ugaldew's blog

Infrared Film Effect

posted by ugaldew, Nov 11, 2006 10:08 PM — 46 comments

HI "Again" dear SXCers and guests , In the next step by step - tutorial we will learn the technique of creating Infra Red Film Effect This film basically extends the sensibilty to red colors, so it is usually used in landscapes or scenes where we have plenty of green or blue tones, sometimes it is even used in portraits . it was a boom in the 60s for the artistic effect it produces and I think you as me will find this effect vey "sweet" ! So lets just get started with the fun and dont worry if you are a photoshop newbie ! This is a very visual and easy tut !

*Just before we start I want you to show you the inspiration that made me write this tut . These are some of the really Infra red pictures we have inSXC database so you have an idea about the final effect we want to achieve and how similar we can get in our final result

You can also visit ' for more IR pics

This is the effect we want to achieve in this practice


For the next tutorial I will use one of my pictures at SXC
Outdoor Walking

Lets get started now !

>> Step 1
Open Image

Open the image you want to convert into IR , I suggest to use a well lighted landscape with nice grass and blue cloudy ski however you can apply this effect on many other subjects includding portraits

>> Step 2
Add a Channel Mixer and set it with Infra Red values

The first step is to add a channel adjustment layer. So lets go to the layers palette and click the (adjustment layer button) the black and white circle at the bottom and then click channel mixer in the pop up menu

Next thing is to Set the values Red: 100% Green: 200% Blue : -200% Constant -25 in the Channel Mixer window that just poped up,

>> Step 2b
Select the Monocrome box and play a bit with the channels

Next you have to check the Monocrome box and play again a bit with the channels, the R:100 G:200 B:-200 are arbitrary values that work most times , but you may need move slightly those values depending on the darkness or lightnes you want , so play a bit and click OK when you are satisfied with the preview

our pic should look like this now

***>> Step 3
Add the magic texture

Most of the magic of IR is the dreamy texture , so we can create that by adding some "noise" (filter/noise/add noise..)

OR !

by Adding Blury a texture, Im going to do this step a bit quicker but as clear as possible , since this is an easy effect that I have writen tutorials about before , I hope you dont get lost , in case you do;

Check my tutorial "Stunning Textures " for a more detailed steps

>> Step 3a
Merge Down Channel Mixer

Select the Channel Mixer layer in the layer's palette and click on PC Ctrl+ E or (Layer/Merge down)

>> Step 3b
Duplicate Background layer

Select the Background layer in the layer's palette and duplicate it (Layer/Duplicate Layer)

>> Step 3c
Add gaussian blur to the duplicated image

Select the duplicated layer (background copy ) and add “Gaussian Blur” (filter / blur / Gaussian blur )

It hast to look rather blurry similar to the example , but don’t worry too much about this step

>> Step 3d
Reduce Layer's Opacity

Set the layer’s opacity value to 50%. (layers / layer style / blending options ) slide to 50% the opacity slider in the top of the layer palette.

The opacity can go from 30% to 60% it will determine how soft the pic will be

And This is It !!

Our pic should now look like this !


More Examples using this technique

I hope you have found this tutorial useful , and that you have enjoyed as much as I did writing it , please feel free to ask anything or write an email to if you have more doubts or comments about this tutorial

Miguel Ugalde Ugaldew

Comments | RSS

1. posted by tuoitho, Oct 23, 2009 10:25 AM

Thanks much for this man, I was just looking for a tutorial on this the other day :D!

2. posted by xoxo007, Dec 1, 2006 10:59 PM

very nice tutorial.. i´ll practice this.. Thnks so much!!!

3. posted by omar_franc, Nov 12, 2006 2:46 AM

this is a very useful tute, is that kind of effect that make your picture look pro!

4. posted by mighty_max, Nov 12, 2006 3:24 PM

Getting better and better knowing all these helpful tips

Thanx :)

5. posted by _duckie, Nov 12, 2006 5:38 PM

Great tutorial! Very easy to follow, and I love the effect!


6. posted by damibeju, Nov 12, 2006 10:04 PM

Very good,
The effect is stunning, and the portrait of the girl with this effect is awesome.
Thanks for sharing!

7. posted by JLBdesign, Nov 13, 2006 3:22 AM

A stunning effect, and very simple to do. Thank you for sharing!

8. posted by punkerben, Nov 13, 2006 9:23 PM

This should be a bestest rating

there is a filter by Alien Skin:

This PS plug-in has some inrared films programed into it. But it can be hard to find the money to buy it at US $199. Ouch!

So this tool is awesome, I will try in future!!!

