Improving My Cosplay Photoshop Part 3

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Oh yes, it’s more of this stuff. Round 3 of 999, fight. But this time round, I am just taking notes of a few bits and pieces that I found really useful so far. So if you guys find these useful, feel free to use them in your own projects as well.

Enhancing Eyes

My usual method – select the eyes -> new adjustment layer -> curves. Sometimes I will add another hue/saturation layer. That’s it. But this method that master Dewis uses is a lot more comprehensive. It even went into creating details for the eyes. Which is why I chose to adopt this permanently from now on.

The steps in a summary :

1) Select an eye with the elliptical marquee tool.

2) New layer (just rename it eye enhance).

2) Edit -> Fill -> 50% gray.

3) Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise -> set it to 400%, or play around with the value until satisfied.

4) Filter -> Blur -> Radial Blur -> Zoom (leave amount as 10).

5) Repeat the radial blur as required with Ctrl-F (or Cmd-F).

6) Set the “eye enhance” layer to “Hard Light” blend mode.

7) Create a mask, feather the corners and pupil, make it look a little more natural.

8) Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Hue / Saturation -> Set to colorize (make it match the original eye color, or use it to boost / change eye color).

9) Set the opacity of the “eye enhance” layer accordingly to your own comfort.

10) Duplicate the “eye enhance” layer and move it over to the other eye. Fix the layer mask as required.

11) Group these “eye enhance” layers together.

12) My own addition -> I still like to do a curves adjustment here to further bring the eyes out.

Here’s one where I worked on Ahri

Dust and Debris

Adding dust is actually quite simple. My usual method uses a single layer “copy-and-paste” dust, then layer masking it. This technique added more sense of “depth” to my usual works, and yep, it’s permanent in my workflow now.

In summary, this technique actually works for almost any kind of “object”. Dust, debris, feathers, petals, paper, etc…

1) To add a sense of realism, there should be depth and physics to the dusts and debris – near, far, speed, and direction.

2) Nearer objects appear larger, further objects appear smaller. Doh.

3) Motion blur the objects – note that they should all be generally in the same direction (wind or explosion).

4) Does not hurt to gaussian blur a little.

5) Take lighting from the environment into factor as well. E.g. Objects closer to sunlight should be brighter, and there should be some sort of color cast.

There are plenty of free dust stock images on the Internet – like this one and this one. Here’s how I have been abusing this technique, with paper :


This, makes me feel stupid. My usual method consists of using stock images, then “brute force” duplicating and masking.

Why did I not find this earlier? Free xplosion brush set on Brusheezy. It’s as simple as :

1) Import the brush set.

2) Create a new layer.

3) Set the brush dynamics to different sizes and angles.

4) Paint with varying opacity to your comfort.

5) Set the blend mode of the “smoke layer” and/or you can even add some colors with layer adjustments.

My way to abuse this:

Round 3 End

So I have completed round 3 without fatality. Have I became better with Photoshop? Well, I can only feel my skill point going up by another 1. Only 997 more to go. Hope this article has inspired you guys in some ways. See ya.

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One thought on “Improving My Cosplay Photoshop Part 3

  1. Teens with have a blast using this tutorial. The effects great and stand out.

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