLE >> BLENDING OPTIONS in the menu. Then enter the settings below.

Create a new layer above the frame layer by going to LAYER >> NEW >> LAYER in the menu, activate the text tool by typing T, then type in your title using the settings below:

Within the BACKGROUND folder create a new pattern fill layer by going to LAYER >> NEW FILL LAYER >> PATTERN in the menu and choose the grungy corrugated metal texture you either installed or created in step #1 as seen below.

Open the layer styles dialog box by going to LAYER >> LAYER STYLE >> BLENDING OPTIONS in the menu and enter the settings you see below:

Above the grungy corrugated metal texture layer create a gradient fill layer by going to LAYER >> NEW FILL LAYER >> GRADIENT in the menu with the settings seen below.

Open the layer styles dialog box on the gradient layer you just created and enter the settings you see below.

Within the TEXT folder now activate the text tool by typing T then open the character pallet and choose Arial Black at 310pt with a vertical stretch of 110% as seen below and then type in some text.

Duplicate the text layer you just created by going to LAYER >> DUPLICATE LAYER . Then activate the layer styles pallet on the top text layer and enter the settings you see below.

Open the layer styles dialog box on the bottom text layer now and enter the settings you see below.

Duplicate the background layer, click the fx icon and select Pattern Overlay. Select the pattern shown here or any metal texture you’ve downloaded earlier to your lists of patterns.

That’s it!

Wrinkled Text Using Displacement Map

Step 1 : Open the image you’ll be using for the text. Here, we’ll be using the wrinkled paper texture below. You can download the stock HERE.

Step 2 : Go to the Channels palette and select which of the RGB has the greatest contrast. In this case, I selected the Green channel which gives the best result. Duplicate this channel by right-clicking it and select Duplicate Channel. A Duplicate Channel dialog box appears. Name the duplicate channel as Map, and under Document, select New.

Step 3 : The new image that appears as a result is a black and white. We will use this as our displacement map. Smooth this via the Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur…), and set the blur value to 0.7 pixel. Save this to your hard drive and name it Map.psd. Close this image for now.

Step 4 : Switch back to Channels. Click RGB to activate it. Now go to Layers tab and then select the Type Tool.

Step 5 : Type the text you want. I typed WRINKLED here. A new layer will be seen in the layers palette as a result (named WRINKLED). Right-click this layer and select Rasterize.

Step 6 : Time to apply the displacement stuff. Go to Filter>Distort>Displace… A dialog box appears. Leave all the values to their default settings and click Ok. You will then be prompted to open a file. Open the file we saved earlier (e.g., Map.psd). The Displacement Map has been applied here and a wrinkled text comes into view!

Step 7 : Duplicate the above layer, set Mode to Overlay, and Opacity to 70. Merge all visible layers, then Save.

Here’s the final result: