In this lesson we will create a princess in a fantasy world, located in the royal garden. In this tutorial, we will look at some interesting methods for extracting images with complex and tiny details, analyzing the nature of the elements of the image, in order to ensure the natural depth of the scene and work on the principles of lighting and Depth Maps (Depth of Field).
STEP 1. Create a new document in Photoshop 2560 x 1440px.
Next, draw a preliminary sketch of the concept of what we are going to create.
STEP 2. We will start by creating the background of our concept. Download and transfer the image of the mountain landscape with beautiful mountains, which are ideally suited to our concept, to our document.
STEP 3. In this step, we will use the most promising and very effective method for isolating complex objects with very fine details. Upload a magnolia plant image and highlight the red channel in the channel palette.
Next, go Image – Calculations (Image> Calculations) and in the drop-down list select the Red channel.
Be sure that the area to be cut must be completely white. Let’s go Image – Correction – Levels (Image> Adjustments> Levels) and set the levels until we get the absolute contrast.
Next, load the selection we created in Selection – Load Selection (Select> Load Selection) and separate the selection onto a new layer by pressing the keys Ctrl + J.
Next, move the flowers to our working paper and place them in the upper left corner, as shown in the screenshot, as if this plant is blooming in the garden.
STEP 4. Duplicate the layer with colors and place them in the upper left corner, as in the screenshot below.
STEP 5. Separate the image of the Princess from the background and move it to our document, position it as in the screenshot below.
STEP 6. Next, we need to create a garden hedge to show the boundaries of the garden, which is located on the top of the hill. Using tool Pen (Pen Tool (P) scroll a wooden fence.
Next, move the fence to our document and place it under the princess layer, as in the screenshot below.
STEP 7. In this step, we will create an ancient city that is located on a distant hill. Separate the city from the sky and place the image of the city on a hill, as in the screenshot below. Do not forget to apply the perspective to the image of the city with the tool Free Transformation (Transform Tool (V).
STEP 8. In this step, we will use a more advanced Photoshop method, which will save time to remove a sprig from a Chinese flashlight image. Separate the flashlights from the background with the tool. Pen (Pen Tool (P).
Using tool Lasso (Lasso Tool (L) create a rough selection around the branch, as shown in the screenshot, then open the Fill option via Editing – Run Fill (Edit> Fill) or by pressing Shift + Backspace [Windows] or Command + Delete [Mac]. Next, from the drop-down box, select Fill based on content (Content-Aware) and click OK to see the transformation.
Next, place the flashlight in the upper right corner, as in the screenshot below.
STEP 9. We can notice that the light on the flashlight falls on the left side, that, according to our assumption about the source of light, it is in the opposite direction, i.e. on right. Therefore, it is necessary to reflect the flashlight horizontally so that the direction of the light source coincides.
STEP 10. In this step, we will create a palace on top of a hill, below which we located the city. Move the image of the palace to our document and place it on a hill, as shown in the screenshot below.
Go to the background with the landscape and remove the part of the hill that is located behind the palace, using the tool Stamp (Stamp Tool (S), as in the screenshot below.
Go to the layer with the palace, then go Image – Correction – Curves (Image> Adjustments> Curves) and apply the values, as in the screenshot below, to match the color shades of the hill on which the palace stands.
As you can see, the hill is located far from the focused area, the colors of the hill seem too dull, therefore, we need to create the same effect in relation to the palace. Let’s go Image – Correction – Exposure (Image> Adjustments> Exposure) and set the values for Shear (Offset) = + 0.1367 and Gamma Correction (Gamma Correction) = 1.09.
STEP 11. In this scene, we focus on the princess, therefore, other objects fall out of focus and appear blurred. Therefore apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian blur) and apply the value Radius (Radius) 0.9px to the image of the palace to save Depth of Field Map (Depth Of Field).
STEP 12. Next, go to the layer with the city and go Image – Correction – Curves (Image> Adjustments> Curves) and apply the curve values as in the screenshot below to blend perfectly with the landscape.
As we discussed in the previous step, the objects located far away are not focused and with weak contrast, therefore, we need to apply the same effect to the layer with the city in order to create natural depth. Choosing a layer with the city, go Image – Correction – Exposure (Image> Adjustments> Exposure) and set the values for Exposure (Exposure) = – 0.08, for Shear (Offset) = + 0.0347, for Gamma Corrections (Gamma Correction) = 1.13 to achieve the next effect.
STEP 13. Usually, highland areas are covered with clouds or fog, so we will draw some clouds around the city. Create a new layer for the clouds above the city layer, and paint the clouds as shown with the brushes Clouds 1 and Clouds 2, setting the pre-white color.
STEP 14. Next, go to the princess layer and adjust the color using Curves to blend in with the surrounding shades.
STEP 15. Repeat the previous step and adjust the hedge color with Curves (Curves).
STEP 16. In this step, we will separate the flags from the background using the selection technique that we used in step 3.
Sometimes it is not possible to convert the area that we want to darken by applying Curves (curves), therefore, select the tool Brush (Brush Tool (B) and paint over black areas that need to be darkened.
After you have separated the flags from the background, move them to our working paper and flip horizontally to match the light source in the image, and position the image with the flags behind the princess, as in the screenshot below.
