Create a cinematic portrait in Photoshop


List of images taken to create this lesson:


As always you can, of course, use your selected photos.

Step 1. Open the image with a man and cut it. Use any familiar method for this. I usually use the pen tool PenTool, but here we have no hair and the background is white, so there is nothing to worry about. That’s why I took a magic wand here. MagicWandTool, to highlight white. Then I shaded 1 pixel (selection> shading), increased it to 2 pixels (Selection> Modification> Expand) and press delete 2-3 times until the white background disappears. Name this layer “MAN.” Take the Brightener tool DodgeTool, set the range to Light and Exposure by 15% and walk a man a couple of times. This should make the eyes as below.

Step 2. Open image with cloud. and import it into our document under the “MAN” layer. Resize to 130% and paste (hold down the Ctrl key, click on the image and drag), duplicate it 3 times. Place them as shown below. Then take the eraser Eraser, Place a large brush with soft edges and run along the hard edges of the clouds, where the joint passes between the layers.

Step 3. Now select the stamp tool CloneTool, place it at 400 pixels and soft edges (0% hardness) and improve the situation with the cut layers.

Step 4. The following steps are much simpler if you are good at graphics, however you can draw with the mouse. Create a new Curves adjustment layer on top of the “MAN” layer and use the previous layer to create a Clipping Mask. Make as shown below and name the layer “CURVES_DARK.” Select the “CURVES_DARK” layer mask and fill it with black color, this should hide the effect obtained from Curves.

Take a brush with a stiffness of 0%, 15% opacity, and 65% pressure. Change the brush to fit the image. Naturally, the larger the brush, the smoother the transition. Make the base color white and start painting right on the mask. Some areas require more careful study, so do not be afraid to apply smears several times.

Compare with the image below to use a more appropriate brush size. Treat both skin and clothing. There are no exact rules for doing this work, of course you have to try, you can’t do without errors.

To draw the desired details, you will need to decrease the size of the brush. Eyebrows, for example, need to paint with a brush thickness of 3 pixel, but I increased the opacity to 40%. I did the same with wrinkles and other exact details.

Ultimately, your mask should look like the following (press Alt and click on the layer mask to see where you painted on the mask). I didn’t do enough, and there are 3 ways to fix this. Option 1 – click 2 times on the mug, which is half black, half gray. Open Curves to darken the result. Option 2 – continue to draw on the layer mask, but in this case you risk creating a mess in your well-started work. Option 3 – duplicate the adjustment layer with Curves and then you can reduce the effect by weakening the layer opacity.

Step 5. Create a new adjustment layer on top of the “MAN” and “CURVES_DARK” layers in the layers palette. Use the previous layer to create a clipping mask and name it “CURVES_LIGHT.” Pull the top up to brighten the image. Note: How long you work with the Curves layers, including (“CURVES_DARK”) depends on how much you have to draw on the layer mask and how much you have to reduce after all this exposure.

Fill the “CURVES_LIGHT” layer mask with black and paint directly on it with a soft white brush. Adjust the size and opacity of your brush. When finished, go through the mistakes with a black brush.
You need to go wherever there is light. To strengthen such details as wrinkles, you need to paint light after dark, but not on top of it. Use a small brush on sharp lines, and then a large brush to spray the transition.
Alt-click on the layer mask to see where you drew. It should look like the image below. Pay attention to the layers palette, all my layers are in normal mode and at 100% opacity. The small arrow next to the circle indicates that the bottom layer is used as a clipping mask. If your not, select the “CURVES” layer and go to and go to Layer > Createclippingmask (Layer> Create Clipping Mask). To make any areas visible, such as the tip of the nose, just circle it using the Pen PenTool, select and draw on the appropriate layer mask.

Step 6. Create Gradient Map Adjustment Layer over “MAN,” “CURVES_DARK” and “CURVES_LIGHT.” Use the bottom layers as a clipping mask. Adjust the gradient as shown below, and then change the blending mode to Soft and Opacity 75%. Now you can turn down Hue / Saturation, work with Channel Mixing and add a suitable background and stop here for now.

Step 7. Add new Gradient Map Adjustment Layer below the “MAN” layer and above the “CLOUD.” layer Insert the cloud darker # 164370 (dark blue) and the color is lighter than # e2dc9a (dirty yellow). Well, put the mode Soft layer and opacity of 68%. Add a Curves layer right below the gradient map. Set the following and the opacity is 60%. Your layer palette should be in this state.

Step 8. Add a new layer just above the “CLOUD” layer and fill it with 60% black. Mode put Overlap (it should disappear). Select Dimmer BurnTool and set a large brush (917 diameter, 0% stiffness), mid tone range and 15% exposure. Then darken the corners to create a vignette. Name the layer “VIGNETTE” and set the opacity at your discretion. I have 77%

Step 9. Create a new layer above the “MAN” layer (the “MAN” layer serves as a clipping path) and another below the “CLOUD_CURVES” and “GRADIENTMAP” layers. Name the new layers “WHITEGLOW.” Take a white brush and work it on the layers as shown below. Create a gentle glow below the man to separate him from the background. Then glow above it, as if the light falls on the object from behind. Follow the pink line in the picture, then walk again.

Step 10. The next step is the choice of a stylist, since we want to give the image a stylish look. However, if you want a more natural end, you can jump over this stage. Select all working layers, including “MAN.”

Then go to Filter > Stylize > GlowingEdges (Filter> Stylization> Edge Glow) and set the following settings

We want to exclude middle tones here, so go to Image > Adjustments > Levels(Image> Correction> Levels) and do as below.

