Fire photo manipulation with a mystical hero in Photoshop

In this lesson you will learn how to create a photo manipulation with fire and a mystical hero using various images.

Final result

Source materials:

Step 1

Create a new document (1400x1300px). Fill the ‘Background’ layer with black:

Download the ‘Goth’ image at the beginning of this lesson. Paste the image on our document by centering the document. Leave free space on both sides of the document:

Add a layer mask to this layer and use a soft black brush to hide the young man’s head. A black background should appear on the head:

Step 2

On the left side of the image with a goth, you can see a human skull on the floor.

To get rid of it, select the tool Lasso (lasso tool) to create a rough selection around the skull. If you have a version of Photoshop CS5, then go Editing – Fill – Fill based on content (edit> fill> content area). This option will quickly fill the selected area. If you have an earlier version of Photoshop, use the tool Stamp (clone stamp tool) to hide the necessary area:

As you can see, the fill-in option, taking into account the contents, quickly accomplished the task by removing the skull:

Step 3

If we look at the area that we processed on the layer mask to hide the head of the goth, then this area looks weird, that is, this area is currently 100% black, although the surrounding shades of the wall are different shades of gray:

To fix this, create a new layer on top of the base layer with the Background, but below the goth layer that we processed using the layer mask. Name this layer “Brightening the head area”. Choose a tool Pipette(eye dropper), to take samples of color shades of the surrounding background, and then using a soft brush, paint over the black area of ​​the head. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because Later we will fill this area with images, however, try to combine this area with the main background a bit:

A little more strange that inside the men’s jacket in the neck is not visible, we need to paint over this area. Create a new layer, name this layer ‘the shadow in the neck’ and fill it with black inside the jacket in the neck, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 4

Next, paste the image with the flame by downloading it in advance at the link at the beginning of this lesson. Arrange the flame in such a way as if the flame rises from the top of the neck. Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (screen) to hide black background:

Step 5

Ok, at the moment the work looks like this. Very well, however, we need to fill the black space in the side of the central image:

In order to fill the space in the side of the image, select the right half of the original image with the goth. Copy / paste the selected image to a new layer, and then go Editing – Transformation – Flip Horizontal (edit> transform> flip horizontal). Move the horizontal image to the right side of the document:

In the offset image, you can see the young man’s foot:

To fix this, use the option again. Fill based on content (content aware fill) to fill the area with a young man’s foot:

Use the same technique to fill in the left side of the document. To the side images that we used to fill the side spaces, add a layer mask and use a black brush to process the image data to create a smooth alignment with the main image:

Finally, create a new layer, name this layer заднего background shadow ’. Using a soft black brush, draw the shadows in the corners / edges of the image:

Step 6

Download the Animal Skull image from the link at the beginning of this tutorial. Separate the skull from the background, and then copy / paste the selected image onto our document, placing it on the floor next to the young man:

Apply layer styles option Color overlay (color overlay) to this layer:

Settings for option Color overlay (color overlay):

Blend mode (Blend Mode): Soft light (Soft Light)
Colour(Color): 171919
Opacity(Opacity): 65%

Next, apply adjustment layers. Levels (levels) Color balance (color balance), Hue / Saturation (hue / saturation) to the skull layer of the animal. Do not forget to use adjustment layers as clipping masks so that the correction applies only to the underlying layer:

Settings for the adjustment layer Levels (Levels):

46 / 0.73 / 255

Settings for the adjustment layer Color balance (Color Balance):

Sveta (Highlights): -13 / 0/0
Mid tones (Midtones): +9 / 0 / +4
Shadows (Shadows): -11 / 0 / -4

Settings for the adjustment layer Hue / saturation (Hue / Saturation):

Colortone(Hue): 0
Saturation(Saturation): -100
Brightness (Lightness): -62

Finally, create a new layer, name this layer ‘light of the shadow of the animal’s skull. Using a black soft brush, draw the shadows on the left side of the animal’s skull, as well as on the floor, creating an effect as if the shadow from the skull falls to the floor. Using a soft white brush with low opacity, paint the light highlights on top of the skull. Then, change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (overlay) to make light and shade more natural.

Step 7

Download the image of the skull at the link at the beginning of this lesson. Separate the skull from the background, and then copy / paste the selected image of the skull onto our document, placing it over the flame, which is directed from the top of the jacket.

