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How To Create A Gritty / Grunge Effect In Photoshop

About This Week’s Episode,

In this episode, we’ll show you how to do a gritty grunge effect in Photoshop. We’re applying this effect after we’ve done most of the retouching and adjustments to our image. Always consider the image you’re using when you apply this technique. Our image consists of only men doing manual labour, and the gritty effect adds a nice effect.

We’ll start off by duplicating our layer. Next, we’ll open then filter menu and select Smart Sharpen. We normally work between 120 -150% for sharpening. We also choose 3 px radius not to blow it out completely and we keep the noise at 1%. Also select ‘Remove Lens Blur.’ We then duplicate the layer once more and invert the layer. We change the blending options and set it to Vivid Light. This leaves us with a mostly grey image. We then select Surface Blur from the Filter menu. We usually keep the radius around 50. We use Threshold to adjust the halos and we usually set our Threshold to 40. We then apply a Hue and Saturation layer and completely desaturate the image, so we’re left with a grey image.

Next, we’ll merge all the layers in a master shortcut. We then set the blending option to soft light. We still play around with the Curves Adjustment layer and, using an inverted mask, brush in the highlights in the subjects. You can play around with masks to either bush out or brush in the desired effect.

Layers, Filters and Techniques we used:

  • Smart Sharpen Filter
  • Surface Blur
  • Hue & Saturation Adjustment Layer
  • Curves Adjustment Layer.

For an added effect check our Dodge & Burn Tutorial here!

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