The fall of the meteorite in Photoshop

Welcome to the next lesson in Photoshop. In this lesson, I will show you how to create a building punched by a meteorite. I tried to simplify the lesson so that less advanced Photoshop users could complete this lesson. I’ll show you how to create a realistic smoke trail and meteorite using only Photoshop filters and standard brushes. The images used in this tutorial can be downloaded for free. I hope you enjoy the final result.

Final result

Source materials:

Step 1

First you need to open the ‘Empire State Building’ image and duplicate this image. Name the bottom layer ORIGINAL (ORIGINAL), and the top layer WITHOUT THE TOP (TOP-LESS). Now you have to remove the upper part of the building on the WITHOUT TOP TOP layer, while maintaining the visibility of the sky. To accomplish this task, the easiest way is to use the tool. Stamp (Clone Tool (S) and tool Patch (Patch Tool (J).

Start with the Stamp tool and with this tool, hide the part of the building that is indicated in the screenshot above. Use the sky around the building as a source of cloning. When you are done with the tool Stamp (Clone Tool (S), you will notice that the transition on some edges is not very good. This is because this tool does not create a glow transition. To solve this problem, use the tool Patch (Patch Tool (J).

Tool Patch (Patch Tool (J) is like a tool Stamp (Clone Tool (S), however, it tries to combine the glow of the cloning source and the destination site, thus creating a seamless or smooth transition.

Step 2

Once you have chosen a tool Patch (Patch Tool (J), in the top toolbar of the tool, select the option A source(Source). So, using this tool, select the areas that require a smoother transition and move the created selection to a clean sky area. As soon as you move the selection, the Patch tool replaces the selection with the sky pattern where you moved the patch.

Step 3

After correcting these sections using the Patch tool, the image will look like in the screenshot below. We are still working with the layer WITHOUT THE TOP (TOP-LESS).

Step 4

As you can see from the screenshot above, now we have to create the effect of destruction. To do this, we use brushes and a layer mask.

Add a layer mask to the layer. WITHOUT THE TOP (TOP-LESS). Next, apply the standard Photoshop brushes. Use the brushes that are shown in the screenshot below. Paint with a black brush on the layer mask to reveal the parts. ORIGINAL (ORIGINAL) layer below.

Step 5

Once you have prepared the lower part of the building, turn off the visibility of the layer WITHOUT THE TOP (TOP-LESS) so we can see the entire layer ORIGINAL (ORIGINAL). Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool (P) and circle the outline of the upper part of the building using the outline option.

Once you have closed the contour, convert the contour into an active selection, and then copy the active selection, for this we go Edit – Copy (Edit> Copy), next, create a new layer on top of the layer ‘Without the upper part’ and paste the copied selection onto the new layer (Ctrl + V).

Name this layer Upper part of the building (BUILDING-TOP). On the layer with the top of the building, rotate the image about 5 degrees.

Step 6

Now, we will proceed to the destruction of the building. This action must be performed manually with the tool. Lasso (Lasso Tool (L). On the ‘Top of the Building’ layer, with the Lasso tool, select small fragments of the building.

Once you have created a selection, right-click on the selection so that the context menu appears, in the window that appears, select the option Cut to new layer (Layer Via Cut), we use this option so that our separate fragments of the building are located on separate layers so that they can be turned later.

Cut out a few fragments of the building, as shown in the screenshot below. Next, I grouped layers containing fragments of the building.

Step 7

The building should look more destroyed. Add a layer mask to the ‘Upper Buildings’ layer, then use the same technique you used in Step 4 to create ragged edges. In the same way, paint over with a black brush on the layer mask to hide some parts of the building. After I created a destructive building using brushes on a layer mask, I used a grunge concrete texture, a blending mode for a layer with a texture Overlap (Overlay) to create an additional effect of destruction.

Step 8

Download Particle Kit, open the image Media_Militia_Particles023.jpg. Reduce particle size if necessary. Next, glue the particles onto our working paper by placing it on top of the building to additionally add scattering fragments / fragments of the building. I placed these particles inside the group with the remaining fragments of the building that we created in Step 6.

Step 9

So, it’s time to create a meteorite. As I said, we will create a meteorite from the sketch, using only filters. Once, when I was messing with filters, I discovered this technique. Below is a description of the implementation of this technique.

Create a new layer on top of the other layers, name this layer ‘METEORITE’. Choose a tool Lasso (Lasso Tool (L). Next, with this tool, manually create a rounded shape. Try to avoid straight lines, because the rock has torn edges.

When you create a meteorite shape that you like, make sure that the foreground and background colors are set to Black and White, then go Filter – Rendering – Clouds (Filter> Render> Clouds), immediately apply the filter Overlay clouds (Difference Clouds). Try applying a filter Overlay clouds (Difference Clouds) several times. If you do not like the result, then go again. Filter – Rendering – Clouds (Filter> Render> Clouds). Try to create a mixed surface with shades of black and gray.

