Iron Fist Effect – Glowing Hand – Photoshop Tutorial

Iron Fist Effect – Glowing Hand – Photoshop Tutorial

Welcome back to another very exciting tutorialhere at the PhotoshopTrainingChannel.


My name is Jesus Ramirez and you can findme in Instagram @JRfromPTC.

In this tutorial, I'm going to show you howto create the glowing fist effect from the Netflix series Iron Fist.

Even though you may never have the need tocreate this effect for your projects, by following this tutorial, you will learn techniques thatwill help you in other areas.

In this project, we'll work with BlendingModes, Filters, Adjustment Layers, Smart Objects, Layer Masks and Clipping Masks.

And there will be plenty of Photoshop tipsalong the way.

If this is your first time at the PhotoshopTraining Channel, then don't forget to subscribe and click on that Like button.

Okay, let's get started.

I'm working with a blank document that is1920 x 1080.

You can create a document the same size ifyou wish.

The first thing I'm going to do is bring inthe assets that we're going to be working with in this tutorial.

You can go into Window, Libraries and I havetwo Adobe Stock images.

You can download the watermarked versionsfor free so that you can practice or you can download the high resolution versions if youdecide to license the images.

You can also take advantage of Adobe's 10free image offer.

There's links to both the asset and the 10free image offer right in the description below.

So I uploaded both assets onto my CreativeCloud library and I can simply click and drag them on to my working document.

If you're using Photoshop CS6 or an olderversion, you can still download these images on to your computer from the Adobe Stock website.

And I can scale them by holding Alt Shift,that's Option Shift on the Mac, and click and drag from any corner handle, then rightclick on the image and select Flip Horizontal because I want the fist coming from the leftside, making that look like his right fist.

You can rotate the image by hovering overthe corner handles.

When you see the double sided arrow, clickand drag to rotate.

You can then scale by clicking and draggingfrom the corner handles.

Remember to hold Shift to constrain the scale.

Make the image large enough so that it coversthe entire canvass.

Then I'm going to hit Enter, that's Returnon the Mac, to accept the changes and I'm going to close my Libraries panel for now.

Then I'm going to click on the Quick SelectionTool and I'm going to click and drag on his fist and arm to make a selection around itand then I'm going to click on a New Layer Mask icon.

There it is.

Now, I can click in the background, createa new solid color adjustment layer, make it black and press OK.

Then we can create a new layer, but firstI'm going to click on the top most layer, which is the fist and I'll just call thislayer "Fist" and this layer I'll call it "Black background.

" So I'm going to click on the Fist layer andI'm going to create a new layer.

Then I'm going to fill it with black.

So I'm going to go into Edit, Fill, Contents,you have Black, 50% Gray, and White.

Select "Black" and press OK.

Then let's change the blending mode to ColorDodge and the layer is going to disappear, and that's okay.

At this point, I can make my foreground colorwhite, then click on the Brush Tool and select any brush that I like.

So, maybe, I'll use one of these brushes thathas some scattering effects and I'll make it larger.

It doesn't really matter what brush we'reusing at this point since this is only an example.

So once I start painting, you'll see thatyou start getting this glowing effect.

Now you can take the time and find the rightbrush and the right settings to paint in that glowing effect on the fist, but I found amuch easier way.

The reason that I showed you the brush wasso that you could see that you can paint on that layer and that using white will createthe glowing effect.

But, if we fill with black–and this time,black is my background color–so I can fill with my background color by holding Ctrl Backspaceon the PC, that's Command Delete on the Mac.

Then, what we can do instead is go into Filter,Render, Clouds and notice the effect that we get.

We can, then, go into Filter, Render, DifferenceClouds and we get this effect here.

So now, it looks more like there's somethingglowing in this person's hand and this is going to help us create the Iron Fist.

Then you can click on the Move Tool and clickand drag it so that the glowing part is in the center.

You can find the best spot here, so I'm justmoving around and seeing where I can find a nice glow right in the center of the image,so maybe something like this.

