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Get Inked with Photoshop and No Needles

I would love a tattoo…but I’m terrified of needles. That makes it impossible to get inked. So I guess the next best thing is to do it in Photoshop!

1. First we need to create a map for the distortion. Later this will tell Photoshop through the use of light and dark tones how we want to displace another image. . In fact, we’re using the same image to make the displacement map and use it’s own tones. To do this we need a grey scale image. [How displacement works is a tutorial of its own and one a Nut will cover soon TS]

Turn the image into a greyscale or black and white image. There’s a couple of ways to do this but the quickest, and the way I use here is to press the keyboard shortcut Shift+Ctrl+U. This desaturates the image.
This works best if there is a slight blur on the image so from the menu choose; Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and add just a touch of blur, maybe 2-4 pixels depending on your image.
Save it as tatoo.psd. It’s very important to save it as a .psd file!
2. Open image again
3. Place the image of the tattoo on the top layer.
4. Change the Layer Mode to Linear Burn and lower it’s Fill Opacity to 40 to 50%
5. From the menu choose Filter>Distort>Displace. This will bring up this dialogue box that sadly has no preview so it kind of comes down to practice and trial and error to know what figures to put here.
6.  A dialog box will ask you to choose a Displacement Map: Go find the  tattoo.psd that you saved earlier. (Once this has been used you can delete the grey image from your hard drive. Photoshop doesn’t refer to it again)
And there we are, instant ink and no needle.
More:  Next Photoshop Evangelist
About Andie Smith (10 Articles)
Andie Smith is a Dallas-based freelance photographer, specializing in editorial and fine art photography. Andie’s favorite artistic expression has always been photography. As a child, she fell in love with the art while vacationing with her family. Even now, when she looks at those photos, she is instantly transported back in time to experience those moments again – the sights, the sounds, the smells, the people. It is Andie’s hope that her photography evokes a similar response in all her clients. She realized photography was more than just a hobby while studying graphic design at The Art Institute – Dallas. Andie knew she had the skills to succeed as a photographer, so she jetted off to southern Florida where she studied photography at The Art Institute – Fort Lauderdale. Andie’s favorite photography subjects are aircrafts and Americana (especially main streets).
Contact: Website

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