enter image description here

What i am looking to make is a image like the attached one in which if i add a background colour to the image it will turn into a full image with 3d shades. I am using Photoshop cs6. Is there any tools in PS to implement this. Also provide any video tutorials if any. Thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


Start with a photograph of a white cup on a white background, something like this perhaps.

Example of white cup on white background

In Photoshop, add a layer mask to exclude the cup, masking out the inside. I used the pen tool to create the mask. Next, duplicate the layer, invert the mask on the duplicate, and reduce the opacity of that layer to 45%

Screen shot of Photoshop layer arrangement

Then export as PNG 24, with transparency.

Exported PNG

  • Simple and effective Commented May 2, 2017 at 10:27

There already exists an useful answer. Just to add something I write only about color.

If you make a grey shape partially transparent and place it as a normal layer over a colored layer, you cant get especially bright or saturated appearance. That's not bad if you accept flat color. CMYK Printing on paper even is not possible with bright or highly saturated colors. See the following example that shows how much a grey shape flattens the color:

enter image description here

(sorry for using the magic wand when selecting and erasing the white background of your photo. Good border accuracy needs a clipping path or other complex masking methods)

For strong color you must use different blending mode when you finally use it. The photo must be adjusted for the final coloring principle. Here's a screenshot, how a bright color is possible to achieve and how the photo is adjusted:

enter image description here

A bright colored layer is added over the photo. That layer has Blending mode = Color. There's a layer mask to color only the cup.

How to create the mask:

  • goto the photo layer (background is already removed)
  • select the cup by the macic wand (Tolerance = 255) or select the transparent background (tolerance = 0) and invert the selection
  • goto the color layer and create a layer mask; it covers only the cup.

The Curves tool is used to make the photo have a proper dreyscale for this purpose. This, of course is possible to be done when the photo finally is used.

The result is quite the same, if the photo layer is placed over the colored layer and has Blending mode = Hard Light.

The curves can also be an adjustment layer for nondestructive fiddling. As an adjustment layer the curves can also have a layer mask. In the following example the highlights are made visible by spraying black into the layer mask of the curves.

enter image description here

The strong color capable blending modes actually do not need solid color, photos also are ok. This scene from Goethenburg is warped before clipping to cup area. the warping is needed for the illusion of curvature. Again the grayscale is adjusted by the Curves tool. Note: Your photo is on the top and has the blending mode = Hard Light.

enter image description here

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