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Create a Stylish Two-Tone Photo Montage

Final Image

This is the final image that we’ll be creating in this tutorial.

Images Used

The following images were used in making this tutorial:

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/297618

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1108940

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1108937

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1108939

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1108938

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/990866

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1174393

Step 1

Open up the first texture from this great texture set courtesy of BittBox: Light Grunge Textures.

Resize your image to be 1000X750, and you have your background.

Step 2

Now download the photo of a large statue head. Paste it into your main document. Then cutout this image using the pen tool or lasso tool.

We want the statue head to be facing upright, and to be central in our canvas. To do this, copy/paste your selection to paste the head onto a new layer. Delete the original photo. Then go to edit>transform>rotate and rotate the head until it looks right. Finally, I want to make my photo a little smaller, so I drag in the corner of my scaling box whilst holding shift+alt (to keep the same image proportions and also keep my image perfectly central in my canvas).

Step 3

Now we want to get rid of the head support on the left side of the statue’s face. To do this select the clone stamp tool, and make your brush around 30-50px in size. Begin cloning areas of the statue’s face around the support and pasting them over the support area. To do this, alt+click on the areas you want to copy, then release alt and click on the areas you want to hide. It doesn’t matter if this step isn’t absolutely perfect, but just try to roughly cover up the selected area.

Step 4

Go to image>adjustments>levels and apply the settings shown below. This should make your head a lot darker and more intense.

Step 5

Now paste in an image of an ink splatter. Position it over the dark cheek of your statue head.

To make the white background of this image hidden, change the layer’s blend mode to ‘multiply’.

Then resize it, and use a large soft eraser brush to merge it slightly better with the head.

Step 6

Add several more splatters to the dark side of your face. Once you’ve created all of your splatter layers and erased them to blend with your face, merge them all into a single ‘splatter’ layer.

Step 7

Now hide your ‘face’ layer, leaving just your background and splatter layers. Go to select>color range and apply the settings shown below. You can see that the white area in the selection window shows the area that will be selected (my splatters). This is because I’ve selected ‘shadows’ from the selection menu.

Now with your selection in place, create a new top layer called ‘selection shape’. Fill in your selection on this layer using a bright, obvious color (I went with red).

Step 8

Now, stay on your ‘selection shape’ layer and alt+click on your ‘face’ layer in your layers palette. This will select your entire face shape. Now fill in this selection with your same bright color. This should give your a brightly colored shape on your ‘selection shape’ layer that is the same shape as your face+splatter layers data.

Step 9

Now paste in a photo of a garbage bag onto a new top layer. Resize and move it to fit over and cover your selection shape layer shape. Then, alt click on your ‘selection shape’ layer in your layers palette to select your colorful shape. Go to select>inverse and then select your garbage bag layer and hit ‘delete’.

You can see the result of this below:


Step 10

Now go to image>adjustments>desaturate to grayscale your garbage bag.

Then go to layer>apply layer mask>reveal all and select a large, very soft, black paintbrush and begin painting over the parts of your garbage bag covering the light side of your statue’s face. Be sure to use a low opacity paintbrush, as your black paintbrush strokes will be erasing parts of your garbage bag. We’re using a layer mask as this preserves your original garbage bag photo if you make a mistake.

I also made sure to brush over my face’s features (the eyes, nose and mouth) as I wanted these to show through more. The result of this step is that you’ve given parts of your face a super cool texture!

Step 11

Now go to image>adjustments>levels and apply the settings shown below in order to enhance your garbage bag texture.

Step 12

Now paste in an image of some smoke onto a new top layer called ‘smoke 1′. We want to turn this photo into some stylish black smoke going over parts of our main image. To do this, first go to image>adjustments>grayscale to desaturate it. Then go to image>adjustments>invert to create a negative image of the original (black smoke on a white background).

Then to make the smoke stand out more go to image>adjustments>brightness/contrast and increase the contrast to +60.

Step 13

Now change this layer’s blend mode to ‘multiply’ and select various parts of your smoke, moving them to fit over parts of your face. Then use a large, soft eraser brush to erase away parts of the smoke to make it blend better. I ended up duplicating this layer and merging the duplicate down with the original in order to make the smoke more prominent.

