How to Get an X-Ray Effect in Photoshop

Learning how to X-ray in Photoshop can be loads of fun, and sometimes helpful too. Find out here, how to take advantage of this unique feature that Photoshop has to offer.
PhotograFeed Staff
Photoshop, a popular image-editing software, is a unique software that allows you to add several effects to an image and radically transform it to something very different. It's great to have a little fun with this software to create different effects and see what the results are like.

Photo editing just went to a whole new level with the X-ray function. For those of you who didn't know, Photoshop offers this function. Usually, law enforcement agencies and forensic labs make use of this function as an aid in their investigations. While this software cannot provide a complete X-ray vision of a particular image, it can make it slightly transparent and thereby, help the cause to some extent.

Steps Involved

The process will be easier for those of you who are familiar with at least the basics of Photoshop. Though it is not difficult, knowing how to use this software will be helpful while applying the effect to an image. Also, you should have at least Adobe Photoshop CS2 or a higher version to use this effect. The steps on achieving it are as follows.
  1. Right click on the image you have selected, and select the 'open with - Adobe Photoshop' option to open the image in the software.
  2. Once the image has opened, click on the 'Layer' option in the menu, followed by a click on 'Duplicate Layer'. When the layer has been duplicated, rename it so that you know which layer you are working on.
  3. On the menu bar, click on 'Image' and then on 'Adjustments'. This will open up another list of options, where you will locate 'Invert' and click on it.
  4. Next, on the menu bar, click on 'Layer', then on 'Layer Mask', and select the option of 'Reveal All'.
  5. Then, go to the 'Image' option on the menu bar, click on it and then click on the option of 'Apply Image'. This will open up a window with certain properties. The 'Source' will be the name of the file you have saved the image as, or are going to save it as. The 'Layer' will be 'Background'. The 'Channel' will be selected as RGB. The 'Invert' section will be 'Checkmarked', the 'Blending' will be 'Normal', and the 'Opacity' will be '100%'.
  6. Once you have made these changes, click on the 'Image' option on the menu bar, and then on 'Grayscale'.
  7. Save the image as a .JPG to view it as a photograph.
Whatever the purpose of learning this, don't misuse it. A lot of people use Photoshop to attain great effects like creating backgrounds or changing eye color. Beware though, sometimes these effects may get you into trouble, if you circulate them in the wrong manner. In any case, it is a great way of learning different effects and mastering them. You could even discover ways of making the picture look more authentic.