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Daily Archives: February 17, 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 sxc.hu – 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
Colin

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