Recipe 8.7. Plastic effect

You are probably familiar with the plastic effect that is often applied to display type or clickable buttons on web pages. While the effect applied to these objects is very effective, we'll try something different here, and apply it to a human hand. There's great potential for using this technique to create some weird and wonderful android and sci-fi images.

We'll use Photoshop's Plastic Wrap filter, combined with a few layer blending modes and styles, to create this unique effect.


With this effect, you're not limited to using the style you've used here. It's worth experimenting with many of the styles in the Web Styles library for the effect of different colored plastics and materials. Go on, try it. You might be pleasantly surprised!

1 Here, we'll "plasticize" a hand. With the start image open, choose the Magic Wand tool and set the Tolerance to 10 in the Options bar. Click with the Wand in the white area around the hand. Invert the selection, using Select > Inverse (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+I). Go to Edit > Copy (Ctrl/Cmd+C) and then go to Edit > Paste (Ctrl/Cmd+V) to paste the hand onto a new layer. Right-click/Ctrl-click this pasted layer and choose Duplicate Layer so we have two hand layers.

2 To begin the plastic effect, click on the ...

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