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Create A Cool Human Cyborg Effect In Photoshop

Ever thought what it would be like to have a robot? Now you can create your own! In today’s tutorial, learn how to turn yourself into a human cyborg ala Terminator using Adobe Photoshop. You’ll need to know your way around the Pen Tool and the Brush Tool to create this cool effect. Let’s get started!

Software: Adobe Photoshop CC

Difficulty: Advanced

Completion Time: 4 hours

Images Used For This Tutorial

Retouching The Photo

Step 1

Open your photo into Adobe Photoshop and Control-J to duplicate the layer. Separate the new layer into a group so that you can flip back and forth between the original to see your progress. Then use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to make a selection around the hair.


To change the hair color to black, go to Image > Adjustments > Hue & Saturation, bringing down the Saturation to -100 and the Lightness to -13.

Step 2

Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) again to make a selection around the face and shoulder area. Control-J while selected to create a duplicate on a new layer. Blur the skin to make it appear softer by going to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, adding a Radius of 2 pixels. Use the Eraser Tool (E) to erase any blurred edges to bring back some sharpness around the face and body.

Step 3

Now let’s change the colors. On a new layer set to Hue, paint blue on the lips and eyes. Use another new layer set to Vivid Light to use the same blue to add brightness to the eyes. Complete the color transition by filling a new layer with a baby blue color and setting the layer to Color Burn.


Adjust the colors even further with a New Adjustment Layer for Curves. Adjust the curves for the RGB, Green, and Blue Channels to make the colors richer.

Creating the Cyborg Effect

Step 4

Time to transform her into a robot! First sketch the layout of the cyborg lines using the Brush Tool (B). Play with the design according to what works best for the subject and body position.


Next, make selections around the body using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L). Copy and paste a duplicate of those areas and move them forward to appear as though they are jutting outward. Keep doing this around the body.

Step 5

Now let’s clean up the lines. Use the Pen Tool (P) to create an outline of each line and fill it with black when you’re done. Continue this until all the lines are filled in. Use the Eraser Tool (E) with a hard brush edge to clean up any lines. When you’re finished, delete the sketch layer.

Step 6

Add highlights to the skin by using a bright tan color (#d9b0ad) and the Brush Tool (B), painting them around the edges of the black lines. This will help each section to appear more 3D.

Step 7

You can keep the lines black or change them to a different color to make them look like they’re lights. Here I changed them to a bright baby blue color by right-clicking the lines layer and going to Blending Options. Add a bright Color Overlay of baby blue (#9ee2ff) and add a quick Inner Shadow for depth.


Add Highlights and Finishing Touches

Step 8

Almost finished! Let’s intensify the colors by filling a new layer with the same baby blue color from above. Set this new layer to Color Burn to darken the photo.

Step 9

Now set a new layer to Screen and use the same color to paint soft neon lighting all around the beaming lines. Use a Soft Round Brush (B) with 0% Hardness to achieve this soft effect.

Continue this step, gradually building the color for a more intense effect. After you clean up the details, your result should look like this!


I hope you’ve enjoyed this fun cyborg tutorial! Have fun trying this on one of your own photos, and let us know how you liked this effect in the comments below. If you like this, do try creating a Sci-Fi scene in this other tutorial as well! Good luck!

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