Photoshop: Eerie Duplicate Effect
For this Adobe Photoshop CS6 tutorial, I'll be focusing on camera techniques and the ways that we can combine images to achieve certain effects. There are two examples I would like to show you. In the first one, we created an eerie/supernatural theme. We did this by duplicating the person, and then topped it up with Shadow Layer Styles and unsaturated Image Adjustments. Is this the only way to have fun with duplication experiments? Of course not! In our second example, we went for a more fun approach. In fact, this one took us all the way to Venice, in Italy!
Duplicating & Cropping
Firstly, a camera tripod is a must (unless you have a steady hand). You will also need to make sure that the location is suitable. Will the snaps be disturbed by walking pedestrians? Is there enough time for the entire shoot, before something changes in the background? Remember, every photo needs to be exactly the same (minus the model poses). Once you have your images, Paste (CTRL + V) them into a PSD. Pick your favourite image; this will be the one that we'll ignore for now, and should be the bottom layer. With a Soft Brush, we now need to Erase all of the areas around the person. Do this for every image (except your favourite one). Now, each photo should blend elegantly into a single image. Merge All Visible Layers (SHIFT + CTRL + E) and lower the Saturation with Image » Adjustments » Hue/Saturation (CTRL + U). Also, lower the Brightness with Brightness/Contrast (CTRL + B). Finally, add Inner Shadow from Layer » Layer Style. For more drama, try experimenting with the Blending Modes.
Playful Duplication Effects
In this example, we're going to try something more playful. Did you notice that the previous digital manipulation was panoramic? Duplicating is all about occupying space. The wide-angle view (Image » Crop) is designed to spread out the duplications, showing the audience that the human in the photo can be in many places at once. This is further emphasised by creating spaces between those places. In this example, however, the manipulations are duplicated in a smaller refinement. This is intended to create a feeling of being trapped. Venice is a small city, where the "streets" are very narrow. This image is a lot more positive than the first one, where we used Image » Adjustments » Photo Filters to create warmer colours and lots of smiles. Feel free to share your PS examples!
About the author
I'm Daniel Schwarz. I'm the founder/editor of Airwalk Design as well as creative director and designer at Airwalk Studios. When I'm not designing for startups I write regularly about Sketch App for Designmodo, Sitepoint and Smashing Magazine. I'm 24 years of age and currently active in the digital nomad movement.