Apply adjustment layers Levels (levels) and Color balance (color balance) as clipping masks:

Settings for the adjustment layer Levels (Levels):

23 / 1.00 / 243

Settings for the adjustment layer Color balance (Color Balance):

Sveta (Highlights): 0/0/0
Averagetones(Midtones): -8 / +8 / +15
Shadows(Shadows): 0/0/0

Result:

Create a new layer, name this layer ‘shading the skull’. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (overlay). Using a soft black brush with low opacity, draw shadows over the edges of the skull, making it more rounded and shaded:

Step eight

The time has come to add fire to create the effect of a flaming skull! Download the Fire image from the link at the beginning of this lesson, and then copy / paste this image onto our document by placing the fire image on top of the skull image:

Next, change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (screen) to hide the black background. To the layer with fire, add a layer mask to use the soft black brush to hide the lower part of the flame, leaving only the upper part of the flame tongue, the directed top of the skull’s eye socket:

Repeat the previous step, adding more images with fire, switching the blend mode to lightening / using layer masks to add additional flames to the skull:

Step 9

Download the Clouds brushes from the link at the beginning of this lesson. Create a new layer, name this layer ‘Smoke’, and using a white brush, draw some clouds over the skull. This should create a feeling of smoke rising from the flame:

Reduce the opacity of the smoke layer to 20% to make the smoke more elusive:

Step ten

At the bottom of our composition will be more fire, so we add orange / yellow shades to the floor. Create a new layer, name this layer “floor illumination”. Using tool Lasso (lasso) with 30px feathering, create a selection near the young man’s feet. Fill the selection with the d74c00 (orange) color:

Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (overlay) and reduce the layer opacity to 30%:

Step eleven

Download one of the images with the flame at the link at the beginning of this lesson, copy / paste this image onto our document, placing it in the lower right part of the document. There is no need to apply scaling to this image, since we want the flames to be large in the foreground to create a depth of field:

I want our flames to be slightly arcuate, so let’s go Editing – Transformation – Deformation (edit> transform> warp) and warp the flame at the bottom of the document, giving an arched shape:

Next, change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (screen). Also, add a layer mask to this layer and with the help of a soft black brush, hide the left edge of the flame for better alignment with the main composition:

Step 12

In life, a bright flame, like our flame, radiates some light and color to surrounding objects. Create a new layer, name this layer “flame lighting”. Using tool Pipette(eye dropper tool), take samples of the lightest hues of the flame. I chose the color shade e9dc6c (light yellow). Using a soft brush of the above shade, paint the light glare near areas located close to the flame. Try to think about where the light from the flame can fall:

Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (overlay) and reduce the opacity to 50% to make the lighting effect more natural:

Step 13

Next, we will create a more spatial light, studied by the flame. This light should be much bigger, but weaker. Again, use a soft brush to draw a light yellow shade to the area where the light emitted by the flame is scattered, but this time the light will be located farther from the flame:

Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (overlay) and reduce the layer opacity to 15% to create a beautiful and natural lighting effect:

Step 14

Download the Web brushes from the link at the beginning of this tutorial. Create a new layer, name this layer ‘web’ and apply several brushes using a white brush:

Reduce the opacity of this layer to 50%, and then add a layer to the mask. Using a soft black brush with an opacity of about 40%, process the areas of the web until they look natural, well combined with the surrounding environment:

Step 15

Next, create a new layer, name this layer “bleaching / darkening”.

To lighten / darken the image without losing picture quality, let’s go Editing – Fill (edit> fill) and fill the layer with 50% gray. Then, change the blending mode to Overlap (overlay). This mode will hide your fill with 50% gray, but will allow you to make light correction without harming your image.
Usually use a soft black brush with low opacity (about 10%) to create shadows and a soft white brush with low opacity (about 10%) for lightening.

We need to try to determine the main light source, as well as which parts of the image you want to highlight most. Personally, I wanted to focus on the flame of the skull, highlighting this element of the composition. I also applied a darkening around the corners / edges of the document, as if creating a vignette effect that will help to draw the observer’s attention even more towards the central part of the composition.

In the screenshot below, you can see the ‘bleaching / darkening’ layer under blending mode Overlap (overlay):

Step 16

To complete the work, apply a couple of final adjustment layers. Gradient map (gradient map). It is very important that you do not use these adjustment layers as clipping masks, since we want the correction to apply to the entire image.

Settings for the first adjustment layer Gradient map (Gradient Map):

Gradient (Gradient): Default – purple-orange (Default purple to orange)
Blend mode (Blend Mode): Normal (Normal)
Opacity(Opacity): 4%

Settings for the second adjustment layer Gradient map (Gradient Map):

Gradient(Gradient): Bydefaultwhitethe black(Default – white to black)
Blend mode (Blend Mode): Soft light (Soft Light)
Opacity (Opacity): 4%

And we finished the lesson!

You can view the final result below. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and would love to hear your opinion on the technique of performance and the result.

Final result

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