How to Convert a Portrait to Dead Wood using Photoshop


Another day, another Photoshop tutorial. As usual, I got an image with a close-up of a pretty face, and I’m not going to do anything good to it 🙂

Today I’ll add  a sad dead wood effect to face of this young lady in the picture. This kind of effects are not just made for fun, they are great for creating outdoor advertisements, print media ads, and visual designers can use the Photoshop file to make some stunning visual effects as well. Keep following these tutorials, they will gear you up for creating good photo manipulations. And I’m going to make some image manips very soon.

I saw this image on a webinar about young girls and their parents. Here’s the Link. There I saw this photo and immediately I felt that some photoshopping can enhance this photo a great deal.

Final Result

From This

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To This

Free Wood effect tutorial

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Step 1

Take any image of your choice.

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Step 2

Select the pen tool and make the selection of the area on which this “Wood Effect” will be applied. Once the path (selection) is complete, press CTRL + Enter, this will convert the path to a new marquee selection. Now copy these pixels (A marquee tool has to be selected to copy a selection) into a new layer. We’ll call this new layer Face Layer.

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Step 3

This step is tricky.

First convert your image into grayscale by using Image > Adjustment > Black & White and put these values for gray scaling:

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Now select Face Layer apply another gray-scaling. Using the same command of Image > Adjustment > Black & White and put these values for gray-scaling, but this time, only to the Face Area. With this gray scaling, we are enhancing the tones of the face and it will look a lot expressive. This is a good practice for converting colored images to Black and White.

Free Wood effect tutorials

Step 4

Now let’s boost the shine of the eyes by making it more sharp with Sharp Tool. Just click and drag (like using brush tool) over the eyes.

Free Wood tutorial on real image in photoshop

Step 5

Now, deactivate all the layers except Face Layer. That’s where we’ll make the desired wood effect. The preview should be like the Image Below.

Free Photoshop tutorial

Wallpaper to wood effect – grab from here and it is created by Omphaloskepsis99

Let’s get to some serious business now:

  1. Open the texture image
  2. Put this image as a new layer on top of Face Layer.  This new layer would now be called Texture Layer.
  3. Press Ctrl+Click on the texture layer thumbnail – the texture layer is now selected.
  4. Press Ctr+Click on the face selection layer – then only the face selection is selected.
  5. Press Ctrl+Shift+I – this Struck select the inverse of the face selection.
  6. Press Del.

After doing all this, you should have this get this selection.

 Free Wood effect tutorial in photoshop

Step 6

After deleting the inverse selection of the texture layer the result is this. Then change the layer Blend Mode to Overlay.

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Step 7

Now you should be getting this result. This in itself isn’t too bad, but it still lacks the professional touch.

Free photoshop effect tutorial

Step 8

Now is the time for Masks. Select these values of the color. Click on the Brush tool, select a soft brush and draw the mask.

…and change the layer blending mode to overlay.

Free Photoshop effect tutorial

Free Photoshop tutorial

Step 9

Double Mask

Add another mask, select these values of the color for the detailing and select the soft brush to draw the mask, just like we did in the previous step.

and again change the layer blending mode to overlay.

Free Photoshop tutorial

Free Photoshop tutorial

Final Result

Heureka, we’ve succeeded! Enjoy:

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Further Related Readings

  1. gcarterIT May 11, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I like this a lot. Simple, but very effective. This article would be good to repost around October 31st – Halloween.

    Good job!

    1. Tayyab May 11, 2011 at 11:07 am

      Good Idea @gcarterIT

      We’ll keep that in mind. 🙂 thanks for the comment.

  2. muneer July 19, 2011 at 5:31 am


    1. waseem July 23, 2011 at 6:08 am

      Thanks 🙂

  3. Ricardo July 30, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    The effect is wonderful, but the image itself lacks depth. Her face looks way too flat.

    1. waseem August 1, 2011 at 5:21 am

      Thank you for the suggestion I use this when I’m making the effect 🙂

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