Let’s learn how to do a t-shirt mockup in Photoshop today. We will create a realistic mockup with Adobe Photoshop and you can use this set of techniques for virtually any kind of artwork on any kind of clothing. How to build and design your mockups for t-shirts and other fashion or clothing is easy with Photoshop and the results can be fantastic!
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Create a rectangle with the shape tools to make a placeholder for the graphics we will place on our shirt. Note: The rectangle can be much bigger than the area into which the graphics need to be contained. We can always resize and make a mask to make sure everything blends together well.
Convert the rectangle to a Smart Object.
Use Free Transform to resize, distort, and adjust the rectangle Smart Object to match the perspective of the shirt you are working with.
Add a mask to this layer just in case we need one later. Note: If the model has anything that would be covering the artwork on the front of the shirt, use the mask to mask away any parts of the rectangle that need to go away.
Shut off the Smart Object rectangle layer.
Duplicate the background image and convert it to black and white. Save this image as “displace.psd” (or any other name you like.)
Delete the black and white layer.
Turn the Smart Object rectangle back on. Double-click the rectangle layer’s thumbnail to open the Smart Object.
Grab your artwork from another document and copy it into the Smart Object document. Hide the background shape layer in the Smart Object so you only see the artwork over a transparent background. Save this document and go back to the photo of the model wearing the shirt.
Add a Displace filter to the Smart Object layer. Set it to 5×5 and load the .psd we saved a moment ago.
Add a very small gaussian blur to this layer as well to help keep the artwork from looking too clear, sharp, and perfect. I usually use a 0.5-1px strong blur.
Double click the Smart Object layer to open the Blending Options dialog box and Alt/Opt + click the bottom Blend If black slider to split it and drag it to the “100” position. Split the top white slider and drag the split to the “200” position. This helps blend the highlights of the artwork into the shirt and also reduce the opacity of the artwork that happens to sit on top of the shadows of the wrinkles in the shirt.
Add a Curves adjustment layer and clip it to the Smart Object artwork layer that we just blurred. Reduce the contrast of the artwork by boosting the black point and reducing the white point. The amount you do this depends entirely upon how much color and contrast your artwork has.
Add a Selective Color adjustment layer and create a saturation mask by reducing the black slider to -100% for each of the color channels and then +100% for each of the tones. Now, the brighter any part of the image is, the more saturation it contains.
Add a Vibrance adjustment layer and reduce the saturation or vibrance until the artwork looks a little better.
Go back to the original photo with the model wearing the shirt and drag a selection over the front of the shirt and hit Cmd/Ctrl + J to duplicate it up to a new layer.
Drag this layer up on top of the adjustment layers clipped to our artwork.
Desaturate this layer and clip it to the stack of adjustment layers that are already clipped to our artwork.
Now set this layer to the blend mode Overlay and use the Blend If sliders (if needed) to blend the additional punch to our shadows.
Finally, if the artwork requires it, go back to the Smart Object layer and select the mask. Use the brush tool set to 10% opacity and dab away bits of the artwork that cover the shadows in the wrinkles of our shirt.