Next, change the mode to Screen and lower the opacity to 34%. Duplicate the layer and set the Overlap mode, change the opacity to 13%. I also removed the area around the chin on the Glowing Edges Layer image (glow edges) (Screen, 34%).

Step 11. Duplicate the “CLOUD” layer and place it above the “GLOW_EDGES” layers. Use 2-3 pixel Gaussian blur (Blur according to Gauss), set the mode to Screen and the opacity of 50%. Take a soft-edged eraser and remove all parts of the cloud that are superimposed on the face and other details. Duplicate and paste it until you get a fog at the bottom of the image. Name these layers “CLOUD_BLURRED.”

Step 12. Download the spray and open. Go to Image > RotateCanvas > 180 degrees(Image> Rotate canvas> 180). Erase large splashes and a broken part of the ball.

Then take the Dimmer tool Burn, Shadow range with an exposure of 35% and walk around where you worked with an eraser.

Paste the image directly above the layers “CLOUD_BLURRED” and set the Screen mode. Place the layer so that it slightly overlaps the shoulders. You will need to twist it. Then drag the duplicate along the shoulder, twist and lock. Name these layers “DROPS_RIGHT.”

Duplicate both layers “DROPS_RIGHT” and highlighting duplicates, go to Edit > Transform > FlipHorizontal (Editing> Transform> Flip Horizontal). Rotate them to match the shoulder lines and name them “DROPS_LEFT.”

Download and open the drops 2 image from We want only splashes here, so remove the ball and the main part of the water (eraser and dimmer). Paste into working paper. Screen blending mode. If you want even smaller splashes, just reduce them and that’s it.

To get raindrops, insert a duplicate and zoom in. Do a few times until you get what you want. Use the stamp CloneTool , to get a tidier coverage. Group the layers and go to Layer > LayerMask > Revealall (Layer> Mask Layer> Show All). Use this mask to mitigate the impact of rain.

Step 13. Create a new layer above the “WATER_DROPS” (the rain and stuff) group and name it “STARBURST.” Fill it with 60% black and go to Filter > Noise > AddNoise (Filter> Noise> Add Noise) and install the following.

Then go to Filter > Blur > RadialBlur(Filter> Blur> Radial Blur). Set the blur rate as below. Center blur should be right on the shoulder of a man. If you have not done so, then simply change the position of the layer and the size so that it covers the entire canvas.

Then work with the levels as in the image below and set the blending mode to Overlap. 60% is enough in the Overlap mode for a natural color. Add a layer mask to mask out areas that should not be illuminated by the rays. I masked parts of my face and shirt.

Step 14. Create a new layer above the “STARBURST” layer and name it “FAKE_RAIN.” Fill 60% with black, add noise (as you did for the “STARBURST” layer) and change the size.

Then go to Filter > Blur > MotionBlur (Filter> Blur> Motion Blur).

Increase the indicators settings. (Click on the f sign in the black circle at the bottom of the layers palette) and drag the black slider to 130.

Apply a little Gaussian Blur.

And filter Smart Sharpen.

At the end, lower the levels and set the blending mode to Hard light.

Step 15. Duplicate “FAKE_RAIN,” name it “FAKE_RAIN_BGROUND” and move it below the “VIGNETTE” layer. Rotate it 10 degrees and change the opacity to 75%.

Step 16. Create a new adjustment layer with a gradient map above the “FAKE_RAIN.” Set the color darker to # 075053 and the color is lighter, for example white. Then set the blending mode to 55% color and opacity. Add a layer mask Layer > LayerMask > RevealAll (Layer> Mask Layer> Show All), take a black soft big brush, lower the opacity to 20% and swipe over the face several times.

Step 17. Add a adjustment layer Hue / Saturation on top of the gradient map. Set the saturation slider to -68% and OK. At this stage, I added a mask and painted over the red color of the tie, using a soft brush with an opacity of 25%.

Step 18. Add a Curves Correction Layer above and put the following. Somehow it looks grim, it’s time to make the final touches.

Step 19. Create a new one adjustment layer over the three new layers and name it “OVERLAY_DODGE / BURN.” Fill it with 60% black and change the mode to Overlap. Using the Brightener and Dimmer, we will add some shadows and highlights.

This is what we got after a series of changes.

In a rough version, our layer “OVERLAY_DODGE / BURN” should look like this with the Normal mode. Notice that some areas are whiter than others, they drew more on these areas than on dark ones.

Step 20. As a small decoration, I added a flash of light. Fill the new layer with black. Go with Filter > Render > LensesFlare (Filter> Rendering> Blick) and select a 105mm lens type. Untouched settings will be fine. Screen overlay mode and place a highlight above the shoulder. It is worth mentioning that I also added a bit of noise, followed by a Gaussian Blur (about 4 pixels), and then smart sharpness (about 150 with 7 pixels).

Step 21 Select all your layers and duplicate them. Merge all copies into one, making sure that you do not touch the originals. Duplicate this layer and name it “HIGH_PASS” and one “INVERTED.” Highlight “HIGH_PASS” and use Filter > Other > HighPass (Filter> Other> Maximum). Ok 2 pixel radius and overlap mode. Mask those areas that you think are too saturated. I thus reduced the flash of light.

Step 22 Select the “INVERTED” layer and discolor it (Command + Shift + U). Then invert it (Command + I), put 40 pixel in Gaussian Blur and then blend mode overlay. Reduce the opacity to 45% or as you see fit.

Work result

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