My home is my castle

Today, we will create, as the title of the lesson says, a conceptual and ecological design in Photoshop, using several stock images and our imagination. This lesson will reveal not only the technique that was used, but also the ideas of their application and how these ideas arose. It is very important to find out, not how, but why a particular step or technique is used.

Source materials:

Final result

The first step in creating a new concept is finding a literal connection between two or more different subjects. This is the most important part, because it will be the basis for your design. Just like in architecture, if you have a solid foundation for your creation, then your design work will most likely look great.

I started with the idea of ​​protection, home and nature, so I started looking for elements of composition for this description. If you lack inspiration in the search for these elements, then you can always use Google to search for images based on these keywords.

To define protection, I found an image of a turtle, a symbol of protection, durability and self-preservation. For the keyword house, I wanted to use existing houses, but they represent only houses that are intended for a small number of people, and I need something that could be suitable for both the house and a unified society of people. Therefore, the image of the castle fits perfectly.

Now it’s time to link these two images together in one composition!
So, how do we make the tortoise shell protect the castle? Of course, we will place the castle inside the turtle shell. But there is another problem: we have to force the audience, who is watching the composition, to see the castle inside the turtle shell. Therefore, I turned the upper part of the shell into a glass dome, keeping its texture and shape.

The secret to finding these connections is to think in a completely different way. Depart from common sense, look for the obvious and literal meaning of your keywords and take into account the impossible. Think outside the box, creatively, as some would say.

We created the idea of ​​a design composition, let’s get down to implementation!

STEP 1. Let’s go File – New … (File> New …) and create a new document sized 1680 x 1050 px in color mode (color mode) RGB with a resolution of 72 dpi. Call this layer “my-concept”.

STEP 2 Open up the image of a “turtle”. Choose a tool Pen (Path Tool (P), in the top settings panel set to Contours (paths) and gently circle the turtle. Do not forget to close the contour.

STEP 3. Right click> To form a selected area (Make Selection) and click OK. Copy selection CTRL + C, back to our document. The window is my concept.psd (Window> my-concept.psd) and paste the copied image CTRL + V. Press CTRL + T to activate the mode. Free Transformation (Free Transform mode) and reduce the size, as in the screenshot below. Press Enter.

STEP 4. Open the image of the “castle”. Let’s go Selection – Color Range (Select> Color Range) and click on the sky. Apply the settings as in the screenshot below and click OK.

STEP 5. Press the Q key to enter the mode Quick masks (Quick Mask mode) (a red area appears on top of the image), select the tool Brush (Brush Tool (B) and paint over the remaining sections. Press the Q key again to exit Quick masks (Quick Mask mode).

STEP 6 Next, go Allotment – Inversion (Select> Inverse) or by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + I, copy CTRL + C, return to our document Window – my concept.psd (Window> my-concept.psd) and paste the copied image CTRL + V. Scale to fit and place as in the screenshot below.

STEP 7. In the bottom toolbar, click the icon Add vector mask (Add Vector Mask). Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B), set Rigidity (Hardness) 100% and paint over the extra areas of the castle.

STEP 8. Go to the turtle layer. Next, go Image – Correction – Hue / Saturation (Image> Adjustments> Hue / Saturation) or by pressing CTRL + U and Image – Correction – Curves (Image> Adjustments> Curves) or by pressing CTRL + M. Apply the settings as in the screenshot below. Duplicate the image (CTRL + J) and change the blending mode to Lightening (Screen), Opacity (Opacity) of a layer reduce to 50%.

STEP 9. Repeat STEP 8 for the layer with the lock, but apply the settings as in the screenshot below. Image – Correction – Hue / Saturation (Image> Adjustments> Hue / Saturation), Image – Correction – Selective color correction (Image> Adjustments> Selective Color).

STEP 10. Choose a tool Move (Move Tool (V), hold down CTRL + click on the tortoise to make the tortoise layer active, then select the tool Pen (Path Tool (P). Select the upper part of the tortoise shell, then right-click on the contour To form a selected area (Make Selection), then right-click again Copy to new layer (Layer Via Copy).

STEP 11. Hold down the CTRL + key and click on the thumbnail of the newly created layer, to load the selection, go to the layer with the tortoise and click the icon Add vector mask (Add Vector Mask) (in the lower palette of settings).

STEP 12. Go to the layer mask layer with the lock and using the same selection, clean the uneven areas. Next, deselect Selection – Deselect Selection (Select> Deselect) or by pressing CTRL + D.

STEP 13. Select the top of the shell that you cut and duplicate this layer with the top of the shell twice. Go to the original layer you duplicated and then go Image – Correction – Discolor (Image> Adjustments> Desaturate) or by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + U. In the layers palette (F7), change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft Light).

STEP 14. Go to the layer above the current layer (the first copy), discolor the image by pressing the CTRL + SHIFT + U keys, then go Picture – Correction – Inversion(Image> Adjustments> Invert) or by pressing CTRL + I and change the blending mode to Lightening(Screen). Press CTRL + U, tick the box Toning (Colorize) and slide the slider Color tone (Hue) to give a shade of blue. Click OK. Decrease Opacity (Opacity) layer up to 10%.

