Photoshop 7.0 Scarface Photo Effects

Written by mark anderson
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Photoshop 7.0 Scarface Photo Effects
Adobe Photoshop provides a wide open canvas for creativity. (paint brushes image by Horticulture from

Adobe Photoshop is a great tool and is a standard program among graphic design artists. Many movie advertisement posters are designed with this program, as it allows for a great amount of flexibility and delivers impressive effects. A popular photo-effect that can be achieved with Adobe Photoshop 7.0 is the "Scarface Effect", referencing the blockbuster movie directed by Brian De Palma.

Set Up the Image File

The first portion of the guide will help you set up the image that you want to give the "Scarface Effect". Open Adobe Photoshop and create a new file with any resolution. Select an image that you would like to apply the effect and bring it into your new file by dragging it onto the blank canvas space.

Once you have loaded your picture, use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (Shortcut Key L) to cut out the portion of the image you wish to use. When you have selected the outline of your object, invert your selection by pressing "Ctrl + Shift + I". Delete your background by hitting the "Delete" key.

Applying the Base Filter Effect

The first step in applying the effect to the image is using the "Cutout" filter. Apply this filter from the top menu bar, in "Filter > Artistic > Cutout". In the dialogue box for the "Cutout" filter, enter in the following settings:

Number of Levels: 2

Edge Simplicity: 0

Edge Fidelity: 3

Select "OK" to apply the filter.

Desaturate the Image

After the "Cutout" filter has been applied, the image should now begin to look similar to the effect we are looking to achieve. The next steps are to remove the colour from the image and to convert it into pure black and white. Start by selecting "Image > Adjustments > Desaturate" from the top menu bar, putting the image into grayscale tones.

Convert to Pure Black and White: Method 1

There are several methods that can be used to convert the image into pure black and white to achieve the "Scarface Effect". The first method is simply using the Magic Wand Tool (W) and selecting portions of your image to colour them either pure black or pure white. This method is the simplest solution, but can wind up being tedious.

Using the Magic Wand, click on a region of grey on the image to select it, and then press "Shift + Backspace" to fill the region. A dialogue box titled "Fill" will pop up, and select either "Black" or "White" in the "Use:" drop-down menu. Repeat this step across the whole image, using a black fill for shadowed portions of the image and a white fill for the highlighted portions.

Convert to Pure Black and White: Method 2

A second method that can be used in converting your image to pure black and white is through Image Adjustment Options. This method can be much quicker, as the adjustments to apply pure black and white colours are done to the entire image at once. However, this method lacks the precision that can be achieved using the Magic Wand.

From the top menu bar, select "Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast". In the dialogue box, enter "100" in the "Contrast:" box. Select "OK" to apply the change. Then select "Image > Adjustments > Levels" from the top menu bar. This will bring up another dialogue box, with a graph labelled "Input Levels:" and three sliders across the bottom of it. Adjust the Image Levels by sliding the black and white sliders in towards the centre of the graph, until the image has reached pure black and pure white outputs.

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