In this Photo-manipulation tutorial, we will learn how to create a dark photo manipulation scene with an eerie yet magical atmosphere. We will tackle basic techniques to create an ancient-looking room, using various stock photographs and applying adjustment layers and creating shadows using the Brush tool to blend the images seamlessly. We will also learn how to create a ghostlike creature from only one stock image using the Motion Blur tool and finally, how to create a vignette using a new layer, which you could also use in your future projects.
Dark and Eerie Photo Manipulation SceneReviewed by Michael Vincent Manalo on May 14Rating:
Preview of Final Results
Dark and Eerie Photo Manipulation Scene Photoshop Tutorial
Stormy sky by Michael Vincent Manalo (Creative Commons License)
Step 1 – Create a new image
To start, we will be creating a new image file, go to the Menu bar and click on File > New and input the following settings when the New box appears:
Width: 2000 pixels
Height: 2000 pixels
Resolution: 300 dpi
Color Mode: RGB Color; 8bit
Background Contents: Transparent
Step 2 – Create the walls and the floor and their shadows
In this step, we would be creating the floor and the walls of our background. To begin, let’s open Stone floor – stock xvii. We would need to activate the Marquee tool (M) to select the region we would need and that is the stone floor.
Once you’re done, activate the Move tool (V) which would add a small arrow-cross to your pointer and then drag the selected area to our 2000×2000 canvas. Rename the layer to “stone floor”. To rename a layer, just double click on “layer 1” (for this image) and a text box would appear and you may now rename the layer.
You’d notice that the selected area is larger than the canvas, so we would need to reduce its size, to do that, activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and then drag the small boxes inward to reduce the image. See image below:
Now let’s add the walls; open the Gate 1 stock image. We won’t exactly be using the gate of this image, instead we are going to use its walls and move it to our canvas. To do that, activate the Polygonal Lasso tool (L).
To use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) on the gate stock image, follow the instructions found on the image below:
After you’ve done that, move the selected area using the Move tool (V) to our canvas and rename it to “Wall 1”. You’d notice that the selected area that you have moved is rather small compared to the stone floor image, so we would have to transform it. Activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and resize the image.
Now that that’s done, let’s create the second wall. Click on the “Wall 1” layer and then press Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + J to duplicate the image. Once it has been duplicated, activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and then right-click on the image to bring up the transform tool’s contextual menu. When the menu opens, click on Flip Horizontal. After flipping “wall 1”, activate the Move tool (V) and press the direction key: Right to move it to the right to make it appear as the other wall. Rename this new layer to “wall 2”.
At present, the image should be similar to the image below:
To make the walls unique and not identical to each other, we would have to clone some parts of the image to make it look like a different wall. Click on “wall 1” and activate the Clone Stamp tool (S) and input the following values:
Brush size: 175 px
Note: To change the Hardness setting, click on the drop-down menu beside the Brush size and a menu would appear and you would see the Brush Hardness tab. You may also press B and then right click on the image to bring up the Brush menu.
Because the light is coming from the outside, we would need to add shadows, without these shadows of the walls, it is impossible to form any depth on our image and the result would be a flat picture. So we would have to add shadows on the floor to make it appear realistic. Create a new layer by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + N or you may click on the paper like button in between the folder button (New Group) and the Trash can button (Delete layer) on the Layer window. Once the new layer has been created, rename that layer to “shadow 1”. Note that the succeeding layers on this step should be below the layers “wall 1” and “wall 2”.
Now, activate the Brush tool (B) and input the following values:
Brush size: 125 px
It should be similar to this image:
For the shadow of “wall 2”, just duplicate “shadow 1”, then activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and then right click on the image and pick Flip Horizontal from the contextual menu and then position it under “wall 2” using the Move tool (V). Rename this new layer now to “shadow 2”.
Now let’s add some cracks on the gate to give it an ancient feel. First, click on the “wall 1” layer and activate the Eraser tool (E) and input the following values:
Brush size: 20 px
Now let’s add some shadows on the walls to add more depth. Create a new layer and position it above all the created layers and rename it as “wall shadow” and then activate the Brush tool (B) and input the following values:
Brush size: 150 px
Now that we’re done with this step, we would need to organize the layers under a group to avoid confusion in the next steps. Before creating a new group, select the layers “wall 2”, “wall 1”, “shadow 2” and “shadow 1” and then, create a new group by pressing Ctrl + G, now all those layers that you have selected would be automatically included in that new group. Rename the new group to “walls and floor and their shadow”.
Note: Upon doing that, the new group will hide the layers inside of it. To unhide it, just press the “play” button on the left side of the new group, and it will then roll the layers down.