How to Create The STRAIN Photo Retouch in Photoshop

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Learn how to create an effect similar to the “Strain” poster in Photoshop, using stock images, Puppet Warp, Layer Styles, Filters, and more!

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Eye image: http://icflw.co/1wtEbIH | Worms image: http://icflw.co/10uelK1

Tools used in this tutorial:

Adjustment Layers (Vibrance, Gradient Map, Curves): By using an Adjustment Layers, you’re able to change targeted areas of your photo without damaging the original layer. These can either be applied to the full image, or specific areas using selections or Layer Masks. At any point in the future, you can either make changes to the adjustment, hide it, or delete it completely.

Lasso Tool: This selection method acts as a freehand ‘brush’, allowing you to quickly and scrappily select parts of your image. To add to a selection, hold down your shift key. To subtract, hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac).

Quick Selection Tool: This selection method works very similar to a brush, allowing you to brush over the areas you wish to turn into a selection. By default, every stroke adds to your selection. If you wish to deselect some areas, hold down your Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) key and brush.

Puppet Warp: This transformation tool, found under the Edit menu, helps you bend and twist your layers into the exact shapes you’re aiming for. For best results, place a few anchor points around the layer in order to ‘ground’ it from moving, then drag the points you wish to move.

Layer Masks: If there’s an area of your layer that you wish to hide (or bring back), Layer Masks will help you do that. Painting using a black brush will hide portions of the layer, and painting with a white brush will reveal them.

This video is not affiliated with The Strain or FX.

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IceflowStudios is run by Howard Pinsky, providing FREE Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom video tutorials to the graphic design and photographer community. As an Adobe Community Professional, Howard’s Photoshop tutorials have been recognized by schools around the country, design blogs, and by Adobe. To date, the videos uploaded to the IceflowStudios YouTube channel and website have been viewed over 80 million times.

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