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Create a Dark, Atmospheric Photo Manipulation

Create a Dark, Atmospheric Photo Manipulation

Learn how to create a Surreal dark photo manipulation! This Photoshop tutorial will show you how to create this surreal scene where a boy is going far from his toys. This tutorial will show you how to blend images seamlessly and work with lighting and shadows. From this tutorial we also learn some advance techniques of lighting and masking.

Final Image

As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:

Step 1

Create a new file with a width of 3500 px and a height of 3500 px at 300 dpi (Dots per Inch). Background Contents should be White.

Step 2

First off, let’s open the cloudy sky in Photoshop. We will be using this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Click the cloudy sky and press V to activate the Move Tool. Left-click the image and drag the image to the main canvas and change layer name to “sky”.

Activate transform tool and resize it to look like the image below

Step 3

Now, let’s open the Winter beach stock in Photoshop. We will be using the Ground from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Click the Winter beach and press P to activate pen tool and then make a selection around the ground and then click V to activate the Move Tool. Left-click the image and drag the image to the main canvas and change layer name to “ground”.

Activate transform tool and resize it to look like the image below

Activate vector mask tool from bottom of layer tool

Now activate Brush tool (B) with these settings Now let’s erase :

Brush size: 400px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 40%

Flow: 100%

Now let’s erase :

The result should be similar to this:

Step 4

Now Crate new Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette .

Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (ground layer and Brightness/Contrast) to make a mask.

Fill values see as below :

The result should be similar to this:

Now Crate new Curve adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette .Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (ground layer and Curve) to make a mask.

Fill these values:

The result should be similar to this:

Step 5

Now activate Brush tool (B) with these settings :

Brush size: 400px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 40%

Flow: 100%

Now let’s Paint :

The result should be similar to this:

Step 6

Now,let’s open Basket ball stock in Photoshop. We will be using the Basket ball from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Now activate Magic wand tool (w) see as below.

Activate move tool and move it to main canvas

The result should be similar to this:

Activate transform tool and resize it to look like the image below

Step 7

Now activate vector mask for basket ball layer. See as below

Pick Black (#000000) as color for both forground and backgroung color.

Set Black (#000000) as color for both forground and backgroung color.

Chose Grass brush.See as below :

Make this settings :

Brush size: 200px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 100%

Flow: 100%

Now let’s erase :

The result should be similar to this:

Step 8

Now activate blur tool (R)

Put these settings :

Now paint over the highlighted area.

The result should be similar to this:

Step 9

Now Create a new Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette .

Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Basketball layer and Brightness/Contrast) to make a mask.

Fill these settings:

The result should be similar to this:

Now Create a new Curves adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette. Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Basketball layer and Curves) to make a mask.

Fill these settings :

The result should be similar to this:

Now Create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette. Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Basketball layer and Hue/Saturation) to make a mask.

Fill these settings :

The result should be similar to this:

Step 10

Now, let’s open the Teddy Bear I image in Photoshop. We will be using the Teddy Bear from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Now go to select > Color range :

Now fill these settings :

nvert the selection (Ctrl+shift+i) :

The result should be similar to this:

Activate vector mask

Now activate brush tool (b) with these settings Now let’s erase :

Brush size: 100px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 40%

Flow: 100%

Now let’s erase :

The result should be similar to this:

Activate transform tool and resize it to look like the image below

Activate brush tool and make a vector mask for baseball globe from the bottom of layers palette .

With these settings

Brush size: 200px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 40%

Flow: 100%

Now paint over the highlighted area:

The result should be similar to this:

Step 11

Now create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer which can be found by pressing on the Create New Fill/Adjustment layer button shown on the layer window Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (“Teddy” layer and Hue/Saturation) to make a mask :

When the Hue/Saturation box opens, input the following:

Put these settings as below :

The result should be similar to this:

Now create a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer which can be found by pressing on the Create New Fill/Adjustment layer button shown on the layer window Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (“Teddy” layer and Brightness/Contrast) to make a mask.:

When the Brightness/Contrast box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:

Now create a curve adjustment layer which can be found by pressing on the Create New Fill/Adjustment layer button shown on the layer window Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (“teddy” layer and curve) to make a mask.:

When the curve box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:

Step 12

Now, activate Blur tool(R) .