If you find an area that is too bright, likeon his knuckle here, you can always click on the Brush Tool and find a Soft Brush andpaint with Black, and then, go into Edit, Fade Brush Tool and Fade it accordingly, somaybe something like this, and press OK.

And if you want to make something brighter,just paint with white, then go into Edit, Fade Brush Tool, and fade it accordingly,of course.

In this case, I'm just going to leave it atzero because I don't really want to make any changes, so I'm going to press OK, or youcan press Ctrl Alt Z, Command Option Z on the Mac, to Undo.

I am going to paint with black on this areahere because this is a little too bright, and again, I'm going to fade it; Edit, Fade,click and drag the Opacity slider to the left, and then press OK.

What I'm going to do now is create a layermask on the Iron Fist layer.

If I simply click on the New Layer Mask icon,it creates a layer mask.

I'm going to undo that.

Instead, I'm going to hold Alt, Option onthe Mac, and click to create a black layer mask that hides everything.

With layer masks, if it's white, it revealsthe pixels on that layer or effects if it's an adjustment layer.

And if it's black, it conceals them.

So, with black, we hide all the pixels onthat layer, but I can paint with the Brush Tool with white using a Soft Brush.

Make sure hardness is at zero percent andI can simply start painting in that detail back in only in the areas that I decide to,so I'm just going to paint them, and right here, right on his fist, up unto the wrist,and I will include the fingers and knuckles.

You can see what your layer mask looks likeby holding Alt, Option on the Mac, and clicking on the Layer Mask icon and I'm just goingto click down there to make sure that I paint it with white and I missed a couple of spotsso I'll paint those with white as well.

I'm going to hold Alt, Option again, and clickon the Layer Mask icon.

Now, we're going to create an adjustment layerthat is going to help us control the intensity of the iron fist, so I'm going to create anew adjustment layer and select Levels.

And if you've seen the show, you'll know thatDanny, the main character, uses his chi to control the Iron Fist.

So, for fun, we'll just call this adjustmentlayer, "chi control.

" And I don't need a layer mask and I'm justgoing to delete it just so it doesn't confuse us, so we just have this adjustment layerwhich is a Levels Adjustment layer.

Then you can press Ctrl Alt G, that's CommandOption G on the Mac, to create a clipping mask or you can click on this icon here inthe Properties Panel.

Then you can move up to this handle here inthe center and this is what it's going to control the intensity of the glow of the fist.

Watch what happens when I move it to the right,it disappears and I move it to the left, it increases.

So this is, technically, what's controllingthe Iron Fist or the glow of the fist that we're working with.

One side note: If you're working with areasthat are too bright, you can also click and drag on this white point handle and drag itto the left to decrease it.

So it will be a fine tune between this whitepoint handle and this midpoint handle here on top.

So, for now, I'm just going to leave it rightabout here and maybe drag this one slightly to the left.

At this point, it's time to start workingon the actual veins that are going to show through.

If there was really a light inside of someone'sfist, you would see the veins that are going through the person's hand.

And we're going to create those veins by usinganother Adobe Stock asset, and once again, the links to those assets are right belowin the description.

And you can use a free watermarked versionof it so that you can practice.

So I'm going to click and drag this asseton to my working document and I'm going to close the Libraries panel.

I'm going to hold Shift Alt, that's ShiftOption on the Mac, click and drag.

Now these veins are going to be the largeveins that you see on people's hands.

This particular stock asset image that I havedoes not have clear visible veins on his hand, but if it did, then you may want to paintthose in using a regular brush, that way, it matches the actual contours of the realhand.

So in this case, we don't have to worry aboutthat.

So what I'm going to do first is figure outwhich veins I want to use and I think I need to go larger, so I'm going to free transformthe image by pressing Ctrl T, that's Command T on the Mac.

Then I'm going to click and drag on the cornerhandles to scale it out.

Remember to hold Alt and Shift, that is OptionShift on the Mac.

So I'm just probably going to use these fourassets here, maybe even use this one here.

So actually I'll use this one, two, three,four, five–these five.

Then I'm going to disable the black backgroundjust so we can see some of the white.

