Photoshop Canvas Structure -How to Change the Material of Objects


Photoshop Tutorial: How to Change the Material of Objects

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. I’m going to show you how to transform the material of a statue or other object. This effect works best on objects that are made from one material. Open a photo you’d like to use. If you’d like to use this image, its link is located in the video’s description of project files. The first step is to make a selection around the subject, so we can ultimately cut and copy it to its own layer. There are many ways to make selections and covered them in most of of tutorials.

For this example, I’ll use the Quick Selection Tool. If you’re using this tool as well, drag your cursor over your subject to make a selection around its shape. To remove areas of the selection, press and hold Alt on Windows or Option on a Mac as you drag over those areas. When you’re done, press “Q” to make it into a quick mask. If you notice areas that you want to correct or finesse, you can use your Pencil Tool. To decrease the size of your pencil, press the left bracket key on your keyboard.

Then draw over those areas. When you’re done, press “Q” to revert it back into a selection. Press Ctrl or Cmd + J to cut and copy the subject onto its own layer. Remove all its color by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + Shift + U.

Make a copy of the layer and hide it by clicking off the eyeball next to it. Click the thumbnail of the middle layer to make it active. We’ll use this layer to create a displacement map, which will warp the new material to conform itself to the contours of your subject.

Make a new layer below it by Ctrl-clicking or Cmd-clicking on the New Layer icon. We’ll fill it with white. First, check to see if your foreground and background colors are black and white, respectively.

If they aren’t, press “D” on your keyboard. Since white is your background color, press Ctrl or Cmd + Delete to fill the empty layer with the background color. Make Layer 1 active and go to Filter, Noise and Median.

I’ll make the Radius: 5 pixels, however, if you’re using a different photo, you may want to adjust this amount depending on your photo’s size and resolution. Use an amount that removes the fine details, but retains the sharpness of the subject’s general shadows and mid-tones.

Since displacement maps work best when their slightly blurred, go to Filter, Blur and Gaussian Blur. I’ll blur it 2 pixels, but again, you may want to adjust this amount. Merge these 2 layers by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + E. Click the icon at the upper, right of the Layers panel and click “Duplicate Layer”. Click “New” and type in “Displacement“. Then, click OK or press enter or Return.

Go to File and “Save As”. Save it to your Desktop as a PSD file. Then, click “Save”. If you see this window, click OK. Click the tab of your original file to open it. Since we duplicated and saved this layer, we can trash it from the Layers panel. Make the top layer visible and active.

Open a texture you’d like to use to wrap around your subject. If you’d like to use the one I’m using, I provided its link, as well. You can find many textures at

To get it into your other document, press “v” to open your Move Tool and drag it up onto your subject’s tab. Without releasing your mouse or pen, press and hold Shift as you drag it down onto your image and release.

Pressing Shift kept the texture centered over your subject. To resize your texture, open the Transform Tool by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + T. To see the Transform’s entire bounding box, press Ctrl or Cmd + 0. Go to a corner and when you see a diagonal, double-arrow, press and hold Alt or Option + Shift as you drag it in or out.

Then, press Enter or Return. We need to crop the texture in order for it to be sized correctly to the displacement map. To do this, press Ctrl or Cmd + A to select your document and go to Image and Crop. To deselect it, press Ctrl or Cmd + D.

To fit your document back onto your canvas, press Ctrl or Cmd + 0. Go to Filter, Distort and Displace. I’ll displace the Horizontal and Vertical Scales: 40 pixels each, “Stretch to Fit” and “Repeat Edge Pixels”. Click “Displacement” and click “Open”. The texture immediately warped based on the tonal values of the displacement map that you saved earlier.

Ctrl-click or Cmd-click on the thumbnail of your subject to make a selection of its shape. Your texture should still be active. Click the Layer Mask icon to make a layer mask of the selection next to the texture. Click the texture to make it active again and change its Blend Mode to Overlay.

To adjust its brightness and contrast, click the Adjustment Layer icon and click, “Levels”. Click the Clipping Mask icon to clip or restrict the adjustment layer to effect just the one layer beneath it in the layers panel, which in this case, is the wood texture.

Slide the input black level to the right, until the darkest areas of your texture look good to you. I like 70 for the amount. Then, slide the Input mid-tones to the right until you’re happy with its medium tones. I’ll use .60 for the amount. Keep in mind, because each texture has its own characteristics, play with Levels until you’re happy with its look. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching! .

As found on Youtube

Photoshop Tutorial How to Change the Material of Objects