Create a collage in Photoshop filled with an atmosphere of warmth and kindness

Combining various photos and combining them into a single composition is one of the most interesting things you can do in Photoshop. In this lesson, we will replenish our piggy bank of experience. We will create a warm and calm panorama.

There are no complicated ones here, so it’s easy to follow the lesson even for beginners in Photoshop. In the process of creating this work, we will use only the main existing methods, such as Free transformation/ Free transform, Layer mask/ Layer mask, Clipping mask/ Clipping mask, extract images from the background using a color scheme or tool Pen/ Pen tool, as well as color correction.

I deliberately do not use complex methods, because getting fussy like my mom. And since I do not want to fuss, I tried to make the lesson as simple and clear as possible. Let’s start.

Here are the necessary resources:


Final result:

Step 1. First of all, create a document with a white background (Ctrl + Shift + N) and dimensions of 1400 pixels wide and 1626 pixels high.

Step 2. In this step we will create a background for the image. Open the image. Moving to our working paper. Click Ctrl + T, to activate the Free Transform tool / Free transform tool.

When this tool is activated, the image will be surrounded by a thin line with small squares, controls for the transformation. There will also be a control panel for the transformation tool above the document.

Now we begin to transform the picture. First click on the chain icon in the options panel. This is done to preserve the proportions of the image in width and height. Then move the mouse cursor to the chain icon and when the hand icon appears, click and drag it to the right. We will see that the picture is getting bigger.

Step 3. Here is my result. Normally, if you do not get the result exactly the same as I created. But make sure that the top of the picture consists of a part with clouds.

Step 4. Next, you should add clouds to the background.
Open the image from Source 3 (fig. 1).

Activate the tool again Free Transform (Ctrl + T), do the same as described in step 2, zooming in to the scale of the first image (Fig. 2).

We need to hide the bottom of the image. To do this, add to this layer Layer Mask , going on Layer – Layer Mask – Show All/ Layer – Layer Mask – Reveal All.

The layer mask is indicated by a white rectangle next to our layer in the layers panel.

Make sure that the foreground color is changed to black and the background to white. With a soft round brush, click on the bottom of the picture to hide it. After that we will see that part of the layer mask thumbnail is covered in black, which means that the layer has been masked. The most important thing about the layer mask is when we paint with a black brush over the layer mask, we hide part of the image (rather than deleting or erasing it with the Eraser tool, for example), and we can restore areas by painting with white. This is better than using an eraser (Fig. 3).

Add a warm shade to the background. To do this, we make a small color correction for this layer. Go to menu Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation /Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation. Make sure the box is checked Use previous layer to create clipping mask./ Use Previous Layer To Create Clipping Mask. Click OK and set the following settings for Hue / Saturation / Hue / Saturation (Figure 4).

Please see the images.

Step 5. Open the image from Source 6 and repeat steps 2-4. But for this layer, set the blending mode Multiplication/ Multiply with 100% opacity.

Step 6. The author decided to add more rocks. And he did it by simply duplicating the previous layer.

Step 7. In this step we will add fog. To do this, you first need to open the image from Source 8. The main steps at this stage are still the same as in the previous steps. Please see steps 2-4. Only here the blending mode is changed to Overlap/ Overlay with opacity 100% and duplicate (CTRL + J) layer once.

Step 8. At this stage, we will separate the first tree from the background.

First of all, open the tree image (Source 4) in Photoshop. Separate the tree from the background. Duplicate (Ctrl + J) the tree layer and then hide the original layer by clicking on the eye icon in the layers panel. After making sure that duplicate is active, go Highlight – Range of colors/ Select – Color Range, a dialog box opens. Now move the cursor to the tree and it will change to the eyedropper. Click on the background. This means that we take a sample of the background color that we are going to remove. As we can see, the selected background has become white, while the tree is black. Let us try moving the slider to the right or left to give a contrast. Click OK (Fig. 1).

In the layers panel we will see the highlighted background. Now go to Channels/ Channels. On the Channels tab, click Save selection as channel /Save selection as channel (2).
By clicking on the icon, we will create a new channel called Alpha1/ Alpha1. Select the channel Alpha1, and then press Ctrl + D to deselect (3).

Now we see only black and white image. Add more contrast. Go to menu Image – Correction – Levels/ Image – Adjustment – Levels (Fig.4).

Next, hold down Ctrl and click on the Alpha1 channel. This will load the selection (Fig. 5).

Finally, select the RGB channel and go to the Layers panel. Click Delete. Now the tree is cleared from most of the background. Eraser / Eraser tool erase unnecessary parts (marked in red) to the left of the background (Fig. 6).

Step 9. After extracting the tree, go back to the main document. We will create a rocky cliff on which the tree will grow. Open the image of the cliff (Source 9). Separate from background. To do this, use Magic wand/ Magic wand tool. Select the background with the tool, and then press Del to remove it.

Step 10. After extracting the rock, we begin the manipulation of its placement in the main work.

Note: if you opened a cliff in a new document, then in order to move it to a worker click on a document with a cliff Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, go back to work and click Ctrl+V.

See drawing to do this.

Step 11. Place the cliff. Set the blending mode for this layer. Normal/ Normal, and the opacity is 80%. Finally, add Layer mask , and then, with a soft round brush with 50% opacity, walk around the edge of the rock to combine it with the background.

Step 12. Now copy and paste the tree into the document. Place a layer of wood under a layer of rocky cliff.