Put these settings see as below:

Now paint over the highlighted area:

The result should be similar to this:

Step 13

Now,let’s open the baseball globe in Photoshop. We will be using the globe from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas

Now activate magic wand tool see as below:

Move it to main canvas and change layer name to “baseball globe”.

Activate transform tool and resize it to look like the image below

Step 14

Activate brush tool and make a vector mask for baseball globe from the bottom of layers palette .

With these settings

Brush size: 200px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 40%

Flow: 100%

Now let’s erase :

The result should be similar to this:

Step 15

Activate blur tool (r) see as below:

Put these settings as below.

Now paint over the highlighted area.

The result should be similar to this:

Step 16

Now Crate new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette .Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Baseball globes layer and Hue/Saturation) to make a mask.

When the Hue/Saturation box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:

Now Create a new Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette. Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Baseball globes layer and Brightness/Contrast) to make a mask.

When the Brightness/Contrast box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:

Now create a Curve adjustment layer which can be found by pressing on the Create New Fill/Adjustment layer button shown on the layer window Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Baseball globes layer and Curve) to make a mask.:

When the Curve box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:

Step 17

Activate a new layer and name it “Bear shadow”

Now activate Brush tool (B) with these settings :

Brush size: 300px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 40%

Flow: 100%

Now let’s Paint :

The result should be similar to this:

Activate a new layer and name it “Globes shadow”

Now activate Brush tool (B) with these settings :

Brush size: 300px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 40%

Flow: 100%

Now let’s Paint :

The result should be similar to this:


Activate a new layer and name it “Basket ball shadow”

Now activate Brush tool (B) with these settings :

Brush size: 300px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 40%

Flow: 100%

Now let’s Paint :

The result should be similar to this:

Now let’s set the mood of our image!

Activate a new layer and name it”upper black”.

Now activate Brush tool (B) with these settings Now :

Brush size: 1000px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 40%

Flow: 100%

Color: #000000

Now let’s paint over the highlighted area :

The result should be similar to this:

Once again make a new layer and name it “Down black”.

Activate a new layer and name it”upper black”.

Now activate Brush tool (B) with these settings Now :

Brush size: 1000px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 40%

Flow: 100%

Color: #000000

Now let’s paint over the highlighted area :

The result should be similar to this:

Step 18

First off, let’s Field trip to La Mezquita in Photoshop. We will be using the kid from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Click the Field trip to La Mezquita and press P to activate pen tool and then make a selection around the kid and then click V to activate the Move Tool. Left-click the image and drag the image to the main canvas and change layer name to “kid”.

The result should be similar to this:

Activate transform tool and resize it to look like the image below

Step 19

Activate blur tool (r) see as below :

Put these settings.See as below :

Now paint over the highlighted area:

The result should be similar to this:

Now add a vector mask to kid layer from bottom of layer palette.

Now activate Brush tool (B) with these settings :

Brush size: 100px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 40%

Flow: 100%

Now let’s erase :

The result should be similar to this:

Step 20

Now Create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer from the bottom of the layers palette .Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Kid layer and Hue/Saturation) to make a mask.

When the Hue/Saturation box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:

Step 21

Return to the ‘kid’ layer and make a duplicate of it. (ctrl+j):

Once again activate transform tool (Ctrl+t) see as below:

Now move the square’s to left side coz light is coming from right so shadow should be towards left THEN HIT ENTER see as below :

Now make a selection by hold Ctrl key and click on the duplycate layer:

Fill the selection with black color (#000000):

Now go to filter > blur > motion blur.

