We build a maze in Photoshop

If you like to create abstract, fancy work in Photoshop, then this lesson is for you. Learn how to create a huge maze built from geometric volumetric blocks.

You will get acquainted with different types of techniques, such as working with the perspective, the transfer of texture and light, and others.

Let’s get started!

What will you create:

Here is a good example of what you should have at the end of the lesson:

Materials required for the lesson:

Step 1

Start by creating a new document (Ctrl + N) in which we will draw a maze. The document size is 2500 pixels wide and 1681 pixels high. First fill the file field with black color (Shift + F5).

Then go to the menu bar “View” (View) at the top of the screen and make sure that the section “Auxiliary elements” (Extra) is checked. Next, select the section “Show” (Show) to go to its popup window, and make sure that the item “Guides” (Guide) is ticked.

Now create two intersecting guide lines, as shown in the figure below:

Step 2

Let’s start drawing other lines, which you will use as guides when creating a maze of blocks. To do this, select the tool. “Line”(Line tool) on the toolbar and set the size of its thickness – 3 pixels.

Start drawing guides as shown in the image below. I used red to draw the lines.

After creating the lines on the left side of the picture, merge them into one layer. Make a copy of the layer (Ctrl + J) and flip it horizontally. Move the lines to the right side of the figure to get the missing guides, as shown in the figure below. Merge two layers with lines into one. I called the resulting layer “Line”.

Decrease opacity (Opacity) layer with lines up to about 40%

Step 3

Now we are ready to create shapes. Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). I called this layer “Form 1”. Take the tool “Pen” (pen tool) and with it, draw a rectangular contour on the newly created layer. Make sure that you do not step off the guide lines to create a regular shape. Right-click on the drawn contour to open the parameters window. Choose a team “Fill contour” (fill path).

Fill the outline with color # 9a9a9b.

Here’s what we got:

Step 4

Next we will create another rectangular shape on the left side. To do this, add two guide lines that intersect the leftmost corners of the shape (line 1 and 2) and one more guide line (line 3) that crosses the two lines you created.

Create a new layer under the “Form 1” layer. I called it “Form 2”. Following the previously created guides using the tool “Pen”, draw a rectangular shape, as we did in the previous step (step 3). I filled the shape in a lighter color, as shown in the image below:

Step 5

Finish the shape by creating two more rectangular shapes. Do not forget about the guide lines to maintain the correct proportions of the figure. I created forms on two different layers, which I named, respectively, “Form 3” and “Form 4”.

Here’s what I got in the end:

Step 6

Let’s start to give the form of a certain volume. To do this, create a new layer above the “Form 3” layer. Make sure the option to use the previous layer to create a clipping mask is selected.

Choose a tool “Gradient” (gradient) on the toolbar with type “Linear” (linier) and set its opacity to about 15%. Make sure that the foreground color is black. Open the gradient palette and select the gradient named “From basic to transparent” (foreground to transparent).

Start shadowing the “Form 3” layer by holding down the mouse button and dragging the gradient from the top of the image down a bit.

If necessary, darken the image of the “Form 4” layer as well.

Step 7

Now we need to add some lines to the form 1. Select the “Form 1” layer again. When the layer becomes active, go to the “Layers” menu item, then – “Layer Style” and “Stroke” (layer> layer style> stroke).

That’s what happened in the end. Select all layers with forms and merge them into a single layer (Ctrl + E). I called this layer “Front Right Block”.

Step 8

Create another front block on the left using the same sequence of actions as when creating the right block.

Step 9

Then create a front block in the center. Select all layers with blocks and press Ctrl + G to group the layers into a folder. I gave her the name “Front Block”.

Step 10

Using the same sequence of actions as in the previous steps, create several rear blocks on the left side. Here are the first three blocks that I created and named blocks 1,2 and 3, respectively.

I’ve finished creating the left side of the maze by adding a few more blocks:

Step 11

Start creating the back blocks on the right side. For this side I added 7 blocks.

Step 12

Next we will add some white in the aisles between the blocks. Let’s start with the aisles behind the right front block. To add color, create a new layer behind the right front block. Take a very soft round brush with an opacity of 20-30% and on the new layer paint white space marked with blue arrows in white.

Also add white in the aisles behind the left front block.

That’s what happened when I added a little light to the aisles between the rear left blocks.

Step 13

In the same way, add some light to the aisles between the right rear blocks. After finishing work, select all layers with blocks and merge them into one layer. I called this layer “Labyrinth”.

Step 14

Now we are ready to create the background for our labyrinth. Select a linear gradient again. Make sure that the foreground color is black, and the background color is white. In the gradient palette, select the foreground to background color gradient:

Next, replace the original black background image with a gradient fill with the transition from black to white. That’s what happened with me:

Step 15

Open the image with the texture in the document window. Place the texture layer above the background layer. Choose a tool “Free Transformation” (free transform tool) and resize the texture so that it covers the background.

Move the texture down so that it appears to be the base of the maze.

Reduce the opacity of the texture layer to 65%.

Step 16

Add a layer mask to the texture by clicking the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the layers panel.

Take a very soft round brush with an opacity of about 15-20%. In black, paint over the areas around the texture, thereby completing the masking. Here is the mask that I created on the texture.

This is how the texture looks like with masking done:

Make a copy of the texture layer and change its blending mode to “Soft light” (Soft light) with an opacity of about 50%.

Step 17

Open the sky image in the document window. Place it above the texture layer, adjusting the size and position.

Add a layer mask to the sky layer and mask some parts of the sky.

Step 18

With the selected layer with the sky, go to the section of the menu bar “Layers”, then – “New adjustment layer” and “Hue / Saturation” (layer> new adjustment layers> hue / saturation). Make sure the option Use the previous layer to create a clipping mask is selected.

Here’s what I got:

Step 19

Create a new layer and place it above the sky layer. Again, take a very soft round brush about 800-900 pixels in size and use it to add some white light behind the maze. I called this layer “Light.” We can make a copy of this layer and change its blending mode to “Soft Light” to increase the brightness of the light.

Step 20

Continue to work on the maze. Select the “Labyrinth” layer and mask its individual parts, as shown at the stroke locations in the image below.

This is what a maze looks like after performing selective masking.

Step 21

Make a copy of the “Labyrinth” layer and place it above the original layer with the addition of a clipping mask. Mask parts of the copy of the layer and change the blending mode to “Multiplication” (multiply) with an opacity of 75%.

Then, make a copy again of the texture layer used for the background. Place a copy of the layer above the copy of the “Labyrinth” layer with the addition of a clipping mask and adjust its size.

With the texture layer selected, go to the menu bar section. “Filter” – “Other” – “Color Contrast” (filter> other> high pass). Then change the blending mode of the layer to “Soft Light” with an opacity of 70%.

That’s what happened. Select all the Labyrinth layers and group them into a folder. I called the “Labyrinth” folder

Step 22

Create a new layer above the Labyrinth folder. On this layer, draw a soft white light in front of the central block, as shown at the stroke location in the image below.

Here is what happened:

Step 23

At the end of the work, we will change the color tone of the whole picture. To do this, we simply create new adjustment layers – “color balance” and “photo filter” and place them at the very top on the layers panel.

Change the blending mode of the “color balance” layer to “Normal” (Normal) with opacity of 100%, and a layer of “photo-filter” – on the mode “Normal” with opacity of 50%.

Congratulations! We are done !!!

Awesome work turned out! You should be proud of what you did. Show this maze to friends and colleagues and wait for their comments.

You can also show your version of the resulting picture to us or ask a question about the techniques used. We will be happy to take a look at your work, answer a question, or give advice that will help you improve your technique.

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