How to put realistic looking ‘prints’ onto T’s in Photoshop

Please excuse the long title – I couldn’t think of a shorter one. In this (my first ever) tutorial I go through how to put graphics onto a t-shirt using Photoshop.

I used to own and run a clothing brand that I started in South Africa. I did it for around 9 years before selling the company and one thing I found to be a real challenge and expense was getting samples printed up. Apparel is a volume driven industry so very small runs and sample runs are either expensive are very difficult to get printers to agree to. So I figured out a way to put print ideas onto garments in a realistic looking way using Photoshop and eliminate the cost of sampling where possible.

A digitally 'printed' TThere are two methods that I use. The first of the two methods is a lot more time consuming, but gives better results when you put the effort in and I find it is worth using when I’m putting together a nice printed catalogue.
The second method is the one I use most often because it’s really quick to reuse and it makes it super easy to swap out the graphics and it is the one I go through in this tutorial. If you put graphics onto t’s for clients as a means of pre-visualization before they do a print run or if you put graphics onto t’s for display on the web, as I do for a regular client who prints to order, then method 2 is the way to go.

Some of the things I go through in this tutorial are:

  • Making a T you can easily change the colour of
  • Dodging and burning
  • Non-destructive dodging and burning
  • Masking
  • Blend modes
  • Smart Objects
  • Smart Filters
  • Displace filter

Hey, if you liked the tutorial please tell others about it.

Thanks for checking it out!

11 replies
  1. Brian
    Brian says:

    Hi shawn im frm sou th africa and wana start a clothing line could u please advise how to go abt this seeing that u gt 9 yrs exp..u can email me..tx

  2. Tanya
    Tanya says:

    THANK YOU!!!! I have been trying to figure out how to do this forever. This helped me so very much!!

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