Creating a Sin City Photoshop Effect

Creating a Sin City Photoshop effect to a photo will definitely make it unique. Sin City's black and white, with a dash of color, effect makes for dramatic photographs, and Photoshop allows photographers to add this film noir look to their photographs. Even beginners will be able to pick up this skill just by following a few simple steps, and all they need is Photoshop.

Step 1: Understanding a Sin City Photograph

If someone has never seen the comic book or movie, Sin City is known for its black and white look. But, the images are not completely black and white; there is usually a hint of color like red or yellow. These colors, however, are highly contrasted for maximum effect.

Further, all of these shots and pictures have the glow effect applied to them to create an almost ethereal look. Some other special effects like adding rain or clouds are also a part of the effect.

So, before anyone begins manipulating their photos, they may want to check out the Sin City movie or comic book, and then do some studying. This will really help instill the look into the photographer's mind.

Step 2: Removing Color from the Photograph

As mentioned earlier, there is very little color in Sin City images. Open up the Channel Mixer, and change the output to Gray. Then, check the Monochrome checkbox. To create additional contrast, try moving the Red and Green Source Channels to above 40 or 50.

If the photograph is outside, users may convert the sky to black using the Magic Wand Tool and the Rectangular Marque Tool. Once the correct area is selected, just hit Control or Command + I to invert the sky to dark. If the photograph is still a little bright, photographers can use the Burn tool to darken certain areas.

Step 3: Adding Effects

To add some dramatic effects, users can add clouds or rain. This can be done by creating a new layer, and then going into the Filter Menu. From here, go to Render and then Clouds. The opacity of the clouds should be very low so they do not overwhelm the picture. The clouds will also add a glow effect to the picture.

Rain can be added by using the Noise filter, but users should manipulate the Noise filter until it doesn't look as heavy. The rain should be very light and restricted to the background. Users can also draw a rough cut frame using the Rough Ink brush, which is located in the Wet Media Brushes. Just randomly trace around the picture until it has an almost torn effect.

Step 4: Adding a Hint of Color

Now that the photo is completely black and white, some color needs to added. Try sticking to primary colors for this since it will contrast better with the black and white. To add color, go into the Image menu, select Mode, and then select RGB Color.

Open up the Quick Mask Options, and make sure that the Selected Areas button is hit. Hit OK. Go to the Toolbar, and select the Paintbrush tool. Users should now start painting the area where they wish to have color added back to. Once completely colored, hit the Quick Mask button once more. Save the Selection, and create a New Adjustment Layer and select the color balance. Hit OK.