PSDFan Extra

Photo Manipulate a Surreal Underground Scene with a Sleeping, Frozen Beauty

I know that the PSDFAN community loves photo manipulation. However, I recognise that it can be a tricky skill to learn.

Today’s tutorial breaks down some key photo manipulation techniques, such as blending, colouring, texture/brush application and many more!

You’ll learn how to create a lovely surreal image that’s sure to impressive your friends. It’s time to get icy and take your photo manip skills up a notch!

What You’ll Be Creating:

Here’s a look at the outcome you’ll be able to produce by the end of this lesson:

Step 1

Create a new document with size of 900×1200 px and fill it with black. Open ice ground and use Move Tool (V) to drag it into our canvas, rotate it 90 CW (Edit-Transform-Rotate 90 CW) and use Free Transform Tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T) to resize it:

I named this layer “ice underground”.

Step 2

I use a Curves layer with Clipping Mask to darken this underground. Go to Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Curves:

On Curves layer mask use soft black brush to erase the bottom to keep it brighter than the rest. You can see how I erased it on layer mask and result on picture:

Step 3

I use another Curves layer to brighten the part masked in previous step:

Step 4

Add a Hue/Saturation layer to reduce saturation of this underground:

Step 5

Extract the model and place her on the underground:

Step 6

I use a Curves layer (Clipping Mask) to darken the model:

Another Curves to darken more:

On this Curves layer mask use soft black brush with opacity and flow about 20-30% to keep some parts of the model brighter ( the arms, face):

Step 7

Make a Hue/Saturation layer (Clipping Mask) for the model to reduce her saturation:

Step 8

To make a shadow for the model on the underground, create a new layer underneath the model layer. Use a soft black brush with about 50% opacity to paint under the arms:

Step 9

Come back to ice underground layer. Click the second button at the bottom of Layer Pallete to add mask to this one. Use soft black brush to erase the part behind the model arms to blend it with black background and create a depth for the underground:

Step 10

Open the stock contained closed eyes (feel free to use your own one). I make a selection around one eye part (use Lasso Tool – L) and place it above the opening eye of the model:

Use layer mask to remove the hard edges:

Step 11

I make a Curves layer (Clipping Mask) to darken this eye part:

Step 12

To blend this eyes better with the face I use a Hue/Saturation layer:

Step 13

To change color of the pic a little I add a Color Balance on the top:

Step 14

Drag winter 1 stock above the model and resize it to get a look below:

Use layer mask and black brush with hardness about 40-45% to create soft edges of the ground (try to make curvy edges and avoid a rigid look):.

I called this layer “ground 1″.

Step 15

Make a new layer with Clipping Mask for the ground. Active Clone Tool (S) and remove unwanted part at the tree bottom:

Step 16

Open winter 2 image. I take a part of this stock and place it over the ground 1 part after transforming:

Use layer mask to blend this new ground with sky and tree:

I named this layer “ground 2″.

Step 17

There is unwanted part on the left edge of ground 2 and I use Clone Tool to fix it (on a new layer with Clipping Mask of course):

Step 18

I use a Color Balance to change color of this ground:

Step 19

Add a Hue/Saturation layer to adjust color of the ground a little:

On Hue/Saturation layer mask I use soft black brush to erase a part at the right corner of this ground:

Step 20

Open icicles stock. Extract the part contained icicles and rock and place it above the model but under ground 1 layer.

Go to Edit-Puppet Warp and tweak the icicles part a little:

If you’re using CS 4 or older versions of Photoshop you can use Warp Tool instead.

Step 21

Duplicate this layer and flip it horizontally (Edit-Transform-Flip Horizontal), move it to the right. I applied Puppet Warp for this part too:

Use layer mask to cut out some icicles of this part (remember to use hard brush to do it):

Step 22

I take separate icicles from the stock and position them under the ground, transform and use layer mask if needed:

I used 10 layers for this effect.

Step 23

Make all icicles layers selected then press Cmd/Ctrl+G to make group for them. Change the mode of this group from Pass Through (default group mode) to Normal 100%. I named these layers from 1 to 10.

On layer 10, go to Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Curves:

On Curves layer mask I erase some icicles part as I don’t want them too dark:

Because the mode of this group changed to Normal 100% (no Pass Through) so this Curves layer only affects the layers inside this group (icicles ones).

