We will create an intense and grim death manipulation using blending modes and other techniques. The tutorial it is easy to follow and can be completed even by complete beginners. Be aware of my use of blending modes in order to quickly achieve spectacular effects and skip complicated selection.
What you’ll be creating
In this tutorial we will create a an intense fire manipulation. You will need Photoshop CS4 or newer in order to follow this tutorial.
- Road – monika-es-stock
- Texture – freeimages.com
- Fire1 – tortured-raven-stack
- Fire2 – smile-umbrella
- Effects – Tamilia
- Lightning Brush 1 – elestrial
- Lightning Brush 2 – frostbo
- Smoke Brush – falln-stock
- Glitter – acheronnights
- Moon Brush Ischarm
- Birds – redheadstock
- Cross – loftystocks
- House – mysticmorning
- Fire Brush – redheadstock
- Skeleton1 – markopolio-stock
- Dead Tree – gd08
- Skeleton2 – markopolio-stock
- Optical Flare – darkooz
- Death – mjranum-stock
Open the file “Road”. Select all (Ctrl + A). Press Ctrl + C to copy. Go back to our scene and press Ctrl + V to paste. Place the sky as I did in the image below by using the free transform (Ctrl + T).
Open the file “Death”. Make a selection of the death figure. You can use either the Quick Selection Tool or the Pen Tool and press Ctrl + J to put it on a new layer. Ctrl + A to select all, Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + V to paste it into our document. Convert the pasted layer into a Smart Object so we can do countless resizes without losing any image information (right click the layer and from the drop down menu choose “Convert To Smart Object”). Use Free Transform to place the death figure as shown below.
Create a new layer (Ctrl + N) and clip it to the layer below by Alt-clicking between the two. Now the contents of the upper layer will be only visible through the lower layer pixels. Change the blending mode to Overlay. With a white soft brush paint some light coming from the right of the scene on the death figure.
Create a new layer. Select the Clone Tool. Clone away the white pixels on the face of the death figure.
Open the file “Texture”. Select all, copy and paste into our scene. Convert to smart object. Use Free Transform to position the texture as shown below.
Create a layer mask for the texture layer by going to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All. Now select black as foreground color by pressing D. Click on the layer mask and press Ctrl + Backspace to fill it with black and thus hide the texture. Now with a white soft brush at 100% Opacity paint so that you will reveal the texture over the scythe wood.
Change the blending mode of the texture to Multiply. This will hide all the white parts and leave use with the black cracks.
Create a new layer and select a dark orange(#882a00) as foreground color. With the chalk brush at 80% Opacity and 2px size paint some redness into the cracks. Name this layer “Cracks Light”.
Duplicate the “Cracks Light” layer by pressing Ctrl + D. Double click the layer to enter advanced blending mode. Use the settings below to add some glow.
Open the file “Fire1”. Select all, copy and paste into our scene. Convert the imported layer into a smart object. Use Free Transform to position the fire as shown below.
Change the blending mode of the fire to Screen. Now only the fire will be visible.
Duplicate the fire layer and move it a bit to the left.
Group the fire layers together (Ctrl-click on each and press Ctrl + G). Import the fire brush . Add a layer mask and with a black brush hide the sharp corners by painting with a soft black brush and one of the fire brushes in the layer mask.
Open the file “Fire2”. Select all, copy and paste into our scene. Convert the newly imported layer into a smart object. Use Free Transform to place the fire as shown below.
Change the blending mode of the fire layer to Screen.
Add a layer mask to the fire layer. Mask away the hard edges.
Duplicate the “Fire2” layer in order to increase the sparkling effect.
Duplicate the “Fire2” layer again. Use free transform to place is it as indicated below.
Group all the three “Fire2” layers and name the group “Sparks”. You can add a layer mask to further hide the unwanted parts of the fire and sparks.
Duplicate the “Fire1” layer and place it as shown below. Change the blending mode to screen.
Add a layer mask and use the fire brushes and the soft round brush to mask the hard edges.
Duplicate the fire layer we masked at step 21 and move a bit lower to cover the entire wooden portion of the scythe.
Duplicate the fire layer again but this time move up the wooden portion of the scythe to further increase the brightness of the flames.
Group these fire layers from step 21-23 and add a layer mask to the group to further hide unwanted parts.
Unrar/Unzip somewhere on your computer the effects archive. Copy and paste one of the effects into our scene and position it as shown below.
Change the blending mode of the special effect to Color Dodge. Add a layer mask and mask the lower portion.
Choose another effect from the effects folder and place it as shown below.
Change the blending mode of the effect to Screen.