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TUTORIAL: How to make a realistic t-shirt template in photoshop

By 28th October 2011June 10th, 2020No Comments

Step-by-step tutorial

Follow our guide to create a quick t-shirt template in Adobe Photoshop.

A t-shirt template is great way to show off your latest designs. Use your template to experiment with different coloured garments and styles before going to print.

View the final t-shirt template

White t-shirt in photoshop

Photograph your chosen white t-shirt against a dark background. It is important that the garment is white so that we can make the image transparent later on.

Desaturate photograph

Open your image in Adobe Photoshop. Desaturate your image to ensure it is black and white, Image > Adjustments > Desaturate.

Adjust contrast with curves tool

Ensure that you have a good contrast between the dark and light areas, Image > Adjustments > Curves. Create a ‘S’ shaped curve. Play with these settings until you are happy.

Duplicate your photograph and delete the ‘Background’ copy. Name the new layer ‘T-Shirt Creases’.

Pen tool settings

Make path with pen tool

Select the Pen Tool and ensure you have ‘Paths’ selected. Begin tracing along the edge of your t-shirt. Take your time, the more accurate you are, the better the final result. It is possible to use the Lasso Tool to make your selection, but this comes down to personal preference.

Make path into a selection

When you are done, right click and choose Make Selection…

Fill selection on new layer

Create a new layer above your photo and Edit > Fill your selection with a colour of your choice. Name this layer T-Shirt Colour.

Invert selection

Next we need to remove your t-shirt from its background. With the selection you made still visible choose Select > Inverse.

Expand selection

Then Select > Modify > Expand. Depending on the quality of your photograph choose between 1-5 pixels. For this image I expanded 2 pixels. Click Ok.

Feather selection

Then Select > Modify > Feather. Again, depending on your photograph feather between 1-5 pixels. For this image I feathered 1 pixel. Click Ok. With your photograph layer selected choose Edit > Cut.

Create new layer and fill white

Create a new layer below your t-shirt and Edit > Fill White. Name this layer Background.

Arrange layers

Arrange your layers as above so that the T-Shirt Creases layer sits on top. With this layer selected, choose Multiply from the layers drop-down menu.

Colour overlay t-shirt colour layer

Double click your T-Shirt Colour layer and check the Colour Overlay box. Select the coloured box and choose your garment colour. Click Ok.

Import artwork

Open your latest t-shirt design, and drop this into your template. Place your design beneath the T-Shirt Creases layer and re-size accordingly. Go to File > Save As and name your template accordingly.

Duplicate group

Group all layers and duplicate the group a number of times. You can now play around with various coloured garments on one art board.  The same process works for pretty much any garment!