Step 24

Now it’s time to take care of the model. Make a new layer above Color Balance 1 layer and under icicles group. Change brush to frost ones and pick foreground color to white. Choose brush, number 1800 to spot over the model part:

Change the mode to Soft Light 100% and use layer mask to remove unecessary parts:

Step 25

I use Curves to darken this effect a bit:

Step 26

Open ice texture 1 and place it on model body, then set the mode to Soft Light 100%:

I use layer mask to remove hard edges of this texture:

Step 27

I take a part from this ice texture and place it at the right of the model. Put the mode to Soft Light 100% and use layer mask to blend it:

Step 28

Make group for ice texture 1 layers, change the mode to Soft Light 100% (it’s very important to keep the effect the same as before grouping). Call these layers 1 and 2 or whatever you want. Add a Curves layer within this group to brighten the ice effect a little:

On Curves layer mask I use brush with opacity about 30-35% to reduce lightness on some parts, especially the edges which should be darker:

Step 29

To make a stronger “icy” effect for the model, I use ice texture 2. Make a selection on this texture and drag it on model face and arms:

Add the mask to this ice layer. To get a realistic effect I use a brush that has grainy structure . Go to Brush menu, choose Reset Brushes to turn all brushes to default. Choose spatter 59 pixels brush to remove hard edges of this ice part, remember to vary opacity ( I set them about 20 to 100%) to get more natural result:

Step 30

Take another ice parts from the stock and place them over the model body, use same brush on masking:

Step 31

I use Curves to darken some ice parts a little:

Step 32

Make group for these ice texture 2 layers (including Curves ones) with Normal mode 100%. I use a Hue/Saturation layer within this group to change color of this effect:

Step 33

Add a Curves layer to darken all ice layers a little:

On this Curves layer mask I use brush with low opacity (20-25%) and small size (from 2 to 10 px) to create a little stronger contrast on the ice on model face and arms:

Step 34

Make a new layer above icicles group and under ground 1 one. Use soft black brush with opacity about 60% to paint shadow of the snow ground on the icicles:

Step 35

Make three layers on the top. On each layer use bird brushes with black colors to paint on the sky:

I named these layers from 1 to 3.

Step 36

I want to blur the birds to create a depth to the picture. On the layer 1 go to Filter-Blur-Gassian Blur and choose radius with 1 px:

With layer 2 and 3 I apply Gassian Blur with 0.5 px:

Step 37

Extract the deer and position him at the right of the ground:

Use layer mask to blend his feet with snow ground:

Step 38

I use a Hue/Saturation layer to reduce the deer saturation:

Step 39

I use a Photo Filter to add some light cyan to this deer:

Step 40

The deer looks too dark against the background so I use Curves to increase the lightness:

Step 41

To blend the deer better with the scene I make a new layer (Clipping Mask) and use soft brush with color #bfdbf6, opacity and flow about 30-35% to paint on the deer back, legs and tails:

Step 42

Open stock with footprints. I copy a part of it and place it near the deer feet after transforming and resizing:

Use layer mask to remove rough edges:

Step 43

I take another footprints and position them along the ground:

Step 44

These footprints are a bit blurry so on each footprint layer, go to Filter-Sharpen-Unsharp Mask and pick the value below:

Step 45

Make group for footprint layers with Normal mode 100%. Create a Curves layer to brighten the footprints and alter the color of them a bit:

Use brush to work on Curves layer mask:

Step 46

I use a Hue/Saturation layer to make the footprints intergrated with the ground:

Step 47

Make a new layer on the top. Use a snow brush with white color to paint on the picture:

Convert this layer to Smart Object.

I use layer mask to reduce opacity of snow on some part to create a depth for this effect:

Step 48

I apply Gassian Blur for the snow:

On Smart Filter mask use soft black brush to remove blur effect as shown below:

Step 49

I use a Channel Mixer layer to change color of the snow from a white to a very light cyan to be suitable with the scene:

Step 50

Use Curves to darken the snow around the model part (underground):

Use brush to erase the ground, sky, tree parts:

Step 51

Make a Gradient Map layer on the top:

Lower opacity of this Gradient Map layer to 30%:

Step 52

Use a Curves layer to add some yellow to the scene:

Step 53

To create some light for the pic (it’s looking a bit dull now) I use Levels:

On Levels layer mask apply brush masking:

Step 54

I use a Vibrance layer to complete the whole color adjustment:

Step 55

Final step: Make a new layer on the top, change the mode to Soft Light 100% and fill with 50% gray:

Use Burn Tool (O) with Midtones Range and Exposure about 20% to darken inside the footprint to make them more visible. You can see how I applied this tool with Normal mode and result with Soft Light mode:

Congratulations, You’re All Done!

Awesome job making it this far! You should be proud of what you’ve created. Show it off to your friends and colleagues and get some feedback.

You can also comment here with your version, or any questions you had about the techniques used. We love to see what you guys create and we’re always here to give helpful feedback and tips to help you to improve.

Get deeper insight into the workflow and techniques used in this tutorial. Access the source files for this tutorial:

The source files for this tutorial are available to our FanExtra members community. If you want to access the source files for this tutorial (and all of our tutorials + thousands of other resources) then sign up here.

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About the Author:

Thank you for reading this tutorial, I hope that you enjoyed it. If you want to view my other arts and tutorials you can look at my Deviantart page or follow me on Facebook.

Leave a comment

4 Comments:

  1. jack says:

    hooo jus i love this 55 step ..it’s really a good tutorial!!!
    anyone can learn easy from this 55 step

  2. John says:

    Very good tutorial and a really creative idea!

  3. simply amazing finish and there was too many ideas and handy tips for better use of Photoshop.

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