Create a Beautiful Frosted Fashion Advertisement

  • Tutorial details

    Photoshop CS2
    1-3 Hours

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a very nice looking fashion advertisement, using Adobe Photoshop. We are going for a cold and frosty look, by using cold colors and frost textures.

Jump in and you might learn a thing or two!

We are going to use this stock photo by DeviantArt-user Katanaz-Stock. When you are done with the tutorial, be sure to check out her work and maybe drop a line or two as a good gesture!

Original stock photo (resized)

Step 1

Open the photo in Adobe Photoshop. First we are going to extract the girl from the background. This can be done in billions of ways, but we are going to use Calculations.

Duplicate the background layer (always work on a copy of the original photo).

Apply Image Calculations, by using the menu Image > Calculations. The trick now is to get a high-contrast outline of the model so that the extraction will be as detailed as possible.

While playing around with the settings, we found that these worked pretty well for this particular photograph.

Settings for Image Calculations

Step 2

Select the recently created Channel “Alpha 1”, select all on this Alpha-channel and paste it on a new layer. (Ctrl + A, Ctrl + C, then back to the Layers palette and Ctrl + V).

The Alpha channel as new layer

Your layers-palette should now look something like this…

Step 3

Duplicate Layer 1 and set the blending mode to Linear Dodge (Add). This adds even more contrast.

After duplicating the layer & Linear Dodge

The layer-palette after duplicating the layer

Step 4

Create a new layer “Fills”.

Starting with a large-sized brush, fill in the top corners and make sure everything except for the girl is black.

Areas in need of black fills

Step 5

Switch to a white color and start filling in the missing parts of the girl. At this stage, it can be helpful to toggle the layer below “Fills”.

While doing this filling, use a hard brush. This makes the job done a lot faster.

Another tip is to set the opacity of Background copy to around 35% and place it on top of the layer stack (this way you see what is not white and needs to be filled in).

Filled areas

Using the original photo as reference

When you are done brushing, you should have a picture that looks something like this.

Selection mask

Step 6

Open up the Channels palette and click the button “Load channel as selection”.

Load channel as selection

Step 7

Go back to the Layers palette and select the layer with the original photograph, then press Ctrl + J to duplicate the selection to a new layer. Hide everything but the new layer.

Model has successfully been extracted from the background!

Great! You have successfully extracted the model from the background!

Step 8

Create a new document. Make this production size (what size you want the final image to be). We made our new document 1400 x 1050 pixels.

Copy the girl from the previous document to the new one, transform (Ctrl + T) and place her a bit to the left.

The new document

Step 9

Select the background-layer and press D for default colors (black/white).

Then render some clouds. Filter > Render > Clouds

Clouds in the background

Step 10

Unlock the Background layer by double-clicking on it.

Scale it up to 200% (Ctrl + T).

Clouds - Upscaled

Step 11

Select Filter > Distort > Glass.

Use high values for Distortion and set Smoothness to 1 and Texture to Frosted.

Filter > Distort > Glass

Step 12

Select Filter > Render > Lighting Effects. Select Omni light and use the settings provided below.

Settings for Lighting Effects

This gives the background a more vivid look and makes your eyes focus more in the direction of the girl.

After applying Lighting Effects

Step 13

Create a new layer on the top of your layer stack.

Stamp visible by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E on your keyboard.

Select Filter > Distort > Glass. Use the settings provided below.

Distorted girl

Press Ctrl + F to repeat the filter. Do this about 2 times to distort even more.


Step 14

Add a new Layer Mask for the distorted layer, then select the Layer Mask.

Add new Layer Mask

Step 15

Fill the Layer Mask with Black (Press D, then Alt + Backspace).

Pick a large soft brush and and select white as foreground color (press X). Set the Opacity of the brush to about 30%.

Beginning from the bottom of the image, draw upwards in the direction of the girl to reveal more of the layer’s content.

Direction of brush strokes

Step 16

Create a new layer on the top of your layer stack.

Stamp visible by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E on your keyboard.

