Photoshop: How to Create Vintage, Retro-style, Graphic Portraits


Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. I’m going to show you how to create vintage,
matchbook-style portraits from photos that simplify shapes and contours, intensify colors & contrast and infuse them with color halftone dot patterns. Before we begin, if you’re not already a subscriber
to Blue Lightning TV, click that small “Subscribe” button at the lower, right corner. If my tutorials have helped you learn or improve
in Photoshop and maybe even inspired your creativity, show your support by becoming
my patron for as little as 2 bucks a month. You can cancel anytime or continue to support
my channel for as long as you like. Open a photo of a face that you’d like to
use for this project. I downloaded this one from Shutterstock. To ensure that your results will look similar
to mine, check your photo’s size and resolution. To do this, go to Image and Image Size. Make its width and height approximately between
800 and 1200 pixels and its resolution 72 pixels per inch. The first step is to separate your subject
from its background by making a selection around the subject. There are many ways to do this and I covered
them all in my tutorials. I find that in most cases, I use the Quick
Selection Tool for its versatility and ease. If you’re using this tool as well, make its
Radius anywhere between 5 and 15 pixels and drag your tool over the inside of your subject. To remove areas outside your subject, press
and hold Alt or Option as you drag over those areas. To refine its edges, go to Select. If you’re using a version earlier than CC
2015.5, click “Refine Edge”, however, if you’re using CC 2015.5 or later, click “Select and
Mask” or you can open “Refine Edge” by Shift-clicking it. I did in-depth tutorials on both of these
filters, so if you’d like to watch them, I included their links are in my video’s description
below. Check “Smart Radius”. This let’s Photoshop know which edges are
soft & feathery edges and which edges are hard. Drag the Radius a bit to the right. To adjust the size of your brush, make sure
your CapsLock key is off and press the left or right bracket key on your keyboard. Drag over the soft edges of your subject like the hair. Check “Decontaminate colors” to prevent color
fringing onto the edges of your subject from the background. Output it to a “New Layer with Layer Mask”. Then, click OK. We’ll convert it into a Smart Object, so we
can modify it non-destructively. To do this, click the icon at the upper, right
corner and click, “Convert to Smart Object”. Make a copy of it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd
+ J. Name the copy, “Color Halftone” and temporarily hide the layer. Make the bottom layer active. We’ll make a new layer above it by clicking
the New Layer icon. We’ll fill the empty layer with any color
for now. The color doesn’t matter since we’re going
to add a gradient overlay. I’ll fill it with my background color, which
is white by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + Delete. Double-click the layer to open its Layer Style window. Click “Gradient Overlay” and the gradient bar. Click the “Black, White” box and click OK. The Blend Mode is Normal and make the opacity 80%. Check “Reverse” and “Align with Layer. Make the Style: Radial, the Angle: 30 degrees
and the Scale 125%. If the gradient isn’t centered in the Preview
window, simply drag the gradient and release until it looks centered in the Preview window. We’ll brighten the detail in the darkest tones
of our subject by first making our visible subject layer active going to Image, Adjustments
and “Shadows/Highlights”. Drag the Shadows amount slider all the way
to the left to show the photo as it normally looks and then slowly drag the slider to the
right until the darker areas brighten just enough. Next, we’ll add a strong surface blur to our
subject, which will ultimately give it an overall smoothness, while preserving its edges. Go to Filter, Blur and “Surface Blur”. Make the Radius: 10 and the Threshold: 50. Double-click the “Blending Options” icon and
open your list of Blend Modes. Click “Lighten”. As I toggle back and forth, you can see the difference. Next, we’ll soften the focus of the pixels
that have the least change in color. Go to Filter, Stylize and Diffuse. Tick “Anisotropic”. We’ll give it a painterly look by going back
to Filter, Stylize and “Oil Paint”. The Stylization is 4, the Cleanliness is 10,
the Scale is 0.1 and the Bristle Detail is 10. Make sure Lighting is unchecked. Next, we’ll increase the contrast of edge
detail, which creates the illusion of a sharper image. Go back to Filter, Sharpen and “Unsharp Mask”. Increase the amount to 270%, the Radius: 40
pixels and the Threshold: 20 levels. Next, we’ll reveal the detail in the eyes. Make the Layer Mask active. Open your Brush Tool and Brush Picker. Picks a soft, round brush. Make the Size 10 pixels, the Hardness 0% and
the Opacity and Flow both 100%. Carefully brush inside the eyes to reveal
their irises and pupils. Let’s save some space in the Layers panel
by clicking this tiny icon to hide the Smart Filters. Make the top layer visible and active and
change its Blend Mode to “Soft Light”. Go to Filter, Pixelate and “Color Halftone”. Make the Maximum Radius: 4 pixels. The Screen Angles are 108, 162, 90 and 45. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!

13 Replies to “Photoshop: How to Create Vintage, Retro-style, Graphic Portraits”

  1. Hey Marty, great video.
    I have a random question that I would like to ask.
    If i have a layer in a blend mode, let us say screen for example, but i want to get that layer back to the normal 'blend mode' WITH the effect of the screen blend mode still applied, how do I go about doing that?
    Thank you so much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *