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Sorry about the few days absense, but I’ve had zero internet access unfortunately for the past few days. Don’t worry though, I’m back with a new tutorial and have no plans of slowing down with the site. I hope that you enjoy the tutorial.
This is the final image that we’ll be creating:
Open up a new document (600X600px) and create a rectangular selection in the center of your document. Fill it with black.
Now paste in a photo of a tree. Cut it out from it’s background using the lasso tool, and then apply a black color overlay. Then resize the tree to fit nicely in the top right of your black square.
Paste in a photo of some fir trees and mountains. Go to select>color range then select shadows, and use the settings shown below. This will create a selection around the fir trees, which won’t be perfect, but can be used for this kind of grungy, rough design. With the area around the trees selected hit delete, and then resize your image and give the layer a black color overlay effect.
The images below show this technique of color range > shadows > delete > color overlay repeated, and me building up the edge of my black rectangle using various photos of greenery.
This grungy outline is looking pretty cool, but it’s a little too square and boxy right now. To fix this I grab my eraser brush set on a grunge brush and erase away parts of the corners of my ‘black rectangle’ layer. I also add a few more parts to the edge to round off the corners and erase these too.
Now I paste in a wood texture underneath of my current layers to provide a cool background.
To achieve a more neutral background color I add a color overlay to my wood texture layer. I set an overlay of EFDBAA and 86%.
I paste a photo of some symmetrical clouds over my background texture layer. I want the clouds to be at the top and bottom of my image however, so I simply select the relevant parts of my image and move them to the top/bottom of my document. Then to fill the gap between I select a thin strip of the blue sky that divides the clouds and stretch it so that it joins them. Finally I set my layer’s blend mode to overlay and reduce it’s opacity to 60%.
We’ll get back to the background shortly, but for now I want to add some text to my cool black grungy area. A really nice tip for achieving a grungy artistic effect is to type out your text, and then select each individual layer and choose the font below the last one you used for the previous layer. The variety of fonts and white on black contrast is a very simple way to achieve great results.
To add to the grungy theme I add in some Photoshop custom shapes and erase parts of them using a grunge brush set at a low opacity. I reduce these shape layer’s opacities to between 20-40%.
Now a select a large grunge brush and set it’s hardness to 0. Then I apply 4 brightly colored marks roughly at each quarter of my canvas. I set my layer’s blend mode to ‘vivid light’ and then go to filter>blur>radial blur and apply a radial blur of 74 strength, blur method: spin, quality: good. The images below show the effect with our floating island hidden and then made visible.
Now I paste in an image of some mountains above my radial blur layer. Then I set my layer blend mode to ‘overlay’. This creates a really nice effect not only giving the mountains some bright colors, but making it appear as if they are coming out of the clouds at the base of our image.
Now paste in some more mountains into the top of your image. Remember to set the blend mode to overlay and then use a large, soft eraser brush to blend them in properly and get rid of any harsh edges.
Paste in a paper texture on a new layer below your floating island and above your background layers. Position it so that it takes up all of your image apart from the bottom where your main mountain image is, but be careful to have it overlap the tops of the mountains. Then set your layer’s blending mode to multiply, and with the mountain layer showing through, use the lasso tool to cut away the bottom of your paper texture where it overlaps the mountain tops. Then reduce your paper texture layer’s opacity to 50%.
Now paste in an image of a sunburst shape (see our latest PSDFAN freebie for the image download). Again, cut away the part of the image that overlaps the mountains. This time rather than bother with the lasso tool simply selection your paper texture layer and click where the mountains are positioned using the magic wand tool. Then revert back to your new sunburst layer and hit delete. Then go to the layer’s blending mode and change it to ‘color burn’. Reduce the layer’s opacity to 16%.
Now select the ‘grungy’ text from ‘man this is grungy’ and copy it. Create a new text layer above your mountain layer and paste in the copied text, changing it’s color to 0A375A. Then increase it’s size to 155pt – this should take up most of the width of your image. Rasterize the layer and position it so that the tops of some of the letters are above the top edge of the mountain.
To finish select the mountain using the magic wand technique shown previously, invert your selection and hit delete to cut off the tops of the letters. Reduce the text layer’s opacity to 10% and set it’s blending mode to ‘color burn’.
Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.
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