Press D on your keyboard. Add a Layer Mask, then use the reflected gradient tool to drag a gradient from her face down to the right corner of the image.

Reflected gradient for Lens Blur

lol, it looks like she’s got a fly on her nose xD

Step 17

Click the icon of the top layer. Then select Filter > Blur > Lens Blur.

Settings for Lens Blur

Tip: If you do not want the “Over exposure”-look, crank up the Threshold for Specular Highlights.

Press OK, then disable the Layer Mask (right-click and select Disable).

After applying Lens Blur

Step 18

Create a new layer, again on the top of your layer stack.

Stamp visible (Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E).

Select Filter > Brush Strokes > Sprayed Strokes, use provided settings.

After applying Sprayed Strokes

Step 19

Just as in Step 14, add a new layer mask for the layer and then activate it.

Fill the layer mask with black.

Grab a white large and soft brush and give the mask some brush strokes to reveal the contents of the layer.

Filter after masking

Step 20

Open the Hoarfrost stock photo (or any photo with frost texture).

Select Image > Black & White, press Auto then OK. Older versions of Photoshop: Just press Ctrl + Shift + U to de-saturate.

Select Image > Adjustments > Levels. Drag the Shadow & Highlight sliders towards the Midtones to create a high-contrast image.

High-contrast frost

Step 21

Go to Select > Color Range. Click anywhere in the background where there is no frost (see image).

Press OK, then copy (Ctrl + C) and go back to the other document.

Select > Color Range

Step 22

  1. Paste the frost (Ctrl + V) and place it on the top of your layer stack.
    Scale it so that the frost gets a bit smaller, but still covers the whole image.
    After scaling down, apply some sharpening (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen).
  2. While holding down the Ctrl-key, click on the layer with only the model.
  3. Invert the selection (Ctrl + Shift + I). Then add a new Layer Mask for the layer.
    Set the opacity of the layer to about 30%.


Step 23

Just some final adjustments and we are done. To make the model “pop” even more, we are going to add some shadows behind her.

Start by clicking Layer 2 as in the previous step, while holding Ctrl.

Create a new layer, name it Shadow and fill the selection with Black.

Shadow layer

Invert the selection (Ctrl + Shift + I) and add a new Layer Mask for the layer. Unlink the layer mask (click the small icon between the layer icon and the layer mask icon).

Click the layer’s icon. Select Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Pick a value around 60.

Blurred shadow

Transform the shadow, click the Warp icon for total freedom.

Warping the shadow

Select the Gradient Tool (G), pick black as foreground color, click the Layer Mask and drag a gradient from the bottom up to fade the shadow a bit.

Shadow gradient

Use multiple gradients and some brushing if needed.

Set the Blending Mode to Multiply and the Opacity to about 50%.

Final Shadow

Step 24

Select Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves. Draw a smooth S-curve to give the image a slight increase of contrast.


Step 25

Now, to partially blur the edges and simulate focus on the model…

Create a new layer just below the Curves Adjustment Layer.

Hide the Curves Adjustment Layer. Stamp visible and show the Curves Adjustment Layer.

Select Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Blur a lot, then add a Layer Mask.

Drag a Radial Gradient from her nose out (using default colors Black/White).

Partially blurred edges

Step 26

Add a Color Balance Adjustment Layer on top of your layer stack. Add Cyan and Blue for Shadows, Red and Magenta for Midtones and Cyan for Highlights.

A bit cooler (cold tone)

Step 27

Create a new layer on top of your layer stack.

Set the Blending Mode to Color.

Use a large soft brush, sample colors from the girl’s shirt and hair. Add some dots of colors on the image to simulate ambiance light.

Lower the opacity of the layer.

Ambiance light

Optional: Add a new layer, stamp visible then add a Omni light effect (Filter > Render > Lighting Effects).


Final Image

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About the Author

Mickel is a web creative that is constantly looking for new challenges and ventures.

He is the founder of PixelTango, as well as a interactive web design agency. He also likes to DJ and produce music under the name Allic.

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