Create a dark collage with a mystical atmosphere.

In this lesson you will learn how to create a dark composition with a dark and magical atmosphere. We will use the basic techniques, stock photos, layer correction, the Brush tool. We will also learn how to create a ghostly creature using a photo of an ordinary person, and create a vignette effect.

Preview of the final result

Required resources:

Step 1. Creating a new image
To begin, we need to create a new document. We press CTRL + N and, in the window that appears, enter the parameters we need:

Width: 2000 pixels
Height: 2000 pixels
Resolution: 300 dpi
Color Mode (Color Mode): RGB, 8bit
Background Contents (Background): Transparent (Transparent)

Step 2. Creating Walls, Floor and Shadows
In this step we will create the floor and walls. To begin, open the image Stone floor. Activate Marquee tool (Rectangular selection) (M) and select the area we need in the image with the floor.

When finished, activate Move Tool (Move) (V) and, pulling the knots (the Show Transform Controls parameter should be active), stretch the selected area across the width of the working canvas. Name the layer “stone floor”.
Activate Free transform (Free Transform) (CTRL + T) and reduce the height of the selected area.

Now add the walls. Open the image Wall. To cut it, activate the tool Polygonal Lasso Tool (Polygonal Lasso) (L).

Using Lasso, we select part of the wall.

After that, move the selected area with the tool. Move Tool (Move) (V) on the working paper and call the layer with the wall “wall 1”. Transform (CTRL + T) an object so that it harmoniously looks relative to the floor.

Now create the second wall. Click on the layer “wall 1” and the key combination CTRL + J, duplicate the layer. Tool Move Tool (Move) (V) drag the duplicate wall to the right side. Name the layer “wall 2”.

After the done manipulations we get the following result:

So that both walls are not identical with each other, we, using Clone stamp tool (Stamp) (S), a little change one of them. Click on the layer “wall 1” and activate Clone stamp tool (Stamp) (S) with the following parameters:

Brush size: 175 pixels
Hardness: 0%
Opacity: 15%
Flow (Pressure): 100%

Since the light source is outside, we need to add shadows. This will give the picture more realism and depth. Create a new layer (CTRL + SHIFT + N). Name the layer “shadow 1”. Remember that all subsequent layers in this step should be above the “wall 1” and “wall 2” layers.

Activate Brush tool (Brush) (B) with the following parameters:

Brush size (size of brush): 125 pixels
Hardness: 0%
Opacity: 15%
Flow (Pressure): 100%

To add a shadow for the second wall, simply duplicate the “shadow 1” layer and, using Free transform (CTRL + T) move and we reflect it horizontally (Edit – Transform – Flip Horizontal (Edit – Transform – Flip Horizontal)). Name this layer “shadow 2”.
Now add a wall of destruction and cracks so that it looks more ancient. To do this, click on the layer “wall 1” and activate Eraser tool (Eraser) (E) with these parameters:

Brush size: 20 pixels
Hardness: 100%
Opacity: 100%
Flow (Pressure): 100%

Add more shadows to the walls. Create a new layer and place it above all previous layers, call it “wall shadow” and activate Brush tool (Brush) (B) with the following parameters:

Brush size: 150 pixels
Hardness: 0%
Opacity: 15%
Flow (Pressure): 100%

And the last thing we do is create a group of layers. Pressing the CTRL key, click on the layers “wall 2”, “wall 1”, “shadow 2”, “shadow 1” and “stone floor”, then click CTRL + G. Now all selected layers are automatically placed in the group. We call it “walls, floor and shadows.”

Step 3. Create the sky
Now we need to add to our work the sky, which will be visible through the passage between the walls. Open the image “storm sky” and activate the tool. Rectangular marquee tool (Rectangular selection) (M). Select the area with the sky.

After that we move the selected area with the tool. Move Tool (Move) (V) to our working paper. Name the layer “sky”. Call Free Transform (CTRL + T) adjust the size of the sky. Make sure that the layer is under the “walls, floor and shadows” group.

