Ghosting An Image With Photoshop

Ghosting An Image With Photoshop

In this Photoshop effects tutorial, we’re going to look at a way to give a photo a more “ghostly” appearance. I’m a fan of horror films, but I admit I’m a bit shallow in that I usually just watch them for the special effects. I’m usually sitting there thinking to myself, “I wonder how they did that”. So while playing around in Photoshop one night, I came up with this little technique for taking a living, breathing person and making them appear more like a ghost, which is why I called it”ghosting an image”. It’s a simple effect with only a few steps involved and they’re easy to do.

Of course, as with most photo effects, it helps if you start with the right type of image. A photo of your kids playing at the beach on a summer afternoon may not be the best choice. Then again, you never know till you try it.

Using Photoshop CS6 or Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud)? Check out the fully updated version of this tutorial!

Here’s the photo I’ll be starting with:

And here’s the “ghosting” effect we’re after:

This tutorial is from our Photo Effects series. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Copy The Background Layer

As always, we never want to work directly on our Background layer, since it contains our original pixel information, so the first thing I’m going to do is copy it. I’m a big fan of naming layers and you should be too, so I’m going to use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+J (Win) / Command+Option+J (Mac) to bring up the New Layer dialog box. I’m going to name my Background copy layer desaturated, and we’ll see why in a moment:

This gives me a copy of my Background layer in the Layers palette, which Photoshop has named “desaturated”:

Step 2: Desaturate The Background Copy Layer

With my “desaturated” layer selected in the Layers palette, I’m going to, you guessed it, desaturate it to remove all the colors. To do that, I’ll use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+U (Win) / Command+Shift+U (Mac). The image now appears black and white:

Step 3: Copy The “Desaturated” Layer

I need to make a copy of my “desaturated” layer at this point, so with it selected in the Layers palette, I’ll use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+J (Win) / Command+Option+J (Mac) once again to bring up the New Layer dialog box. This time, I’ll name the layer “motion blur”:

I now have three layers in my Layers palette, including my new “motion blur” layer at the top:

Step 4: Apply The Motion Blur Filter

I feel like I’m giving away the endings with my layer names, but oh well. With the “motion blur” layer selected, go up to the Filter menu at the top of the screen, select Blur, and then select Motion Blur. This brings up the “Motion Blur” dialog box. Normally you’d apply a motion blur to an object that’s, you know, in motion, but applying it to a stationary object tends to give it a ghost-like effect, which is what we’re after. When the dialog box appears, set the Angle to zero degrees, and then drag the slider bar at the bottom to the right to increase the Distance value until your image is blurred out quite a bit. Here I’ve set mine to 95 pixels:

Here’s my image after applying the Motion Blur filter:

Step 5: Add A Layer Mask To The “Motion Blur” Layer

Our image already looks a little spooky with the motion blur applied, but now we’re going to bring back some of her face, and we’re going to do that using a layer mask. With the “motion blur” layer selected, click on the “Add Layer Mask” icon at the bottom of the Layers palette:

This adds a layer mask to the “motion blur” layer:

Step 6: Paint With Black On The Layer Mask To Reveal Some Of The Face

Grab your Brush tool from the Tools palette, or press B on your keyboard to quickly select it. Then press D on your keyboard to make sure black is selected as your foreground color (Note: If your layer mask was already selected when you pressed “D”, your foreground color will actually become white, since white is the default foreground color for a layer mask. If that’s the case, simply press X to swap the foreground and background colors, which will set your foreground color to black). Go up to the Options Bar at the top of the screen and lower the opacity of your brush to around 10%:

This will allow you to paint the face back in gradually. Click on the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers palette to select it if it’s not already selected (it will have a highlight border around it if it’s selected), and then with a large, soft-edged brush and black as your foreground color, paint over the middle area of the face in short, gradual strokes to bring back some of the eyes, nose and mouth, leaving the rest blurred out. Be sure to stay well within the boundaries of the face so everything blurs out nicely from the center:

Step 7: Merge All Of The Layers Onto A New Layer

We’re going to merge all three layers onto a new layer at this point, and we can do that with the keyboard shortcut Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E (Win) / Shift+Command+Option+E (Mac), which takes all three layers and merges them onto a brand new layer at the top of the Layers palette. Double-click on the name of the layer and rename it to merged:

Step 8: Apply The “Diffuse Glow” Filter To The Merged Layer

With the new “merged” layer selected, go up to the Filter menu at the top of the screen, select Distort, and then select Diffuse Glow. This brings up Photoshop’s Filter Gallery (it doesn’t actually say Filter Gallery anywhere at the moment but it’s the Filter Gallery) set to the Diffuse Glow filter options. You may have to play around with the three options a little depending on the image you’re using, but for my image, I’ve set Graininess to 3, Glow Amount to 10, and Clear Amount also to 10 as circled below:

Here’s my image after applying the “Diffuse Glow” filter:

Step 9: Add A Solid Color Fill Layer

All that’s left to do now is add a little color, so with the “merged” layer still selected, click on the New Fill Or Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette:

Select Solid Color from the top of the list:

This will bring up Photoshop’s Color Picker. I’m going to choose a green color:

Click OK once you’ve chosen a color to exit out of the Color Picker. You’re image will now be filled entirely with the solid color, so we’ll fix that next.

