Monthly Archives: February 2010

How to add a tattoo with photoshop

In this tutorial I will use the brush I created in the previous tutorial to tattoo someone. The image of the bloke who will be my victim can be found on – 493495_92373417 – if you wish to follow along.
1. Open the image and duplicate it, convert to black and white (by whatever means you wish) and increase its contrast a little, save this file in a .psd format on your desktop. This file is what you are going use as a displacement map. A displacement map uses the tones in a grayscale image to distort the pixels of a target to match the contours of the source image.
2. Go back to the original and create a new blank layer above the background.
3. Select the cross brush as created in the tutorial below and paint onto this layer. Position and scale into position.
4. Next select Filter> Distort> Displace, in the resulting dialog box I set both the horizontal and vertical scale to 5 leaving the other option to their defaults. The is no preview with this dialog so you will have to experiment with different settings depending on your image and its resolution, but generally I find a displacement scale of 5 to 10 works well.
5. When you hit ok navigate to the black & whit image you created in step 1 and chose it.
6. In order to blend the tattoo even further it is necessary to experiment with blending modes, which ones you will choose is not set in stone as it depends on what you are blending and to what. I duplicated the layer twice applied a colour blending mode at 55% opacity to the bottom layer, a 60% overlay blending mode to the middle layer, and a 30% mulitply blending mode to the top layer.The colour, overlay, multiply and hard light blending modes work best when trying to blend layers like this.

7. Flatten the image and you’re done. ┬áIn the final image you see below I did a small amount of image enhancement to give the image more impact.Cheers

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Posted by on February 17, 2010 in Image Editing, Photoshop, Retouch


Create a Custom Brush in Photoshop

Creating custom brushes is quite simple in photoshop and in this tutorial I will show you how to define a custom brush and in the second part how to use that brush in conjunction with the displacement map function to apply a tattoo to an image.
Part One:
Any image or part thereof can be converted into a custom brush in photoshop. Brushes are very similar to masks and the maxim that applies to masks applies to bushes also – black conceals, white reveals – and shades in between have varying degrees of opacity. You don’t necessarily have to use a grayscale image to define a brush preset, once you define a brush preset on a colour image it will automatically be saved as a grayscale bush. In order to control the luminosity of certain parts of your brush I recommend that you convert your image to Black and White first, in that way you can decide what shade of gray (thus opacity) each colour will have. The source for my brush is from – image ID 412079. The aim is to convert the image on the left to the black and white version on the right.
1. Using the pen tool I traced around the outline of the cross and converted it into a selection (Command click on the path in the paths palette) I then inverted it (Command I) the selection and filled it with white (Command delete). You don’t have to use the pen tool for this, any selection method is fine.
2. I carefully selected the four corners where the the circle of the cross meets the vertical and horizontal branches of the cross and filled these with white.
3. I examined the three channels to select the one with the most contrast -duplicated this channel (red) and then inverted it.
4. Using the apply image command (Image> Apply Image) I applied the red channel to the image using the colour burn blending mode, then again using the screen mode and once again using the overlay mode.
5. You should then have a image similar to the one on the right. Then it’s simply a case of selecting the canvas (Command A) and Edit> Define Brush Preset.. when you name your brush and hit ok your brush will be saved along with your other brushes (the last on the list). Note your brush will be saved at the same pixel size as your document. Increasing the size of your bush when you are applying it will have a detrimental effect on the quality (softness) of the brush.

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Posted by on February 8, 2010 in Image Editing, Photoshop