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Dramatic Photoshop Tattoos Technique
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Add Photoshop tattoos and dramatic photo effects using this realistic technique.

In this tutorial I will show you how to add realistic photoshop tattoos on a model and create a dramatic effect on a studio photo. I will show you how to eliminate background in Photoshop using Calculations separating the hair and the body of the model in different layers.

I will show you how to apply realistic tattoos in Photoshop using a blending technique that will your Photoshop tattoos a lot more realism.

Stock photos used

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Realistic Photoshop Tattoos Final result

Step 1 – Masking hair

I opened the model image and I duplicated the layer. Using the Blue Channel and Calculations I blended the blue channel with itself using the Multiply mode and then the Overlay mode. I named this layer pelo.

Calculations Photoshop tutorial – Advanced Masking

I used this technique only to isolate the hair from the background because I will isolate the body of the model using another selection technique.

With the new Alpha Channel created I used the Brush Tool with the Overlay Blend Mode to retouch certain areas and increase contrast between hair and background. See video version for more details.

Select hair Photoshop CC 2017
Using channels and Calculations to select hair in Photoshop

Step 2 – Extract body from background

I created another copy of the model and I used the Quick Selection tool to select her body. I placed this layer above the previous layer and I named it cuerpo.

Photoshop tattoos masking

Step 3 – Lighting and color effects

I used a brick wall texture and layer styles to darken the woman and the background texture. You can also use adjustment layers if you want.

In order to create a more dramatic effect and focus the light in the center I used a Color Overlay and a Gradient Overlay to darken the whole scene.

Dramatic Photoshop effect. Tattoos tutorial

Step4 – Shadows

I created the shadow of the model using the original image because I wanted to keep the original shadow.
I simply desaturated the image and placed below the cuerpo and pelo layers above the brick wall texture the Multiply blend mode. For a stronger effect just duplicate this layer.

Contrast masking shadows Photoshop technique 2017

Step 5 – Apply realistic Photoshop tattoos

In order to create realistic tattoos in Photoshop, make sure the designs are over a white background. For a more realistic effect change the Blend Mode of them to Multiply, that way the white background will go away and you don’t have to make complex masking and selections.

Photoshop tip

If you want to get very realistic tattoos in Photoshop, use the blending settings located on the layer style panel. With the “Blend if” option you can blend the tattoo based on the highlights and shadows of the model’s body.

Advanced Photoshop Blending tutorial 2017

Use the same technique to add as many tattoos as you like.

Photoshop tattoos technique 2017 tutorials

I created the final touch of color and contrast using a few adjustment layers: Gradient Maps, Selective Color and the Camera RAW filter.

Photoshop tattoo tutorial 2017 PSD Box
Click the photo to enlarge it

Add Dramatic Photoshop Tattoos (video tutorial)

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