Adding Tattoo to a Photograph

This tutorial will show you how you can insert a tattoo design to a photograph with only couple of simple steps in photoshop. So, here’s my before and after photo:

adding a tatoo tutorial with photoshop

Step 1) Let’s working on the tattoo image first. Select your magic wand tool from your tool pallete, then select the white background on your tattoo design. Make sure you have selected every white on the image. After that, go to select>inverse (shift+ctrl+i)

adding a tatoo tutorial with photoshop

Step 2) Drag your tattoo design to your portrait. Or you can copy it (ctrl+c) then paste it (ctrl+v) in your portrait.

adding a tatoo tutorial with photoshop

Step 3) Now, you need to resize your tattoo by pressing ctrl+t so that it will fit nicely on the lady’s back.

adding a tatoo tutorial with photoshop

Step 4) Done with resizing, your next step is to reshape the tatto like the body part using the warp feature (right click while you’re still in free transform mode)

adding a tatoo tutorial with photoshop

Step 5) Now change the layer mode of the tatto design layer to multiply and play around with the opacity for the desired look. Mine is 54%

adding a tatoo tutorial with photoshop

You’re done!

adding a tatoo tutorial with photoshop

See also: Photoshop Tutorials

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Comment by etch
2006-05-06 12:43:19

this was real cool good looken out

Comment by yash
2006-09-24 17:21:26

you were using photoshop cs2 for this right? because my photoshop cs doesnt have warp option…

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-09-24 21:08:43

yup, that’s rite…

Comment by steve
2006-09-27 02:58:24

wow! Thanks for publishing this. So simple but yet so nicely done! Kudos.

Comment by tiago
2006-12-09 05:35:06

really thx
very good

Comment by Neviral
2007-02-05 12:56:47

instead of using the warp tool for those that don’t have acces to it, you can use a displace map
render the body, desaturate it, save it [preferably displace as a name]
open again the image, load your “tattoo” on the image . then go to “filters> distort>displace maps, look for your displace you just rendered and apply it to the tatto and gives you a really better looks

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-02-08 22:24:58

Thanks Neviral.. :)

Comment by CheGandra
2007-02-16 02:25:33

I don’t have that option : “WARP”!!! What can I do? I have a photo shop 7.0!!!
thanks eny way…. :)

Comment by wieser
2009-06-17 06:37:21

;-) the WARP id dont have either, its star treks engine ;-) (its called wrap..)

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-02-17 11:40:26

CheGandra.. read the Neviral’s comment above..

Comment by Mike
2007-02-18 17:28:09

hey thanx man, great tutorial =)

Comment by GrafNews
2007-02-24 13:17:25

I find a little video example.

Comment by William Subscribed to comments via email
2007-08-01 18:04:45

Hi, I’ve tried this but it just doesnt looks how i want to =s could you help me out please?… im trying to do it but the zone where i want to put the tattoo is kinda inclined and the tattoo looks plane…

Comment by Steen
2007-09-30 07:22:02

Hello there.. Thanks alot for this turtorial! Its was great!..

Comment by potchi
2007-10-05 15:51:48

wow…this photoshop tutorial is so so great…it is so easy to follow…astigg

Comment by john
2008-02-19 12:58:45

Hey, that tattoo looks okay; the problem is that it doesn’t look real: look at the fading. I have had a tattoo for 8 years and it has not aged like you have shown. This is clearly a fake…

Comment by faelyyyyy
2008-03-17 02:31:35

can u use 7.0 for this?

Comment by t'mas
2008-03-30 06:27:51

if your tattoo looks like it’s sticked on, you can set the opacity of the layer tattoo, this did the trick for me.

Comment by christo
2008-06-10 11:25:50

that girl is sexy man, anyway thx 4 the tutorial, its awesome

Comment by Gary
2008-10-02 10:55:19

outstanding – much appreciated!

Comment by Mustafa
2009-01-28 09:55:47

great post

thanks man
keep sending like those stuff


Comment by Eddy
2009-02-11 13:59:49

Thanks man!!! This really helped me!!!

Comment by retoucher77
2009-06-04 09:33:50

really nice done. Great tutorial, thank you :)

Comment by Ulrika Subscribed to comments via email
2009-06-06 05:18:49

Wow. You are so awsome!
Thanks a ton for this tutorial! I will recomend this site to ALL my freidns!!

Comment by wu-tang
2009-10-30 17:28:00

Exellent, my girlfriend liked seeing itself with a tatoo!!! Thank you;)

Comment by AC
2009-12-11 06:53:27


Comment by ixa Subscribed to comments via email
2010-02-01 09:46:46

i like it.. thank you
thank you !!!
its great !!!
love it nice_^

Comment by abdu photography
2010-04-24 13:03:17

nice article tattoo…

Comment by Damon
2010-09-05 01:51:12

Hey if anyone wants to make their tattoo more realistic you just add red coloring around it with the paintbrush with an opacity of like…6-12%

Comment by lola
2010-09-17 13:58:41

very nice love it

Comment by Cheap Vibrators
2011-07-04 10:15:14

A really helpfull article – Thank you very much I hope you will not mind me writting about this article on my blog I will also leave a linkback Thanks

Comment by Thomas
2011-09-25 12:44:07

its CS5!

Comment by Mayra Montalvo
2012-01-15 22:24:05

Very neat article post.Thanks Again. Much obliged.


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