In this tutorial I will show you how to create photo manipulation with using of different textures and blending modes. I will also show you different ways how to set lights and shadows and how to adjust colors in your work to everything fix together. Let’s get started
Preview of Final Results
Terrifying Horror Photo Manipulation Photoshop Tutorial
Step 1 – Creating The Background
Download picture of background and picture of sky. Create a new Photoshop document and drag these images into the document. Place layer with the sky above the ground and name it SKY. Name the layer with the ground simply GROUND.
Add layer mask to the SKY. The button Add layer mask can be found on the bottom part of your palette Layers. If you don´t see this palette simply press F7.
Using a vector mask instead of the Eraser Tool (which is so popular among Photoshop users) is better because you can very simple reverse all steps you did. You just choose white for the color and paint over the areas which you want to see again. With the Eraser Tool there is no way to recover.
Make sure that the layer mask is active (just click on it) and press B (= Brush Tool). Select some soft round brush, pick black color and start painting over the areas of SKY you want to disappear. If you want more precise details select smaller brush and lower opacity.
Now add Adjustment Layer (button Create new adjustment or fill layer can be seen next to the button Add layer mask) Gradient Map on the top of your layers. Using of adjustment layer is really useful because all adjustment you do this way are non destructive and you always can go back and change them. It´s almost impossible to do that if you adjust your pictures with using of Image > Adjustment > … Thanks to adjustment layers you can also adjust only parts of the image.
Set Gradient Map as it´s shown bellow:
Change the Blending Mode of this layer on Hard Light and set Opacity on 50%. This adjustment icrease the contrast of picture and also add violet tone.
After this step your picture should be similar to this one:
Step 2 – Adding Woman
Download picture of woman and open it in Photoshop. Cut out the background using whatever tool you are comfortable with. I usually use the Lasso Tool (L) but it´s really up to you. After you´re done drag the woman into your manipulation. Drag the layer on the top of your layers and name it WOMAN.
Add new adjustment layer Hue/Saturation and set Saturation on -40. Press OK. Now right click on this layer and choose the option Create Clipping Mask. This way the layer affects only one layer under itself, not the whole image.
Your image should look like as it´s shown bellow:
Step 3 – Softening the Shadows
As you can see the woman has really strong shadows on her body which doesn´t fit to the rest of the scene. In this step we will soften them.
Add new layer on the top of your layers and name it SOFT SHADOWS. Grab the Brush Tool (B), select some smaller soft brush. Press Alt and select some color of womans´ body. Lower the opacity on about 20% and start painting over the shadows. Change the color of the brush quite often to get realistic result.
Bellow you can see how the woman looks with and without the softening:
As you can see I didn´t care much about her hand because they don´t be visible in final picture.
Step 4 – Changing Eyes
As you can see on the final picture the woman has blind eyes. You´ll do it in this step.
Add new layer on the top of your layers and name it BLIND EYES. Grab the Brush Tool (B) and select some small, soft, round brush. Pick some color similar to white of her eyes and paint over the irises. To get more realistic result change the color from time to time.
Step 5 – Adding Shadows arround the Eyes
In this step we will add shadows arround her eyes. Create new layer on the top of your layers and name it SHADOWS ARROUND EYES. Press B (= Brush Tool), pick some dark color, lower the opacity on about 40% and paint carefully arround her eyes. Bellow you can see how it should look:
Step 6 – Adding Branches
Download picture of branches and open it in Photoshop. Cut out the background. This may be little boring and time consuming but do it as carefully as possible because more precise you cut it out more realistic the result will be.
After you´re done drag the branches into your manipulation. Place the layer under the WOMAN and name it LEFT BRANCH. Press Command + T and rotate the brach in the same direction as you can see on final image. Bellow you can see what I mean:
Duplicate LEFT BRANCHES and name it RIGHT BRANCHES. Go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.
Press E (= Eraser Tool) and erase some branches from LEFT BRANCHES and then different branches from RIGHT BRANCHES. This will add variety and it won´t look like that you use only one stock image (and you don´t need to cut out two pictures of branches).
Bellow you can see how your image should look so far:
Step 7 – Blending Branches
Add layer mask to WOMAN. Grab the Brush Tool (B), select some soft round brush, lower the opacity on about 40% and pick black color. Now start painting over the areas of womans´ hands which should dissapear. Be very careful and work with low opacities and small sizes of brush to get natural result.
Step 8 – Adding the Roots
Download the picture of roots and cut out the background. Drag the roots into your photomanipulation, place the layer on the top of your layers and name it ROOTS.
Add new adjustment layer Color Balance and set it as shown: