Metallic Toning Effect on your Portrait

Not sure what to call this effect. It makes the color of the portrait quite metallic, like your skin was made of silver, bronze or maybe copper. I've seen it a couple of times in magazines when they have a big portrait of a stranger spread on a full page. So maybe it's about time I write something about this effect.

Who would be more perfect for this metallic effect other than the Iron Man actor, Robert Downey Jr. Take a look at the 'before' and 'after' image you'll have an idea of what I'm talking about.

1. Naturally, you should start by opening your image in Photoshop.

2. Next, duplicate the image. Set the duplicate image layer to Overlay.

3. With the duplicate image layer selected, go to Filter > Other > High Pass. Our goal here is to sharpen the image a little bit, so you can see some details on the skin tone. If you already have a high resolution image, no need to set the radius too high. Mine is set to 5.

4. Now go to Image > Mode > Grayscale. If a message appear asking you to merge the layer, don't panic, just click 'Merge'.

5. Next, go to Image > Mode > Duotone. Select Quadtone on the Type dropdown menu. Then, click the 'Load' button on the right.

A window will open, select PANTONE(R) QUADTONES folder. And select the file Bl 541 513 5773 and click Load. You'll have something like below and click OK.

6. Now, change the mode back to RGB. Go to Image > Mode > RGB Color.

7. Duplicate the image. And set the duplicate layer to 'Color Burn'. Set the opacity to 20%.

8. We're gonna add some adjustment layers to amplify the effect. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves. Make an S-shape curve like the image below. The steep of your curve is up to you, whatever looks good on your image.

9. Now go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Level. Adjust the level as follows.

And we're done. You got yourself one explosive metallic portrait.


Russell DeMorte said...

Hey, thanks for the rad tutorial. I posted my version up here


*aCe* said...

Hi Russell, first of all..thanks for droppin' by here. Saw your version in your blog..interesting theme you got there. Anyway, would really appreciate if you don't copy my tutorial word by word, coz that's really not cool..maybe change the wording and make it really your version...

Zack said...

Nice tutorials, maybe add some shinning effect. Would be great!

Priya said...

Very good tutorial

Nadiuska said...

Hey Thanks for the tutorial..

I haven't been able to try it though, I can't seem to call the number you gave.

Is there any other way I can buy the settings?

Pls let me know, I have been searching for this effect for a while now!

*aCe* said...

Hi Nadiuska,

You mean you cannot get the number in step 5? I'm not sure about other version of Photoshop, but this tutorial is based on CS2.

Levinson Axelrod said...

Great end photo. It's a nice effect. Thanks for the instruction.