Crafting a retro moped in Photoshop

In this tutorial we’re going to see how to create a retro image in Photoshop using Advanced Blending and Lab Color mode.

These methods are very flexible and work very well when it comes to vintage and grunge style or simply when you need to achieve a more realistic effect without using brushes.

A preview of the final result

What is needed to create this?

The source file?

You can download it here

Step1: create a new document

Create a new document (Ctrl/Cmd +N) with size of 600 x 800 pixels

Step2: create the background

Open the paper texture image in Photoshop, copy it into the document and resize it.
Let’s call this layer paper

Step 3: the moped

Open the file vespa.png ad copy it into the document. Call the layer moped

Step 4: Lab treatments

Now we need to create 2 new layers.
We’ll use the Lab method to create 2 duplicates of the moped.
The Lab method has got a Lightness dedicated channel and we’ll work with this.
So with the moped layer selected, choose Duplicate layer from Layer menu

Set the new document with these values

Document : new
Name : lab

In this new document image>mode>lab color

In this new document, select the channels tab and select the Lightness channel

With this channel still selected , filter>sketch>photocopy and set
Detail : 1
Darkness : 15
You should end with a result similar to this

Select the image (Ctrl/Cmd + a ) , copy it (Ctrl/Cmd +c) and put it on the top of the moped layer (Ctrl/Cmd +v) in moped.psd

Call this layer photocopy

Now in the lab.psd, select the history tab and go back to Lab Color state

Apply a new filter to the image (filter>sketch>halftone pattern) and set


Paste the resulting image in moped.psd on the top of the photocopy layer
Call this layer halftone

At this step the halftone layer hides the layers below…don’t worry about it!

Step 5: advanced blending – the funny stuff

Back to the moped.psd, hide temporarily halftone and photocopy layers, double click on the moped layer and set blending options :

Blend Mode = overlay
Opacity= 80%
Blendif = gray

Then split the arrows in blendif panel (Alt/Opt + click ) and move them to these values

Now activate the photocopy layer, and repeat the same step with

blend mode= multiply

and the Blendif settings like below

Finally repeat the same step with the halftone layer

Blend mode=multiply

and the Blendif settings below

You should result with something like this

Step 6 : add a worn effect

Now it’s time to add some worn effects
Open subtlegrunge2.jpg and copy it above the paper layer.

Blend mode = color burn
Opacity = 20%
Then with a soft round eraser polish the moped area

Step 7 : add some text and fancy stuff

Now add some text, shapes, play with their blendif settings and you are ready.


I think the Blendif option is often overlooked, but it’s a very useful and flexible technique to achieve a realistic effect.
Tip : using this technique, you can obtain many different results simply changing the blend method of the layers