Air battle in Photoshop

In this tutorial we will create a cinematic aerial scene in Photoshop.

The idea was to create a collage that would look like a frame from the film.
Free images and some simple methods and rules of graphic design, such as perspective, lighting and color correction, will help us in our work.

I coped with the task! I hope you too succeed!


Step 1

Open the Gorge image in Photoshop.

Step 2

Let’s make the sky more expressive. To do this, open the image “Sunset”. Create a selection along the horizon and copy the part with the sky onto a new layer. Transfer the duplicated site to your work.

Flip the image horizontally across the sky, according to the direction of the light in the Gorge background image. Editing – Transform – Flip Horizontally (Edit – Transform -Flip Horizontal).

Using the tool Stamp (Сlone tool) delete a part of the rock.

Step 3

Scale the sunset under the main image. To do this, go to Editing – Transforming – Scaling (Edit – Transform – Scale). Hold down Shift when scaling to keep proportions.

Step 4

Now we will create a mask for the “Sunset” layer to fit the new sky into the overall picture. Stand on the “Sunset” layer and go to Layer – Layer Mask – Show All (Layer> Layer Mask> Reveal All). Take the standard soft black Brush (Brush tool) is black, and draw on the layer mask the transition area of ​​the sky to the mountains.

Adjust the size and opacity of the brush while working on the layer mask. You should have a similar result.

Step 5

It’s time to add planes to our collage.
Open the image “Eagle fighter” and separate the plane from the background using the tool Magic wand (Wand tool).

Copy and paste the Eagle fighter fighter into your work, flip it horizontally and reduce the size as shown.

Position the fighter on the left side of the composition, reduce the opacity to 35%, then turn the plane upward by about 20 º. Duplicate the Eagle fighter layer several times. Place the copies as shown in the example.

Step 6

Open imageF-15 Strike Eagle “. Repeat steps from step # 5.

Place the F-15 Strike Eagle in the right corner of your composition. Opacity for layer with second fighter set 48%. Duplicate the layer several times and place as in the picture.

Step 7
We have already created an episode of “second plan”!
Go to the elements that are closer to the camera.
Open the “Tornado Jet” image, activate the tool Magic wand (Wand tool) and separate the plane from the background.

Reduce saturation and add a warm tint to the fighter using Color tone \ Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Image – Correction – Hue \ Saturation (Image – Adjustments – Hue / Saturation). Set the following settings: Saturation: -71; Hue: +148

Copy and paste the “Tornado Jet” into your collage. Scale the image and reduce its opacity to 70% -80%. Duplicate the fighter layer several times. Arrange them in a similar way.

Step 8

Now we will start creating the foreground scene.
We will focus on this work on the fighter “Fighter plane”.
Open the image “Fighter plane”. Separate the plane from the sky using a method convenient for you (I use Magic wand (Wand tool)).

Transfer the finished image Fighter to your work.

We will correct the plane using Levels (Levels). Image – Correction – Levels (Image – Adjustments – Levels).

Reduce the size of the fighter, go to Editing – Transforming – Scaling (Edit – Transform – Scale). Set the width and height to 45%.

Step 9

Create a motion effect for the main fighter.
Duplicate the “Fighter plane” layer and then add to the copy layer. Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter> Blur> Motion Blur).

Move the blurred layer a bit to the right and reduce its opacity to thirty%. Activate the tool Eraser (Eraser Tool). In the tool settings, select a soft round brush with an opacity of 50% and erase the blurred area in front of the fighter.

Create a group of layers “Fighter plane” and “Fighter plane copy”. Duplicate the resulting group twice. Reduce the size of the two groups in order to create an additional sense of the volume of the image.

Step 10

To add a presence effect, we will place another aircraft in our collage, or rather its part. Open the image “Turbine”. Separate the aircraft part from the background (I used the tool again Magic wand (Wand Tool)).

In order to remove the remaining excess part of the background, I also used the tool Polygonal Lasso (Lasso Tool).

When you are happy with the result, copy and paste the turbine into your work. Change the size and position of the new item, as in the image below.

Step 11

We already had a nice shot. Now we will add a small correction in order to give all the elements a general mood.

Start by adding a correction layer. Levels (Levels). Click on the black and white circle icon at the bottom of the layers palette and select from the Levels menu. You can experiment with the settings or use my own: 28; 1.16; 229.

Then add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves). Adjust the parameters so that the foreground is darker and the background is light.

Just use the adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance) with these values: Tone – “Midtones” (Midtones); Cyan +29; Magenta +13; Yellow) +15. This layer will help us enhance the effect of the sunset.

Add another adjustment using Color Balance (Color Balance). It is necessary to enhance the saturation of purple tones: Tone – “Mid Tones” (Midtones); Cyan +48; Magenta +37; Yellow) +62.

Now create a new layer on top of all the others. Activate the Gradient Tool. Open the gradient editor and set these colors: # 066caa, # 008fc7, # c1dbe8. Drag the gradient line from the top of the canvas to the bottom.

Set the blending mode of the gradient layer to Soft light (Soft Light), and opacity (opacity) lower to 82%.

The image turned out with a pronounced blue tint. This can be easily fixed. Add a layer mask to the gradient layer. Activate the tool Brush (Brush tool). From the kit, select a round soft black brush with an opacity of about 50%. Draw the lower area of ​​the image, standing on a layer mask.

Reduce the opacity of the brush to 31%, and continue to draw the mask towards the sky. We must achieve a smooth transition between blue and sunset.

Also, we need to go through a black brush (on the layer mask) some areas of the turbine and the Fighter plane, in order to create a feeling of reflection of the sun’s rays (do not forget to alternate the white and black brush when working with the layer mask, this will help to achieve the best result).

Step 12

In order for our aerial scene to look more effective we will add a flash of light to it.
Open the source “Bright Light” and place this image in your collage. Note that this layer should be located below all adjustment layers (added in the previous step).

Reduce the size of the image “Bright Light”, change the blending mode to Screen (Screen).

Using the tool Eraser (Eraser Tool) remove the pronounced white outline to make the transition look more naturalistic.

Step 13

Now you can crop the image to get the effect of a widescreen screen. Also, thanks to this, your collage will look more dynamic!

Step 15

We finished the job! It remains to take stock.
In this lesson we have mastered some methods that will help breathe life into any of your compositions:
– To add volume, arrange the background, middle, and foreground of the image;
– always remember the perspective;
– remember that objects that are farther away from us always look paler than those that are closer;
– if you create the atmosphere of dusk or dawn, then the basic tones may shift towards red shades;
– use adjustment layers to make work complete;
These simple tips will help you create great design collages and drawings!

Author: Peter

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