The traditional cyborg, a mix of human and machine, has the ability to unsettle viewers in a way that robots or other synthetic humanoids can’t possibly match. There’s a visceral quality about the transplanting of flesh and metal in iconic figures such as The Terminator or Star Trek’s Borg. It conjures up visions of the horror of Victorian medical practices, and frightens us more than the completely synthetic Replicants of Blade Runner, or the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica.

In this tutorial, Fabio Sasso shows you some techniques for creating a cyborg from photographic sources in Photoshop, tapping into the movie heritage of the cyborg, but mixing it with the glossy ‘Bleach-Bypass’ look of modern sci-fi TV shows such as V and The Event. You will use some stock photos and lots of adjustment layers, in order to achieve a convincing result.

Step 1 Open Photoshop and create a new A4 portrait document. Import a photo of a person that will be your cyborg. You can call this layer ‘HeadShoulders’. To obtain the slick look we’re going for, choose an image with bright highlights and dark shadows, and with fashion stylings. The one I’m using is courtesy of Shutterstock and can be found at bit.ly/aZe6wv.