Articles, Blog

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Change the Material of Objects

October 23, 2019

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. I’m going to show you how to transform the material of a statue or other object. This effect works best on objects that are made from one material. Open a photo you’d like to use. If you’d like to use this image, its link is located in the video’s description
of project files. The first step is to make a selection around the subject, so we can
ultimately cut and copy it to its own layer. There are many ways to make selections and
covered them in most of of tutorials. For this example, I’ll use the Quick Selection
Tool. If you’re using this tool as well, drag your cursor over your subject to make a selection
around its shape. To remove areas of the selection, press and hold Alt on Windows or Option on
a Mac as you drag over those areas. When you’re done, press “Q” to make it into a quick mask. If you notice areas that you want to correct or finesse, you can use your Pencil
Tool. To decrease the size of your pencil, press the left bracket key on your keyboard. Then draw over those areas. When you’re done, press “Q” to revert it back into a selection.
Press Ctrl or Cmd + J to cut and copy the subject onto its own layer. Remove all its
color by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + Shift + U. Make a copy of the layer and hide it by clicking
off the eyeball next to it. Click the thumbnail of the middle layer to make it active. We’ll use this layer to create a displacement map, which will warp the new material to conform
itself to the contours of your subject. Make a new layer below it by Ctrl-clicking or Cmd-clicking
on the New Layer icon. We’ll fill it with white. First, check to see if your foreground
and background colors are black and white, respectively. If they aren’t, press “D” on
your keyboard. Since white is your background color, press Ctrl or Cmd + Delete to fill
the empty layer with the background color. Make Layer 1 active and go to Filter, Noise and Median. I’ll make the Radius: 5 pixels, however, if you’re using a different photo,
you may want to adjust this amount depending on your photo’s size and resolution. Use an amount that removes the fine details, but retains the sharpness of the subject’s general
shadows and mid-tones. Since displacement maps work best when their slightly blurred,
go to Filter, Blur and Gaussian Blur. I’ll blur it 2 pixels, but again, you may want
to adjust this amount. Merge these 2 layers by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + E. Click the icon at the upper, right of the Layers panel and click “Duplicate Layer”. Click “New” and type in “Displacement”. Then, click OK or press enter or Return. Go to File and “Save As”.
Save it to your Desktop as a PSD file. Then, click “Save”. If you see this window, click OK. Click the tab of your original file to open it. Since we duplicated and saved this
layer, we can trash it from the Layers panel. Make the top layer visible and active. Open a texture you’d like to use to wrap around your subject. If you’d like to use the one
I’m using, I provided its link, as well. You can find many textures at
To get it into your other document, press “v” to open your Move Tool and drag it up
onto your subject’s tab. Without releasing your mouse or pen, press and hold Shift as
you drag it down onto your image and release. Pressing Shift kept the texture centered over
your subject. To resize your texture, open the Transform Tool by pressing Ctrl or Cmd
+ T. To see the Transform’s entire bounding box, press Ctrl or Cmd + 0. Go to a corner
and when you see a diagonal, double-arrow, press and hold Alt or Option + Shift as you
drag it in or out. Then, press Enter or Return. We need to crop the texture in order for it
to be sized correctly to the displacement map. To do this, press Ctrl or Cmd + A to
select your document and go to Image and Crop. To deselect it, press Ctrl or Cmd + D. To fit your document back onto your canvas, press Ctrl or Cmd + 0. Go to Filter, Distort and Displace. I’ll displace the Horizontal and Vertical Scales: 40 pixels each, “Stretch to Fit” and “Repeat Edge Pixels”. Click “Displacement” and click “Open”. The texture immediately
warped based on the tonal values of the displacement map that you saved earlier. Ctrl-click or
Cmd-click on the thumbnail of your subject to make a selection of its shape. Your texture
should still be active. Click the Layer Mask icon to make a layer mask of the selection
next to the texture. Click the texture to make it active again and change its Blend
Mode to Overlay. To adjust its brightness and contrast, click the Adjustment Layer icon and click, “Levels”. Click the Clipping Mask icon to clip or restrict the adjustment layer
to effect just the one layer beneath it in the layers panel, which in this case, is the
wood texture. Slide the input black level to the right, until the darkest areas of your texture look good to you. I like 70 for the amount. Then, slide the Input mid-tones to
the right until you’re happy with its medium tones. I’ll use .60 for the amount. Keep in
mind, because each texture has its own characteristics, play with Levels until you’re happy with its look. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!