I'm going to go to the Channels panel andyou'll see in the Channels panel we have Red, Green and Blue.

Green and Blue look the same.

The Red channel is very faint so we won'tbe able to use it.

So you can click on either the green or bluechannel, then you can duplicate it by clicking and dragging it over on to the New Channelicon and pressing Ctrl I, Command I, to Invert, so that we have white veins and a black background.

Now I'm actually going to delete this channeljust to show you a different way.

You can click on the Blue channel, hold Alt,Option on the Mac, and click and drag it on to the New Channel icon.

I'm still holding Alt, then release the mousebutton and it's going to bring up the Duplicate Channel window and you can simply click onInvert and press OK, so two ways of doing the same thing.

Now with the Blue copy selected, I'm goingto go into Image, Adjustment Levels, and just make sure that the blacks are black and thatthe whites are white, and I'll achieve that by moving the black point to the right andthe white point to the left, and then I'm going to press OK.

Then I can hold Ctrl, that's Command on theMac and click on the Blue copy channel thumbnail and that's going to make a selection aroundthe white pixels.

I'm going to click on RGB, then I'm goingto go into the Layers panel and I can delete this veins graphic since we're not going toneed it anymore.

Then I can create a new layer and fill withblack.

You can use the Edit Fill command or use thekeyboard shortcut.

I'll go with the keyboard shortcut.

I'm going to hold Alt and Backspace, that'sOption Delete on the Mac, to Fill with the foreground color, which is black.

Then, I'm going to press Ctrl D, Command D,to deselect.

And now we're going to use these elementsto create the veins in the hand, then I'm going to rename Layer 1 and call it "vains.

" And actually, veins is spelled with an "e"not an "a" but that's okay; we'll leave it like this.

I'm going to click on the Lasso Tool and I'mgoing to make a selection around this vein here.

Then I'm going to cut and copy this vein designonto a new layer.

You can do that two different ways–with thekeyboard shortcut or by going into Layer, New, Layer via Cut–but I prefer the shortcutShift Ctrl J, that's Shift Command J on the Mac, so that's what I will do.

So now we were able to cut that layer outon to a new layer and here it is.

And I'm going to disable the Vains layer sowe can just simply work with that layer.

I'm going to press V on the keyboard to selectthe Move Tool and I'm just going to place this vein into position.

Now, the way that we're going to work withthe veins is by working with the larger veins that we have in our hands.

You can look at anatomy pictures online oryou can look at your own hand to place them.

I want to go fairly quickly here, but youmight want to take a little more time when working with your designs.

So I'm going to place that one there.

I'm going to enable the vains layer again.

Once again, select Lasso Tool and find thenext vein that I'm going to use and I'm going to use this one here, Ctrl Shift J, CommandShift J, to create a New Layer via Cut.

There it is and with the Move Tool, I canmove this into place.

Ctrl T to transform, click and drag on thecorner handles to rotate and you can also right click and select Horizontal so we flipthis horizontally.

Enable the vains layer one more time and nowclick on the Lasso Tool.

I want to disable the first two layers justso that we can see what we're working with and I'm going to cut this one out next.

Ctrl Shift J, Command Shift J on the Mac andI can enable the other layers and work with Layer 3.

Press V on the keyboard for the Move Tooland place this accordingly.

I'm going to press Ctrl T to Transform andI'm going to rotate it and maybe do a Flip Vertical.

And at this point, it's okay if the veinsare going pass the hand.

I'm going to enable the vains layer yet onceagain, and now, I'm going to use the one on top here, and I'm going to be careful withthat edge there.

I'm going to click on the vains layer, pressCtrl Shift J, disable the vains layer and move this accordingly.

And, obviously, this is a long tedious process,but it will give us good results at the end.

And I'm going to duplicate this layer–Layer 4.

With the Move Tool selected, I'm going tohold Alt, that's Option on the Mac, and click and drag to duplicate, then I can press CtrlT, that's Command T on the Mac, and sort of extend this vein here and hit Enter, and alsoextend the one right above it.

