advanced photoshop

Displacement effect tutorial Part 2

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Tips & Tutorials, by Adam Smith

Use simple Photoshop layering techniques, such as combining layer masks and smart objects to create this brilliant image

Here we continue to show how to use Photoshop to create an awesome displacement effect.

Alberto Seveso has really championed this style and recently Adobe adopted it to promote its software products.

Layer masks and Smart Objects are an essential part of our creative arsenal. These tools offer Photoshop users the ability to cut and customise layer shapes at any point during the workflow.

Layer Style options also play a huge part, enabling us to produce effects that simulate depth of field.

So let’s continue…

Image so far

Displacement effect tutorial Part 2

Get the mixed-media effect

Duplicate the model merge layer and place this at the top of the stack. Opt/Alt-click the Add Layer Mask icon in the Layers panel, import the  ‘PDaily ink splats.abr’ brush set and choose a style. Set the brush to white and apply ink splat effects.

Displacement effect tutorial Part 2

Amend the shapes

If you want to amend the shape of any of your displacement layers, now is the time to do so, as these Smart Objects will really come in handy. Simply open one up, then use the layer mask inside to edit the shape. Edits will update live in the image once you exit the Smart Object interface.

Displacement effect tutorial Part 2

Make simultaneous tonal changes

If you are using CS6, you can save time by editing the colour of multiple layers. Simply Cmd/Ctrl-click the layers that need to be altered, activate the Shape tool and set a new colour in the Fill option. Here, we’ve duplicated several shape layers, placed and selected them and then changed all of them to purple.

Displacement effect tutorial Part 2

Bring in lighting effects

One way to achieve the lighting effects is to duplicate an existing shape layer then apply Motion Blur, setting a high Distance amount. You can add either Linear Dodge (Add) or Screen modes to these blurred layers.

To boost the lighting on the chin, we’ll create a solid black layer at the top of the stack and apply a Movie Prime Lens Flare. Also add a Motion Blur and set it to Screen blending mode. We can now duplicate this layer and apply Hue/Saturation.

Displacement effect tutorial Part 2

Work with clouds

Add a new layer to the backdrop and apply a purple-to-transparent gradient to it. Place this layer in the top-right corner but towards the centre of  the workspace and set its Opacity at 50%.

Create a new solid black layer on top of this, then set its Foreground colour to orange and the Background to magenta. Add Filter>Render>Clouds to this layer, apply Gaussian Blur and set the blending mode to Overlay at 40% Opacity.

Displacement effect tutorial Part 2

Use a bokeh effect

Create a new layer on top of the clouds layer, then load and apply the supplied ‘Bokeh brush.abr’. Activate Shape Dynamics, Scattering and  Transfer in the Brush Preset options, then set Spacing up to 100% in the Brush Tip settings.

Apply the brush using yellow ochres and magentas, and then set the layer’s Opacity between 45% and 50%. Finally, add Gaussian Blur and Motion Blur to create some authentic bokeh effects.

Displacement effect tutorial Part 2

Retouch the model

Add a Selective Color adjustment layer, setting the colour options to Neutrals at 20, -10, -100 and 10. Invert the mask and paint to the eyes with a soft white brush.

Add another Selective Color layer and set the colour options to Red at -55, 0, 0 and 0 then Neutrals at -40, 15, -40 and 5. Invert  the mask and apply a soft white brush to the lips.

Displacement effect tutorial Part 2

Sharpen things up

All that’s left to do is sharpen the edges in the image, but we don’t want to sharpen the textured surfaces too much. In this case, instead of using Sharpen filters, apply a High Pass layer.

Press Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+Shift+E to merge all layers into a new layer then apply Filter>Other>High Pass. Set the Radius between 4 and 8 pixels, click OK then add an Overlay blending mode. You can tweak the opacity to determine the strength.

Displacement effect tutorial Part 2

Final image

Displacement effect tutorial Part 2

Check out Part 1 of this tutorial here