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A way to make... Insides!


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In this tutorial you will be making something like this...


I called the original piece 'Inside' as, to me, it looked like it could have been taken by a camera inside the human body.

I posted this piece in the Pictorium recently (to a somewhat lukewarm response, which surprised me as I think it is one of the best pieces I've ever produced) and thought it worthy of a little tutorial, for those interested in how it was done (hamsterjam & Mastriani), and for those who may have missed it in the midst of the Pictorium maelstrom.

You will need to download and install the Ed Harvey effect pack for this tutorial.

Start with a reasonably large canvas, I'm using 1200 x 900

Create 5 new layers, so you have 6 layers in total.

Steps 1 through 5 will be repeated on each of the 6 separate layers.

I have experimented with flattening the image at specific points and applying the effects globally, but the finished product is much better if effects are applied to all layers separately.

Starting on the Background layer, Effects > Render > Clouds :Clouds: : Scale 750, Roughness 0, Blend Mode: Normal.

Repeat on layers 2 - 6.

(Tip, quick way to repeat the effect is to click on the next layer and press CTRL+F).


Go back to the Background layer, Effects > Render > Clouds: Scale 750, Roughness 0, Blend Mode: Difference.

Repeat on layers 2 - 6.


Starting from the top layer, Layer 6, press F4 to access the Layer Properties and change the Blend Mode to 'Lighten'.

Move down the layers and repeat this on layers 5, 4, 3 & 2.

(Tip, you can also access the Layer Properties by double-clicking on the layer).


Starting from the Background Layer, Effects > Photo > Soften Portrait :SoftenPortrait: : Softness 10, Lighting 10, Warmth 20.

As before, repeat this effect on layers 2 - 6.


From the top (Layer 6), Effects > Distort > Crystalize: Size 8 (default), Quality 3.

Repeat on layers 5 - Background

(Crystalize is part of the Ed Harvey effects pack. You can play with the Size setting in this effect, depending on your canvas size; the bigger the canvas the higher number you can use.

I set the quality at 3 for rendering speed, you can of course set this to the max if you don't mind the wait).


We've now finished with individual layer effects, so press CTRL+F to flatten.

Press CTRL+SHIFT+D to Duplicate the Background layer.

On the top layer, Effects > Stylize > Relief (default settings).

Change the Layer Blend mode of the top layer to 'Lighten', and flatten the image.


The relief effect leaves a slightly nasty top and bottom edge to your image, so

Layers > Rotate Zoom > Zoom 1.02

(Tip, click on the zoom slider control and use the up/down arrow keys to adjust the setting. You only want to move this up by 0.02, to get rid of the couple of pixels at the top and bottom of the image).


Effects > Distort > Twist: Amount 20, Size 1.5, Quality 5.

(You can, of course, adjust these settings to suit, but these are what I used and what I think produces the best effect).


Finally, to colour the piece. When I first produced this effect the first thing that came to mind was that it resembled the a bodily interior, guts, intestines, if you will. For that reason I choose a real blood red colour (it is also where the name for the piece comes from).

Adjustments > Hue & Saturation: Hue -30, Sat 150, Light -30.


I would encourage you to experiment and adjust the settings at any stage to suit yourself (even different settings on each layer). Try different Cloud size, Different Blend Modes, Different Crystalize settings (or even a different Distort effect), different Twist settings and, of course, different colours.

Please post your results and, if you use different setting and effects, post the details so other users can also try them out.

I hope this tutorial will inspire you to take some of the steps demonstrated here and perhaps use them in different creative ways.





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Oh yes - I like this tutorial - well written and has a nice result.

I had made something like this and posted in the Pictorium a while ago - mine, however, wasn't 100%PDN - (I had started with a crappy fractal render from the old version of Apo)

Anyways - to stay on topic - great tutorial and I'm hoping to try it out as soon as I can :D

"pyrochild, you're my favorite person ever. We should go snowboarding some time."~ 007 Nab. Ish.

PDN Gallery | I Made a Deviant Art!

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heres my go! i followed the tut nearly exactly but before doing the hue/saturation step i duplicated the layer and twisted it the opposite way, set the layer to overlay then flattened it, as demonstrated in the "Make a Wave" tutorial. Not nearly as good, but i like it! :D

Great tut!



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Nice tutorial for a beginner like me (pretty good with Image Composer, but this is my first try with PDN).

Since the post was called "How to make ... Insides", I was going for something that looked kinda like what "muscles" look like if you peel back skin.

Applying "sharpen" a few times gave me the texture I was after.


Total hack.

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  • 3 months later...

Hey, i'm pretty new to PDN (Three months i've been working with it(It=PDN)) and here is my try(Screenshot version)


And the original one:


I think it turned out pretty well after messing with it about 15 min.

I like your tut and it's easy to understand and follow, although i think you could add, emoticons... If you didn't already, i'm 12 years old and i already have memory like a goldfish (2 seconds Harddisk memory and less then 0.5 seconds of RAM memory ^^)

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  • 4 months later...

Firstly, I'm not sure I'm allowed to "bump" this thread seeing as it's quite old now?

At least it's from this year! :lol:

Secondly: I love this tutorial! I've been looking to do something like this for aaaaages. So thank you very much! Easy to follow and great results.

I've been messing around a lot with my final image and came up with these:

My original following tutorial:


Changed colours:


Added water reflection:


Inside Out:


Tile reflection (looks kinda like a jewellery box - Not that I'd know much about that! :lol:):



Loving Learning!


My deviantART page

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  • 10 months later...
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