Aug 11, 2016

How to Get Six Pack Abs in Photoshop

How to Get Six Pack Abs in Photoshop

Why work out in the Gym when you can get perfect Six Pack Abs in Photoshop? Learn a simple technique to create abs in Photoshop!

How to Create Ab Shapes

To create shapes that look like abs, start by using the Rounded Rectangle Tool.  Create one rectangle over the stomach and change the radius to look like part of the body.

Duplicate the first shape to mirror the other side of the body, then group the two shapes together. Next, duplicate this group twice and bring one group above and place one group below.

Select the top group of ‘Abs’ and press CTRL/CMD+T to bring up the transform dialog. Next, hold CTRL/CMD+ALT+SHIFT and click-and-drag one of the top corners to activate the perspective warp to make it look like the Abs taper inwards towards the top.

Do the same thing on the bottom set of abs, but bring in the bottom instead of the top.

Once all of the groups are transformed into the desired shape, group them all together, duplicate the group and merge it into one layer by pressing CTRL/CMD+E.

Next add a Gaussian Blur to the ab shapes to make them integrate into the body.

How to Use Layer FX on Abs

After getting the abs shape defined, double-click on the layer or go to ‘FX-Blending Options’ at the bottom of the Layer Panel. Lower the ‘Fill Opacity’ to 0, making the layer invisible, but the layer FX visible.

Click on ‘Bevel and Emboss’ and use the ‘Emboss Style’ to add highlight and shadow to the shapes. Be sure to mimic the angle of the bevel and emboss to match the lighting of the original photo.

Change the highlight and shadow colors to match skin tone by clicking on them and using the eyedropper to sample color from the actual skin.

Each photo will require different settings, change Depth, Size, and Softness to get the most realistic results.

Finishing Touches

To finish the Abs Effect, create a layer mask on the layer and paint black on areas to fade them into the skin. Use the Transform command CTRL/CMD+T to transform the ab shape into place, and change opacity as needed.

If you find you still need to make changes to the Layer FX, simply double-click on the Layer FX on the layer and make adjustments until the abs look real!


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  • user image
    Stein Gee

    Hi Aaron,

    Just wanted to say: Keep up the great work, I’m really enjoying your tutorials, tried them all on my own after a second view, following along with you 🙂

    Thank you so much for doing this!


  • user image
    José Parcerisa V

    Aron excellent technique, I never imagine to make it with shapes and fx, Tank you for teaching.

  • Jonathan Solis

    Could you make an episode in how to create realistic bubbles so, I can put in this image larger bubbles and maybe even place other images in them, my idea is to use this girsls previews images as bubbles foating around her, but I need the bubbles to place the photos in them, did I just made a mess hahaha thanks again for all your videos I have them all

  • user image

    Great tutorial (as usual—huge fan).
    I have a couple of enhancements that viewers might want to consider to simplify the process a bit.

    1) When you create the first rounded rectangle shape, press Option/Alt and click and drag the shape to a new location. This duplicates the shape within the same shape layer (no need to have multiple layers and groups). Keep duplicating the shape(s) (shift-click to add and subtract shapes from the selection) and then move them into position.
    2) You can Transform individual shapes or all the shapes together by shift-clicking on the shapes you want to transform.
    3) Make the shape layer a Smart Object and apply the Gaussian Blur. This gives you the added benefit of being able to tweak the blur afterwards.
    4) Add your Bevel & Emboss as per the tutorial as well as mask.
    5) You can also Transform the Smart Object layer for further tweaking.
    Happy PHLEARNing!

  • user image
    Nigel Hewett

    Awesome as usual! Cant get enough of your tuts! You make it all sound so easy! Thank you for making learning PS so straight forward with loads of deep explanations!

  • user image

    Hey Aaron, loved the tutorial. Just wanted to say, a great addition to this would be how to make it look like there is a phone under your skin with a glowing screen. It might be easier to do something the shape of say an iPhone, but what about one of those old school flip phones with a short rubber aerial?

  • user image

    I am using CS5 and do not have the properties option. Is there another was to control the shape radius?

    • user image

      I dont have the properties option either, and I’m using PS CC. I draw the shape, but the properties window is just empty. Also, there is no extra layer created for the shape.

      • user image

        Just figured it out. When you select the shape tool, there is a dropdown menu to the top left. You can choose between Shape, Path and Pixels. Make sure it says Shape!

  • user image

    Hey Aaron,
    Thanks so much for you generosity in giving your time to teach us noobs, its muchly appreciated! I do have an idea for an episode, I have been trying to remove crease lines from a folded poster for a friend. I have tried dodging and burning and even clone stamp and healing brush, but the result looks terrible. I hope you can help… thanks again!

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    Kutin George

    wooow!!, I’m really enjoying your tutorials and I know you will help me to bee like you. hahaha!! thank you very much.

  • user image

    Aaron, I take my hat off to you dude. You are the master, out of all the tutes I have seen of yours, this is without a doubt one of my favourites – You are indeed the Master my friend.

    Not only are you a PS legend, you have one of the best training bedside manners I have seen, and I am an ex-technical trainer so I have seen quite a few.

    Unreally Buddy

    Mike – Qld, Australia

  • user image

    That was a fun one to watch. Sometimes I watch these for no other reason than to see what can be done with Photoshop. I don’t need to add abs to my personal ‘stud’ photo, since I have one big ab in the middle.

    Don’t ever stop making these tutorials. They’re addicting.