Step 10

When you are satisfied with the result and how the rock fragment looks after applying the cloud filter, go Filter – Sketch – Relief (Filter> Sketch> Bas Relief). Set the value Details (Detail) to the maximum, and the value Softening (Smoothness) for 2 or 3 and experiment with the direction of the flow of light. I chose the option To the right (Right).

Step 11

So, we have a rock fragment, now we have to turn it into a meteorite. For this, we have to apply Layer styles (layer styles) double clicking on the ‘Meteorite’ layer.

Apply Layer styles (layer style) to the meteorite layer.

Remember one thing: these layer style settings that you apply to your meteorite may differ, because it will depend on the amount of black and white areas on your meteorite. After applying layer styles, try changing your Meteor Contrast using Levels (Levels) to enhance the lighting and see how your meteorite will look. Also experiment with different blending modes to get a different result.

Internally Glow(Inner Glow)

Stamping(Bevel and Emboss)

Overlay Gradient(Gradient Overlay)

You can also use the option Overlapping pattern (Pattern Overlay) using stone texture and blend mode Overlap (Overlay) if you need to add more texture to your meteorite.

After applying layer styles, your image should look like the screenshot below.

Step 12

Select the Smudge Tool and smear one side of the meteorite to create a motion effect.

Step 13

In order to create a smoke tail or trace, you must adjust the brush using the Brush Settings Editor. Select a soft brush that is slightly larger than your meteorite and press the F5 key to open the brushes tab in the layers palette or go Window – Brushes (Window> Brushes). Here we set up a brush to create smoke.

First we go to the option Other Dynamics (Other Dynamics) and increase the value opacity (opacity) up to about 40%.

Next, go to the option Texture (Texture) and choose a pattern Clouds (Clouds) from the standard set of Photoshop Patterns. Tick ​​in the box Inversion (Invert), which is located next to the pattern thumbnail, zoom in to about 90% and play with other sliders until you are satisfied with the result. Also try to apply / disable the option. Text each print (Texture Each Tip).

Option Mode (Mode) depends on the background where you will use the brush, here I used the mode Multiplication (Multiply), but you can try other modes. Just make sure your smoke is voluminous and smooth. You will need to create two smoke trails. One is brighter, the other is darker.

Step 14

Using the same brush that you set up using a dark gray tint, draw another smoke trail. This time you can increase the size of the brush by a few pixels. Play with different blending modes. On top of a layer with a light smoke trail, draw a black smoke trail. Create a new layer and on this layer, brush strokes draw a smoke trail of orange color, change the mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay). This will be the light that remains behind the falling meteorite.

Step 15

Open the ‘Bang’ stock image, zoom out as shown in the screenshot below. Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (Screen) and using a soft eraser or layer mask hide the extra edges.

Step 16

Open the image Media_Militia_Particles013.jpg (do not pay attention to the text shown in the screenshot, this is the name of the jpg file) and then use the eraser to delete the middle part of the image with particles because of the high concentration of too large fragments. Leave only those particles that are located on the edges of the image. Place them at the point of entry and at the exit point of the meteorite.

Step 17

Using tool Allotment (Marque Tool), create a selection commensurate with the size of the zone of destruction, and then apply black and white clouds to the created selection. Change the blending mode for the layer with the selection to Hard light (Hard Light) and reduce the opacity of the layer to 45%. Duplicate the layer, and then change the blending mode for the duplicate layer with Hard light (hard light) on Soft light (Soft Light) and reduce the opacity of the layer to 75%.

Step 18

The only thing I did was add some light. To do this, use a light orange color, blending mode Bright light (Vivid Light). Reduce the opacity of the layer if the effect is too saturated.

Post Editing

Our scene is ready, but it may look much better if we make a small correction to the whole image. In my works, I always include a post-editing action to get a better result.

Step 19

Gradient Map (Gradient Map)

Create a merged layer, then go Edit – Copy Combined Data (Edit> Copy Merged). Create a new document, and then paste the copied image onto our new document. Add adjustment layer Gradient Map (Gradient Map), change the blending mode for this adjustment layer to Overlap (Overlay), reduce the layer opacity to 30%.


We need to make a major image exposure correction and make the image lighter. I usually use Levels (Levels), but this time, I decided to change the habit. Therefore, I added a correction layer. Exposition(Exposure)
and applied the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 20

I decided to add a little more depth to the image. For this, I used additional particles from the Media Militia particle set and blurred them a bit. Also, I added a slight vignette effect. You can add motion blur to the meteorite and other parts of the image if you wish.

Step 21

The final step is a general lighting shift. The light source in this image is located on the left side, so I decided to enhance it. As always, I used a filter Lighting Effects (Lighting Effects).

Move to the topmost layer in the layers palette, and then press Shift + Ctrl + Alt + E to create a stamp of all visible layers. We will get a merged layer that we can edit without affecting the other layers. Next, go Filter – Rendering – Lighting Effects (Filter> Render> Lighting Effects) and apply the settings shown in the screenshot below.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

Final result

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