Add a Tattoo with Photoshop

Dateline: November 18, 2005
Version: Photoshop CS2

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To create a tattoo in Photoshop, you’ll use the Free Transform command, Gaussian Blur filter, and the Desaturate function. With these design elements, along with Layer modes, you’ll be able to place a tattoo on your chosen photo. If you need to rotate some pixels, the Free Transform command will get the job done. The Gaussian Blur filter will soften the look of an image for a desired effect. The Desaturate function will allow you to fade an image by neutralizing pixel color and equalizing the red, green, and blue components to a single value. This effect makes the tattoo take on a realistic look.
Begin by downloading the archive and extracting the two files it contains. Launch Photoshop and open the tattoo.psd file. Press F7 to show the Layers palette. With Layer 1 selected, choose Select > All (Command + A). Choose Edit > Copy (Command + C). Choose File > Close (Command + W). Open the bodybuilder.tif file and choose Edit > Paste (Command + V).
Choose Edit > Free Transform (Command + T). Use the options in the resulting Options bar and press Return twice. Using the Move tool (V), position the image on the arm as shown at left.
Choose Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Use the options in the resulting Gaussian Blur dialog box and click OK. In the Layers palette, set the Layer Mode to Multiply and the Opacity to 50%.
Drag the Background layer to the Create New Layer button to duplicate it, then move it to the top of the palette. Choose Image > Adjustments > Desaturate (Command + Shift + U).
Hold Option and place your cursor over the line between Background copy and Layer 1. When an interlocking circle appears, click to create a clipping group. Set the Layer Mode to Overlay.
The final image is shown at left (click to enlarge).

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