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Photo manipulation is a true art form and it lets you create some incredible fantasy pieces.
In today’s advanced tutorial we’re going to be creating the photo manipulation piece ‘Birth of a New Era’ which features a man gazing out over a surreal landscape with a flaming earth in a dark ocean.
You can follow along every single detail and step of creating this piece, and will master techniques such as masking, gradient maps, artificial lighting, shading, color correction and professional sharpening.
Let’s get started!
As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:
Create a new document. Go to file -> New.. and insert width :1750 pixels. Height : 1804 pixels, 300 pixels/inch as shown in the picture below.
Now go to File-> place -> select the background image and click open. Now place the image as shown in the picture below.
Select the clone stamp tool (s) and try to patch the cracks of the ground (choose yes if asked to rasterize the object) and select a source point.
Now paint over the area that you want to patch
When you’re done patching the result should be similar to this.
Open the image of the man on a separate document and choose the pen tool (p). name the layer “model” and put these parameters to the tool.
Zoom into the image of the model starting from the head and create the outline of the model with the pen tool. Lot’s of clicks will be needed here but with this method you’ll crop the model with extreme accuracy.
Keep working with the pen tool.
Now close the outline and we’re done with the pen tool
You can see how many clicks we did in order to create the outline of the model!
Now go to the paths palette, right click on the path layer and choose “make selection”.
When a window pops up click feather radius 0,5 pixels and click ok. This will soften the edges of the model we’re about to crop!
Go to the layers palette, double click on the locked layer and then hit ok (this will unlock the layer). Now while the selection is active click on the “add layer mask” button witch is located at the very bottom of the layers palette.
Voila!! Now our object is cropped and ready to be inserted to the project!
Now that the model is cropped we want to insert it into the project. Just select the whole layer of the model with the mask and drop it to the main project.
Now the model has been inserted.
Now go to edit -> free transform or just hit ctrl+t to resize the model and then position it to the center.
When we cropped the model we left a small detail that needs to be fixed. Choose a black colored small brush, select the mask of the model and paint that small detail on his hand to get rid of the unwanted grass we left at first place. Like this!
Move down to the models feet. We are going to add some shadow to the model now. Choose a soft brush with hardness 0% and sixe 25 pixels. Under the layer of the model create a new group and name it shadow. Now create a new layer and start painting with black under his feet like this.
When you’re done put 60% to the opacity of the layer. The result should be similar to this. See how nice the shadow we made shows up?
Now make another layer, underneath the layer of the shadow and name it shadow 2. Paint with the same brush and color like this. When you’re done put 60% to the opacity of the layer
The result should be like this
Now are models fits pretty well to the outcome so far. The only thing is that the model looks like standing above the water on solid ground. Let’s change that and make the model stand into the water.
Cosmas Hiolos is a self-taught freelance graphics designer from Greece. His skills are focused mostly in photo manipulation and photo editing while his area of expertise is designing concept artworks for artists and music bands. Visit his online portfolio through the website Krieg Design
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