Learn how to this emotional photo manipulation of a girl in a dreamy background. In this tutorial you will learn how to create dramatic light effect, make motion in leaves, and create a focal point through lighting and elements. Beside that you will learn non destructive techniques that will help you work flow easier and efficient.
This image was created to represent the concept of the seven deadly sins, the girl represents Eve, she looks ashamed from what she’s done. To create this image you will start with a forest background, then you will add the model and some details of bushes and trees to create depth, also leaves will give a motion feeling to the image. To finish th art you will learn how to apply texture and color adjustments to create a dramatic lighting. You can use photoshop CS6 or CC to follow this tutorial. Also will help you if you have a digital tablet.
- Model – Dazzle-Stock
- Forest – Dragoroth-stock
- Clouds – Missstark
- Texture – Marcela Bolivar
- Apple Tree – Cindysart-stock
- Bush – moonglowlilly
- Leaves – frozenstocks
- Flying Leaves – maureenolde
The base image for this manipulation is going to be some woods, the resolution this work is done is Width: 3000 and Height: 3503 pixels.
To make a dramatic lighting to the background in a new layer (Shift- Control+N) paint the center with a light gray (#deded8) and in the borders with a darker gray (#545563) should look like the image in the left. Blur: add some blur to make it look softer (Menu Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) add 180 px of blur.
Change layer mode from normal to soft light. As you can see in the picture below now the light looks lighter in the middle and darker on the sides.
Place the model in the background
Use the pen tool to crop the model out of the background. Select the pen tool and make sure that the menu that is in the top show the option “Path” and not “Shape”. Click in the image and star to select all the borders of the image you like to keep. Be patient to achieve an accurate selection.
After you complete the path press right click then a menu will appear, choose the option Make Selection. Then click ok and you will have your selection.
Add a layer mask by clicking on the Add Layer Mask button in the layers panel or by going to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.
If your selection have some inaccurate parts you can fix them now with a small brush. You have to paint over the layer mask with the black brush.
Go to the menu Filter – Liquify. Use the Forward Warp Tool to make her dress smaller. The size of the brush is 70 and the Pressure can be set at 20 to 25.
To make the model less saturated go to the menu “create a new fill or adjustment layer” and select the option “Hue/Saturation” reduce the Saturation to -48.
A clipping mask is very useful to affect just an element of the composition. Since you are working with the model creating a clipping mask will help you to make the changes only to the selected layer. To do this press right click over the layer you create before “hue/saturation” press right click in the thumbnail and choose the option “Create Clipping Mask” then you will have something like this, that means that this layer is only going to be affecting the one that is underlined.
If you want that just her skin less saturated then in the layer mask of this adjustment layer press (Ctrl + I) to invert the selection and have the layer mask completely black. Paint with a white brush (50% opacity) over the parts you want to be affected. In this case just paint over the skin. You can use a big brush and don’t have to worry about the edges because you are using the clipping mask so the background is not going to be affected at all.
To change the color of her dress you are going to choose again “Hue and Saturation” and chage the Hue to -53 and the saturation to -18 remember to also add this layer as clipping mask to affect only the model. So be cafeful and don’t paint over her skin.
In a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) pick a chalk brush and paint hair strands. You can use the color picker to use the same exact color of the hair. A tablet will make this easier, if you don’t have one you can use hair brushes or paint with the mouse. Brush size 3 or 2 opacity: 100% set it to pen pressure.
In a new layer with a lighter brush make more hairs to create highlighting to the strands. Repeat the same proccess as before.
To make the dress more interesting paint some threads, choose the same color with the color picker tool and use a small brush just like the hair you did before. You can also pick a lighter color to make the dress stand out more.
In a new layer with a soft round brush size 200px and 20% of opacity paint over the model like this:.
Create a new layer and paint in the top of the image you can use light brushes. Use the color # ffeb99 opacity 50%. Use the layer in soft light mode.
Go to the menu “new fill or adjustment layer” and pick the option Curves. Change the option to something like this:
Then in the layer mask paint over the places where the light is too strong to decrease the effect also change the opacity of the layer to 70%
Add some leaves to the image to create a motion effect. Place the leaves in the image, make sure this layer is below the one with the model.
Go to Filter – Blur – Motion Blur. Se the angle to 53 and the distance to 40.
Create a new adjustment layer “hue/saturation” and reduce the saturation to -45 make sure you use a clipping mask to affect only the leaves.
Create a layer mask to the layer of the leaves and hide some of them also you can reduce the opacity of the whole layer if you need to.
To add leaves to the floor you need to change the perspective of the image. When you place them they are going to look like the image above so press right click and select the option “Perspective”
Pick the right corner of the top, press shift so that the image will not distorted. Push it to the center of the image.
Now pick the corner of the bottom and do the opposite, push it away from the center. Press enter so save the changes.
You can continue with the perspective until you are satisfied. Place the image correctly add a layer mask to the layer and hide the undesired part. Also reduce the opacity of the layer to 60%.
Let’s add some bushes in the bottom of the image to do that, place the image of the bush. Then go to filter – blur – Gaussian blur. Use 5 of radius.
Duplicate the layer (Ctrl + J) to create new bushes. You can change the size using the transform tool (crtl + T) Add all these 3 layers to a group. To do this Select all 3 layer press right click and use the option “group from layers”. Now create a new adjustment layer “hue/Saturation” and reduce the saturation to -70. Apply a clipping mask to the group of layer to affect only the bushes. You also can reduce the lighting to -25.
Repeat the same process with the tree branches add them to the image, and add 5px of Gaussian blur to them.
Place the image of clouds, and add a layer mask to it. Paint in the edge of the image to blended with the rest.
Change the layer mode to soft light and reduce the opacity to 50%
In a new layer paint with a chalk brush with a light gray to create some fog. Use the brush in 20% of opacity
Create a new adjustment layer “curves” and change it to this. This will help to make the model stand out, because the background is going to be darker
Over the layer mask paint with black all the center and just leave the darker places on the sides.
Go to the top of all the layer and add the texture, reduce the saturation of the texture -50. Change layer mode to soft light and reduce the opacity to 50%
The last step is adding a color adjustment that wil make the art have even a more dramatic light. So go to “new fill or adjustment layer” and choose the option Color Lookup then choose Late Sunset
Now go to the Menu – Image – Apply Image
Now just reduce the opacity of the layer to 50% and it’s done.