Learn how to merge animals in Photoshop with this tutorial that will teach you how to chop photos and blend them together. This is a simple tutorial but to get great results, you’ll need some patience, an eye for details, and some imagination. Read this tutorial and find out how you can easily create your own animal-vehicle creation in Photoshop.
Preview of Final Results
- Crocodile1 – SXC
- Crocodile2 – charadestock
- Crocodile3 – frostdragon64
- Old car – achatinastock
- Background – SXC
- Bird – rml-stock
- sign1 – discordia-stock
- Sign2 – ecathe
Open the background image and place it on the right. Because the image in not wide enough we need to duplicate it and complete the empty space with the same photography. Duplicate the background layer and place it on the left. Create a clipping mask and erase the edge of the duplicated layer.
Now you will see that some parts are repeating themselves , such as clouds and bushes. Select the clone stamp tool and cover them up.
In this step we will cut out the car using the pen tool and place it in the desert. Remember cu cut out the windows also .
Erase the front part of the car using a brush on the layer’s mask. We don’t need this part because it will be replaced with the crocodile. Always use a mask when you want to erase things in photoshop because you never know if you want it back.
Create a new layer under the car an, using a basic brush , paint the windows white. Set the opacity to about 15-20%.
Let’s create the car’s shadow. Create a new layer. Use your imagination to see how this will look. Use the pen tool for this and fill the path with black. Go Filters-Blur-Gaussian Blur and set it to 2,5. Now the the layer’s opacity to 45%.
The car needs to have a small and darker shadow, so on a new layer, using a basic brush add a small shadow. Use the image below for guidance.
In step 4 you will need to create a few clipping masks for the adjustment layers so we will adapt the car’s colors to the desert. Go to Adjustment Layers-Levels. Make the presets as you see below, and remember that this is a clipping mask, so it only affects the car ( to create a clipping mask you need to press the alt key and click between the layers you want to clip together.)
Adjustment Layers-Photo Filter Adjustment Layers- Gradient mask . Both layers are clipping masks.
Open the first crocodile photo. We will use the tail from this crocodile. So cut out it and place it at the back side of the car as you see in the image below.
Use a clipping mask to add to make the tail look darker, so go to Adjustment Layers-Curves. You have the presets in the image.
We need to add some shadow to the tail so using the pen tool create a shape that resembles to the tail’s edge. Fill the path with black and the opacity to 70%.
Using the same techniques as you did on the step before this , create a bigger shadow. Set the opacity to 28%. Remember that the tail casts a shadow in the inner corner so create a shadow there to. Set the layer’s opacity to 84%.
Open the second crocodile photography. We will use this crocodile’s torso for the front of the car and his back will be the texture that we will use to cover the entire car. Also his back leg will be in front of the back wheel.
Cut out the leg and place it in front of the back wheel. Use the image below for guidance. The fingers are in the light but this is not possible since the leg sits in the car’s shadow. Go to the adjustment layers-curves and add some shadow to the foot. This layer needs to be a clipped to the foot’s layer.
Open the second crocodile photo again and place it in front of the car. Using the layer’s mask erase all the parts that you don’t need. Be careful to leave the front wheel uncovered.
We need to create 3 clipping masks to adjust the crocodile’s colors, so go to the Adjustment layers-Photo filter, Adjustment layers-Color balance ( use the presets as you see below) and Adjustment layers-Hue/saturation.
In this step we will cover the car with crocodile texture. For this we will use the texture from the crocodile’s back, so using the pen tool cut out the back the marked part.
Clip this part to the car’s layer and leave only the part that covers the door. Remember to leave out the upper wheel. This wheel casts a shadow on the door so using the burn tool we will create that shadow. Use the image below for guidance.
Now we will cover the roof top of the car using the same crocodile texture we used for the door. Place it on top of the roof and clip it to the car’s layer. Erase the part that covers anything else but the roof top. Next change the blending mode to soft light.
Now we will need to cover up the metallic line under the windows, so we will use the same texture but we will change the blending mode to overlay.
Next we will cover the back door using the same texture, clipped to the car’s layer. Go to the adjustment layers-curves to darken the back door.
Now you see that there is a small part of the car’s hood that remains uncovered. Cut out the back of the crocodile. We will use the same texture to cover the part in front of the windows .This layer should be placed under the crocodile’s one. Erase on the layer’s mask some parts to fit better.
Return to the crocodile’s layer to cut out the texture on his back one more time. We will only need two rounds of spikes to cover the car’s hood. After you position the texture, use some burn to add some shadow. Duplicate this layer and place it under the first one. Use the image below to see how this should look.