Fill these settings see as below.

The result should be similar to this:

activate vector mask

Now activate Brush tool (B) with these settings Now let’s erase :

Brush size: 400px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 40%

Flow: 100%

Now let’s erase :

The result should be similar to this:

Step 22

Now, let’s open the textures 92 in Photoshop. We will be using the texture from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Click the textures 92 and press V to activate the Move Tool. Left-click the image and drag the image to the main canvas and change layer name to “Texture”.

Activate transform tool and resize it to look like the image below

Reduce the opacity to 30% :

The result should be similar to this:

Activate vector mask tool

Now activate Brush tool (B) with these settings Now let’s erase :

Brush size: 400px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 40%

Flow: 100%

Now let’s erase :

The result should be similar to this:

Step 23

In this step, we will learn how to create a vignette which will help enhance the focus on our subject.

First make a new layer and name it “Vignette”.

Now goto Filter > Distrot > Lens Correction.

then set the following settings:

Amount: -100

Midpoint: 40%

When the Lens Correction. box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:

change the layer mode to ‘Multiply’

Step 24

Now Create a new Solid color adjustment layer from the bottom of the layers palette .

When the Solid color adjustment layer box opens, input the following:

Change layer mode to “Exclusion” and opacity to 40%.

Now once again create a Solid color adjustment layer which can be found by pressing on the Create New Fill/Adjustment layer button shown on the layer window:

When the Solid color adjustment layer box opens, input the following:

Reduce opacity to 40% and change layer mode to “soft light”.

Once again create a Solid color adjustment layer which can be found by pressing on the Create New Fill/Adjustment layer button shown on the layer window:

When the Solid color adjustment layer box opens, input the following:

Reduce the opacity to 3%

Now create a Gradient map adjustment layer which can be found by pressing on the Create New Fill/Adjustment layer button shown on the layer window:

When the Gradient map adjustment layer box opens, input the following:

Reduce it’s opacity to 45%.

Now create a curves adjustment layer which can be found by pressing on the Create New Fill/Adjustment layer button shown on the layer window:

When the curves adjustment layer adjustment layer box opens, input the following:

Now activate brush tool (B) with these settings Now let’s erase :

Brush size: 400px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 40%

Flow: 100%

Now let’s erase :

The result should be similar to this:

Now make a duplicate of curves layer by click on curves layer and press (Ctrl+j) and reduce it’s opacity to 75%.

The result should be similar to this:

Now create a Color balance adjustment layer which can be found by pressing on the Create New Fill/Adjustment layer button shown on the layer window:

When the Color balance adjustment layer box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:

Now create a Photo filter adjustment layer which can be found by pressing on the Create New Fill/Adjustment layer button shown on the layer window:

When the Photo filter adjustment layer box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:

Now create a Curves adjustment layer which can be found by pressing on the Create New Fill/Adjustment layer button shown on the layer window:

When the Curves adjustment layer box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:

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About the Author:

Vikas Singh Adhikari (Vik aadi) is a 20 years old self-taught digital mixed media artist and a photographer from New Delhi India. The themes that are mostly seen on his work revolve around surrealism, pseudo-realism, nostalgic sentiments, and human emotion.You can contact him on his deviant art account: http://vikaadi.deviantart.com/ and his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vikas.theanimater

Leave a comment

10 Comments:

  1. Webdesign says:

    Very nice tutorial, gonna try it myself later today

  2. rod says:

    nice tutoriel

  3. wow this is really good tutorial thanks

    Jo

  4. Christo says:

    thank you very much it has been very simple cuz you have wasted your time and told us hove to do every step. next time try to make a video if possible .

    • Bombo says:

      @Christo

      Was that some sort of a backhanded compliment?

      This is what you should say: Thank you for the tutorial!

  5. Hapu says:

    Can you upload the tutorials in videos

Leave a Comment:

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