This tutorial will teach you how to merge some simple photos and turn it into a fantastic photo manipulation with interesting effects and exciting lighting! In this tutorial, I will show you the basic techniques of retouching and creating a cyborg, work with color, blend modes, and much more. You will find a lot of interesting techniques and creative solutions.
We start by creating a background and work on the model. I’ll show you the basic techniques of retouching. The next steps will be to work on the central sphere and details. I conclude tutorial interesting techniques and color effects. I have used Photoshop version CC 2014 to create this work but you can use any version from CS onwards will be fine as well.
- Model – almudena-stock
- Metal Squiddy Spread – Della-Stock
- Cables texture – ribot02
- Underwater Bubble Brushes – MorganBW
- Z-DESIGN Tech Brush Set v6 – z-design
- Hexagons textures – MariaSemelevich
Open Photoshop and Let’s start by creating a new document. Do to File > New or use hot keys Cmd/Ctrl + N with 3300 pixels wide and 1800 pixels height, resolution 300 Pixels/Inch.
First I made the basic background to see the volume and choose a suitable color. It is important not to work on a pure white or black, when you are dealing with a painting or fine detail. Create a new layer (Layer > New > New or Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N) and take a Gradient Tool (G). Set Gradient Style: Radial and go to Gradient Editor and make gradient #ffffff – #3a82a9 – #041d30. Move gradient midpoints (two small dots between bottom sliders) both slightly to the left to make more hard color transitions.
Now draw a gradient like shown in the image below. Start with the middle of the document and move horizontally down. To do that accurately and precisely aligned, hold Shift on keyboard.
Now in a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N) draw another one radial gradient with same settings, that the light-blue part be a little beyond the boundaries of the working area. This time, draw a gradient from the center to any corner of the working field. Set Layer Opacity around 25%.
Add another one gradient on a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N). With it we darken the bottom part of the image. Set Background color – black (D to restore the default colors and X to switch them) and Foreground color – #015890, set gradient style: Linear. Draw from the top to the bottom edge of the document with holding Shift. Decrease layer opacity to 15%.
On a new layer, darken the left, right and bottom edges of the image using gradient preset “Foreground to Transparent” with black foreground color, as in image below. Decrease layer opacity to 90%.
Add to the bottom of the image a little green color. Everything remains the same, just use foreground color – #b3ed87. Draw a gradient from the bottom up to a little less than the middle of the image. Change Blending Mode to “Overlay”. I highly recommend you hide layers with a background in one group that in future they do not interfere you (select layer and click on folder icon on Layer panel or Cmd/Ctrl + G).
And now proceed to a very interesting part. I’ll introduce you to the basics of retouching. First, add a model into working document. Do to File > Place and select image “Days_go_by_III_by_almudena_stock”. Use the Free Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd+T or Edit > Free Transform) to resize and rotate model like shown in the image below.
Use Pen Tool (P) to circle the model and then get a round selection. Using other tools in this case, may damage model. That the curve is not bent after the previous bend, hold Opt/Alt and click on active anchor point. When you create model path, make from it selection by clicking button “Make Selection” on the Properties pane. Set Feather Radius: 0px. When you make selection need to remove the background from hair. For this we use option “Refine Edge” (Cmd/Ctrl + Opt/Alt + R or go to Select > Refine Edge).
In Refine Edge set View “On White” and Shift Edge: -40%. I not changed the contour, your job is to just take the brush out of the window and carefully paint the model’s hair to remove the remains of the background. Click OK to apply the settings. Add a layer Mask for this layer to remove background (use “Add Layer Mask” button in the layers panel or Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection).
And now proceed to retouch. First, make a copy (Cmd/Ctrl + J or Layer > Duplicate layer…) of the model layer (just in case you do not get the next steps. Delete it if not use) and rasterize it (right click on layer > Rasterize Layer).
Use Clone Stamp Tool (S) (Size: 25px, Opacity: 40%, Hardness: 0%, Sample: Current layer) to clear skin blemishes (some of them are shown in image below). When you finish, duplicate this layer (Cmd/Ctrl + J or Layer > Duplicate layer…) and apply a layer mask (right click on mask > Apply Layer Mask). Over the next paragraph, I strongly advise you not to move all of the following layers. Otherwise you will have to start all over again.
For duplicated layer add a layer mask (“Add Layer Mask” button in the layers panel or Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All…). Select layer mask, take a Brush Tool (B) (Size: 20-30px, Opacity: 100%, Hardness: 0%) and paint all the dark areas. In “dark areas” I mean much hard shadows (but I do not advise you to remove them in this case) on body of the model, as well eyes, eyebrows, hair, and etc. So you do not interfere with the lower layers temporarily close them by clicking on the eye icon next to the layer.
