Beginners Guide to Special Effects: The Light 5 Videos (2:13h)
  • 01 - Introduction to Special Effects & Planning an Edit
    In this tutorial you will learn about compositing, advanced coloring, advanced texturing, how to use the pen tool to create advanced selections, and much more.
  • 02 - Selections & Object Removal
    Learn how to remove large objects from the background while using a variety of selection tools to protect areas that you want to keep.
  • 03 - Advanced Coloring
    Follow along as we change the skin color and texture of one of the subjects to match that of the furniture.
  • 04 - Blending Effects with the Brush Tool
    Learn how to use the Brush Tool to create the effect of body parts protruding from an object in the background.
  • 05 - Exposure Adjustments & Color Toning
    In the final section we tie the image together with some exposure adjustments and color toning.
Beginners Guide to Special Effects: Breaking the Mold 4 Videos (1:40h)
  • 01 - Introduction to Special Effects & Planning the Edit
    In this tutorial you will learn about compositing, advanced coloring, advanced texturing, how to use the pen tool to create advanced selections, and much more.
  • 02 - Reshaping with the Liquify Tool
    To get our subject to match perfectly with the background elements, we use the Liquify Tool to reshape her body so that it lines up with the body of a mannequin.
  • 03 - Realistic Transformation Effects
    With our subject in place, follow along as we make it appear as though her human form is emerging from a mannequin shell.
  • 04 - Finishing Touches
    Now that the special effects are complete, we finish off the image with some general retouching, dodging and burning, coloring, and sharpening.
Home > PRO Tutorials > Visual Effects > The Beginners Guide to Special Effects

The Beginners Guide to Special Effects


It’s 2 Phlearn PRO Tutorials in 1! Follow along step-by-step to create 2 incredible images from start to finish. If you are interested in learning dozens of tool and techniques to propel your working knowledge of Photoshop and photography, look no further. This is it.

What’s Included

8 Sample Images   |   9 Video Tutorials

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Blend and Composite

Learn the secrets to compositing and blending multiple photos together to create seamless, stunning effects. From start to finish, you will see how each image is adjusted and combined using Photoshop.

Make Perfect Cutouts

Follow along as we explain the correct tools and techniques to cut out subjects for their image. Learn how to use the Pen Tool to create paths and turn the paths into selections. Create incredible selections and speed up your background cleanup.

Add, Subtract and Create Selections

Refine your images by removing unwanted distractions. Master multiple techniques that will allow you to remove literally anything leaving only the focal points you decide.

Bonus Pen Tool Video

Sometimes the best way to create advanced selections is on your own using the Pen Tool. This Phlearn PRO Tutorial includes a Bonus Pen Tool Video with in-depth instructions.

Perfect Color Match

Create the most believable composite image by matching the colors perfectly. Learn how to adjust the colors separately between shadows, midtones and highlights to create an accurate and realistic color match.

Dodge and Burn

Learn how to dodge and burn in new ways to help blend images together. Alter the highlights and shadows to create extra details in specific areas. Use what you learn to add style and interest to any image.

Sharpen the Details

Learn how to selectively sharpen different areas of the image to draw attention to where it’s needed. Usually, the subject of the photo should be a bit sharper than the rest of the image to catch the viewer’s eye. The most subtle details can make the greatest impact.

Retouch, Quick and Simple

Learn time-saving techniques to significantly speed up your retouching process. Follow along and learn how to easily color-match skin tones from different areas of the body to give any subject a more uniform look.


  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    awesome video!!!!

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Awesome tutorial and I feel like I learned a lot of things from it!

  3. (verified owner)
    Rated 5 out of 5

    Awesome tutorial. Thats my result 🙂

  4. Rated 3 out of 5

    this tutorial is more enough to the beginners…………but little things want more effectively

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    I think this is fantastic tutorial! Thank you!

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    I have just start looking at this guide and i am very impressed.

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    More great tutorials. The hand painting was challenging with a mouse but I wanted to try even though I have a tablet as well.


This tutorial includes 8 sample images and 9 video tutorials. Download the sample images and assets at the top of the page.

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If you need to learn the basics of Photoshop, we recommend watching the Photoshop Basics Collection and Photoshop 101-301 to familiarize yourself with all of the tools and capabilities that the software has to offer.

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