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Distressed Retro Look

How to Create a Distressed Retro Look in Photoshop

Last updated on Dec 21, 2018 by Waseem Abbas

Do you want to add a vintage print or retro look to your photos? Some images really stand out with distressed textures added to them. In this article, we will show you how to create a distressed retro look in Photoshop.

If you don’t have it yet, you can get Photoshop from Adobe’s site here.

Creating a Distressed Retro Look

First thing you need to do is open your image in Photoshop.

Now select the Channel Mixer from the Adjustments panel at the right-hand side of your Photoshop screen.

Channel Mixer Icon

In the settings, you should select Red from the Output Channel dropdown, and set the following values for each of the sliders…

Red: 0%
Green: 100%
Blue: 0%

Adjust Channel Mixer

Next, select Blue from the Output Channel dropdown, and move the sliders to following values…

Red: 0%
Green: 100%
Blue: 0%

Blue Channel

Now you’ll need to select the Channel Mixer layer in the Layers panel and reduce the opacity to 65%, so that some color pops out in your image.

Reduce Opacity

Then, you need to open an image with some texture (such as one of these).

From the texture image, go to Image » Adjustments » Desaturate to desaturate your texture.

Desaturate Layer

Once the texture image is desaturated, you can create a Gradient Map adjustment layer from the Adjustments panel at the right side.

Gradient Map

Select all the layers in Layers panel, and press Ctrl + E to merge them as one layer. Now, drag the texture image into your original image file.

Drag and Drop Texture

You should press Ctrl + T to transform the texture layer and adjust it to the approximately the same size as your original image, or larger.

Transform Texture

Once the size is set, go ahead and reduce the opacity of the texture layer to 25%. Also, change the blending mode to Screen.

Blend Mode

That’s all. You can see the before and after image below.

Distressed Retro Look

We hope this article helped you to learn how to create a distressed retro look in Photoshop. You may also want to check out our guide on how to add a dark grunge effect to your image in Photoshop.

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