Do you own a t-shirt printing business? Showcasing your designs may take a bit of financing if you’re going to do the actual prints just for the sake of photography. We’ll help you save money while still giving you the ability to showcase your products through Photoshop!
The t-shirt business is something that never goes out of business. But the competition is very tough with all of the talented designers coming out of the blue and new, exciting ideas. Most e-stores display their products online if they have produced the actual shirts. Or we can do the alternative by having our product shots made in Photoshop.
The most vital thing to keep in mind when you’re doing digital t-shirt layouts is to have a base image of a white t-shirt. Let’s work on this image:
Image from Flickr
Open this image in Photoshop. Go to the Layers tab and right-click the background layer then click Layer from Background… and name this layer as “base”. Let’s save the document as “t-shirt-template.psd”.
Since our sample image is pretty much white with a drop shadow, we need to isolate the t-shirt out for easier selection. Duplicate the base layer and rename it as “selection” and make sure this new layer is selected. Your layer palette should like this:
From the menu, select Image > Adjustments > Levels. Drag the left-most slider to the right until the image gets darker.
Your selection layer should look like this:
Now that our base image has a clear outline, let’s make sure our t-shirt has a transparent background so we can maximize the image for our website. Let’s crop the t-shirt out of the background by using the Pen Tool. Trace around the image, keeping in mind that you should also switch between the base layer and selection layers for reference. Also, make sure that your Pen Tool setting is set to Combine Layers. Refer to the image below, the setting is encircled in red:
The working path I have looks like this:
Select the base layer, then with your Pen Tool right-click your closed path and select “Make Selection…”. Keep the Feather Radius to 0,check the Anti-aliased checkbox and click OK.
Click the Add layer mask button at the bottom of the Layers pallette to have the base layer cropped from the background.
Your base layer should look like this, with a transparent background:
Now the shirt is isolated, let’s put color on it! While holding down CTRL or Command button on your keyboard, click the mask of the base layer to re-select the t-shirt again.
With the t-shirt selection active, click the button next to it. It’s called the New fill or adjustment layer button. In the menu that shows up, click Solid color… and pick a color of your choice and click OK. I picked #002b55 as color. This new layer is named “Color Fill 1”, rename this layer to just “color” for easier reference. At this point, you can delete the “selection” layer. Drag the color layer below the base layer, then change the blending option of the base layer to Multiply. Your layer palette should look like this:
And your document should look like this:
VOILA! If you feel like the image lacks texture, duplicate the base layer.
At this point, let us add the logo design for your t-shirt. I’m using this one from the sample banners we have on the Web Ecommerce Pros website.
Drag the logo to your Photoshop document and place it under the base layer, and just above the color layer. The reason for this is for the logo to inherit the t-shirt’s texture and make it look more real. Here’s what we got so far:
And that’s it! You now have a template for t-shirt designs to be sold online! Take note that you can change the color of your t-shirt anytime by double-clicking the thumbnail of the color layer and selecting a new color.
Save it as a PNG or a JPG, whatever you want for your website! You can now showcase your t-shirt designs without printing them. Save money while you promote your products!
We hope this tutorial helps you on your t-shirt business. Showcase your designs using pictures of plain white t-shirts and a little bit of Photoshop wizardry! Check back here on the blog for more design tips for your ecommerce website!