  • Reply emma lissette alvarado vasquez January 28, 2015 at 7:13 pm


  • Reply Salina Ranisch January 28, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    First commend from GERMANY♥♥♥

  • Reply Bu Hamad January 28, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Liked this video before even watching it ✌️

  • Reply Freddy Foto January 28, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    As always "OUTSTANDING" Thanks Freddy

  • Reply Gilson Pires January 28, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    I'm Learning alot from you @Blue Lightning TV 

  • Reply dwx January 28, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Great! Thanks a lot!

  • Reply Randy Smith January 28, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    That is very likely the best example of a displacement mask I have seen. The contours were immaculately preserved.

  • Reply Christian Thwaites January 28, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks Marty. Just so I'm clear….if you show it as PS CC, should I not even try on CS6?

  • Reply David Wilson January 28, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing this video. I am starting to get comfortable with displacement maps, so I am eager to try this. Thanks again.

  • Reply Argama Gaming January 28, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Best tutorial 🙂

  • Reply Digger Didit January 28, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Love your tuts Marty – Keep em coming.

  • Reply onur yıldırım January 28, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Güzel çalışma olmuş usta başarılarınızın devamını bekleriz..

  • Reply Omar January 28, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    marty 4 life

  • Reply GUS750 January 28, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    TITANIC charming

  • Reply mohamed elhakim January 28, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    thx marty i love  you man becouse i understand you & you good man i love photoshop becouse you.. thx marty agine

  • Reply Alex H. S. Artek January 29, 2015 at 1:27 am

    Excelente. muy bien explicado, gracias por sus videos, saludos desde Pereira Colombia

  • Reply Onenasty306 January 29, 2015 at 4:33 am

    Marty what do you do for a full time job? Has anyone told you could have the perfect voice for the tv show "how its made" lol! i swear its perfectly clear instructions and you always seem chipper and in a good mood 😀

  • Reply Bienchen522 January 29, 2015 at 6:40 am

    All your tutorials are awesome . Thank you very much .

  • Reply Abdullah Firestix January 29, 2015 at 8:53 am

    187 likes & zero dislikes ! You are really amazing Marty thanks ||

  • Reply Javier Lukarelly January 29, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Gracias . Saludos

  • Reply Aram January 29, 2015 at 9:26 am


  • Reply Carlos Grupo ASAS January 29, 2015 at 6:25 pm


  • Reply Ndala PROD January 29, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    you are the best 

  • Reply bdad r January 30, 2015 at 1:13 am

    will you be doing a tutorial on how to repair old photos any time soon

  • Reply Robert Janagap January 30, 2015 at 11:38 am

    thanks marty and i love the clarity of your voice.

  • Reply Alex Vadan January 30, 2015 at 11:50 am

    You are the BEST !!!

  • Reply H H January 30, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Thank you so much. You help me well.Can you do a tutorial explaining oil painting on CC2014 like we do on CC version. Adobe sometimes don't worry about somebodies needs. Bests

  • Reply franmol01 January 30, 2015 at 10:31 pm


  • Reply Dirk Braun January 31, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Hi Marty. Very cute vid. But in my opinion the coronna of the statue doesn't look very realistic because of the same wood angle. How could i fix it? Maybe it is onla a matter of the patterns size?

  • Reply CivilizedMenKilledMe February 4, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    My mouth is still open. Awesome video.

  • Reply Ganesh an February 5, 2015 at 3:47 am

    @ blue lightning tv: hi marty very helpful tut.. can u make a tut about oil painting effect using photoshop

  • Reply Subhas Das February 5, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    great tutorial

  • Reply Vijosh Babu April 22, 2015 at 5:53 am

    it's very helpful

  • Reply Zachary Erickson July 20, 2015 at 4:55 am

    Does this also work in GIMP? Judging from what I see I think it can work. In a parallel world the Statue of Liberty is made of wood.

  • Reply pina colada August 4, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Great textures and graphic designers :

  • Reply goldenbutterflywings September 26, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Hey, I'm a newbie, but trying to use this tutorial to accomplish a task. When I get to about 6:11 I realise that half my layers are in my original file, and I'm working on my Displacement file. I've tried this tutorial a few times, and I always seem to have this problem and don't know why. Everything else seems to work perfectly up until this moment. Can someone explain how to fix this, or where I'm going wrong??

