How to achieve that "Matte Look" in Photoshop CS3 up to Photoshop CC.
1. Start with image opened in Photoshop.
2. Select the elliptical marquee tool, and drag a circle around your subject.
3. Right click inside the selection (marching ants) and select Refine Edge.
4. Set the Feather radius until it blends in nicely towards your subject, in this image I used a radius of 100, but this depends on the size of your image, smaller images will need a smaller radius than larger images. My image is 1200 x 800 pixels for the tutorial. (Make sure all other options in refine edge is set to zero, all boxes are unticked and output is set to selection)
5. Go to Select > Inverse to inverse our selection.
6. Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color and click OK in the dialog box.
7. In the color picker dialog box, choose a color that compliments the color of your subjects clothes, or as in my case on this image, I will choose a color that would enhance my background. I chose an orange color (#b37316). Click OK in the dialog box.
8. In the blending drop-down menu, choose soft light.
9. Drop your opacity until you get a nice effect, and some of your background color comes back. Here I used a 50% opacity to obtain my results.
1. Now we need to select the layer mask on the solid color layer.
2. Now use a soft white brush at 70% opacity and color in the areas around the outside edge of the subject to fill in the color there so it is even. (You need to use the white brush where I illustrated with red, the red is just a mask preview, and not how it will actually look).
3. Ctrl+click (Cmd+click on Mac) on the same layer mask so you have a selection again.
1. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, rename it to Color and click OK in the dialog box.
2. Go to RGB in the curves dialog box and choose Blue, and adjust the output up a bit, drag the line upwards from the lower left corner (as you can see in the 2nd image above), I used an output of 15.
3. Ctrl+click the Color layer mask and go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Exposure, click OK in the dialog box.
4. In the Exposure properties dialog box, move up the offset slider a bit, here I use +0,0449. You should be very careful not to go too much, as it grays out the image too much.
1. Select the layer named Color, and ctrl+click the layer’s mask (make sure the Color layer is highlighted).
2. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, rename it to Darken and click OK.
3. In the Curves dialog box, hover your mouse over the shadows area, where input and output would be about 60 for both. Drag the curve down from there as seen above.
4. In my image I just needed a little bit of darkening, so I have an input of 71 and output of 59. If you see that it is a bit too dark, you can just lower that layer’s opacity to soften the effect.
5. Now you can just right click the background layer, and Flatten image. And there you have a nice looking "Matte Effect" on your image!
You can see my results in the last step!
Step 5: Before and After
Thanks for taking the time to read this tutorial!
Hope you enjoyed it, and that you've learned something new!