How To Create a Surreal False-Color Infrared Effect in Photoshop

How's it going everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial Today we're going to take a look at replicating the unique appearance of false-color infrared photography

Authentic infrared photos are captured using infrared film, or digitally using an infrared lens, but the overall style and aesthetic can also be simulated with some tweaks to a normal photograph in Adobe Photoshop In false-color infrared photos the reds, blues and greens are reversed, so scenes with foliage in trees appear as a vibrant pink rather than green, which often looks like the photograph was taken on another planet! The result is a surreal image that transforms a typical landscape shot into a vibrant and unique photo Open up your chosen image in Adobe Photoshop The effect can be applied to any image, but landscape photos with plenty of greenery seem to be a popular image choice for this false-color infrared style Begin by duplicating the background layer by dragging it over the new icon in the Layers panel, or hit the CMD+J shortcut

Go to Image > Adjustments > Invert, or use the CMD+I shortcut Change this layer's blending mode to Color The hues have definitely been flipped around, but it doesn't quite match the appearance of those authentic infrared photos To fix this, add a Channel Mixer adjustment layer Under the default Red Output Channel, reduce the Red value slider to 0 and increase the Blue slider to 100%

Change the Output Channel menu to Blue, then increase the Red slider to 100% and reduce the Blue slider to 0 This will swap the Red and Blue channels around, which brings back the correct colour for the sky and water, but gives the green foliage that cool infrared style pink appearance We now have the correct colours to represent the infrared style, but they’re quite dull Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer Change the drop down menu to affect just the Reds, which will allow us to boost the vibrancy of those pink areas without blowing out the saturation of the entire image

You can adjust the hue slider to balance between a red and pink appearance In this example the person's skin looks a little green, so change the drop down menu to Yellow and adjust the hue to bring back some fleshy tones The final result is a realistic false-color infrared photo effect with vibrant pink foliage, which gives the landscape image a surreal appearance, almost like an alien planet! By simply inverting the colours and switching the red and blue channels around, we can replicate the aesthetics of authentic infrared photos directly in Photoshop If you enjoyed this tutorial or learnt any new tricks a thumbs up would be really appreciated Subscribe to the channel to stay tuned for all my upcoming tutorials, and head over to my Spoon Graphics website if you fancy getting your hands on my free design resources

As always thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one

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