Create a Bloody Swordfight to the Death

In this Photoshop exercise we’re going to channel Ninja Assassin and Kill Bill to create this dramatic swordfight to the death.


Here is a great image of a Japanese shoji door that we can manipulate to use for our fight scene.

I went though some stock photos and one of the best images I found were of these two women that obviously mean business. Use your favorite method to cut them out. I used the Polygonal Lasso Tool as I often do.

Once they’re cut out, double click their layer to open up the Layer Style window. Choose Color Overlay and pick black to make them a solid silhouette.

Place the shoji doors in front of the figures and set the Blending Mode to Multiply in the Layers panel. This will reveal the figures behind it.

On a new layer above the doors fill the canvas with a solid orange. I used the hex color #FF9118. Set this layer’s blend mode to Color Burn and set the Opacity to 75%. This should give the scene a nice fiery hue.

Now we’re going to fuzz the edges of the figures to emulate the look of a silhouette through a partly opaque screen door. Go to the figures and navigate to the top menu and choose Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur with the following settings.

I used the the brush set from my other tutorial to create some dramatic blood spatters across the doors.

Activate the doors layer by clicking it and Press Ctrl+L to bring up the Levels editor. I pulled the center level marker to the left to the following settings to have the figures and splatters punch up a bit more.

Click here to see the high resolution image.

By Mark Rivera

Mark is an animator and ad designer for WebProNews. He has a passion for illustration and 3D art.

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