Peeling a Hand in Photoshop

Today we’re going to demonstrate how to peel a hand in Photoshop. You can use this technique to peel other objects of course. This is the final image preview..


Step 1

Let’s get started, first download this picture of an open hand. You can use any other if you want to. Start extracting the hand from the background and pasting it into a new document, 1280 x 1024 pixels. Then create a new Black Fill Layer below “Hand” layer.


Step 2

Now, what we need is to make all the fingers larger. Using the Lasso Tool, select only the thumb on “Hand” layer, then press V key to activate the transform options and distort the thumb a little bit, you can Command (Ctrl) – Click one of the selection corners and transform the shape.


Step 3

With the Clone Stamp Tool fix the distortions on the finger, also Erase the bad areas.


Step 4

Repeat the same process than step 2, but this time select the rest of the fingers, distort them and fix the details.

At this point you must have a nice hand with long fingers. Now it’s time to start the peeling process.


Step 5

Duplicate the “Hand” layer, hide the original for a while and then adjust the Hue / Saturation values of “Hand copy” layer, set Saturation: +20 and Lightness: -40.


Step 6

Now select “Hand” layer on Layers palette and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All.


Step 7

Now start peeling, select a 20px brush (Hardness 100%), set a black foreground and start painting on the hand’s layer mask.


Step 8

Paint more stripes on hand’s layer mask across the finger.


Step 9

Now select “Hand copy” layer and apply to it a Layer Mask > Reveal all.


Step 10

On “hand copy” layer mask, paint some black stripes. Check the tiny red circles, those will be the visual join points between the two hand layers.


Step 11

Repeat the previous steps as many times as needed, try to get something like the images below. Remember, take care of the join points because those will give realism to our design.


Step 12

Now repeat the peeling on all other fingers, wrist and palm.


Step 13

Then select the Burn tool, set the brush to 20px Hardness 0% and Exposure to 50%. And paint over “Hand copy” layer, burn all the areas next the joins. Burn some areas of “Hand” layer aswell.


Step 14

To improve the torn sensation select the Dodge Tool, set an irregular brush and paint on “Hand” layer edges.


Step 15

Burn with a huge brush, the palm and fingers on “Hand copy” layer, also Burn the fingers and palm of “Hand” layer to increase the deep sensation.


Step 16

We’re close to finish. After burning here and there you should have something like this.


Step 17

Now, draw a Radial Gradient background below “Hand” layer, use these colors (#996938 – #000000). Then change the “Gradient” layer Opacity to 35%.


Step 18

These are optional steps. Create a new layer above “Hand copy” layer and name it “Red Veins”. Then with the Pen tool (just the paths), draw lines across the fingers. Then select a red Brush (Hardness 100%), hit the A key, then Right click (or Control Click on a Mac), click on Stroke Path option, select Brush – Simulate Pressure and then OK, do the same for all the fingers.

As an additional detail, just Burn some shadows over the “Red Veins” layer.

Finally Repeat this step but with “Blue Veins” this time.


Step 19

Now apply the following layer styles to “Veins” layers.


Final result

And that’s it! just try peel another stuff, or add more interesting things inside a peeled object. Good luck!.


Feel free to post links and examples of stuff you peeled and leave us some feedback. Thanks…

  • Daniel Lopes


  • Andrew

    That is amazing!

  • The Floating Frog

    That’s truely amazing! You’ve layed the tutorial out brilliantly, thanks.

  • sang mantan

    great job. it must have took a lot of time :D

  • rejidesigner

    Fantastic tutorial

  • insic

    nice technique.

  • Nestor Otondo

    Lol, great tut, like a T-100 (Terminator)

  • Andry


  • JAvitto

    Very nice, cool, visit my web, i coment for you.

    sorry my english, donst speack


  • DJ München

    Thank you very much for the lovely tutorial. I’ll show it to my partners.
    Greetings from Germany/Munich

  • Pingback: Peeling a Hand |

  • aroop


  • tika


  • Pingback: 50 Tutorial - 3D In Photoshop()

  • vimmy


  • Cosmin

    nice….but not very realistic…

  • DJ

    Thank you very much for your work and your time!

  • KD

    mind blowing techniques,
    good job

  • Whizkid

    Wow this really inspired and i tried it on my hand.

    check it out

    Let me know.