Add some filters to smooth the skin and make it beautiful and young. Go to Filter > Noise > Dust & Scratches. Set Radius: 15px and Threshold: 0. And one more such action filter “Gaussian Blur” (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur). In window that appear, set Radius: 15px.
Everything seems quite blurred, but decrease a layer Opacity to 70% and clip this to lower layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Opt/Alt + G or right click on layer > Create Clipping Mask) and again add a layer mask and remove excessive blurring in desired locations, by using Brush Tool (B) (Size: 70px, Opacity: 30%, Soft Round brush). It is important to find the right balance and soften the skin physiological relief, ie, forcing less at edges and detail (bones relief) to keep them a little sharp. Duplicate this layer (Cmd/Ctrl + J).
Now I use a filter “Plastic Wrap” to create the effect of an artificial material (plastic) on the skin. Go to Filter > Filter Gallery (Artistic) > Plastic Wrap. Set there settings: Highlight Strength: 10 / (Intensity: 10), Detail: 10, Smoothing: 15 and press OK. Try to change filter settings to get more interesting results. Set layer Opacity 50% and clip it to previous layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Opt/Alt + G). This filter is not completely converted into the plastic skin, and gives only a small glow, which makes a more realistic model.
Add a layer mask and use Brush Tool (B) with black color to remove effect from unwanted parts.
Duplicate layer with “Plastic Wrap” filter (Cmd/Ctrl + J), clip it and change Opacity to 15%, Blending Mode to “Color Burn”. This layer bit returns the natural color of the skin and remove excess white tone after the filter is applied. Now you can merge all layers with the model into one (Cmd/Ctrl + E) or in a group (Cmd/Ctrl + G). Working with model retouch is finished.
Let’s proceed to the more tedious and important part. The next couple of hours you spend for one occupation – the creation of robot parts. In principle, it is very easy! Create a new group (Layer > New > Group or use icon on Layer panel) above model layer (you will have a lot of layers) and then follow the procedure. Create some support and large ellipses. I use Ellipse Tool (U) with black fill (or use hard brush with large size). This will be our main parts.
Set hard brush with Size: 3px, Opacity: 100% and black color, take a Pen Tool (P) and draw path where you need it, do right click – Stroke Path – Brush and do not forget to remove the path – Del on keyboard or right click – Delete Path. Also is welcome the independent use Brush Tool (B). A little advice, you will be much easier and faster to do this if you start with central lines. So you quickly realize that you want to draw. The most important rule in this activity is to create a new layer for every one stroke.
If you need to fix a point in the path, use Direct Selection Tool (A) to quickly switch to this tool, hold Cmd/Ctrl. Keep up the good work and you will get a good result! The main thing do not doubts. This is my result. When you’re sure to accurately drawn and satisfied, then Merge all detail layers into one (Cmd/Ctrl + E or Layer > Merge Layers).
Now make there lines are real. To the layer with mechanical parts add style “Bevel & Emboss”, double click on Layer or go to Layer > Layer Style > “Bevel & Emboss”. In the window that appears set settings like shown in the image below. As you can see there was the effect of the internal circuit, which makes parts a realistic, but still not enough.
Also, if the effect will be in unwanted places, simply convert layer into Smart Object (Right click on layer > Convert to Smart Object), add a layer mask and remove unwanted effect. Clip this layer on model layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Opt/Alt + G) to hide the sticking out part of the circles.
Duplicate the model layer (Cmd/Ctrl + J) and place it above the layer with Curves, hold Cmd/Ctrl and click on curves thumbnail to select them. Go to top model layer and delete (Del on keyboard or Edit > Clear) selection. To Deselect use Cmd/Ctrl + D or Select > Deselect. Add a “Bevel & Emboss” style. Set the settings, as shown in image below. Clip this layer to previous.
Now I added a texture to fill the space inside the model. Do to File > Place and add image “cables_01_by_ribot02-d55feku”. Move this layer between two layers with cyborg effects. Hold Cmd/Ctrl and click on curves thumbnail and add a layer mask to remove all texture except on curves. Be sure to clip this layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Opt/Alt + G). Use Soft Round brush with Size: 35px to remove on a layer mask a part of texture from edges of big circles.
Now create a big bubble, where we will place our model. There is nothing to search and download, I’ll show you how to do it yourself. First, we need a new document (Cmd/Ctrl + N or File > New) 600 pixels wide and 600 pixels height, resolution 300 Pixels/Inch, Background color: Other (black). Merge all model layers into one (Cmd/Ctrl + E).
Go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare… Set Lens Type: 105mm Prime, Brightness: 100%. Position highlight in box so that its edges have been cut off, and all parts of flare not be the light source and click OK.