Cosmic fantasy

This is what should happen in the end:

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a cosmic fantasy in Photoshop using ordinary photography, 3D elements and various techniques. Let’s not talk for a long time, but let’s get down to work!

Materials for the lesson:

Open a new A4 document. Then I am going to print my work, that’s why I chose high quality images. If you also want to get an interesting poster that can even be hung on the wall in the room, take either mine or any other image, as long as it is of good quality.

Set the background color to black, click Alt + Delete, to fill the background layer and turn it into the night sky. Now, with the help of an interesting technique, we will add some stars to it. For example, you can go to the filter Noise (filter – noise –Add noise) and then play with the Levels Correction Layer (Levels). But I will do a little differently: I want to make asterisks of different size and different transparency. And for this, you have to work with a brush. Open a new layer and activate the brush tool. Choose a soft (0%) round brush with a size of 25 pixels.

Now you need to configure it. Go to Window > Brushes (brush window) and set the following settings (click on the screenshot to enlarge):

Now randomly draw the stars, make them more or less, change the transparency and direction, try to make them as real as possible.

Now let’s add clouds. Open a new layer and go to Filter> Render> Clouds (filter – rendering – clouds). Change the blending mode to Screen (clarification). To remove black areas, reduce the opacity to 30% and, using erase tool (eraser) or mask (masks) layer remove clouds along the edges of the image, so they should be concentrated only in the center.

Since I want to create a space scene with a galactic landscape in the center, instead of using ready-made images, I will use some of the tricks that Photoshop offers. Create a new layer and fill it with black. Then take a big soft brush and draw a big white dot in the center:

Then go to Filter > Liquify (plastic filter). Choose a tool Twirl Clockwise(twisting) to create an imitation spiral. Now click and drag the tool with smooth circular movements. If you just click without dragging the mouse, this tool will not work:

Now activate the tool transform (transformation) by clicking Cmd/ Ctrl+T.
And pull out a little and unfold the spiral. If you want to soften the image, go to Filter> Blur > Gaussian blur (filter – blur – blur according to Gauss) and set the blur radius to 3 pixels.

Change the blending mode to screen (clarification)

Our galaxy looks still empty. Let’s add the details. First, download this texture (Grunge Texture) and place it in the main document. Click Cmd / Ctrl + Shift + U, to discolor her. Set the blending mode to overlay(overlap) and reduce opacity to 15%

Now download this photo of clouds with clouds and paste it into the document.

Set the blending mode to overlay(overlap), take the eraser tool (eraser) and delete the left part of the cloud. We finished with the background, now you can select all the layers, and by clicking Cmd/ Ctrl + G, merge them into a group. Let’s call her “Background”.

Now add the main character. You can choose any photo, even your own or photos of your friends (of course, if they are in the style of our composition), I used Quentin Tarantino’s photo – portrait, which I found on Shutterstock. This is a very high-quality photo, therefore, the result at the end of the lesson should be easy a great.
Separate the image from the background with pen tool (pen). Focus on my drawing.

Now, on the same layer, click Cmd/ Ctrl+ Shift + U and discolor the image. I generally like to work with black and white images, and add color gamut only at the end of the lesson, using brushes and correction layers. Those who are interested in this technique can go to WeGraphics and see my other lessons.

Now I will show you two classic techniques, how to enhance the contrast of the image and emphasize the necessary small details. First, duplicate the portrait layer (Cmd/ Ctrl + J), change the duplicate blending mode to overlay (overlap) with transparency of 60%. Once again duplicate the original layer, place it above the other layers. Go to Filter > Other > High pass (filter – others – color contrast), put a value of about 10 pixels and blending mode overlay (overlap).

And now, for some reason, I decided to add a large hole on Tarantino’s forehead. Such an unexpected move always opens room for creativity. Be creative!
Let’s make a hole together. Open a new layer, activate pen tool (pen) in mode paths (contours) and create such a square:

Click Cmd/ Ctrl + Enter to activate the selection. Do not forget to set the main background color to dark gray (# 323232). Click Alt + Delete, to fill the selection.

Now apply the following layer styles:

Click Cmd/ Ctrl + J, to duplicate this layer. Remove all layer styles from the duplicate. Then move the duplicate to the bottom right corner. This arrangement will give our hole volume and depth.

Duplicate turned out too light, add a little black to darken it:

Now, with the duplicate layer activated, click Cmd/ Ctrl + Click on the source layer, to select its pixels, add a layer mask (add layer mask). See how the size of the original layer has decreased. Now we have two squares of different size.

Select the source layer, take pentool (pen) in mode paths (contours) and make a selection, as in my picture. We will add some shadow to create a 3d effect. Do not forget to click Cmd/ Ctrl + Enter, to turn the outline into a selection:

Dim the left corner using burn tool (dimmer)

Click Cmd/ Ctrl + D to deselect and activate again burn tool (dimmer) to add shadows to the bottom left corner:

Now you will add the image of a bird that flushes out of the hole we made. To get started, download this crow image and paste it into the main document.