Now change the color of the sky. Move on Image – Adjustments – Hue / Saturation (Image – Correction – Hue / Saturation). Set the following parameters, then click OK:

Hue (Color tone): -25
Saturation: -50
Lightness: -3

Make the sky darker to give more depth to the image. Create a new layer and call it “dark region: sky”. After we place the layer above the “sky” layer and activate Brush tool (Brush) (B) with the following parameters:

Brush size: 300 pixels
Hardness: 0%
Opacity: 15%
Flow (Pressure): 100%

And, finally, let’s give the sky, so to speak, a more peaceful, calm and gloomy atmosphere. Click on the layer “sky” and go Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter – Blur – Blur in motion) with the following parameters:

Angle (Angle): 180 ‘
Distance (distance): 100 pixels

We finished this step, grouping all the layers that were created at this stage. We call the group “sky and dark region”.

Step 4. Add a ghostly figure
In this step, we will create a ghostly figure from a photo of an ordinary person. Open the image Walking on ice. We must free the person from the background. To do this, activate Polygonal Lasso Tool (Polygonal lasso) (L) or Magnetic Lasso Tool (Magnetic lasso) (L).

Having completely selected the person, we transfer it to the main document, using Move Tool (Move) (V). Name the layer person. Make sure that this layer is above all previous layers.
Activate Free transform (CTRL + T) and, holding down the SHIFT key, reduce the size of the person.

Now turn it into a ghostly creature. Click on the layer person and go Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter – Blur – Blur in motion):

Angle (Angle): 90 ‘
Distance (distance): 40 pixels

Step 5. Create a vignette
In this step, we will create a vignette for our work, which focuses on the center of the image.
First, create a new document. File – New (File – New) with the same parameters with which we created the main document (Step 1). But choose white as the background. After this we set off Filter – Distort – Lens Correction (Filter – Distortion – Correction of distortion). In the parameters Vignette (Vignette) we enter the following numbers:

Vignette amount (Effect): -100
Midpoint: +50

After that, drag the vignette to the main document, using Move Tool (Move) (V), and place it above all previous layers. Change Blending mode (Blend Mode) on Multiply (Multiplication), and opacity (opacity) 75%.

This is what our work with vignette looks like:

Step 6. Retouching the image
In this step, we will correct the colors of our image.
Let’s start with the walls, but before that we merge both layers together. Select the layer “wall 1” and “wall 2”, then CTRL + E. Now we will be easier to adjust their color.
Move on Image – Adjustments – Color Balance (Image – Correction – Color Balance):

Midtones:
Color Levels (Color Level): 19, 0, -28
Preserve Luminosity (Keep Bright): Active
Shadows:
Color Levels: 0, 0, -3
Preserve Luminosity (Keep Bright): Active

Next, create a correction layer above all previous layers by clicking the button at the bottom of the layers panel.

Solid color (Fill color): # 010014
Change Blending mode (Blend mode) of this layer on Exclusion (Exception), opacity (opacity) – 40%.
After that we create the adjustment layer again. Solid color (Fill color): # 61461f.

Blending mode (Blend Mode) – Overlay (Overlap), opacity (opacity) – 20%.
Next, create a correction layer. Photo filter (Photo filter):

Filter: Cooling Filter (82) (Cold Filter)
Density (Density): 25%
Preserve Luminosity (Keep Bright): Active

We press Ok and change Blending mode (Blend Mode) layer on Darken (Replace with dark), opacity (opacity) – 50%.
Now create a correction layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast).

Brightness: 5
Contrast (Contrast): 5

Correction layer Color balance (Color balance).

Midtones (Mid Tones): -5, 0, -7
Preserve luminosity (Keep Bright): Active

Next, we need to adjust the color of the sky, because it has too much green. To do this, create a correction layer Selective color (Selective color correction):

Colors (Colors): Cyans (Blue)
Cyan (Blue): -40
Magenta (Purple): 0
Yellow (-10): -10
Black: +50
Method (Method): Absolute (Absolute)

Create another layer Photo filter (Photo filter):

Filter (Filter): Orange (Orange)
Density (Density): 25%
Preserve Luminosity (Keep Bright): Active

And finally, the last adjustment layer Curves (Curves):

Channel: RGB
Input: 125
Output (Output): 134

Final result

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