STEP 15. Go to the second copy. Next we go Image – Correction – Hue / Saturation (Image> Adjustments> Hue / Saturation) or you can press CTRL + U. Apply the settings as in the screenshot below. Install Fill (Fill) up to 40% and blending mode Multiplication (Multiply).

STEP 16. Create a new layer. Layer – New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) or press CTRL + SHIFT + N. Next, select the Pen Tool (Path Tool (P) and circle the part of the shell, as shown in the screenshot below. Right-click on the contour and select To form a selected area (Make Selection).

STEP 17. Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B), press D, then X, set Rigidity (Hardness) brush to 0% and draw a white spot, as in the screenshot below. Press CTRL + D to deselect. Set the blending mode for this layer. Hard light (Hard Light). Opacity (opacity) layer set at its discretion if necessary.

STEP 18. Repeat steps 16-17 for other parts of the shell.

STEP 19. Select all the layers you created in steps 12-18 and press CTRL + G to group the layers into one group. Double click on the group name and rename the group to “the upper part of the shell”.

STEP 20. Create a new layer on top of the group (CTRL + SHIFT + N). Hold down the CTRL + key and click on the thumbnail of the lower layer to load the selection of the upper part of the shell. Next, go Selection – Modification – Compress Area (Select> Modify> Contract). Apply 4px compression.

STEP 21. Next we go Allotment – Inversion (Select> Inverse) or by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + I. Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B) and paint it with a white brush at the edges of the shell. It’s okay if you go beyond the edges, we will clean it later.

STEP 22. Set the blending mode to Linear light (Linear Light) and reduce Fill (Fill) up to 15%, then press CTRL + click on the lowest layer in the group, then go Selection – Inversion (Select> Inverse) or by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + I and press the Delete key.

STEP 23. Choose a tool Eraser (Eraser Tool (E), install Rigidity (Hardness) to 0%, press “4” to set Opacity (Opacity) at 40% and remove excess areas that seem too bright.

STEP 24. Create a new layer (CTRL + SHIFT + N). Next, select the pen, in the top panel of the settings set Contours (Paths) and draw a contour on the shell scales, as in the screenshot below. Do not short circuit.

STEP 25. Select Brush (Brush Tool (B), press D, then X and set the brush size to 3 px. Switch back to the tool Pen (Path Tool (P) and right-click on the contour, then select Outline the contour (Stroke Path). When the window pops up, install Brush (Brush) and tick the box Simulate pressure (Simulate Pressure). Click OK.

STEP 26. Repeat Step 25 for the remaining shell scales. Via Eraser (Eraser Tool (E), remove any bright areas, as in Step 23.

STEP 27. Go to the background layer and double click the lock to release the lock. Click OK. This layer will become “Layer 0”. Choose a tool Gradient (Gradient Tool (G), set the gradient as in the screenshot below, next, In the top settings panel, select radial gradient (radial) and pull the gradient line like the screenshot below.

STEP 28. Open the paper texture. Highlight the entire document. Selection – All (Select> All) or press the keys CTRL + A, copy the selection CTRL + C, then return to our document The window is my concept.psd (Window> my-concept.psd) and paste the copied CTRL + V texture.

STEP 29. Press CTRL + T to activate the mode. Free Transformation (Free Transform mode) and scale the texture to the size of our document. Press Enter to exit free transform mode.

STEP 30. Next, go Image – Correction – Discolor (Image> Adjustments> Desaturate) CTRL + SHIFT + U. Set the blending mode Soft light (Soft Light).

STEP 31. Open the “dry land” image and copy it to our document, just like with the paper texture image.
Press CTRL + T to activate the mode. Free Transformation (Free Transform mode), hold down the CTRL + ALT + SHIFT keys and click on the small square and drag the edge, as in the screenshot below. Arrange as in the screenshot below so that there are no dark shades.

STEP 32. Add a mask layer to the layer with the ground, select a large soft brush and delete the area, as in the screenshot below.

STEP 33. Create a new layer (CTRL + SHIFT + N) and set the blending mode to Multiplication (Multiply). Choose a tool Oval area (Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) and create an oval, as in the screenshot below. Holding the Space (Space), you can shift the oval to the right place, if the first time could not be placed in the right place.

STEP 34. Select Fill (Paint Bucket Tool (G), and while holding the ALT key, select a dark shade from the turtle image (to get a beautiful shadow) and fill the selection. Next, Selection – Deselect Selection (Select> Deselect (CTRL + D) to highlight the selection.

STEP 35 Select the topmost layer and then go Layer – New corrective layer – Brightness/Contrast, Levels, Custom correction Sveta, Map gradient and Black-white(Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Brightness / Contrast, Levels, Selective Color, Gradient Map and Black White). Apply the settings as in the screenshots below for each adjustment layer.

STEP 36. Select all the work (CTRL + A), copy the merged layers (CTRL + SHIFT + C) and paste into a new layer. Next, go Filter – Other – Color Contrast (Filter> Other> High Pass). Apply radius (radius) 2 px and click OK. Change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay).

STEP 37. Choose a tool Horizontal text (Horizontal Type Tool (T), create a window for the text, use the font of your choice. I used the Impact font. Create another window for another line. This time, reduce the font size. This is a cool trick to create a hierarchical text ladder, making text easy to read.

Is done!


(Click on image to enlarge)

Feel free to add your own ideas to the work! I decided to add a small dash to the shadow as a personal touch.

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