Transform a Photo into Urban Wall Art

In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to transform a photo into urban wall art using Photoshop. Let the fun begins.

Step 1

First, we need to create a Displacement map of the brick wall (free download) which will conform our subject to the contours of the wall. To do this, first, click the icon at the upper right corner to the layers panel and click the duplicate layer. Open the Destination Document and click New, name it Displacement and click OK. This creates a separate document of the brick wall that we name it displacement. 

Desaturate colors by pressing Ctrl + Shift + U. Next, we will increase its brightness by press Ctrl + L to open the levels window and in input Highlights field type in 200.

Go to Filter - Blur - Gaussian Blur blur it 3 pixels. Go to File - Save as click on your desktop and name it Displacement. Save it like Photoshop PSD file.

Step 2

Open the photo that you wish to use for this project and separate our subject from its background. You can use any type of selection tools. When you have your selection, press Ctrl + J to make a copy of the subject. Place your subject to a brick wall layer. Resize, if necessary. Couvert our subject to a smart object, so we can modify in non-destructively. Click the icon at the upper right corner to the layers panel and click convert to smart object.

Step 3

Go to Filter - Filter Gallery open the Artistic Folder and click Paint Daubs. Make the Brush Size 5, the Sharpness 11, and Brush Type: Simple.

We'll add another filter by clicking the New effect icon wish will duplicate the existing filter. Click the lower effect and click Palette Knife to change it. Make the Stroke Size 3, the Stroke Detail 3, and the Softness 5.

Step 4

Go to Filter - Distort - Displace make the Horizontal and Vertical scales 5, check Strech to Fit, and Repeat Edge Pixels, click the Displacement file that you saved and click OK. Immediately our subject warp to conform to the contours to the brick wall.

Change the blending mode to Overlay, and make a copy of the layer (Ctrl + J). Change its blending mode to Soft LightGroup both layers. Make a copy of the group folder and reduce its Opacity to 40%. 

Step 5

Next, we'll weather our subject by revealing the brick texture through it. First, place these two folders into another folder by Shift-clicking the bottom folder to make it active as well and press Ctrl + G. Double-click an empty area of the layer to open layer style window, we will make our subject look weather by using Blend If feature. 
Blend If, uses luminosity to blend layers together. The slider bar that's labeled This Layer is the active layer which is our object, and the slider bar that's labeled Underlying layer is the layer below the active layer which is the brick wall. By dragging the black Underlying layer to the right it pushes the darkest pixels of the brick wall through our subject. Conversely, by dragging the white Underlying to the left it pushes the lightness pixels of the brick wall through. We can create smooth transitions by Alt-clicking the middle of the triangular icon which splits the icon in half dragging the inside half of the icon toward the middle of the bar creates a smooth transition. 

For this image, I'll split the icon of the darkness pixels of the Underlying layer and move the right half to approximately 128. Next, drag the icon of the left half of the Underlying layer to 217 and split it, then drag the left half of the icon to 180.

Step 6

Next, we'll add a soft dark Gradient on the left side of our image which will create depth once we angel our wall in perspective. Make a new layer, change its blending mode to Linear Burn, and reduce its Opacity to 50%. Open your gradient tool and make sure that the Linear Gradient icon active. Click the gradient bar to open the gradient editor. Click the black and white box and the lower stop, click the color box to open the color picker and type in 808080 to give us 50% gray color. Go to the left side of your document, press and hold Shift as you drag your tool to the middle of the image and release. 

Step 7

Convert all layers in one smart object by Shift-clicking the background and clicking convert to smart object. Now it is time to angle our entire image in perspective. Go to Edit - Transform - Perspective, go to the upper right corner of the bounding box and drag it up until your images angle to your liking.

And that's it, folks we are done. Thanks for reading the article I hope you liked it, and we’ll read on in the next one. 😃😃

Final image