But this time, I'm going to press Ctrl T toTransform and flip it vertically and maybe drag it down a little bit.

Hit Enter and then I'm going to hold Alt,Option on the Mac and click on the Layer Mask icon to hide everything on that layer, andthen, paint with white on that layer mask to reveal the veins that are going into thearm, so something like that.

And I can also paint this one back in.

So those are going to be the larger veinsin the hand and I'm noticing one little mistake here, so I'm going to create a new Layer Maskand just paint with black on that area using a small Soft Brush, and that's okay.

What I'm going to do now is select all theselayers, so I'm going to click on the layer at the bottom, hold Shift, click on the layeron top and it's going to select all the layers.

Then, I can right click to the side of thelayer and convert it to a Smart Object, and I'm going to call this smart object "Largeveins.

" And I'm going to drag them down above the"chi control" adjustment layer, and I'm going to hold Ctrl Alt G, Command Option G on theMac, to turn that into a Clipping Mask.

And notice now how the veins now look likethey're inside the hand.

So I can go into Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blurand blur them just a bit.

And notice that by adding blur, it reallydoes make it seem as if these veins are inside the hand.

I'm going to press OK and now we're goingto continue working with veins that are going to be smaller, so I'm going to open up thisvains layer once again and I'm just going to create a selection around the veins here.

And once again, Ctrl Shift J, Command ShiftJ on the Mac to make a new Layer via Copy.

And at this point, I don't think I'll needthis vains layer, but I'll leave it disabled for now in case I want to use some of theseother elements.

So I'm going to press Ctrl T to transformand scale it down.

And I can move this around and just placeit in different areas.

I have the Move Tool selected.

I'm going to hold Alt, Option on the Mac,and just put it in a new area and rotate, and this is up to you.

It's all subjective where you're going toput these veins and how you're going to rotate them, so I'm just going to quickly place themin different areas like so.

And these are going to be the veins that aresmaller or further down the hand.

I'm going to click on the first one againand I'm going to duplicate that, Ctrl J, Command J on the Mac, so it's there on a new layer.

So then, from that duplicate, on to the verytop, I'm going to hold Shift and click to make a selection out of all those layers,and then, select Convert to Smart Object.

So notice now how we have that one there byitself.

That's Layer 1.

So I'm going to disable Layer 1, enable theone on top, then I'm going to click and drag it down under the large veins and I'll callthis one "smaller veins.

" Then, I can go into Filter, Blur, GaussianBlur, and I can blur those accordingly.

Now I can go back to Veins 1 and actuallyon that one, I'm just going to collapse this, and with layer one that has that black vein,I'm going to just drag that down under "smaller veins" and I can just figure out where I'mgoing to place this, so I'm going to place that one here, hold Alt, Option on the Mac,click and drag, and I'm just looking for areas that are missing veins where I can place thoseand maybe rotate them in some cases.

So, then, I can select all of those by clickingon Layer 1 Copy 6, then holding Shift, and clicking on Layer 1, and that will selectall the layers in-between.

Then, right click to the side of any layerand select Convert to Smart Object, and once again, Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur, and youcan determine how much of a blur that you're going to get.

Press OK and rename this layer "Detail veins"because they help add details to the veins.

So now that I have all the veins created,I can go back into the Levels Adjustment Layer which is the "chi control" layer.

In this center icon, I could drag it rightto decrease the effect or drag it to the left to intensify the effect.

And actually, this effect looks better ifwe have the black background enabled, so if I drag it to the right, it's not the IronFist, and if I drag it to the left, he's becoming the Iron Fist.

That looks pretty cool, right? So if you're enjoying this tutorial, don'tforget to subscribe or click on that Like button.

And what we're going to do now is just deletethis vains layer.

We don't need it, so I'm just going to deleteit.

What I'm going to do now is further enhancethe effect by creating a Color Balance Adjustment Layer.

And in the show Iron Fist, his fist is fairlyyellow, so I'm just going to click and drag the yellow slider to the left to add a littlebit of yellow and maybe reduce the cyans and add just a little bit of red, so that's beforeand after.