STEP 17. As you know, the national color of China is red, therefore, we need to change the color of the flags to red to match the theme of the composition. Select the layer with the checkboxes and then go Image – Correction – Hue / Saturation (Image> Adjustments> Hue / Saturation) and apply the following values Saturation (saturation) = 83 and Brightness (lightness) = + 9.
When we look at a flag that flies away in the wind, the edges of the flag appear blurry, therefore, we apply the same motion effect to the flags to create a natural depth of field. Using the tool Lasso (Lasso Tool (L), draw a rough selection around the checkboxes, as shown in the screenshot and then go Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter> Blur> Motion Blur), install Bias (Distance) = 17px to achieve the desired effect.
STEP 18. Using the technique described in Step 3, cut out the green plants and move them to our working paper, position it as in the screenshot below.
Suppose that the plants are close to the composition objects, but slightly distant from them, therefore, we need to apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) to keep our image depth map.
Highlight the green plants on the left side of the image and apply Blur by Gauss(Gaussian Blur) Radius (Radius) = 2.9px. Next, go to the layer with green plants located on the right side of the image and apply Blur by Gauss(Gaussian Blur) Radius (Radius) = 1.1px.
STEP 19. Since the sunlight comes from the right side, green plants should create a shadow on the Chinese lanterns, therefore, in this step we need to create a shadow on the Chinese lanterns. Duplicate the green plant layer and turn it into a silhouette with Levels (Levels).
Place the layer with the silhouette or shadow of the plant under the plant layer and slightly move it away from the plant, as in the screenshot below, keeping the angle of incidence of sunlight. Next, erase the extra parts of the shadow that fall outside the flashlight, we need the shadow to fall only on the flashlight.
Usually, the edges of the shadow are not so distinct and with very weak opacity in the open air. Therefore, reduce Opacity (Opacity) layer with a shadow of up to 17% and apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) = 2.6 px.
STEP 20. Further, to show that the princess is at a distance from the camera, we will add cherry flowers and a green leaf to the image to show that the scene with the princess was captured on camera among green and flowering plants. Move the images of cherry flowers and green leaf on our image and arrange them, as in the screenshot below. Add a Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) Radius (Radius) 8.8px to leaves and apply the value Radius (Radius) 4px to flowers.
STEP 21. The royal garden is never without a fountain, therefore, in our garden, we will create a fountain. Cut out the image of the fountain from the background and place it on our image in the right part, in the corner, as in the screenshot below.
Next, use the Water Fountain Brush 1, 2.3 and draw a fountain by setting the brush color, white as in the screenshot below.
Using the Brush Plants tool, draw a few plants behind the fountain to add some vegetation to the fountain.
STEP 22. Next, using the Sunburst brush, paint the sunburst on the princess by setting the brush color to white.
Next, create a new layer between the flashlight layer and the plant layer on the flashlight and draw the rays passing through them.
STEP 23. Create a new layer on top of the mountain landscape layer and paint some birds using the Birds brush, setting the color to # c4c5cc.
STEP 24. As we see the hair of the princess, it seems a little unreal at the edges. Therefore, using the Hair brush, we draw the hair of the princess as shown in the screenshot to create more accurate details.
STEP 25. In this step, we will create a flying island in the form of a hill, according to a sketch of our concept, which we have outlined. Using tool Lasso (Lasso Tool (L) select the part of mountain 1 and mountain 2 to create a flying hill.
Next, flip one of the cut parts of the mountain to create the shape of a flying hill. After creating a flying island in the shape of a hill, merge the layers with the parts of the mountains that make up the flying hill.
STEP 26. Move the flying hill to our document and place it on the left side of the image, as shown in the screenshot.
Using the adjustment layer Curves (Curves) adjust the color of the flying hill to match the colors with the surrounding shades.
As we assume, the light falls on the right side, draw light areas on a flying hill, as in the screenshot below.
As our hill floats high in the sky, we need to create some roots hanging from the hill.
Using tool Lasso (Lasso Tool) draw a selection around the hill, resembling hanging roots. Next, fill the selection with the color shade # d4c2cd.
STEP 27. In this step we will create a temple, which will be located on a flying hill. Cut the temple from the original image and place it on a hill, as in the screenshot below.
Since the flying hill is located far from our scene, the color shades of the temple will blend with the surrounding shades. Therefore, select the temple and fill the selection with the color shade # 6dce2.
Next, apply to the flying hill Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) Blur radius (radius) = 1.4px, and then to the roots and the temple.
STEP 28. Repeat the previous step, create another flying hill, placing it away from the previous hill.
STEP 29. Create a new layer on top of the mountain landscape layer, then, using the Planet brush, draw several planets, as in the screenshot below, setting the brush color to white.
STEP 30. In this step we will create a banner at the top of our image according to our drawn concept. Separate the banner from the background and transfer it to our document, position it at the top of the scene according to the concept. Make sure the banner layer is below the sunburst layer.
STEP 31. In this step, we will add a rope, with the help of which, the banner will be pulled. Select the rope with the tool Magic wand (Magic Wand Tool (W) and transfer to our document. Arrange as in the screenshot using the tool Move (Move Tool (V).
Translator’s note: to position the rope at an angle, use the Free Transform tool by pressing Ctrl + T.
Next, apply to the rope image. Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) with Blur radius (Radius) = 1.4px.
STEP 32. In this step we will create clouds around the flying hills. Select the Clouds brush and draw some clouds around the rolling hills, as in the screenshot below.
Author: Santhosh Koneru