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Transparent Clothing in Photoshop

Posted on 23rd November 2017
For this Tutorial, we are going to use an image of a person with evenly toned clothing and a nice background. In some cases, you will have to “cut” the person out of the image. (It’s always better to use an image with a neutral background or maybe one that has the background already erased. You can find some Mockups at


1 – Open your image in Photoshop. We are going to change the background and make his clothes transparent. Since our image is a bit dull we wanted to give it a bit more contrast so we went to Image > Adjustments > Levels (Command/Control + L) and applied the “Increase Contrast 2” preset.

2 – Duplicate your image by dragging it to the “New Layer” button at the bottom of your “Layers” panel. Select the “Pen Tool” (P) zoom in as much as you can and start drawing a path around the person. Make it as accurate as you can, but don’t worry because we are going to fix the details later.

3 – After closing your path go to the “Paths” menu and Command/Control click on top of the Work Path” thumbnail to make a selection and then go back to the “Layers” menu, select your “Background copy” layer and click on the “Add Layer Mask” button at the bottom and create a “Layer Mask”.

4 – Turn off your “Background” layer visibility by clicking on the little eye icon to the left of the layer thumbnail and then select “Background copy” mask. Select the “Brush Tool” (B) and use a small soft brush to “erase (black)” or “add (white)” to the contour of your person. (Make sure you selected the “Mask” thumbnail). You can change the dimension of your brush to reach make it easier to reach some spots.

5 – Now, let’s select the T-Shirt. Click on the Image thumbnail this time and with the “Magic Wand” (W) click on the shirt. To add to that click the “Add to Selection” option in the upper menu and keep selecting different portions of the shirt. If you see that the selection is grabbing too much of the image outside the shirt you can reduce the “Tolerance” to about 10. Then you can finish up with the “Lasso Tool” (L) remembering to click the “Add or Subtract to Selection” buttons.

6 – Activate your “Layer Mask” again and making sure your “Foreground” color is black click “Alt + Backspace” to erase the shirt. Keep your selection active and select your image thumbnail to select it, then click “Command/Control + J”. This will create a New Layer and paste the shirt into it. Give the layer a name and deactivate it.

7 – Zoom in and check your “Background copy” layer. If you see some visible pixels select your “Brush Tool” (B) and do the same as you did in “Step 5” to fix it. Then Select and activate your “Shirt” layer and remove the color from it by clicking “Shift + Command/Control + U” to Desaturate it, then change the “Blend Mode” to Overlay”.

8 – Paste the image you chose for the new background on top of the first one. If your original image is to small you can select and “drag” your “Shirt” and “Background copy” layers to your new Background image and the position them wherever you like.

9 – Some finishing touches. Go to the “Adjustments” menu and create a new “Levels Adjustment Layer”, click on the little “Mask” button to clip it to the “Shirt” layer and darken the “Midtones” and lighten the “Highlights” a bit. This will make the contour of the shirt a bit more defined.

10 – Right-click on top of your “Shirt” layer and select “Duplicate Layer” and in choose “New” when asked in which document to save it. In the new document go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a “Radius” of 2 pixels. Save your file as a PSD.

11 – Go to your original file and select your new background layer right-click on top of it and select “Convert to Smart Object and go to Filter > Distort > Displace, keep the default values and choose the “Shirt” file you just saved.

12 – Select the “Smart Filter” layer mask and click “Command/Control I” to invert it. While holding the “Command/Control” key click on the “Shirt” layer to make a selection and go to the “Smart Filter” mask and making sure your “Foreground” color is White press “Alt + Backspace”. This should apply the displacement mask to the shirt only. Click “Command/Control + D” to deselect.

13 – If you think the effect is no that visible, double-click on the “Displace Filter” and increase the values.

14 – Check your results.

by @lornacane

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