How to Use Photo Effects to Make Scary Halloween Pictures in Photoshop
With Halloween approaching, it’s fun to turn to creative projects with a spooky edge. If you’re a photographer, there are some great Adobe Photoshop actions that can help you achieve a really cool, eerie effect, quickly and easily.
Here are three of our favourites from Envato Elements, where you can download unlimited resources for a monthly subscription. In this tutorial, we cover:
There’s a video included with the download to help walk you through everything, but here are the highlights so you can see how it works.
Here’s the image I’m working on. Try and choose one where you’ll be able to select your subject relatively easily: clean, hard lines help.
Run Action and Follow Instructions
Run the first action and it will tell you to paint over your
Try to be quite neat about this one. When you’re finished,
hit play on action number 2 and it’ll ask you to start repairing your
The action does a pretty good guess job of this, but it will most likely need touching up. Make good use of the healing tools and clone stamp.
When it looks right, press play on number 3 and after running for a
short while, a dialogue box will ask you to choose your blending mode in the History Panel.
If your History Panel isn’t visible, go to Window > History.
basically going back some steps to choose your blend mode, which is a bit of a
messy way of doing it.
Hit step 4 to add effects and once again you’ll be asked to
use the history panel.
This is honestly the strangest way I’ve ever seen an action
work, using the History Panel rather than creating folders you can cycle
through, but it does work. Even though the options are History rather than in layers, this time it does create snapshots rather than just the history list, so you can flip back and try different effects to suit.
There are quite a lot of effects to choose from and I think the black and white 3D effect works well for this one.
There aren’t many adjustments to be made because of the lack of folder/layer options, so here’s another image I used the action on, so you can see a different result.
Try to make it easier on yourself by picking a photograph where the subject is clearly defined from the background. Here’s the image I’ll be working on:
Create a new layer and call it ‘brush‘. Paint over your subject on this layer.
Run the Action and Make Adjustments
The action will stop and ask you to paint over where you
want the smoke to fade out. Pick a suitable spot, like feet to knees (or the
bottom part of the legs in this case) and roughly paint over it and hit play
This action does take a while to run, but that’s because it breaks down into lots of useful layers, so you can make adjustments to get totally different results every time. Make adjustments to suit.
I’ve brushed some of the detail back in and reduced some of the smoke effects so you can see the cat’s face better. You can also select from different colour options, but I think the blue-white works well.
Here’s another preview from the creator of the action, this time with people as the main subject.