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Age Progression, make someone look old

In this tutorial we will learn how to make people look old. Using photoshop, we can do something in a short amount of time, which would take nature decades to accomplish. Using the proper tools, you can create a realistic old looking person out of a young vibrant individual. But to make it believable, we need to understand the natural effects on the face of an old person to imitate it through photoshop tricks.

The main areas to be worked on should be: wrinkles, white hair (unless you don’t want them dyed), loose falling skin, probably double chin too if the lady is fat. Adding accessories like a scarf or glasses can be good as it creates realism. Now, let’s start afresh with a picture of a young lady.

Aishwarya Rai

We will use the picture of gorgeous Aishwarya Rai who is a popular actress from the Indian Film Industry. Let’s make her ready for the role of an old lady in some random movie of your choice.

Adding Wrinkles
Our first task is to add wrinkles under the eyes of our actress. Select the ‘Burn tool’ which is most suitable for this task with these settings:


Use it to create natural impressions under the eyes like you use a brush. Draw multiple thin lines starting from the edge of an eye and go down along the curve. You should now get a result which that looks something like this:

Aishwarya Rai

Observe the slight wrinkles in the picture above. Create more these below the cheek, chin and the neck area as well as under the eyes. Also, use the ALT-button while drawing these wrinkles to activate ‘dodge tool’ - which makes a popping out effect. It should appear like veins on the neck part. Try practicing a little and you will understand the need of both tool (burn and dodge). Now your picture will look something like this:

Aishwarya Rai

Using the same technique, draw wrinkles on the forehead. Create horizontal curvy lines of worry on her forehead. Your result will now look something like this:

Aishwarya Rai

Now we will create a pull-down gravity effect on the skin. For this we will use the ‘Forward Warp’ tool under the Filter > Liquify menu. Use this to slightly pull the under-eyes, cheeks, and chin down. Also pull the nose down and make it slightly bigger. The nose is one part of the body that always keeps growing which is of course something we’d like to take into consideration while manipulating. Take care while adding these effects as too much would make her look like a zombie.

Age Progression in Photoshop

We must also makes the lips thinner as lips tend to become thinner with age progression. You can do this by using the warping tool we used before. Now your result should look something like this:

Aishwarya Rai

So now we’ve made her skin look old but her hair is still black as it was when we started. Let’s fix her eye-brows first. Select the brush tool, and choose the grass brush with following settings.

Brushes for Age Progression in Photoshop

Open the brushes pallet from the Window > Brushes menu or by pressing the F5 shortcut key. Check ‘shape dynamics’ and use following setting. Tick the Flip Jitter on for both X and Y.

Bushes palette for Age Progression in Photoshop

Choose a white foreground color and a Grey background color. Then create a new layer and start drawing on her eyebrows to paint white hair with a natural looking jittery effect.

Aishwarya Rai

Now we need to apply the same technique to her hair. On a new layer, paint using a brush. Keep the brush size low to something like 3 or 4. Keep the opacity low at about 30%. Draw strings of hair repeatedly in the direction of the hair flow. Your picture should look something like this:

Aishwarya Rai

If you wish, add artifacts like glasses to create more interest and intellect.

Aishwarya RaiAishwarya Rai
Here you see the original picture along with the after-shots. Amazing result, isn’t it?

Using this technique you can impress your friends by creating their future look. It will need some practice and patience but is worth the effort.

You might find these related posts useful too:

  • How To Change Hair Color – Video tutorial
  • How to remove wrinkles
  • Turn your friend into a statue!

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    • Geezer says:

      Hi H.

      You can find the burn tool at the toolbox on the left sidebar of your PS, right there you will also find the dodge and the sponge tools.

      Good Luck!

    • Harry says:

      if u dont find it , then you probably arent using Photoshop!!!

    • OXtheII says:

      The Burn tool is on the tool bar, right under the fill/gradient tool. The shortcut letter for it is “O”

      If it doesn’t show up on the tool bar click on the icon to make a scroll down view and it will be there. Looks like a hand pinching.

      The other tools in this scroll down view are Sponge and Dodge.
      The Sponge tool can saturate and desaturate. Dodge adds brightness.
      It is also a great tool to use for making uneven skin tones for older skin tones.

    • Gopal says:

      Burn tool is giving different color line on the picture, it is different from the subject skin color how to fix it.

    • Ben says:

      Thanks for the tips. You have some really good ideas here but she kinda looks fake like a game character but I did learn a lot.

    • Dallas Nardo says:

      closely give up when I at last found your site! THX !

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