Photoshop zombies for dummies

In this tutorial i will show you how to turn a cute and innocent girl, into a rotting zombie child, using only the magic of Photoshop.

1. Getting started

Starting out

This is my zombie candidate. Go ahead and duplicate this layer by going to Layer >Duplicate.
Name the new layer “zombie skin”.

2. Adjust Hue/Saturation
Select your “zombie skin” layer.

Go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation (or press Ctrl + U)
Fill in the values from the screenshot above.

3. Making the creepy eye

Mask out the eye using the lasso tool (press “L” on your keyboard).
Copy the eye and paste it into a new layer (Ctrl + C and then Ctrl + V)
Rename the layer to  “zombie eye”

To turn the eye yellow go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation (or press Ctrl + U)

Fill in the values from the screenshot above.

4. Bruising the face

Duplicate the “zombie skin” layer and name the duplicated layer “zombie bruises”
Select the burn tool (press “O” on your keyboard)

Draw on some bruises underneath the eyes and on the chin.

5. Adding a flesh wound

Go online and find an image of a flesh wound.
Google searches like “flesh wound makeup” gives great looking gashes.
Paste your flesh wound image into your Photoshop project and name the layer “zombie flesh wound”.


Select the lasso tool and draw a selection around the parts of the wound you would like to use.
To remove the unnecessary parts of the image go to Select>Inverse (Shift+Ctrl +I) and hit delete/backspace on your keyboard.

Now desaturate your flesh wound. Go to Image>Adjustments >Desaturate (Shift+Ctrl+U)



Change the “zombie flesh wound” layer’s blending mode to “Overlay”

To make the flesh wound more visible, adjust the brightness and contrast of the layer.

Go to Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast.


Fill in the values from the screenshot above.

6. Bring on the maggots

No zombie is complete without a nasty maggot crawling in his/hers (it’s?) wounds.
Go online and find a bug of your choice. I’ve chosen the maggot.

Paste the maggot into your Photoshop project and name the layer “maggot”

Cut away the white backdrop using the magic wand tool.

Erase the left over white outline surrounding the maggot using the eraser tool (press “E” on your keyboard)

Move the maggot to your desired position using the Move tool (press “V” on your keyboard)

Now adjust the Hue/Saturation of your maggot layer.

Go to Image >Adjustments >Hue/Saturation (or press Ctrl + U)
Fill in the values from the screenshot above.

To make the maggot blend more into the image, you need to light it properly.
Take a look at your original image. Notice the angle of the light and how the shadows fall in the girls face.

Select the maggot layer. click on the fx button (located in the layer panels lower left corner) and select “Inner Shadow”.


Use the values from the screenshot above.

7. Rotten skin

So, her skin is to smooth, for a rotting zombie that is. We need to give her face more texture.
Do a google search for “bumpy texture”.


Paste the texture into your Photoshop project and name the layer “rotting skin”.


Set the layer’s blending mode to “Overlay”.
Use the eraser tool to remove rotting skin from spots where it’s not supposed to be.

8. Finished

Here is my finished result.

Now go ahead and make your Facebook friends ready for the zombie apocalypse !

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2 responses to “Photoshop zombies for dummies

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