Create a photo effect in Photoshop style GTA

Note: The author used paid materials. In the archive you will find an alternative version of the images to perform the lesson.

1. Create a document

Step 1

To begin, open the photo with which we will work. To do this, go File – Open (File – Open), select the image and click on the OK button. Before proceeding, we check several document parameters:

  • Photo should be in color mode Rgb 8 bits/ channel (RGB 8 bits / channel). To check this, go Image – Mode (Image – Mode).
  • For the result to be of the highest quality, the size of the document must be between 1500-3500 pixels in width / height. To check this, go Image – Image Size (Image – Image size).
  • The working photo must be a background layer. If you are wrong, go Layer – New – Background from Layer (Layer – New – Layer from the background).

Step 2

Now we crop the photo to remove the extra parts. To do this, activate the tool Crop Tool (C) (Cropping) and drop the upper side of the cropping frame.

2. Create the effect of GTA

Step 1

Having finished with preparation of the document, in this section we will begin to create the effect of GTA on our photo. Create a new layer Layer – New – Layer (Layer – New – Layer) and call it “Temporary 1”.

Step 2

Now press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E to create a combined copy of all visible layers, then use Image – Adjustments – Shadows/ Highlights (Image – Correction – Shadows / Light), set Shadows (Shadows) by 10% and Highlights (Light) – by 2%:

Step 3

Create another new layer Layer – New – Layer (Layer – New – Layer) (or Ctrl + Shift + N) and call it “Temporary 2”.

Step 4

Now press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E to create a combined copy of all layers, and apply a filter to it Filter – Sharpen – Sharpen (Filter – Sharpness – Sharpness). Then press the key combination Ctrl + F to re-apply the filter.

Step 5

Switch the blending mode of this layer to Soft Light (Soft light) apply filter Filter – Other – High Pass (Filter – Other – Color Contrast) and set Radius (radius) 1.5 pixels, as shown below:

Step 6

With the Ctrl key held down, select the Temporary 1 and Temporary 2 layers, then press Ctrl + E to merge them together.

Step 7

Apply Filter – Stylize – Diffuse (Filter – Stylization – Diffusion) and install Mode (Mode) on Anisotropic (Anisotropic).

Step 8

Now go Edit – Transform – Rotate 90 Clockwise (Edit – Transform – Rotate 90 clockwise) to rotate this layer 90 degrees clockwise. Then press Ctrl + F to reapply the last filter.

Step 9

Apply again Edit – Transform – Rotate 90 Clockwise (Edit – Transform – Rotate 90 clockwise) to rotate this layer 90 degrees clockwise. Then press Ctrl + F to apply the last filter again.

Step 10

Rotate the layer 180 degrees Edit – Transform – Rotate 180 (Editing – Transforming – Rotate 180), then go Filter – Sharpen – Smart Sharpen (Filter – Sharpness – Smart Sharpness) and set Amount (Effect) at 250%, Radius (Radius) – 1.5 pixels and Remove (Delete) – on Gaussian Blur (Gaussian blur).

Step 11

Apply filter Filter – Noise – Reduce Noise (Filter – Noise – Reduce noise), set Strength (Intensity) by 5, Preserve Details (Save details) – by 0%, Reduce Color Noise (Reduce the color noises) – by 54% and Sharpen Details (Details of sharpness) – by 0%, as shown below:

Step 12

Now create a new layer. Layer – New – Layer (Layer – New – Layer) and call it “Temporary 3”.

Step 13

Hit Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E to create a merged copy of the visible layers, then apply a filter to it Filter – Filter Gallery – Artistic – Cutout (Filter – Filter Gallery – Imitation – Application). Install Number of Levels (Number of levels) by 4, Edge Simplicity (Simplicity of edges) – to 0 and Edge Fidelity (Sharpness of edges) – by 3.

Step 14

Switch the blending mode of this layer to Soft Light (Soft light) and reduce the opacity to 56%.

Step 15

With the Ctrl key pressed, select both temporary layers and merge them together by pressing the Ctrl + E keys. Then call this layer “GTA Effect”.

3. Create a Stroke

Step 1

In this section, we will create a stroke around the model. Select the layer Background (Background), hide the “GTA Effect” layer by clicking on the eye button next to the layer name on the layers panel, activate Quick Selection Tool (W) (Quick selection) and select the background. Use the Shift and Alt keys to add / remove the selection. Then press Ctrl + Shift + I to invert the selection and get the selection around the model.

Step 2

Now go Select – Modify – Smooth (Select – Modify – Smooth) and set the Sample Radius (Radius) to 5 pixels. Then select the “GTA Effect” layer and turn on its visibility, then create a new layer Layer – New – Layer (Layer – New – Layer) and call it “Stroke”.

Step 3

Activate Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) (Rectangular selection), set the foreground color to # 000000, right-click on the working canvas and select Stroke (Run a stroke). In the dialog box that opens, install Width (Width) by 5 pixels, Location (Location) – on Outside (Outside), Mode (Mode) – on Normal (Normal) and Opacity (Opacity) – 100%, as shown below:

4. Perform final color correction.

Step 1

In this section, we will create several adjustment layers. Hit the D key to reset the colors to standard black and white, then create a gradient layer Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map) and call it “Total Contrast”.

Step 2

Switch the blending mode of this layer to Soft Light (Soft light) and reduce the opacity to 26%.

Step 3

Create a new adjustment layer Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Levels (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Levels) and call it “Total Brightness”.

Step 4

Double click on the thumbnail of this layer to open its settings on the panel Properties (Properties). We configure it as shown below:

Step 5

Create a layer Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue/ Saturation (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation) and call it “Total Saturation”.

Step 6

Double click on the thumbnail of the adjustment layer and customize it on the properties panel:

Step 7

Create a layer Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer – New adjustment layer – Curves) and call it “Color”.

Step 8

Double click on the thumbnail of the adjustment layer and on the property bar, set it up:

Step 9

Create the last adjustment layer Layer – New Adjustment Layer – brightness/ Contrast (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Brightness / Contrast) and call it “Background Brightness”.

Step 10

On the layers panel, click on the mask of the last adjustment layer to select it. Take Brush Tool (B) (Brush), set the foreground color to # 000000 and draw over the model to remove the effect of the adjustment layer.

Step 11

Double click on the thumbnail of the adjustment layer and on the property bar, set it up:

We are done!

Here is the final result:

Author: Marko Kozokar

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