Step 14

Now use your rectangular marquee tool to select a thin strip at the top of the statue’s face. Click on the mask on your garbage bag layer and fill your selection with black to hide this part of your layer. Add a layer mask (reveal all) to your face layer and repeat this same process.

Then create some similar rectangular shapes over nearby parts of your image. This should give the impression of a broken look.

Step 15

Now create a new top layer called ‘pen lines’. Draw out a curved path line using your pen tool, that curves under the statue’s left eye out into your main background. With a 1px black paintbrush selected, right click on your path line and click ‘stroke path’. This should give you a 1px curved black line. Then duplicate this layer and move the duplicate 5px beneath the original. Repeat this several times, and then merge all of your path line layers together. Then use a large, soft eraser to erase the left and right sides on your collection of path lines. Finally, reduce this layer’s opacity to 50%.

Step 16

Paste in a photo of a rock. Cut it out using your pen tool or lasso tool. Then go to image>adjustments>desaturate. Then duplicate your rock image multiple times, each time resizing and rotating the image to make your composition more random. Try to make the light side of each rock face the right side of your canvas, as this fits with the lighting of your statue’s face.

Step 17

Now go to filter>blur>gaussian blur and apply varying amounts of blur to each rock. You want to blur the closer rocks much more, and apply a subtle blur to the furthest away. Ultimately you’re looking to give the impression of perspective in your cluster of rocks.

And We’re Done!

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial, and as always I’d really appreciate your comments.

You can view the full-sized outcome by clicking the image below:

Download Source File for this Tutorial


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About the Author:

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.

Leave a comment

24 Comments:

  1. Really nice composition.

  2. [...] Create a Stylish Two-Tone Photo Montage Awesome Two-Tone photo montage! (tags: photoshop tutorial tutorials) [...]

  3. Rai says:

    I really like this one

  4. I really like the style you’ve gotten here, you’d never know there was a binbag in there. The original image of that stature head is also pretty awesome.

    Great tutorial as always.

  5. smashill says:

    Some simple techniques used to create a great outcome. The final result looks great. I really love how that splashes and the plastic bag turn out, awesome idea!
    What I don’t love too much are the smoke textures, seems to be a bit overdone. I would have used more splashes to stick to the simple concept/look and leave out as many distracting items as possible. (especially the lower smoke seems out of place)

  6. connie says:

    Love it love the outcome!

  7. conrad says:

    My only problem was selecting by using Alt-Click (although I am using CS4, which may be the problem?)

    Otherwise, very good tutorial. Thanks a lot :)

  8. Tom says:

    Thanks Connie!

    Conrad: Which step are you referring to? If you mean the clone stamp tool then it’s option+click, I can’t see alt+click used for selection anywhere though.

  9. CgBaran Tuts says:

    Great tutorial thanks

  10. What a great result. It is so easy to follow this clearly explained tutorial.

  11. wow…I like this post very much…thank you

  12. Moritz says:

    i like this tutorial, my outcome looked a lot like it

  13. irpan says:

    tanks to you
    i like this a design you

  14. Mindy Miller says:

    Looks awesome. Thanks for the tutorial – I’ll be trying this one.

  15. trupen says:

    good looking

  16. thalia says:

    i realy like this
    and i didn’t knew it takes so many steps

  17. april says:

    nice job…

  18. Terry Plater says:

    Hi, i discovered your page through yahoo and hope you keep making more good articles.

  19. Cristian says:

    Excellence in tutorial,I have to do it!
    I´ll try to be creative,using others backgrounds!

  20. I am just writing to make you know what a terrific discovery my daughter encountered browsing your web page. She came to find such a lot of pieces, including what it is like to possess an excellent coaching spirit to make men and women clearly learn certain complicated things. You truly exceeded my expectations. Thanks for providing the great, safe, educational not to mention cool tips about this topic to Ethel.

  21. Mark says:

    http://www.sxc.hu/photo/990866 no longer exists, I am assuming its the image of the bin bag?

    I have looked at other images to use in its place but for the sake of following your tutorial to the letter can you upload a new link?

    Thank you for the tutorial, nice work.

    • Tom says:

      Hi Mark, thanks for letting me know. Sometimes authors will remove their photo, which is outside of our control. I’ll look for a new image to replace it, but the old one won’t be available by the looks of it.

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