Create a dramatic illustration in Photoshop

In this lesson, I will show you the method I used to create a dramatic composition with a meteorite and a burning city.

Here is a preview of the final result:

(click on image to enlarge)

Necessary materials:

Step 1. Create a new document with the size of 1440×900 px, fill the background with black color. Load the Sky image into Photoshop and select the area as shown below:

Copy (CTRL + C) and paste (CTRL + V) selected area on the working document, adjust the size:

Add adjustment layers and apply a clipping mask to each (CTRL + ALT + G):

Blackwhite (Black and white)

Channel mixer (Channel mixer)

Curves (Curves)

Levels (Levels)

Erase the top of the sky and get the following result:

Step 2. Load a photo of the city in Photoshop, cut out the city, as shown below (use Quick selection tool (Quick selection)):

Paste the city on the working paper, adjust the size:

Add adjustment layers with clipping mask for the city layer (CTRL + ALT + G):

Blackwhite (Black and white)

Channel mixer (Channel mixer)

Levels (Levels)

Adjust layer mask for levels (Levels):

Use small soft eraser (E) to erase part of the tall buildings, as shown below (this is necessary in order to further create the effect of a burning building):

Skyscraper 1

Skyscraper 2 and Skyscraper 3

We get the following result:

Step 3. I decided to use the sky image again to fill in the empty space at the top of the document. Copy (CTRL + C) and paste (CTRL + V) the sky on our working paper:

Decrease Opacity (Opacity) layer with the sky to about 50%:

Blackwhite (Black and white)

Channel mixer (Channel mixer)

Curves (Curves)


Step 4. Load an image with stones in Photoshop, select one stone – we will use it to create a meteorite:

Insert the stone on the working paper, increase the sharpness with Filter – Sharpen – Sharpen (Filter – Sharpness – Sharpness):

Wash the edges of the stone with soft eraser (E):

For convenience, I added layer mask for a stone, we combine a soft eraser and a grunge brush.

Apply layer styles to the stone:

Outer glow (External glow)

Inner glow (Internal glow)

And we get the following result:

Step 5. We are almost done. Let’s complete the image by adding some clouds around the meteorite. We distort / distort the clouds to get the tail of a meteorite (if you have problems with the formation of clouds, see this lesson

You can also add several small stones using the technique described above:

Now you can visualize the clouds using the filter Filter – Render – Clouds (Filter – Rendering – Visualization), or use brushes (adjust their size) to paint clouds / smoke behind (!) Skyscrapers:

Paint Particles with Dirt Brush:

Also add overlapping clouds on skyscrapers:

Add an adjustment layer Color balance (Color balance) above all previous layers:

Add layer mask for the adjustment layer to increase the image depth (we do not need the whole image to be red!):

After adding a correction layer, you should see that the smoke and clouds that we added earlier turned into fire:

Also the meteorite became bright red:

And here is the final result:

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