In this step we will cover the last parts of the car that are still left without texture, so go to the crocodile’s layer, because we will use his back again to cover them up. Cut out one row of 6-7 spikes. Use warp to curve it a bit so it will fit on top of the spare tire. After you are done, double the layer and place it near the first one. Now this part is covered. If it doesn’t really fit , don’t worry, because we will use the liquify filter soon, to correct this.
There is only one part left from the car, that remains uncovered. So we will use the same technique, as we did in the step before. Using the texture from the crocodile’s back , cover this area. Use the image below as a guidance.
Now that the car is covered we will attach the head. So, open the last crocodile photo and cut it out. Place it under the body’s layer. Create a small shadow . Fill it with black and set it’s opacity to 15%.
Next we will use some filters to blend the head into the picture, so all the next adjustment layers will be clipped to the head’s layer. Go to the Adjustment Layers- Gradient map. You have the presets in the image below.
Adjustment Layers-Photo Filter.
Open the bird photo and place it on top of the crocodile to add some color. Cut it out using color range.
In this step we will make some small fixes, but they will make the whole picture look more blended. So cut out a row of spikes and place them at the door. Next add some light using a basic brush, with white ( opacity 40-50%). This is a small detail but it will look better in the end.
Create a visible stamp ( ctrl+alt+shift+E) Go to Filter-Liquify and start arranging all the parts that are not well done, especially the curves. Use the image below to see how it should look.
Next we will apply some adjustment layers. First start with Gradient Map ( set the opacity to 20%). You have the presets on the picture below.
Go to Adjustment layers-Photo Filter.
Adjustment layers- Hue saturation.
Now we will create the dust particles. Create a new layer. Select the colors you see in the picture below. With a basic brush with soft edges start painting the dust. This should look like in the image below. Decrease the brush size many times so you will have different sizes of dust. Change the dust’s colors as many times as you can. I used the same dust particle on the entire image by duplicating the first layer. For all the dust used here I used about 25 different layers ( duplicated layers from the first one)
To add some interesting texture I used a Photoshop plug-in named Lucis Art. If you don’t have this plug-in don’t worry because I will explain how to achieve almost the same effect by using only the basic Photoshop filters. Now, if you have Lucis Art, create a visible stamp and use plaid 3. Decrease the opacity to 16% and don’t use it on the mountains. This area should remain a bit blurry.
This step is only for the ones that don’t have the Lucis art Plug-in. Create a visible stamp and go to Filters-High Pass ( Radius 2,4%) The smaller the radius is, the bigger the amount of details will be on the image. Set the blending mode to overlay.
Next let’s create the sign in the back. Place the first piece in the back and add some curves to lighten it. Write the word Nowhere and clip it on the sign’s layer.
AOpen the second piece of the sign and place it under the first piece layer. Merge the two layers and duplicate the new layer. Flip it vertically and distort it so it will look like in the image below. Set the layer’s opacity to about 10%.
Go to the Adjustment layers- Hue Saturation. Set the saturation to +47. Hide on the layer’s mask some parts , as you see in the image.
Use the Lucis Art plug-in one more time ( Filter-High Pass, for those who don’t have it). Use it only on the sign, on the crocodile’s texture and the sky. Set the layer’s opacity to 39%.
Go to the Adjustment layers- Curves to add some shadows into the corners. Do the same with Hue-Saturation. Use the same mask on both layers.
Go to the Adjustment layers-Levels (opacity 30%)
Go to Filters – Liquify and fix the roof top because it’s bit to high and the perspective it’s not right.
In this step we will make the wheels look like they are spinning. Cut out the wheel. Go to Filters-Blur-Radial blur. Place it on top of the car’s wheel. Do the same with the back wheel.
Create a visible stamp. Go to Filters- Blur-Motion blur (set the amount to 50 and the angle to 10). This filter will be used at the back of the car so it will look like the car is moving.
Go to the Adjustment Layers-Gradient map. You have the presets below.
Blur the mountains in the back. Use the blur tool or go to Filters-Gaussian blur.
Create a visible stamp and go to Filter-Filter Gallery –Dry Brush. Use the basic Photoshop presets. Set the layer’s opacity to 18%.
Go to the Adjustment Layers-Curves.
Adjustment Layers- Hue Saturation, for a final touch and we are done!
Download the PSD
Tutorial by Loredana Papp
Thank you for reading this tutorial.
– Loredana Papp-Dinea