Step 10: Change The Blend Mode Of The Fill Layer To “Color” And Lower The Opacity

With the Solid Color fill layer selected, go up to the layer blend mode options in the top left of the Layers palette, click on the down-pointing arrow beside the word “Normal” and change the blend mode to Color. This will colorize the image with the color you’ve chosen (green in my case). The color will most likely be too intense though, so move over to the right to the Opacity option at the top of the Layers palette and lower the opacity to reduce the intensity. I’ve lowered mine considerably, all the way down to 11% for just a hint of color:

And we’re done! Here is the final “ghosting” effect:

And there we have it! That’s how to give a photo a ghostly appearance with Photoshop! Check out our Photo Effects section for more Photoshop effects tutorials!

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As Halloween season is approaching its highest, we see a touch of spook almost everywhere. Especially in the advertising and design industry, there are Halloween-themed artworks.

If you’re looking to create creepy Halloween artwork, here are some cool Photoshop tutorials to get help from. From photo manipulation to text effects, this list caters to different Photoshop techniques with detailed tutorials. Let’s take a look.

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Halloween Pumpkin Wallpaper

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Step 3

Now we can start making our text effect. First choose a type tool and change font to Times New Yorker, size around 174 pt and anti-aliasing Sharp. Now type your text somewhere in the center of the image. You can write any word, but in this tutorial I’ll use “SCARY”. All letters uppercase.

Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon and choose Gradient.

Create a Transparent to Fill Color gradient using the colors #747474 to the left and #000000 to the right.

Change the Style to Radial and the Scale to 200.

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This completes our awesome roundup of Halloween Photoshop tutorials. Some are fun, some are scary and some are downright freaky! Which one was your favorite? What Halloween effects have you created with Photoshop?

1. Using a variety of Layers:

One of the essential features of Photoshop is layering. It allows designers to create layers of images over the other or many images over each other for creating interesting effects. By making using of layering, you can superimpose a subject’s face on a picture that has a scary element in it, for instance, we have taken an example of a hooded skull. After you superimpose the image, you need to make use of the Pen Tool and create a precise outline of the subject’s face. You can then cut this marked area in such a way that it looks as if the subject is wearing a hood.

After the underlying layer has been created, you can lock that layer, and work on a new layer. Now use standard paintbrush tool and paint the eyeballs red. Go just a little out of the eyeball’s area to give an illusion that the eyes are bleeding. You can also hint blood at the bottom rim of the eyelid. Now you need to work on the lower layer. Pull it out of some regions of the face, for creating an impression that there is a skull make up. Now search for a cracked surface image, and create another layer of it. And finally, blend the cracked surface in proportion to the subjects face by fading it to match the skin texture.

30+ Grisly Halloween Photoshop Tutorials

Master a convincing dreadful effects with these catchy brilliant Photoshop techniques – a special and realistic Halloween tutorials edition. In this Photoshop tutorial showcase we have gathered more as 30 tuts to add a creepy effects to your photos and design. Learn, photo manipulation and some easy techniques to get the best results of your designs. Keep a good mood and enjoy.

Dark Light Premium Photoshop Action

To create a dark light effect in Photoshop we’ll use the Levels adjustment.

Create a new layer and call it Decay Crack Effect. Use these Decay and Crack Brushes to add cracks over the image like shown in the screenshot.

Set the Fill of the Decay Crack Effect to 0% and add an Inner Shadow and a Color Overlay style.

To increase the contrast and to add more drama let’s add a Curves adjustment layer.

If you want you can add one of these grunge texture backgrounds in a new layer with an Overlay blend mode. I used this wood grunge texture for this manipulation. Also I added a Gradient Map adjustment with Color blend mode and 62% opacity level. The colors for the gradient are: color: #0e2f3a / location 0% , #612f10 / location 60% , #dac691 / location 100% . You can use of course any color tones you like for example bloody red colors.

For the final touches you can now return to the Worm and Root layers and simply reposition, erase some of the worms, increase contrast, etc. The final step is to add a sharp crisp look to the image. To sharpen images you have to use the Photoshop High Pass Filter technique. Don’t skip this step. You can add two high pass layers for more sharper details.

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If you’re looking for amazing textures and backgrounds for Photoshop, explore Textures4Photoshop where you can find 1000+ unique images. You can download all these textures and backgrounds for free to use in personal or commercial projects!

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