In this tutorial you will learn to create a beautiful composition stock images and custom build shapes in Illustrator. It demonstrates effective usage of Photoshop’s shape layers, Smart Objects, and masks. By the end of the tutorial you will know more about these techniques. Parts of this tutorial require Adobe Illustrator.
Preview of Final Results
Stylistic Photo Manipulation in Photoshop Tutorial
- Paper Texture – Bashcorpo
- Main Model – xxslavaxx stock
- Model 2 – xxslavaxx stock
- Halftone Pattern – Vecteezy
- Water Color Texture – Mediamilitia
- Drips and Spray Paint – Qbrushes
- Patterned Spheres – Media Militia
- Hot air Balloons – Media Militia
- Brush Stroke – Mediamilitia
- Grunge Brushes – Qbrushes
- Wing Stock – Shoofly-Stock
- Planet – SXC
We need a blank canvas to start working. Create a new file something similar to the one here. Whenever you are not sure about the dimensions just start with something and later you can always increase or decrease the canvas size.
Here we will create some basic shapes around which we will build our design. Select the Polygon Tool from the from the tool bar. We can edit the number of sides of the polygon. Since we need to draw a triangle, set the sides count to 3. Same time select the shape layers option and draw. This will create a new layer with an editable vector path. We can use the path for several different things.
We have the triangle here which is a shape layer. It has a vector path associated with it. We can use to perform path operations like adding, subtracting, excluding and so on. So here you can see how to use the path of the shape layer to cut a hole in the shape. First copy and paste the path. Then scale it down and position it. Once the path is in desired position and select Subtract From Shape Area option.
Here I am going to add more elements that will define the outline. Use the Rectangle Tool to create the shape.
Press Ctrl + T to enter transform mode. Right click on the shape and choose Skew. Click and move the pointer across shape.
After you skewed the shape, duplicate it by simply pressing Ctrl + J. That will create a copy of the shape. Select the shape and press Ctrl + T. Choose Flip Horizontal from the menu.
Now position the slanted shapes over the triangle. Press Ctrl + T and rotate the shape by -60 degrees. Use the Info palette (F8) to view the coordinates.
Rotate and reposition the other shape as well. Place both the shapes underneath the triangle layer.
Open up the paper texture. Drag and drop the texture in to the design. Place it at very bottom in the layer stack.
Flip the texture first vertically then horizontally.
Take off the color from the texture. The simple shortcut is Ctrl + Shift + U. You can achieve the same result by using the Hue/Saturation dialog box and reducing the saturation to -100.
Increase the lightness of the texture using the Curves dialog box (Ctrl + M). Adjust the black point, white point and mid tones of the texture.
Open up the half tone textures in Illustrator. Copy the texture you see here!
Head back to Photoshop. Press Ctrl + V to paste the texture. Place it below the shape layers and above the texture layer. Resize it accordingly.
There is a part of the texture I want to hide. Use the layer mask to do this. Add layer mask to the texture, select the part using Lasso Tool. Click on the layer mask and fill the selection with black.
Now bring in the paint texture (Watercolors pack, 030.jpg). Place it above the halftone pattern. Resize the texture.
Hide unwanted areas using a mask.
Add and Curves adjustment layer to the water color texture. At the bottom of the Layers palette you can see a small black and white circle. Click on it and select Curves. This will create an adjustment layer of curves just above the texture. Adjustment layers lets you work in a non destructive manner. You can adjust them, disable them or just remove them at any time. After you edited the curve, there is a tiny button on the adjustments panel at the bottom. Click it to clip the adjustment layer to the texture below.
The texture has a white background and we need to remove it somehow. So at this point we can take advantage of the Photoshop’s advanced blending feature. To access it double click on the layer. Layer Styles dialog box will pop up. In the Blending Options category you can locate the “Blend if” section at the bottom. This is where everything is going to happen. All you need to do is press down “Alt” key, click on the little white handle and move your pointer across the little gradient ramp towards your left. You can see the result in the background. When you feel it is looking good click OK
I drew a line using the Line Tool. Then Rotated it by -60 degrees to match the other elements of the design.
Open up the paint splatter (drips and spray paint pack, 2.png).
Drag it into the composition. Place it above the water color texture
We are going to bring several images into our composition procedurally. Let’s start with the main model stock image. She is photographed against a black background. Same time her outfit and cap are also black. So instead of using other selection tools I used the Pen Tool to draw selection around her. You can just leave off those fine strands of hair. It won’t have much effect in this case.
When finished drawing path turn it into a selection. You can simply hit Ctrl + Enter to do this. Or just right click on the path and choose Make Selection.
Now hit Ctrl + J (Layer via copy) to create a new layer of the isolated model. Right click on the layer and choose Convert to Smart Object. Smart objects are really smart in many ways. You can apply smart filters to them which are completely editable reversible. You can scale them up and down without losing the actual pixel information of the image.
Bring the model into the composition. Resize it and place above all the shape layers.
Add curves adjustment layer. Adjust the mid tones slightly.
I want to hide parts of the image that falling outside the main shape layers. We can use the vector paths from the shape layers vector mask to load selection. Hold “Ctrl” key and click on the Vector Mask thumbnail. that will simply load the selection.
While the selection is active, click back on the model layer and click on the Add Layer Mask button.