  • Reply Solar Cypse October 8, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    One of the best tutorials I have seen on youtube yet. Nice relaxing voice, good use of grammar, straight to the point -no mindless chatter. Thank you so much!

  • Reply TakeThatRage119 March 6, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    This helped me a lot thanks!

  • Reply VASANTHAM STUDIOS July 10, 2016 at 8:09 am


  • Reply wubbalubbadubdub July 31, 2016 at 1:55 am

    Love the heavy emphasis on short cuts

  • Reply msGvious September 22, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    OMG, your skills are jedi! Looks amazing!

  • Reply darkshadow December 28, 2016 at 3:22 am

    good explaination

  • Reply Vorname Nachname January 2, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Hey Marty,
    first of all, I love your videos and how you explain stuff! I've achieved a lot of awesome results thanks to your tutorials! I also have a question. I'm currently trying to accomplish a task: I wanna photoshop a hand (p photo by Pogrebnoj-Alexandroff) so it kinda fits into a landscape. I used this tut and now the hand looks super awesome, but there's a sharp edge where the hand is "standing" in the landscape… Can you give me any tips on how to solve this? Here's how it looks:
    I'm still on CS3 by the way.

    Thanks in advance and a happy new year to you!

  • Reply Bebo Adel February 24, 2017 at 10:04 am

    subscribed 👌👌👍👍👍

  • Reply Rebel Hawra April 17, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Thank u very much !! This so helpful

  • Reply Velvet Vintage May 4, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Thanks so much for this video, Marty. Greets.

  • Reply Agent Privé July 15, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Relaxing voice. Great Video, I think the best teacher on youtube is you !

  • Reply DEYEWHY July 15, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    After a very long time I have seen a video tutorial which is Simply Perfect! No unnecessary waste of time, informative and accurate. Great Job! Subscribed!!

  • Reply Lutu Nicolae July 24, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Great tutorial! Just what i needed for a quick job. Clear explanation and to the point!

  • Reply Aquarella turismo (Cid Soares) August 28, 2017 at 11:11 am

    you are the best.

  • Reply Fers Salcedo October 5, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Amazing thank u!

  • Reply Phan Justin November 30, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Thank you!!!

  • Reply TY MADE THIS December 12, 2017 at 2:40 am

    Good Tutorial, I Like The Way You Teach.

  • Reply george gogo January 1, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    one of best tutorials. thank you

  • Reply MrVino512 January 9, 2018 at 4:24 am

    Thank you so much for this video!!! Exactly what I was looking for! You made my day, seriously.

  • Reply Live Dog Dead Lion February 4, 2018 at 6:03 am

    Awesomely Perfect Tutorial. Thank You!

  • Reply TypicalFin February 24, 2018 at 10:25 am

    When I opened the Displacement map, my picture was all messed up. How do I fix it? Thank you in advance!

  • Reply PowerRangerDuelist April 26, 2018 at 9:16 pm


  • Reply Lama El Malatawy June 22, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    you're the best!!

  • Reply The153rdCat July 19, 2018 at 4:25 am

    This is truly amazing! Thank you so much!

  • Reply Ali Stoica August 9, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks a lot men, this will really help me with my homework!

  • Reply PrimeAlpha 9 September 28, 2018 at 4:00 am

    Great tutorial! I like to scan my penciled art work and and add textures to it. Any other advice on that would be great. Thanks

  • Reply Turbotrout82 October 18, 2018 at 10:23 am

    One of the clearest instructions i've heard from a PS tutorial- and believe me i've watched a whole lot of dump!

  • Reply Choco YT November 3, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Thanks so much

  • Reply Adisorn Kimsong November 9, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    This is a very nice tutorial.

  • Reply pRinCe Serna December 25, 2018 at 1:01 am

    Dope! Thanks. Listened to another channel and almost passed out. This one got me to where I wanted to be at.

  • Reply Carl Andrew Ambowang March 9, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Thank you so so so so so so so so so so so so very much❤❤ ❤

  • Reply 3d art March 23, 2019 at 7:02 pm


  • Reply Harry Goldhagen May 10, 2019 at 2:16 am


  • Reply Rattikal Faksakul May 14, 2019 at 8:03 am

    I love your tutorial

  • Reply Lisset Moreno June 27, 2019 at 1:35 am

    GREAT! It was really useful. I just have a question, What i have to do if I only need one part of the subject cover in the material? for example only the face. Thank you so much.

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