Tiffany PinkDog’s Blog

White Skin for Vampires in Photoshop Elements

Posted on: November 15, 2008

  • In: photoshop
  • Comments Off on White Skin for Vampires in Photoshop Elements

I didn’t find any tutorials on the net that made vampire skin I was happy with. All the skin looked gray, but I wanted white. So I found my own way, and made this tutorial.

This is a Photoshop Elements tutorial, so if you’re using some other version your buttons, procedures, etc., will be a little different from what you see here. I presume you know a little about Photoshop already.

I’m using a photo of Eva Longoria because she’s medium complexion and not already vampirish white to begin with.




  • Select skin and scalp, then copy and paste into new layer
  • Load skin selection again > Adjustment layer > Photo Filter > Color > black > 90%
  • Load skin selection again in new layer > paint bucket it white > set layer to Soft Light
  • Merge all that and use a mask to blend in with original picture



1. Get your photo, open it, and duplicate the background layer. Name it Eva. Correct any skin imperfections in this layer using the clone tool.

2. Outline all skin and save it as a selection. I use the polygonal lasso. You don’t have to outline it all at once. Outline a part, go to Select > Save Selection and save it in parts. Call it skin and each time you outline a little bit more, go back to Select > Save Selection and save it under the name skin with “Add to Selection” checked. IMPORTANT: Select about a half-inch of hair at the scalp line along with the skin. Otherwise, when you’re done, the scalp will look human-colored instead of vampire-colored.



TIP: While outlining, it’s better to go a little outside the line of the skin than a little inside of it.

3. Go to Select > Load Selection > skin and have a look at it. If you missed any of her skin, go back to step two.


4. Copy and Paste the selection (skin) from the Eva layer into a new layer and call it Photo Filter 1. Load the skin selection again so that the outline is visible and flickering, and be sure you’re got Photo Filter 1 selected.

5. In the Layers Palette there’s a circle that’s half-black and half-white. It’s the “Adjustment Layer” button. Click it and go to “Photo Filter.” Choose “Color” and make the color black. Slide the slider to the right. I went to about 90%. If you go all the way, she’ll turn gray, so don’t go all the way. You may not need to go as far to the right for a lighter-skinned person.


5. Merge the new layer that appears and Photo Filter 1 layer by selecting both, right-clicking, and choosing “Merge Layers.”

6. Make a new layer, load the skin selection, and paint-bucket the selection white. Name it White Layer. Set it to “Soft Light” in the drop-down menu.


7. Merge this layer with Photo Filter 1 Layer. You should now have White Layer, Eva and Background.

8. Load your skin selection, choose the Eva layer, and copy and paste from it. You should now have White Layer, Layer 1, Eva and Background.


9. Now you need a mask layer, which is not so easy to get in Photoshop Elements. So follow closely:

  • Click on Layer 1.
  • Choose the black/white circle (adjustment layer button) and choose “Brightness/Contrast.” Just use whatever settings it defaults to.
  • Make sure the layers are in this order: White Layer, Brightness/Contrast, Layer 1, Eva and Background.


  • Click White Layer to select it, then go to the top of the screen, Layer > Group with Previous.


  • You now have a layer mask, called Brightness/Contrast. I don’t know why Elements makes it so hard to get this. đŸ˜¦

10. This step will quickly explain how to use a mask. If you already know how to do so, go on to step 11.

  • Using a mask allows you to “erase” and “put back” stuff over and over again until you get it right, without worrying about losing anything permanently.
  • Click your Brightness/Contrast layer to select it. Make sure you are working in this layer.
  • Set your colors (usually on the lower left of your screen) to black and white, with black on top and white underneath.
  • Choose the paintbrush tool and a nice big brush at 100%.
  • Paint all over the picture. The white covering we had on her skin will disappear and she will emerge.
  • Go to the colors and click the little arrow that swaps them. Now if you paint on her, the white covering will reappear.

11. Zoom in, select the Brightness/Contrast mask layer, take a paintbrush at 80-100% and unpaint anything you don’t want whited out. I unpainted her eyes, and lips.


12.Then (still working in the Brightness/Contrast mask layer) use a paintbrush at about 50% to blend the white covering into the hairline. For wisps of hair, I use a tiny brush at about 20%. Either that or I just ignore them.

Hair right at the hairline, or that is thin and blowing across the face, for example, should still look a little white when you’re done. It mimics the white skin peeking through the hair. (Beginners: Remember that if you mess up, all you have to do is swap the black and white in the color chooser to reverse the brush and replace anything you accidentally removed.)



This is also the time to look at the rest of the picture and any white covering you don’t want. Just use the mask to get rid of it.

13. Select White Layer, Brightness/Contrast, and Layer 1 and merge them.

14. Select then new layer which should be called White Layer, choose the blur brush in a small, soft size at about 30%. UNCHECK “All Layers” at the top of the screen and then run the brush along all the hard white edges of Eva’s skin where it meets the original picture. Do this a few times. Don’t worry about being perfect; you’re just smoothing the line.

15. Merge White Layer with Eva. Compare to Background. All done!



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