Design an Interesting Human Face Manipulation with Tree Roots Texture in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to Design an Interesting Facial Manipulation with Tree Roots Texture in Photoshop. This is an intermediate tutorial so some steps can be tricky, but why not have a try :)

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Along the way, we will practice some pen tool selection technique, image adjustments, layer mask and filter effect.

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Here is a preview of the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

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OK Let’s get started!

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


Roots – by Cat-in-the-Stock

Some Grunge Brushsets

Step 1

Create a new document with black background (size doesn’t really matter here, I used 700px * 700px). Load the portrait image into Photoshop, use Pen tool to select the face area:

Make this path a selection, copy an paste the selection onto our document, resize and place it in the centre:

Use a soft eraser to remove the edges of the face in order to blend it into the background:

Step 2

We will manipulate the face in this step – firstly, use the downloaded grunge brushes as eraser, erase some part of the face off as shown below:

Use the Burn Tool (Shadow, 15% exposure) on top of the following areas to prepare for the later adjustment layers:

Add the following 3 adjustment layers as clipping mask to this face layer:

Black and White



and here is the effect so far:

Step 3

Create a new layer under the face layer, use a soft orange brush to paint some fire shape as shown below:

Create another layer on top and paint some yellow colour with a soft brush:

Go back to the black and white adjustment layer in the previous step – on its adjustment layer, use a soft eraser to remove some parts around left eye:

Step 4

Now we will add the roots into the photo. Load the roots image into Photoshop and select a piece as shown below:

Copy and paste the selection onto the canvas, then apply this reduce noise filter to this texture:

Use a soft eraser to tidy up the edges, you will have the following effect:

Add the following 3 adjustment layers as clipping mask to this texture layer:

Black and White



and you will have the following effect:

Put all these layers into a layer folder, duplicate this folder a few times and scatter them around the face, as shown below:

You can also use the liquify filter to add some flowing effect around the edge of the roots, as shown below:

Step 5

Now we can add some overlay highlights around the eye and forehead area: use a soft brush with overlay blending mode to paint to the area shown below:

We can add some flying lines around the canvas: firstly we can draw a blue line with 1px hard brush:

Then use the liquify filter to warp this line as shown below to add some flowing effect:

Then, create a new layer on top of this blue line layer and set it clipping mask , use a soft white brush to paint a dot on the front tip of the line, change the blending mode of this white dot to “overlay”. This will add some highlight to this line:

Put those two layer into a folder, duplicate this folder a few times and scatter them around the canvas, as shown below:

You can also paint some lines over the left eye to add some motion into the picture:

Step 6

We’re almost done! In the final step, we can further add some grungy texture with the grunge brushsets we downloaded around the face area:

Use a colour balance adjustment layer around the left eye area to enhance it’s yellow colour:

Hint: draw a selection around the eye using a 20px feather lasso tool, then add a colour balance adjustment layer. This way mask will apply automatically on this adjustment layer.

I then further added some colour and light adjustments and here is the final effect I have: (click to enlarge)

That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy it and find it useful! Till next time, have a great day!


  • My name is James and I have been using Photoshop since version 5.0 (long time ago!). PSD Vault is my spare time hobby and I write majority of the Photoshop tutorials and articles here. I hope you enjoy my blog, and feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.

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