Design a Horror Looking, Extreme Grungy Style Poster in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the processes involved in creating this Horror Looking, Extreme Grungy Style Poster in Photoshop.

Along the way, we will be using Photoshop techniques such as the Extract filter, layer blending effects, masking, a variety of photo filtering tools and image adjustment tools. I would like to put emphasis towards the Extract Filter and show you what you can do with the tool when it comes to complex selection (e.g. hair selection).

This is an intermediate tutorial and can be a bit tricky, but why not have a try :)

Here is a preview of my final effect:


Alternative version:


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OK let’s get started!

To complete this tutorial, you will need the following stocks:

Wedding Skirt Stock

Grungy brushset

Step 1

Load the “Wedding skirt stock” image into Photoshop. Now what we need to achieve is to take the model out and seperate it from the rest of the image.

You may use any selection tools you like (Pen Tool, Lasso Tool, Magic Wand) to do this, however I feel the most convenient tool here is in fact the Extract Filter (located under Filter > Extract or shortcut Ctrl + Alt + X). The reason is because with Extract Filter, you can easily make a selection around the model’s hair – which would be difficulty if you use any other selection tools.

So Go to Filter > Extract and click on the marker on the top left corner: (I used a brush size of 40px)


Mark around the model as shown below:


Then click on the Paint bucket under the marker:


Fill the inside area as shown below:


Click on the “OK” button and you will see the background around the model disappears. Now create a new document sized 2400px * 3600px with 200 dpi resolution, use the Movel Tool (V) and drag the model onto the new document.

Now you may see under the model’s right arm there is a portion of the texture isn’t removed. We can easily fix this by using Magic Wand tool to make a selection:


Go to Edit > Clear and you will see it’s now removed:


Here is the overall effect so far – you may see the edge of the model appears to be torned. I was going to the correct this, but in the end decided to leave it as it is for the final effect. Be aware this was created from the Extract Filter and because the brush size I used. You can avoid this by changing the brush size to a smaller one in Extract Filter.


Name this layer as “Model” and prepare for some Photo Retouching fun!

Step 2

Duplicate this model layer Once. Apply the following blending mode to the duplicated layer:

Blending Mode: Multiply

Opacity: 100%

Go to Filter > Brush strokes > sumi -e and apply the following settings:


Then apply the following Layer Mask to this duplicated layer: (Tip: use the Gradient Tool to achieve this effect)


Duplicate this layer twice, keep the blending mode of those two layers as “Muliply”, but drop their opacity to 60%. You will have the following effect:


Step 3

Duplicate the original “Model” layer once again and drag this duplicated layers on top of all other layers.

On the first (bottom) duplicated layer, apply the following Gaussian Blur settings:


Change the blending mode of this layer to “Screen” and add a layer mask to it. On the mask, use the Eraser Tool to ereser some random areas on the shirt so to create some lighting depth:


After erasing, duplicate this layer once and change the blending mode to “Soft light”, here is th effect so far:


Step 4

Duplicate the original “Model” layer one more time and drag it on top of all other layers, apply the following High Pass filter (Filter > other > high pass) to it:


Change the layer blending mode to “Hard Light” and you will have the following effect:


Optional Step: to add some extra smoothness and lighting contrast to the image, you can duplicate the original “Model” layer one more time, apply the following Gaussian Blur settings:


Change the blending mode to “Screen” and add a layer mask to the layer, erase the following parts on the mask:


Here is the effect so far:


Step 5

On top of all previous layers, add the following two adjustment layers (Layer > new adjustment layer > …)



Black and White


Create a new layer called “colour” on top of those two adjustment layers, set its blending mode to “overlay” and opacity to 40% and use a dark brown brush to paint over the following area:


Add another Curves Adjustment layer on top of the “colour” layer, apply the following settings:


Here is the effect so far:


Step 6

Now let add some background textre to it. Create a new layer just above the background layer, use the Grungy brushset to over it (try out different brush flow and opacity settings), here is my effect so far:


To add a bit more texture effect, we can create a new layer fill with Black colour, go to Filter > Render > Fiber and apply the following settings:


Change the blending mode to “Soft light” and drop the opacity to 55%, you will have the following effect:


Ok that’s it for this tutorial! You can of course add some of your own texture or filter effect and see what the end results are!