It just makes the hand look a little moreyellow.

Then I can create a Curves Adjustment Layerand just adjust the curve to try to create more contrast and make the hand pop even more.

I feel that he needs a little more work herein the center, so I'm going to click right above the Iron Fist layer, which is the cloudslayer, and create a new layer–a blank layer.

And this is just going to be a center glow,so center of the hand glow.

And I'm going to select Red as my foregroundcolor and with a Soft Brush, I'm going to paint here in the center, and I'm going touse a right bracket key on the keyboard to increase the size of my brush.

You can, of course, use the slider here ifyou wish, but using the keyboard shortcut is much faster, so I'm just going to paintwith red right here.

Then I'm going to change the blending modeto Screen and I can decrease the Opacity to 35%, so that's before and that's after.

You can sort of see that there's some redin there, maybe those are blood cells or something like that.

Then, actually, 35 might be a little too strong,so I'll even reduce it down even further, maybe 20%, so that's before and that's after.

The Colors Balance Adjustment Layer is applyingthe yellow to the hand.

I'm going to select the Layer Mask and I'mgoing to paint with black to hide some of the yellow above the wrist, maybe paint withwhite to bring some back on the wrist there, so something like that.

I'm going to click on the Move Tool.

And at this point, if you wish, you can movethe Iron Fist layer here, but make sure you click on the chain link icon to unlink thelayer mask from the layer and you can move it around accordingly if you want to finda better spot for it.

If you work on images that do not have a blackbackground, then you will have to confine the Curves Adjustment Layer to the layer thatcontains the hand.

So, you can delete the Adjustment Layer, clickon the fist layer, hold Alt, Option on the Mac, click and drag that layer mask to duplicateit on to the Curves layer.

In this case, it's not going to make a change,but if you're working on an image that has a background, that change will be noticeable.

The last thing that I want to do is just makesure that I'm happy with the intensity of the glow, so I always like to start at zeroand then just bring it up just to see how far I can push it with it still looking realistic,so maybe something like this and something like that.

I'm looking at the large veins, maybe justslightly too sharp, so I can go back into the Gaussian Blur by double clicking on thelabel here in the smart object and then adjusting the blur accordingly, so maybe just a littlebit more of a blur and then press OK, and I'll change the intensity.

And, of course, you can spend a lot more timefine tuning the image, but I think this looks great for a tutorial.

The last thing that I want to do is createa new layer on top of everything else, then select yellow from the foreground color pickerand this is so that we can give the fist a glow.

Select the Brush Tool or press B on the keyboard,then use the left and right bracket keys on the keyboard to adjust the size of the brush.

When you have a brush about this big, clickin the center to paint with yellow, then I can press Ctrl T, Command T to transform andmake this larger.

And the reason I didn't use a larger brushis because I didn't want the edges of the layer to get cut off when I paint it.

That way, if I decide to, I can move thisaround and still have the complete glow around the edges.

So put that in the center there and bringdown the Opacity.

And I like the glow but I don't like how yellowit is there in the center, so what I can do, actually, is just create a layer mask andpaint with black right in the center, like so, then use a Density slider to control thelayer mask.

And, actually, if I hold Alt, Option on theMac, click on that layer mask; you can see how that works.

White reveals everything, as you can see.

I'm holding Alt, Option on the Mac and clickingthe Layer Mask icon.

And Black conceals, as you can see there.

And this is sort of like the opacity for thelayer mask, so you can control that accordingly.

And you can use both the density and the Opacityof the actual layer to control that effect.

And that's it for this tutorial.

I hope that you enjoyed it and that you learnedsomething new.

Make sure that you leave all your commentsor questions down below.

If you create an image using this tutorialor any other of my tutorials, feel free to share it on Instagram with the hashtag #PTCVids.

I often do a search for this hashtag to seewhat you're all up to.

Also, don't forget to subscribe and clickon that Like button.

If you have a friend who you think might enjoythis tutorial, please share this link with them now.

Thank you for watching and I'll talk to youagain soon.

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