    Thanks a ton for this tutorial!!

  • Zauberer Jan

    Wow, that looks like magic. I want to make a picture of a peeling rabbit, since I am a magician who uses a lot of funny pictures in his show. Great stuff. And I could think of other parts of my body to do this with.

    Best whishes from Germany

    Zauberer Jan


    It’s amazing …………
    Awesome, You can tryout some steel wires for roobotic view

  • Unterhaltungskünstler

    Hey, that looks extremenly entertaining.It took a bit of efford to follow – than again, things that don’t come easy, sometmes ar the more preshiouse ones.

    All the best and greetings

    Chris Lejeune

  • http://- Agung Hartanto

    great and amazing job…thank you
    it’s make great inspiration to me

    All the best and greeting

    Agung Hartanto

  • Comedian Dr. Wegmann

    That is really great stuff or, as we say in Germany: Phantastisch. Please give us more like this!

  • Florian Entertainer/Zauberer

    Wow, I’m amazed and I have to say that it reminds me a bit of Körperwelten (“body worlds”) an exhibition with similar sculptures.

    Greets Flo

  • Zauberer München

    I like those “magical” types of tutorial, very impressive.

    CU Florian Ilgen

  • ចាបតូច

    Wow, I Just see it! it Like ghost!!!

  • Sohbet Muhabbet

    nice technique.

  • dj münchen

    thank you very much


  • Klavier

    Wow this looks scary, Im gonna trie this with a picture of my head instead get some Brains going haha!

  • Band Verzeichnis

    I am gonna try it with my Dog… The Picture i mean not really!

  • Drums

    Wow or imagine a at with half a head like this.

  • Film izle

    Current Photoshop so beautiful wonders of the world really works is emerging picture of astonished people in the leaves. Thank you admin

  • Zauberer Weihnachtsfeier

    Great tutorial – wow – eyeblasting things you can create with Photoshop…

  • Marcel

    Cool stuff you guys

  • Zauberer Hamburg

    whow. easy – if you know how to do it – like magic….

  • Travis

    just tried it. worked great :) thanks!

  • Alleinunterhalter Köln

    Great work at photoshop and this tutorial works!

  • Midhun VS

    wow kkooollll….that was awesome..!!!

  • Werbeagentur

    Nice step-to-step tutorial for Photoshop, thanks!

  • Clown

    Thank you, great halp.
    Clown Murphy

  • Manfred

    Very nice tutorial. I tried it and it worked! Thanks for this great idea.

  • aion gold

    Great tutorial!!!

  • Elizabeth K. Barone

    The technique is really cool, but the hand looks extremely funky and disproportionate in the final images. The palm is too small for the length of the fingers, and the pads of the fingers just look freaky. I would use the original image of the hand rather than skewing it. (:

    Anywho, thanks for sharing this very cool technique!

  • Zauberer NRW

    Awesome techniques !!! A good inspiration. Great job !

  • Dirk Baumbach

    Great Job – Thank you for this tutorial – Regards from Cologne

  • Bandverzeichnis

    Cool guys, it looks so funny

  • Danny

    Nice tutorial, thanks!

  • Clipping Path

    Waga! what a fantastic design u created! like it very much! thanks :-)

  • Zauberer

    That’s great! I love your work!!

  • SamHowe


  • Zauberer Tomas

    I have never seen so impressive stuff, well done !

  • Hotel Bayerischer Wald

    Wow, really impressive, a great effect! Love it!

  • Azoreaner

    This is soo cool did you ever try to peel a leg or a head? can you make a tutorial of how to peel my cat?

  • Geburtstagsgeschenke

    Great work, it looks very good!

  • Wandtattoo

    Creazy hand.Best Regards Maike

  • Wandplaner Druckerei

    I like those “magical” types of tutorial, very impressive.

  • Design Massagesessel Leder

    Amazing work. You seem to be an expert.

  • Volkmar

    Very nice technique and effect..i wish i had such knowledge and skills with photoshop at all..but tutorials of this kind will help a photoshop-noob to get better, even if it takes a long long time ;-)

  • Weihnachtsgeschenk

    That looks really cool!
    Amazing work!

  • Reisen

    I have never seen so impressive stuff, well done !

  • Weihnachtsfeiertage

    Wow this is awesome! So coool!