For this post I wanted to show everyone how to get the “Sin City Effect” on a picture, which is turning everything black and white except one object. I got a picture off of Jim’s Flickr of kids playing soccer and decided to make everything black and white except their shirts.

1. Open Adobe Photoshop and open the picture you want to work with.

2. Double-click on the Background layer in the layers tab and then click “Ok”

Now where it said “Background” it should now say “Layer 0”

3. Now click on “Layer 0”, make sure its highlighted and go to Layer –> Duplicate Layer

4. Make sure you click on the “Layer 0 copy”.

5. Now go to Layer –> Layer Mask –> Reveal All

6. Click back on “Layer 0” and go to Image –> Adjustments –> Channel Mixer, and check the Monocrome box

7. Now click on “Layer 0 copy”

8. Now use the eraser and erase everything in the picture that you do not want to be in color. You can adjust the size of the eraser brush as shown below

Hint: you can click the eyeball next to a layer on the bottom right box to make that layer become invisible if that will help you.


I wanted to do this because I have seen friends on Facebook do the same and I thought it was really cool. If anyone has any questions on any of the steps let me know. Also, if anyone tries this I would like to see it in a comment on this post if that is possible. Thanks in advance for any feedback you have.

16 Responses to “Digital Tutorial #2”

  1. Gretchen H. says:

    I’ve always wondered how people do this too! I always thought they did it with different camera settings, but I love that you helped teach how to do this. Do you have to purchase adobe in order to do this? Or can it be downloaded online? Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Jessica Houck says:

    I really like how you explained this step by step, and the ending picture came out really coo! I love when people do this to pictures, it looks awesome!

  3. Carlie says:

    End product is really good, I think you achieved the “sin city” effect as well. The colors are clean too, there is not any, I guess you would call it bleeding, onto the black and white part of the photo.

  4. Kevin Cherniawski says:

    Nice post! I really like the project you decided to do and I really also liked how effectively you were able to show the step-by-step process. Nicely done!

  5. Jim says:

    Well done, and I like the image you used 🙂 This is exactly the kind of sharing out how, and using screen shots and narrative to take us through the process I was looking for. very cool.

  6. Garrett says:

    I’ve always wondered how people did this too! Man, that is really simple and very cool. Good work.

  7. knero says:

    You can actually download a free trial of Adobe Photoshop off their site.

  8. Morrgan says:

    I miss Photoshop soooo much. I had a copy on my old old computer, but when I got my mac I didn’t have it anymore, and I have long expired my free trial. =[ When I did this with my pictures, I did it differently, but your way seems a little simpler. haha. I would use the magic wand and select all of the image that I wanted to stay in color (and the specificity of that required changing the magic wand settings) and then made the selected portion into a new layer, then made the first layer black and white. Sometimes this could take a while to select everything, but it was worth it. If only I still had photoshop to try your way . . . anyway! Your tutorial was very specific and clear, and I think if I had the opportunity I could easily follow it. =]

  9. Jenn says:

    This. Is. So. Cool! haha it makes me want to download Photoshop right now. I can’t wait to see what you work on next

  10. Jessica Murnin says:

    This is done really well! I too liked how you went step by step through everything, and the last picture really pops! When you look at the original picture it has less focus, since our eyes are drawn to the color the completed picture is very well done!

  11. Sarah says:

    I love the way you wrote this blog! This is such an excellent teaching tool, and really shows your understanding! Great work! Plus the photograph is adorable, and perfect for autumn!

  12. Tweets that mention Digital Tutorial #2 « -- says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim Groom, Darren D. Darren D said: RT @jimgroom: Another #ds106 post using Photoshop to create "Sin City" effect I like seeing Miles as a Sin City ch … […]

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  14. rachat de credits says:

    I like reading your website because you can always bring us new and awesome stuff, I think that I must at least say thanks for your hard work.

    – Rob

  15. Amy says:

    This is cool, photography effects are usually really interesting especially if you see the before and after. I’m way too lazy to actually go through the effort to develop the effects though, so well done.

  16. Mikki Rosene says:

    Love your site man keep up the good work