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How to create Metal-Like Skin

Last update:  12-31-1969

Submitted by Dreamypix

This tutorial was made in Photoshop CS2. This tutorial is created for Photoshop.

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Overall Recommendation





Expertise     6.7
Utility     3.2
Clarity     3.1
Relevance   5.6


Open your photo of choice-





Duplicate layer- On the Background copy, apply Image>Adjustments>Desaturate


Create a layer mask by clicking on the layer mask icon. 




Use a soft black brush to paint the color back into her lips and if you want you can paint in the eye color.


Here’s where we are now-







 Flatten image.


Now, what we want to do is make the skin as smooth as possible.  To do this, Duplicate the layer again. 


Apply Filter>Noise>Median  Radius of around 10.  We just want it good n blurry without any texture from the original skin showing through.


Apply Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur with a Radius of 3.0 




Now it’s really good and blurry!  Now it’s time to create another layer mask, only this time you want to make a Hide all mask or a black mask.  To do this, alt + click (option+click) the layer mask icon. 



Using a soft white brush with an opacity of about 45%, paint skin smooth.  Avoid the eyes and the lips, and only smooth the nostrils slightly. 


Here’s where we are now. 

Flatten Image.


Duplicate layer- Now it’s time to burn in our shadows.  Using the burn tool, use the settings Midtones at 32%.  Now just paint the existing shadows darker. 


Like so-


Now, use the dodge tool and paint in the highlights using the settings highlights at 18%. You want to highlight the middle of the forehead, the nose, the upper cheekbones, eye sockets so highlight mainly the eye, and the chin area.  Wherever you feel the highlights should be!


Here’s what we have so far- 

Happy?  Flatten image.


Okay, now lets apply Filter>Artistic>Plastic Wrap with the settings at Highlight 4, Detail 1, Smoothness 15.  Click ok.  Now create a Black layer mask, alt+click on the create mask icon.  Now paint in the highlights with a Soft white brush at an opacity 30%.  Slowly paint in the highlights where you want them. 


It should look like something like this-


That looks pretty good.  If you want to stop here, you can.  That was the only steps I used to create the following-






Or you can keep going….


To do this next step, you will need to save your work so far as a PSD file. 


Now, Apply Filter>Sketch>Chrome with the settings at Details 0, Smoothness 10.


Ahhh!  What did you do?! 


No, really, it’s suppose to look like that.  Trust me!


Next, Apply Filter>Distort>Displace- Leave the settings at 10 and 10 and make sure the Wrap around pixels is checked.  Now, it will bring up a screen asking you for a displacement map, use the previously saved PSD file and click Open. 


It should look like this-


Now make a black layer mask- and paint in the chrome highlights with a soft white brush at 10%. 


It should turn out something like this-





And there you have it.  I know I have alot more I can add to this, but I'm too tired for tonight.


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and if you have any suggestions or questions- feel free to PM me.  





After alittle more time and tweaking, this is what I ended up with.



With alittle imagination, you can have lots of fun with this one. 


And don't be afraid to use your Modes on your layers. 

I did find that using the Chrome on different modes created different effects.

Have fun all!