I am new to photoshop and I need a little help.
How can I change the material of any dress to look like leather/latex?

Ref pic:1

I tried using Filter > Filter Gallery > Artistic > Plastic Wrap but that didn't work as expected.

  • 3
    This would be a very high-level photo manipulation. I mean anyone can do it poorly, but to do it and make it look realistic is going to be a challenge. You won't get very far with filters. Your best bet is to find photos of leather textures, overlay them on top of the existing dress and use layer masks to define the shape of each piece and possibly Edit > Transform > Warp or Edit > Puppet warp to make sure the texture conforms to the correct shape.
    – Joonas
    Jan 28 '21 at 12:21
  • 1
    The most difficult part is making the shadows (and possibly matching the lighting in general). You could perhaps use some of the shadows from the original, but changing this thin and loose fabric into leather, you can't really copy and paste the creases and the shadows they create into the leather. So you'd probably end up pretty much "painting" new shadows on top of the leather texture with the brush tool.
    – Joonas
    Jan 28 '21 at 12:21
  • thanks for the reply mate
    – alex
    Jan 29 '21 at 10:10

There'a an older answer which covers a part of it, but I have an alternative and a little to add, too.

At first the noise: It's something that cannot be skipped. The needed edits would explode the noise to intolerable level. It cannot be removed from all of your existing image with noise removal tools because the face and the background would lose details, too.

I defeated the noise by applying Redfield Perfectum smoothing filter to a copy of the whole image.

I made with the original image a selection (=no easy way, now and nearly always it's a tedious clipping path or lasso job for good results) that was used to copy the cloth from the smoothed image. Now I have the smoothed cloth as a separate layer over the original image. The edges of the cloth follow the original cloth edges, they are not rounded.

enter image description here

The smoothed cloth layer has low contrast and it has shading which is typical to fabric. A glossy plastic need more contrast and more complex light and shadow alternation. Plastic Wrap filter alone doesn't make it when the stating point is this flat, but it can be helped. The result will be - not leather, but plastic.

The brightness distribution needs remapping to higher contrast and some partial scale inversions. There's no room to make it in a single phase due the low contrast, but it works by applying Curves 2 times. I used Image > Adjustments > Curves, but a pro way would be to insert 2 adjustment layers or a gradient map layer.

The first Curves:

enter image description here

There's plenty of stray bright pixels. They are all turned to black by dropping the curve down above about 45% brightness.

Now the histogram is wide enough to make possible to apply 2nd Curves for partial scale inversion. NOTE: The layer must be desaturated before this to avoid bizarre colors!

The 2nd Curves:

enter image description here

Plastic Wrap filter has now rich enough image to generate some finely smoothed but still complex glossiness:

enter image description here

I guess you want still some adjustment because the original was nearly solid black. It can be darkened with curves, but inserting an alpha channel is not possible.

The darkened result:

enter image description here

Now it's made with adjustment layer (with the "next layer only -switch" =ON) because the result depends strongly on the used curve. You may want to search for the best adjustment.

This is not leather. Plastic Wrap filter cannot create leather texture. There's in a comment a suggestion to warp and shade leather texture image to apparently the same 3D form or to adapt an existing leather cloth image to this photo. I guess those methods are the only possibilities to get as good leather as the plastic made by using Plastic Wrap filter.

  • this looks great
    – OGHaza
    Jan 29 '21 at 0:06
  • thank you so much mate
    – alex
    Jan 29 '21 at 10:11

One of the problems with the example image is that it's a very noisy jpeg with with noticeable jpeg compression artifacts. It would be better to start with a RAW image file straight from the camera. The better the image quality is to begin with, the better the result will be.

Anyway, first thing I'd do is duplicate the image, turn it into a Smart Object, and apply a layer mask to isolate the dress.

Then I'd go into the Adobe Camera RAW Filter and try to get rid of as much noise as possible, desaturate the image, and increase the highlights and deepen the shadows to increase the contrast. The idea here is to get the highlights as smooth as possible. The noise in the example image is very problematic, I had to add a lot of noise reduction in Adobe Camera RAW. As said previously, this would work better if you stared with a RAW image direct from the camera.

Here's the result of using the Camera RAW filter. The idea here being to accentuate the highlights as much as possible, so that it looks like a shiny surface.

enter image description here

Then you could apply a levels adjustment to the Smart Object, and increase the contrast further, and clip the levels adjustment to the Smart Object layer below it.

Here's a rough example showing the result. It could perhaps benefit from additional retouching to remove/smooth out imperfections, or even perhaps the addition of specular highlights.

enter image description here

  • many thanks to you
    – alex
    Jan 29 '21 at 10:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.