Step1: Model Isolation
Open your model stock image, I’ve used this beautiful model photo form Shutterstock
Select the pen tool (P) and slowly draw a path a long the silhouette of the body. Make a selection and invert it (CTRL+SHIFT+I) then press delete. We are going to do some heavy cutting to the original body, it’s better if we have our object isolated so we can create a backup layer of the model in case we make some mistake.
Note: Do you are a newbie who doesn’t know how to extract objects from their background? You may want to check out this quick and easy online course: click here
Create a new layer behind the model and fill it with white, this will be our background. Now we can add some shading and texture. To do so, double-click on the layer thumb to bring up the layer styles menu; check the “Gradient Overlay” box and use the following settings.
The background still looks a bit plain, so we can add some grain using the noise filter.
Create a new layer on top of the background and fill it with black. Go to Filter > Noise > Add noise, use an Amount of 40%, set the distribution to “Uniform” and check the “Monochromatic” box. Change this layer blending mode to screen. Below you can take a look at how your canvas should look.
Step3: Body cutting
Now we are going to start cutting the pieces of the body which we will fill with the machinary and engine parts. Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw an oval shape around the lower part of the model’s body, make a selection (ctrl+enter) and delete it.
Do the same for the left arm.
Step4: Body Filling
Now we create the effect of depth on the model’s body for the missing chunks. First take the Eyedropper Tool (I) and sample midtone, highlight and shadow colors from the skin of the model.
Create a new layer under the model, take the Pen tool and draw again an oval shape around the lower part of the body. This will be the surface part of the waist. Fill that shape with the midtone color and use that color as a base to paint shadows and highlights on the surface in order to blend them and make the effect look realistic.
Make a new layer, just above the layer of the waist, select the two layers and then ALT+CLICK between the thumbnails into the layers panel in order to create a clipping mask. Take a large soft rounded brush and sample a highlight on the body skin (ALT+CLICK while using the brush tool to sample color), or use the color previously selected. Now, according to the light on the body, make some smooth strokes around the lighter parts of the waist. Repeat the previous step for the shadows (take a look at the image below to understand how to add shadows and hihlights).
When you are satisfied, add some noise to the clipped layer with an amount of 3% (this will give a textured effect to the skin).
Repeat the same for the arm.
Step5: Body Holes
In this step we are going to create the spaces, inside the body, where the gears will be contained.
Create a new layer above the waist layer and take the Pen tool then draw a smaller oval shape inside the waist and fill it with black. Now, using again the pen tool, cut and paste a piece of the upper part of the oval shape and align it with the main shape. This little piece will be the edge of the hole. See the pictures below to understand better how to create the shapes which will contain the mechanical parts of the android.
Add the Layer style to the edge of the hole, in order to create a shiny metallic edge, using a reflected Gradient overlay and Satin with the following settings:
Repeat the same now for the arm.
Create an edge for the opposite side, just below the stomach of the model.
Now we are going to place all the gears and parts of engines that will compose the robotic part of the body.
Download and drag this engine image, place it on your document and resize it. Then rotate it, as shown, so it matches the position of the hole. Make a selection of the hole (CTRL+CLICK on the layer thumbnail) and add a layer mask on the engine stock. This will erase anything outside the circle.
Now add a new layer, just above the layer which contains the engine parts, and then create a clipping mask (it will be useful to paint some shadings and shadows).
Using a soft rounded brush tool and black color to paint some shading, it sjould look like the machinary is fading away inside the body.
Take this engine image and extract it from the background using the Pen tool. Be very careful and patient while you do it, a really detailed extraction makes more believable the final result.
This engine will be the base of the metallic spine. Resize it and place it over the first engine picture. Delete the lower part of the image that falls out of the hole. Then create a new layer and use the same technique, previosly seen, to add a realistic shadow to the last layer.
Extract the piston from its background in this photo. Resize it and go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness and contrast then apply the following settings:
Flip the image horizontal and place it on top of the engine, then paint a shadow.
Now, to form the spine shape, duplicate the piston several times. Rotate and resize each one a little to simulate the way the ‘backbone’ should be bent.
For the arm, I’ve extracted one piece of cable from the first engine image:
Drag the cable whitin the two pieces of the arm and erase the parts that fall outside the hole. Then add a new layer and with the help of the Brush tool paint the shadow.
Cut a circle in the chest using the Eliptical Marquee tool and mask out the arm. Repeat the same tecnhiques of the previous steps to add the gears on the chest. I’ve used this image to obtain the following result:
I’ve also added a little detail on the finger. The tube is a piece from the first engine image.
For the head we can use this image, you can add a metallic edge on the bottom of the engine as shown.
Below you can take a look at the final result.