See, the image with the crow is too dark and our bird is almost invisible. To lighten the contents of this layer, go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/ Contrast(image – correction – brightness / contrast) and increase the brightness to 70. Now it’s better:

Now we will add a mask (layer mask) to the layer with the crow. Click Cmd/ Ctrl + Click on the original layer with the shape and add a mask. Now, select all the layers with a portrait of Tarantino and merge them into a group (Cmd/ Ctrl + G).

It’s time to add some interesting details. Let’s first make a new brush. Create a new document with dimensions of 1000 per 1000 pixels. Activate Polygon tool (polygon) and draw a black triangle. Then go to Edit > Define brush preset (edit – define brush) and create a new brush. Now you can delete the document, we no longer need it. Click on the screenshot to enlarge.

Select the brush we just made and apply the settings you used when drawing the stars. After applying the brush, you should have an animated image effect. Do not forget to draw triangles at different angles and set different transparency. Do this on a new layer, which you will place under the Tarantino group.

Go to Filter > Blur > Radial blur (filter – blur – radial blur) and set the following settings:

Now take a round brush and repeat everything that you did with a triangular brush.

Honestly, I myself also do not know what to do with the hole that we drew on the forehead of poor Tarantino. Maybe try to add a cube floating in zero gravity, the rays from which pierce his head? I will create a translucent cube with a 3D effect. And then I will put something inside it. Now you can open Cinema4D to draw such a cube. If you do not have Cinema4D, just download the finished image in the archive

Now double click on the Material window (material window) to create a new material. And again double click on the new material to open the editor (Material editor). Add transparency and shine (Transparency and Glow). Use the following settings:

Drag the created material to the cube. Click Cmd/ Ctrl + R, to render. See, it took just a couple of minutes. However, in Photoshop such a cube can also be made. It depends on which version of the program you have installed.

Now go to Render > Render (rendering – rendering), then save the file in the format tif. Now open it in Photoshop. In the channel window (Channel window) you will see a separate channel. Click Cmd/ Ctrl + Click to select a cube, copy (Cmd/ Ctrl + C) and paste (Cmd/ Ctrl + V) in the main document.

Duplicate the cube and place a duplicate under the original layer. Now go to filter > Blur > Motion blur (filter – blur – motion blur)

Take eraser tool (eraser) and slightly remove the blur effect at the top:

Now activate line tool (line), write down the size of 2 pixels and draw these four lines:

Then take eraser tool (eraser) with 0% stiffness and carefully remove the end of the lines:

Now I give you complete freedom to choose what to put inside the cube. For some reason, I chose the image of an astronaut who performs an absolutely impossible mission in space.

The question is, how do you get the impression that the astronaut (or what you chose) is inside the cube?

Add the following layer styles. Note that the only thing you have to change is the angle of the gradient. Carefully look at what settings I set:

Reduce the transparency of all 3 layers. Finally, apply another filter to the astronaut layer. Go to Filter > Blur > Surface blur (filter – blur – surface blur) and set these settings:

In the same way, add a second cube, with a second astronaut inside.

Create a new group and name it. “Correction”. Place it at the top. Now we will add 2 layers that will correct the color scheme of our masterpiece.
Go to Layers > New adjustment layers > Gradient Map (layer – correction – gradient map) and add a gradient from blue (# 13055c) to orange (# ff5400). Set transparency to 50%.

Now add curve adjustment layer (adjustment layer curves). Play a little with the settings to achieve the desired result. It all depends on your taste and fantasy:

Now create a new group under the group. ”Correction“And call her”Colors“. Change the group’s overlay mode to overlay. Use brush and blue to highlight the edges of the image. In addition, I also used a soft orange brush to process a drop of the face and a yellow brush to emphasize the fog around our hero.

We are almost done. Create another group under the group “Colors“. Call her “Light Effects”. Change the blending mode to Color dodge (clarification basics). Create a layer inside the group and make a few points on the areas you want to emphasize. Make several points on different layers with different transparency. See how our composition started and came to life:

Now staying in the group “Light Effects”, take the Ellipse tool (ellipse) and draw an ellipse. Place it at the bottom of the arm. Place another ellipse at the bottom of the head:
Now add the last part. I want to work with the background. Download 3d abstract renders. Paste the image into the main document above the group. ”Background“.
Now for a couple of minutes we will need an Illustrator (Illustrator). Open a new document in it and make a circle with a black stripe (1 pickel). Do not fill it with any color:

Now go to Effect > DistortTransform > Transform (effects – distort / transform – transform) and make these settings:

Copy and paste the resulting image in Photoshop.

Note: In Photoshop, you can make this shape using this tutorial.

Add the following layer styles:

And finally, I added the inscription “This is not real”, which will emphasize the essence of our composition. I used a font that you can also download: Republika. And to make the text more expressive, I duplicated the layer and added a filter to the duplicate. motion blur (motion blur).

Final image:

That’s all. Of course, you can add other details, but I tried to show the main points that you need to know to create such a stylish poster. I hope you enjoyed the lesson. See you again!

Author: Sebastiano Gueriero
Translator: Martha Dobrykina
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