9. posted by acidliam, Nov 13, 2006 9:33 PM

Nice, simple way to create a dreamy effect on photos. Can't beat the real thing though ;)

10. posted by a_kartha, Nov 15, 2006 7:42 PM

Miguel, you are a real pro, and a great teacher! Thanks for sharing the knowledge. Great job!

11. posted by meshields, Nov 15, 2006 11:23 PM

A very useful technique.

12. posted by Slantsixx, Nov 16, 2006 1:48 AM

You've done it again Miguel! Excellent work!

13. posted by lordvinoth, Nov 16, 2006 10:22 AM

Gud mmhh..i like this trick..

14. posted by q83, Nov 18, 2006 9:10 PM

Thanks much for this man, I was just looking for a tutorial on this the other day :D!

15. posted by iocomm, Nov 22, 2006 9:46 AM

Hi, Miguel!

Now we do not only share names, but also a really great technique! Thank you!

Miguel Essers, Maastricht NL

16. posted by cuixtli, Nov 22, 2006 3:39 PM

I love this effect! I hope I have the opportunity to use it for something really nice in the future. :D

17. posted by tareqaaaaa, Nov 23, 2006 5:23 PM

a very nice ... thank

18. posted by orongish, Nov 28, 2006 1:33 AM

This was helpful. Thanks.

19. posted by theRIAA, Nov 28, 2006 9:31 PM

great B&W effect, have to remember it.

arnt IR pics usually pink and extremely sharp?

20. posted by Stromgren, Nov 28, 2006 9:54 PM

Wow very amazing.. my favorite effect and the easiest and best way to do it..


21. posted by gheart, Dec 5, 2006 3:28 AM

oh it's a nice effect. thanks for sharing

22. posted by romano84, Dec 7, 2006 2:31 PM


23. posted by haZIO, Dec 11, 2006 12:41 PM


24. posted by dcreative, Dec 19, 2006 10:44 PM

Sweet effect - thanks for sharing. Often wondered about this.. previous attempts were not successfull

25. posted by sofijab, Dec 20, 2006 8:54 AM

love this, thanks for sharing

26. posted by -shadow-, Dec 27, 2006 1:55 AM

great tutorial! thank you so much. this is very useful. now i can transform my artworks to look a nice kind of BW. =)

27. posted by Sarej, Dec 29, 2006 9:01 AM

simple and efective ! thx :)

28. posted by boost06, Jan 9, 2007 1:28 PM


29. posted by tdnuyen, Jan 10, 2007 6:02 PM

omg, you are God..before, i thought that this effect can only be achieved with dslr cameras that has special lens filters lol. thanks!

30. posted by VinnyPrime, Jan 19, 2007 4:08 AM

Awesome tutorial, this is such a cool effect.

I find that another really neat effect is to take your gaussian blur layer, and put it over your original, colored picture. It gives it a gray, 3D feel that is just super cool.


(-: Vince Petaccio :-)

31. posted by aldin, Jan 20, 2007 2:05 AM

Nice, and easy as always, thanx!!

32. posted by P3ricko, Jan 22, 2007 7:53 PM

Wow!! siplemente genial! sigue posteando!

Wow.. simply great!

33. posted by Bongani, Jan 26, 2007 12:12 PM

Nice, thanks. It'll come in use.

34. posted by rubenshito, Jan 30, 2007 12:15 PM

Great tutorial, really interesting...thnxs

35. posted by Mithgariel, Feb 14, 2007 2:02 AM

I've been dreaming of this. Thank you thank you thank you.

36. posted by joshuadio, Feb 20, 2007 3:46 AM

Thanks a lot bro/sis,

This is truly inspirational for newbee like me.. I'd like to put this trick into practise

37. posted by ganstar, Mar 15, 2007 8:19 PM

?? ?????? ????" ??? ???????!

38. posted by canoncan, Apr 15, 2007 1:03 AM

hi miguel,

this is an amazing effect, i cant wait to give this ago, plus your tutorial is very easy to follow , thankyou for sharing, cheers

39. posted by morleys, Aug 1, 2007 3:58 PM

Thanks, great tutorial, getting some great effects on my photos from New Zealand!! Cheers mate

40. posted by johnnybone, Aug 21, 2007 5:00 AM

awesome!! it will be used on my next project. probably weather or not it fits the design. =P


41. posted by rudey, Sep 25, 2007 1:29 AM

dude! is awesome!

42. posted by akindminor, Nov 13, 2007 9:31 AM

thnanks alot...!

43. posted by room805, Feb 19, 2008 7:11 PM

thank you so much!!

44. posted by fabian78, Mar 5, 2008 1:44 PM

great work, is a simple way to do it.
thenk you!

45. posted by 4thMaker, Sep 27, 2008 12:44 AM

Great job

46. posted by careersB, May 27, 2013 3:59 AM

thanks, very usefull

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