Step 13. In this step we will create another rock.
Open the picture with the rock (Source 2) (Fig. 1).

We need to separate the stone from the background. For this we will use the tool Pen / Pen Tool (P). Select the Pen tool / Pen Tool from the toolbar, zoom in on the image (Ctrl + +) and click on the image to create the starting point of the path (Fig.2).

Continue pressing, creating other points of the path, outlining the contour of the stones and the background, until the path is closed, a thin line appears along the contour. Right-click on the contour and when the command window opens, select Create outline selection/ Make path selection. Finally click Del to delete the selected area (Fig.3).

Step 14. Create another rock in the work.

Note: open the image with rock click Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, go back to work and click Ctrl+V.

Place the selected rock in the lower left corner. Do not forget to stretch it to fit the overall concept. Then duplicate the rock layer once, flip it horizontally and place it under the original layer in the layers panel.

Step 15. Now we have two rocks. Erase unnecessary parts of the rock. Add Layer mask and a very soft brush will erase the unwanted parts. We will also go along the edge of the cliff, as in step 11. See the picture

Step 16. The author decided to change the color of the mountains created in steps 14-15 in accordance with the color of other rocks, created in steps 10-11.
Let’s start the correction from the back of the cliff. Standing on a layer with her, go to Image – Correction – Choose a color/ Image – Adjustments – Match Color. A window will appear in which the color is selected as follows:

Purpose/Target: Airterjun.psd (rear cliffs, RGB / 8). This means that the image we are going to adjust is called Airterjun (I named the document as an Indonesian waterfall).

A source/ Source: Airterjun.psd. This means that the original image, the color of which will be selected for a given image, will be a document called airterjun.

Layer: Rock. Specifies the name of the layer from the original image, the color of which you want to pick up the image.

After correcting the color of the rock that will be in the background, proceed to the rock that will be in the foreground. First duplicate the layer with the front rock (Ctrl + J), with the selected duplicate, go back to Image – Correction – Choose a color/ Image – Adjustments – Match Color. Do the same as for the back rock. Finally, set the blending mode of this layer to Normal, with an opacity of 43%. See the drawing with the result.

Step 17. Now add another tree (Source 5). To understand how to separate the tree from the background, go back to step 8. After separation, copy and paste the tree into the working document.

Step 18. To combine the tree with the surrounding background, we will make the color settings on this image. Duplicate (Ctrl + J) the layer Wood2 (I named this layer wood 2 in the layers panel). A new layer will appear with the name copy tree 2. Select the original layer with the tree and add a new adjustment layer to it: Color balance / color balance. Make sure the adjustment layer is with Clipping mask / Clipping mask. Then select the duplicate layer (copy tree 2). Go to Image – Correction – Match Color / Image – Adjustments – Match Color. See picture for setting. Click OK. Standing on a duplicate, go to Layer – Layer Mask – Show All / Layer – Layer Mask – Reveal All, to add a layer mask. With a soft round brush with an opacity of 24%, walk on the leaves of trees, roots and some parts on the stone on which the tree grows. Please see the illustration below.

Step 19. Now we will add grass to the fore. Open the grass image. Cut out the area with grass. Separate the grass from the background. Please go back to the previous steps with information on how to separate from the background using color gamut and how to put the selected image into the working document.

Step 20. Next, create a waterfall. Open the waterfall image. Cut the waterfall, and then cut the water. Duplicate the layer with water 3 times. Then merge duplicates into one. After creating the desired shape, use a soft brush with an opacity of 40 – 70% to erase some of the lines formed from the combination of trees on the layers. Most importantly, try to make the edges of the waterfall very soft.

Step 21 This is the result at this stage.

Step 22 I decided to add a softer mist. We can do this by working with an image from Source 1. Open it in a document. Adjust the size. And then put it on the bottom of the document. Hide the top of the image. Finally, change the blending mode to Soft light/ Soft light with opacity 100%.

Step 23 Next, add the birds. Open the original image (Source 11). Cut out some birds in the image. I used Pen / Pen tool. In step 13, the author describes the steps for using this tool.

Step 24 After cutting the birds, duplicate them, resize and place them as the author did. Set the blending mode for each bird to Normal, but vary with an opacity between 40-70 depending on the distance of the birds.

Step 25. Now add a model. Cut the girl (Source 10). Adjust the dimensions to fit the size of the work and place under the tree as if they were sitting on a rock.

Step 26. Draw shadows under your feet, dress, and also behind the column.

Step 27. In this step we will cut the Cross. I used the tool Pen to achieve this goal. To improve the cross, I added a bright light to it by going to Layers – Layer Styles / Layer – Layer style. See drawing.
(Outer Glow, Inner Glow)

Step 28. Then, duplicate (Ctrl + J) this layer twice. Set the first layer to overlay mode. Overlap/ Overlay with opacity 100%, and for the second duplicate Dissolution/ Dissolve with 100% opacity.

Step 29. Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). On this layer, draw a rope on which will hang a cross. And add a bird as if it were carrying a cross to a girl.

Step 30. I added more grass to the foreground at the bottom right in the corner. The grass is the same I used in step 19. I just turned it a little bit using Free transformation.

Step 31. Here is the work at the moment.

Step 32. And this is the end result that I created.
Note: as you noticed, the author carried out color correction and added sharpness to the image.

(click on image to enlarge)

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