Create themed wallpaper in Photoshop

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Blog Action Day is a day when all the bloggers in the world come together to discuss a particular topic. It was founded in the summer of 2007. Since then, this event is a huge success. Today, Blog Action Day is run by a group on Change.org; The theme of this year is water.
Today, almost one billion people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water. PSDTUTS decided to help raise awareness of this issue by what we do best, by publishing lessons. In today’s tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a theme collage for Blog Action Day. Let’s start!

Necessary materials:

Step 1. Let’s start by creating a new document in Photoshop with a size of 1920×1200 px and a resolution of 72 px / inch. Fill the background with gray (#bababa).

Step 2. Since the theme is water, we, of course, must add something symbolizing it. I think a glass of water is perfect for this. Since the glass is transparent, the glass can merge with the background, so you need to choose the right location. So put the glass right in front of the camera. The first thing to do is create a dry landscape. Create a brown (# 927a60) rectangle and place it at the bottom of the document. Later it will be the horizon.

Step 3. Download image Desert Land.

Place the desert on the working paper and change the layer blending mode to Overlay (Overlap). Adjust the size and perspective (CTRL + T).

Remove the extra area, leaving only the one that covers the brown rectangle. You can use Rectangular marquee tool (Rectangular selection) (M) to select the required area and remove it by applying a layer mask (the button Add layer mask (Add layer mask) is at the bottom of the layers panel.

Step 4. To fill the rest of the canvas, use the Mountain image. Place the layer with the mountain beyond the brown rectangle.

Step 5. Now load the City image and position it above the layer with the mountain. Then carefully remove the sky.

Step 6. Create a depth effect for cracked earth. We take a soft black brush and paint on the edges of the image.

Step 7. At the moment we have a calm clear sky, let’s diversify it, making it more dramatic. The person who saw this work will get the impression that a storm is inevitable and if we treat water disrespectfully, the problems of individual countries will become the problems of the whole world, as well as the movement of the storm.
Download the image of Cloudy Sky and paste it into the working paper. Use a large soft eraser (E) to erase the bottom area. Then change the layer blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication) and decrease opacity (opacity) to about 80%.

Step 8. I don’t like the way the clouds look. I think it is worth adding the effect of smoke emanating from the city. To do this, you can use one of two techniques: special brushes in the form of clouds or Photoshop Cloud filter (Clouds).
Activate Lasso Tool (Lasso) (L) with feather (shading) about 30 px and create an arbitrary selection. Then go Filter – Render – Clouds (Filter – Rendering – Clouds), set the blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication) or Screen (Lightening) (depending on what kind of smoke you need – black or white) and remove excess smoke. You should get something like this:

Step 9. To finish with the background, create two adjustment layers. To begin, discolor the image with Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation). Decrease Saturation (Saturation) to -50.

Create a second layer Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map), use a black to white gradient and blend mode Overlay (Overlap). Decrease opacity (opacity) if necessary. After that, select all the previously created layers and merge them into a group (CTRL + G) called “Background”.

Step 10. Now that the background is finished, we can focus on the main element of the composition: a glass of water. Load the Glass image, then use Pen tool (Pen) (P) cut the glass and move it to the working document.

Step 11. We use Rectangular marquee tool (Rectangular selection) (M) to select the top of the glass and move it up.

Step 12. The selection is still active, press CTRL + T to activate Free transform (Free transform), and stretch the bottom of the cut glass area to make it higher.

Now the glass is too tall. Press CTRL + D to deactivate the selection, then CTRL + T again (this time the transformation is active for the whole glass) and reduce the height.

Step 13. To remove the white area on the glass, change the layer blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication).

Then duplicate (CTRL + J) layer and change copy copy mode to Screen (Lightening), since the inside should be a little lighter than the outside. Decrease opacity (opacity) layer up to 30% and erase the edges with soft (hardness (hardness) 0%) eraser (E)

Since the opacity of the edges of the glass is too low, duplicate the layer and set the blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication). Also note that I ran a thin black brush around the edge of the water to make it more visible.

Step 14. Create a new layer and change its blend mode to Overlay (Overlap). Then choose a light azure color, as on the surface of the water. The goal of this step is to add color to the glass. To balance the effect of color, reduce opacity (opacity) layer up to 20%.

Step 15. To complete the work with a glass, we will add shadows. Create a new layer and place it under all the other layers with a glass. Working soft round brush black color. To make the effect more realistic, create several layers with a shadow and experiment with their opacity.

Step 16. Load the Child image and free the child from the background. We transfer it to the working document, adjust the size and draw the shadows on the layer with the shadow of the glass.

Step 17. Since the glass is in focus (imagine viewing the scene through the camera), the rest of the scene will be blurred. On the layers panel, select the group “Background” and the layer with the child, press ALT + CTRL + E to merge them into one layer. Then apply Filter Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur).

Create layer mask and big soft brush black paint in the area around the glass, as it is inside the focus, so it can not be blurred.

Step 18. It’s time to work with the lighting. The first thing we need to do is darken the edges of the composition. To do this, create a new layer above all the previous ones, take a large round brush (B) black color about 1500 px, hardness (stiffness) 0%, and draw on the edge of the working canvas.

Step 19. Lighting gave depth to the composition. Next, create a new group and change its blend mode to Color dodge (Lightening the basics). Create a new layer inside the group and use the big white one. brush with a hardness of 0% to color the center and other areas that need improvement. After that, reduce the layer opacity to weaken the effect.

Step 20. We write the message “For some people the glass is always half empty” (For some people, a glass is always half empty). We use fontGnuolane. Below we write another message. font Arno Pro, which is standard Mac OS font, but you can use any other. I decided to use plain text with no chips and a squiggle, as in this composition it would not be entirely appropriate. Apply Layer – Layer Style – Drop Shadow (Layer – Layer Style – Shadow) 1 px wide to slightly highlight text.

Another message is placed in the lower right corner. Use again font gnuolane.

Step 21 Before starting the color correction, we apply a couple of textures. Load texture Black and White Grunge Texture. Place it on the working paper, and use the filter several times. Filter – Sharpen – Sharpen (Filter – Sharpness – Sharpness) to highlight all the details.

Change texture blending mode to Overlay (Overlap) with opacity (opacity) 20%.

Step 22. The next texture is scratched metal. I like how scratches interact with objects, background and give a certain meaning to the work. Paste the metal texture on the working paper, bleach it (CTRL + SHIFT + U), set the blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication) with opacity (opacity) 30% and apply the filter Sharpen (Sharpness).

Step 23 Add the final touches with color correction. Start by reducing saturation using the adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Saturation (saturation) is reduced to -30.

Finally, add a layer Gradient map (Gradient map) using a tricolor gradient from red (# ee202e) to blue (# 004274) to yellow (# f9e260). Set the blending mode to Overlay (Overlap) with opacity (opacity) 40%.

It’s all! We’ve finished creating a blog action blog collage.

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