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Photo Manipulate A Mysterious Steampunk Man in a Victorian Setting

Photo Manipulate A Mysterious Steampunk Man in a Victorian Setting

In today’s design lesson we’re going to create a mysterious steampunk man and place him in a victorian looking setting.

You’ll learn a variety of useful photo manipulation techniques including:

  • Blending multiple images correctly
  • Working with masking and adjustment layers
  • Applying textures
  • Creating custom lighting effects
  • ‘Bringing it all together’

Let’s get started!

Final Image

Here is the final outcome we’ll be creating:

Step 1

Open Photoshop and create a new file. Go to File -> New and input the following attributes

Step 2

Next, open the background stock image. You will need to rotate the image, go to Image -> Image Rotation -> 90 CCW.

After rotated, use the Quick Selection Tool and select the following part of the image

Then use the Move Tool and move the selected part to our new file. Name this new layer “Background”.

Step 3

Open the sky stock image, select a part of it like this

Move the selected part to our file, place it behind the “Background” layer and name it “Sky”.

Step 4

We will edit the sky a little bit by adding these following adjustments to the “Sky” layer.

Go to Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Brightness/Contrast.

Remember to check the box “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask”

Adjust the Brightness/Contrast like this:

Brightness : -37
Contrast : 59

Go to Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Black&White and adjust it like this

Add the following Curves layer (Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Curves)

Here is what we got after the adjustments

Step 5

Let’s edit the background a little bit. Add these following adjustment layers (which can be found all in Layer -> New Adjustment Layer) to the “Background” layer.

Don’t forget to check the box “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask”


Brightness : -119
Contrast : -13



Saturation : -36
Lightness : -72

Photo Filter
Color : #ffc53b
Density : 12%

And we will have this as the result

Step 6

Add Layer Masks to the adjustment layers

Layer mask on Brightness/Contrast

Layer mask on Hue/Saturation

And here’s what we get

Step 7

We will create light source on the light street for the image’s main light. Create a new layer above the “Background” layer, name it “Len Flare” and fill it with Black.

Go to Filter -> Render -> Len Flare

We will have a raw len flare, switch the blend mode to “Color Dodge” to remove the black background then place the len flare on the street light.

Add the following adjustment layers to the “Len Flare” layer

Hue : 42
Saturation : 42
Lightness : +20


And another Hue/Saturation

Saturation : -69
Lightness: +19

Layer mask on the Len Flare layer

And we will have this shining light street

Step 9

We will add an extra glowing light by create a new layer, use a round soft white brush and click on the image to draw a single soft round shape.

Go to Blending Option of the layer and adjust:

Outer Glow

Blend Mode : Screen
Color : #e4b526
Spread : 0%
Size : 109 px
Range : 71%

Color Overlay : change the color to #fff1c6

Place the glowing light on the street light

Step 10

Create a new Gradient Map adjustment layer on top of all layer.

Blend Mode : Soft Light
Opacity : 69%
Fill : 67%

Layer mask on Gradient Map layer

And we’re done with the background!

Step 11

Open the model stock image, extract the model and place it on our file, name it “Model”

We need to create a shadow for the model.

Duplicate the Model layer, fill the duplicated layer with black color.

Go to Image -> Transform -> Distort or simply hit Ctrl + T and choose Distort to manipulate the shadow.

Go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur
Radius : 4.0 px

We will have the following result

Step 12

Select the Model layer, go to Blending Option and add the Inner Shadow.

Blend Mode : Multiply

Distance : 4px
Size : 27px

As you can see the glowing blue edge of the model has been gradually reduced by using Inner Shadow.

Step 13

Apply following adjustment layers for the model


Saturation : -41
Lightness : -4


Brightness : -15
Contrast : 23

Gradient Map

Blend Mode : Soft Light
Opacity : 73%

Photo Filter

Here’s the result

Step 14

Open the Machine Box stock image, extract then place it on the model

Resize it to fit the back of the model

Apply following adjustment layers


Brightness : -32
Contrast : -22


Photo Filter :

change the color #b2711c
Density : 68%

Gradient Map

Blend Mode : Soft Light
Opacity : 73%
Fill : 73%

We will have the following result

Step 15

Open 2 tentacle stock images and extract their following part

Place the tentacles under Machine Box layer. Duplicate and transform them like this

Select all the tentacle layers and go to Layer -> Group Layer (or Ctrl + G) to store them into a group, name the group “Tentacles”.

Step 16

Add the following adjustment layers to the Tentacles Group we just created



Blend Mode : Overlay
Opacity : 85%

Gradient Map

Blend Mode : Soft Light
Opacity : 73%

The result should look like this

Step 17

Time to add some sparks! Open the Lightning brush, create a new layer and start placing lightning all around the tentacles. Remember to put each lightning on different layers. Resize, transform the lightning as your will.

Erase some part of the lightning on the tentacles.

Apply following Blending Option to all lightning layers. You can do this fast by applying to one layer, then right click on it and choose Copy Layer Style, right click on other layers and choose Paste Layer Style

Blend Mode : Screen
Opacity : 100%
Color : #1f7aea
Size : 6px
Range : 32%

The result should look like this:

Step 18

Create a new layer, use soft white brush and draw like this

Apply Outer Glow effect in Blending Option

Blend Mode : Screen
Opacity : 47%
Noise : 10%
Color : #3da7ce
Size : 122px
Range : 72%

We will have a glowing blue lightning effect like this

Step 19

Open and place the Snow Texture into the image. Change the blend mode to Screen, Opacity 48%

Apply layer mask to the Snow layer

Duplicate the Snow layer, move it down to the bottom a little bit.

Opacity : 66%
Flow : 72%

We will have more snow at the bottom of the image

Step 20

We will create some fog by create a new layer. Remember to set the Foreground Color to White and Background Color to Black before continue.

Go to Filter -> Render -> Cloud

Change the blend mode to Screen, Opacity 20%, Fill 29%

Step 21

We are almost done! The ground still need more shadow so create a new layer, use soft round brush with black color and paint the ground like this

Layer mask on shadow layer

Change the Blend Mode to Soft Light and we should have a nice shadow ground

Duplicate the Shadow layer to increase the effect

Step 22

Now we just need to add some final retouch for the image. Apply these adjustment layers on top of all layers.

Gradient Map 1

Blend Mode : Soft Light
Opacity : 48%
Fill : 65%

Gradient Map 2

Blend Mode : Soft Light
Opacity : 37%
Fill : 40%


Selective Color


Blend Mode : Linear Dodge (Add)
Opacity : 54%
Fill : 70%

Layer mask on Hue/Saturation

Color Balance

And we’re done!

I hope you guys enjoy the tutorial. I would love to hear your feedback on the techniques and outcome.

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About the Author:

I've been a self-taught Photoshop user since 2010 from Haiphong, Viet Nam. I love all kind of designing but photo manipulation is my main aspect. Catch me up at:

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