Today I will show you how to create an amazing piece of life under a microscope :) and using only three resource! In this tutorial I’ll show how to transform 3D in a realistic DNA and create a whole picture of it. We pay attention to blending modes and work with a variety of tools and effects. I want to show you one of the creative solutions both in the establishment and in the decision. We will start to create this photo manipulation by transforming DNA. In this section you will learn about working with blending modes and adjustment layers. Then begin to create photo manipulation. In this part, we will work with a variety of tools and create a Bokeh brush. The final picture is to add adjustment layers and effects. You need any version of Photoshop and any knowledge.
Create a new document. Go to File > New or the short key Cmd /Ctrl+ N. A blank document with size of 2000 pixels wide and 3000 pixels high, resolution 200 Pixels/Inch.
We did not immediately proceed to manipulation. First we will create a new kind of DNA and first need to prepare the background. Take a Gradient Tool (G) and set following settings: Form: “Foreground to Background”, Method: Radial, Opacity: 40%, Foreground color: # 3092bf and Background color # 093554.
Create a New layer (Layer > New > Layer or Cmd/Ctrl+ Shift + N or use icon on Layer panel). Draw the gradient as shown in the image below.
We now proceed to the DNA itself. Go to File > Place (Place Embedded) and select the image “blue_dna_by_reby_c-d3ia7s9”.
Use a Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select a big DNA. Then add a Layer mask to remove small DNA.
Use the Free Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd+T or Edit > Free Transform) to resize the layer like shown in the image below.
We shall now proceed to the most interesting. We will take the usual 3D and turn it into a real and live macromolecule! To do this, we need to Duplicate a DNA layer (Cmd/Ctrl+ J or Layer > Duplicate Layer) 4 times.
Now we will apply a variety of effects from the upper layer to the DNA to the last. Let’s start from the upper layer and work our way to the last (it is desirable not to change the sequence). For the first layer, add several artistic filters to make the outer shell of the DNA. Go to Filter > Filter Gallery…
So, add the first filter “Dry Brush” in folder “Artistic”. Set the settings like shown in the image below and add a new effect layer. This effect layer make texture on DNA.
Add a second filter “Accented Edges” in folder “Brush Strokes”. Set the settings and add a new effect layer. This layer mare more detailed and deep texture.
And the last filter is “Bass relief” in folder “Sketch” Set the settings and press Ok to apply filters. This filter will make the molecule in the form of bas-relief, but do not worry, we will not leave it like this.
Change Blending mode to “Linear Burn”, set Opacity: 46%. Linear Burn mode, the brightness of the original image is reduced by the amount of darkness (brightness deviation from white) image correction. In terms of the Curves – a shift in the curve on the value of the correction image of darkness.
Therefore, the image looks a bit dark, but add to it adjustment layer “Curves” (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves… or click on Adjustment Layer icon on Layer panel). Set values to each point as shown in the image below. This layer, we lighten the image, while maintaining its texture.
Set this layer as Clipping mask (click on Curves layer RMB and select “Create Clipping Mask” or use Option/Alt+ Cmd/Ctrl + G or click on the icon of a square with an arrow, as shown in the previous image).
Now, proceed to next layer with DNA. For it, set a Blending mode “Darker Color”. Similar to Blending mode “Darken” (Compares two source values and replaces light pixels values of the dark), except that it works on all layers at once, instead of one. When you mix the two layers will remain visible only dark pixels. In our case, this layer will be the basis for the centers in every sphere of DNA.
Now, for the remaining two layers DNA, set a Blending mode “Luminosity” and Opacity: 50%. This Blending mode opposed to “Color”. Combines Luminance (light) of the upper layer and Hue (color) and Saturation (color variations) of the lower layer. It turns out that glow, which we did in the previous two layers amplify and create one almost transparent distance between the center of the molecule and the glow edge. Because blue background and the previous layer (which just increased the dark areas in the center), the center of our molecules have become smoother and more expressed.
Now we are a bit remove the previous effect. Because a strong contrast of center and edge does not look of realistic. Besides it is necessary to reduce the center. To do this I use adjustment layer “Hue/Saturation” (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation…). This layer should be above two “Luminosity” layers of DNA and set Opacity: 25%. Set the settings like shown in the image below.
Select Brush Tool (B) with settings Size: 80px, Hardness: 100%, Opacity: 100%. On a mask of adjustment layer “Hue/Saturation” remove effect from rod of DNA.
Look at my result. In my opinion looks good. I will integrate all segments of DNA into one group (Cmd/Ctrl + G or Layer > Group Layers).
Begin to create texture on DNA and work on them of realistic. The first thing we will revise a little brightness, contrast of the entire molecule and dark portions of DNA. Add the first adjustment layer “Brightness/Contrast” (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast…. Increase brightness and reduce the contrast as shown in the image below. Be sure to apply this layer as Clipping mask (Option/Alt+ Cmd/Ctrl + G).
Next adjustment layer is “Selective Color” . We need only black colors to lighten up a little center of the spheres.
Now you can apply a texture. We do it by means of Photoshop. Create a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl+ Shift+ N), press D then X to set Background color on black and use Cmd/Ctrl + Del to fill it black color.
Add to this layer a filter “Clouds” (Filter > Render > Clouds). This will be the basis of our texture. Convert this layer for Smart Filters (Filter > Convert for Smart Filters).
Now add filters, go to Filter > Filter Gallery. So, add the first filter “Dry Brush” in folder “Artistic”. This filter will help to soften the texture, which will make the best overlay of the next filter. Set the settings like shown in the image below and don’t forget add a new effect layer.
But this filter does all the texture. Select filter “Accented Edges” in folder “Brush Strokes”. Set the settings and press Ok.
Change a Blending mode to “Soft Light” and set Opacity: 70%. Make this layer as Clipping Mask (Option/Alt+ Cmd/Ctrl + G).
There is not much to brighten dark areas of the molecule, to balance it out a little color. Create a New layer (Layer > New > Layer or Cmd/Ctrl+ Shift + N) with such settings: Mode: Overlay, set check box on “Fill with Overlay-neutral color (50% gray)”. To Brightening applied only to select DNA (hold Cmd/Ctrl, ckick on any DNA layer). Take a Dodge Tool (O) with there settings: Size: 175px, Exposure: 30%, Range: Midtones.