Here is my final image for this tutorial: (I slightly adjusted the colour contrast and add some motion blur effect) – Click to enlarge:


Alternative version:


Hope you enjoy this tutorial, drop me a comment if you have any question, I will try my best to help you out.

Cheers and have a nice day!

Categories: Photo Effect

Tags: ,,,,,

  • joyoge designers’ bookmark

    nice work I like she’s clothes, thanks for the tut..

  • Steve

    A nice tutorial, but I find it confusing with all the duplicate layers. (Duplicate this layer twice, Duplicate the original layer one more time) A picture, or a numer to each layer of the woman would make it more easier.

  • huwaw69

    As expected on you man! very cool, the background of the image is really awesome, thanks for the free brush too…

  • tariq mahmood

    This is Awesome tutorial and i learned a lot and i hope you teach us and a lot of other effects you will show us that how to make that effects. thanks and goodbey. takecare yourself

  • Arkady

    You don’t have the balls to open up your site to real comments then James.

  • admin

    @Arkady: well you’re obviously the god of Photoshop and Graphic Design :)
    why not throw me some Constructive comments? We’re all benefit from your expert advice!

  • admin

    @tariq: tutorials can give you a guideline, instead of totally relying on tuts, try use your own creativity :) That’s why for most of my tutorial here I try to show an alternative effect.

  • FilthyInsomniac

    This is great just what i was looking for exactly what i needed thanks so much.

  • Tri wahyudi

    A very good lesson for me is new to photography

  • layer

    Interesting photomanipulation but as mentioned above layer’s issue is really confusing hence tutorial is difficult to follow and discouraging.

  • Dylan

    good effect.
    some confusing sets tho (ie. On the first (bottom) duplicated layer) this was very confusing to try and follow.
    you should have included your layer palette so that it could be seen what layers you were talking about, but great work and great effect =D.

  • Eugenio

    Too amazing. The changes you make sometimes are really subtle but add a lot to the final image.

    Thanks for this tutorial, I’ll be sure to do it.

  • steve

    some people cant spell

  • Hedda

    Nice effects, I like the combination! I agree with Dylan, there are some confusing bits, mostly related to where layers are supposed to be. A few screenshots of your PS layers pallette would be useful. Cheers!

  • CgBaran Tuts

    Great tutorial thanks

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  • yawan

    hai.. its cool tutor.
    I think its better to make it also in pdf file to easy to try any time. so we can download it.

    thank you !!

  • worioh

    awesome yehhh

  • Liz

    I can’t find the “Black and White” adjustment layer. I’m using CS2

  • Liz

    ohhhh CS2 doesn’t have it, does it? (I googled it, which I should have done in the first place :P) Is there some way I could get the same effect?

  • Liz

    Oh, CS2 doesn’t have it, huh? (I googled it, like I should have done at first, sorry) Is there some way to get the same effect, though? (I’m new to photoshop, before I was using GIMP2.0 and I’m using these tuts to get used to the program :P)

  • Liz

    sorry i posted it twice

  • Aaron

    Hi, could you mail me the brush set? I am in school and some how the firewall blocks the download site for the brush set because it says the website contains illegal drugs. So, could you ( the author, or anyone else ) send me a mail with the brush sets? or put it on megaupload or something. THanks.

  • nkhat

    thank you for this tuto. but why don’t make video tutorials????>

  • James

    @nkhat: I found it too time-consuming for editing or so on, especially with those photo manip tuts.
    Good point though, I will make some for mini-tuts for beginners I think in the future.

  • Reaper

    you are great man! god bless you =)

  • adijuh

    long been interested in this topic, thanks for the lesson

  • adijuh

    Waiting to continue, thanks in advance

  • Jhuliano

    Cara Parabéns achei o Tutorial muito Legal, as explicação ficaram perfeita. Parabéns

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  • alex

    nice one i liked it