Making a T-shirt mockup may seem difficult but in reality it’s easier than most mock up jobs.
Get the T-shirt image ready
First we need photo of a T-shirt. This is basically the hardest part because we need a photo with a contrasting background so we can easily remove it in Photoshop. I’m using the image bellow but you can also make your own. This tutorial uses a white T-shirt so we can change colours later on if needed. But this same process works with any T-shirt colour. I found this online and it will work for tutorial purposes but if you are going to make mock ups on a regular basis it’s advised to make your own photos.
Open the T-shirt file in Photoshop. First we need to remove the background. This can be done in may ways. In my case it was easy because I had a photo with a black background. I just used the magic eraser tool.
Now that you have the T-shirt isolated from the background make two copies of the T-shirt layer. You can do this by right clicking on the layer and selecting “duplicate layer” or drag and dropping the layer on to the new layer icon in the layers panel.
Name the top layer shadows and the middle layer highlights.
Desaturate both layers by selecting each and navigating to image/adjustment/desaturate. This will remove all colour from the two top layers. This is not necessary for this tutorial because it’s already white but it’s needed if you are using a colour T-shirt.
Set the shadow layer blending mode to “multiply” and the highlights layer to “screen”.
Select the shadow layer and navigate to image/adjustment/levels. Below are the settings I used but the point of this is to intensify the bright and dark parts of the shirt.
Do the same for the highlights layer. To make things easier make the shadows layer invisible (the little eye icon to the left of the layer). Below are the settings I used.
Move the highlights layer to the top. Create a new group and move the shadow and highlights layer in to the group.
Adding a mask
Go to your original T-shirt layer, press ctrl (cmd on mac) and click on the little square on the left of the T-shirt layer. This creates a selection in the shape of the T-shirt.
Select the group in your layers panel and create a new layer mask that will create a new mask in the shape of the selection automatically. This will ensure that the design you will be placing on the T-shirt will appear only on the T-shirt and not over the edges if it’s bigger than the T-shirt.
Place your motif
Create a new layer in the group and place your design in to that layer. Place this layer under the shadows and highlights layer. As you can see the design is visible through the shadows and highlights. You can set the shadows and highlights layer opacity if the effects are too intense. I’m using an image I also used in my Adobe Illustrator shading tutorial.
We can also make a colour that’s going to change the T-shirt colour. Ctrl (cmd on mac) click on the original T-shirt layer again to make a selection in the shape of the T-shirt. Create a new layer and fill the selection with a desired colour. Place the layer in the group below the design layer. This changes the T-shirt color.
And that’s it. You can mock up most clothing items this way. Have fun 🙂
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