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How to Give Your Photos the Cyberpunk Look in Photoshop

Learn about How to Give Your Photos the Cyberpunk Look in Photoshop
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Do you like cyberpunk effects?! You could use different tools to add this effect to your photos BUT they may not be suitable and some of them are paid! So why not learn how to add a cyberpunk effect using Photoshop? It would be both cost effective and a useful new skill!

Here’s our guide:

#1 Let’s Prepare

Here’s are the first few steps:

  1. Open Photoshop and import the image you want to edit.
  2. Select an image that meets the following requirements:
    • 8 Bits/Channel
    • RGB Color 
    • 25oo to 4500 pixels
    • Be the background layer – Layer>New>Background from Layer
  3. Go to Windows>Actions and find the main icon in the top right-hand corner of the Actions panel.
  4. Click New Set and give it a name – Cyberpunk.
  5. Repeat the same process but this time click New Action instead of New Set. Again, name it Cyberpunk.

#2 Creating Your Color Look

You’ll have to create a look. Here’s how:

  1. Open Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map. Name your new layer Look_1.
  2. Double-click the new thumbnail and go to Properties. Here, open Gradient Editor by clicking on the gradient and change the settings:
    • Name: Custom 
    • Gradient Type: Solid 
    • Smoothness: 100%
    • Left color stop: 0000ff 
    • Right color stop: ff00ff
  3. Change the layer’s Opacity to 70 percent and the Blending Mode to Soft Light.
  4. Click the Background layer to select it.
  5. Go to Layer, select New Adjustment Layer, choose Hue/Saturation. This will create a new adjustment layer. Name it Look_2.
  6. Double click your new layer and choose your desired setting for these colors:
    • Magentas 
    • Blues 
    • Yellows 
    • Cyans 
    • Greens 
    • Reds
  7. Choose your Background layer, select Layer, go to New Adjustment Layer, and click Photo Filter. This will create a new photo filter adjustment layer. Name it Look_3.
  8. Double click the new thumbnail and go to Properties. Now, make these changes:
    • Density: 25%
    • Filter: Cooling Filter (80)
    • Check the Preserve Luminosity box

#3 A Few More Adjustments

Now that you’ve selected colors, it’s time to make final adjustments. Here’s how:

  1. Choose the Look_1 layer and reset the swatches by selecting Reset Swatches from the pull-down menu found in the “Swatches” tab. You can also press D to get the job done. 
  2. Go to Layer, choose New Adjustment Layer, and select Gradient Map. This will create a new gradient map adjustment layer. Name it Complete Contrast.
  3. Change the layer’s Opacity to 80 percent and the Blending Mode to Luminosity.
  4. Go to Layer, choose New Adjustment Layer, and select Vibrance. This will create a new vibrance adjustment layer. Name it Complete Saturation.
  5. Double-click this new layer thumbnail and make these changes by going to the Properties panel:
    • Vibrance: +25
    • Saturation: +10
  6. Go to Layer, choose New Adjustment Layer, and select Levels. This will create a new levels adjustment layer. Name it Complete Brightness.
  7. Double-click this new layer thumbnail and make these changes by going to the Properties panel:

Lightroom Levels panel showing the levels

 

  1. Create a screenshot by pressing Control-Alt-Shift-E.
  2. Desaturate this new layer by pressing Control-Shift-U.
  3. Change Radium to 2 pixels by going to Filter, Option, and High Pass.
  4. Change the layer’s Opacity to 80 percent and the Blending Mode to Hard Light.
  5. You’re done.

The process may appear complicated but once you start playing around with features, you’ll find that this is a fun new skill to have! Give your photos the Cyberpunk look in Photoshop, you’ll want to incorporate it as much as possible. Enjoy!

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