photoshop creative

How to create a ghost in Photoshop, part 2

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Tips & Tutorials, by The Photoshop Creative Team
March 22, 2014

We show you how to turn stock images into an aged and faded photograph with a ghostly presence… it’s enough to send a chill down anyone’s spine!

Click here to follow part 1 of this tutorial


Double-click the ghost’s layer, and in the Layer Style menu click on Outer Glow. Set its mode to Screen, Opacity to 40% and choose white for the colour. Set Technique to Softer, Spread to 0% and Size to 250px. This adds a subtle glow to the ghost.


Next, apply a white Inner Glow set to Screen and Opacity to 20%. Set Choke to 0% and Size to 90px. Select the Softer and Edge options. Now apply the Color Overlay option set to white, Soft Light, and with an Opacity of 65%. This will make our ghost glow more.


To blur the face of our ghost, select the Blur tool and set its Strength to 100% in the Options bar. Make sure the Sample All Layers option is not ticked, and set the size of the tool so that it’s just a bit larger than the head. Begin to blur the face.


Open up the texture from your cover disc and drag and drop it onto the main image under the Hue/Saturation layer. Set its blend mode to Screen to make it turn see-through then resize the texture to fit over your entire image using Ctrl/Cmd+T.


Press Ctrl/Cmd+I to invert the highlights and shadows of the texture and go to Image>Adjustments>Levels. In the adjustment menu, move the black arrow under the histogram to the right until the foggy texture disappears, leaving just the white cracks visible.


The texture is still quite flat, so go to Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast. Boost the Brightness value to 60 and the Contrast value to 90. Make sure Preview is ticked and adjust the settings for maximum punch.


Go to Image>Canvas Size and increase the size by 1cm for both width and height. Create a new layer at the top of the Layer’s palette and go to Edit>Fill. Select Color and enter the colour number of 9d7005. Hit Ok and change the blend mode to Multiply. Lower the layer’s Opacity to 10% to complete the effect.