Create a dynamic movie scene in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a city apocalypse scene in Photoshop using a simple image combining technique. You will also learn how to add a cinematic effect to your photos using gradients and color correction. The apocalyptic explosion of buildings was recreated with the help of brushes Explosion, the effects of fire and smoke. I hope you enjoy this lesson, which was prepared by graphic designer, illustrator and photographer Dwight Daley.

OK. Let’s get started!

Final result

Baseline materials:

To complete the lesson you will need:

  1. Helicopter
  2. City
  3. Sky
  4. Stone Texture
  5. Brush Blast
  6. Texture with highlights

Archive with materials for the lesson you can download HERE.

1. Create the basis of photo manipulation

Step 1

Create a new 1200×625 document in Photoshop. Fill the background with black. Open stock image with cityscape. Next, delete the image of the sky, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 2

Using tool Rectangular area (Rectangular marquee tool), select the lower part of the city, and then press (delete) to delete the selected part of the image.

Step 3

Move this cityscape image to our working paper. Apply scaling by positioning the image as shown in the screenshot below. Hint: do not close the document with the original image of the city, because we will use this image again later.

Step 4

To the urban landscape layer, add the following adjustment layers as clipping masks.

Step 5

Open a stock image with the sky in Photoshop. Using tool Rectangular area (Rectangle Marquee tool), select the top of the sky image.

Step 6

Copy the selected image of the sky, and then paste it on our working paper. Place the sky layer below the cityscape layer. Apply scaling by positioning the image as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 7

To the sky layer, add the following adjustment layers as a clipping mask.

Step eight

Open the original image with a helicopter. Choose a tool Magic wand (Magic Wand tool). Using this tool, select the background on this image, and then press the (delete) key. Tip: when working with the tool Magic wand (Magic Wand tool) to select multiple sections at a time, hold down the (shift) key + click simultaneously on the areas you want to select.

Step 9

Add the highlighted helicopter image to our working paper. Apply scaling by positioning the image as shown in the screenshot below.

Step ten

To the helicopter layer, add the following adjustment layers as clipping masks.

2. Create a building blast

Step eleven

Next, we will create a building explosion, but first we will create a small smoke effect. Create a new layer on top of all other layers. (Translator’s Note: do not forget to press the key (D) to set the default colors). Next, go Filter – Rendering – Clouds (Filter> Render> Clouds). Change the blending mode for the cloud layer to Lightening (screen), and also, reduce the opacity of this layer to 29%.

Step 12

Using a soft eraser with a hardness of 0%, hide part of the effect with clouds, leaving a small area near the building where the explosion will be located near the helicopter.

Step 13

Next, we add fragments, as well as individual fragments from the explosion. We return to the document with the original image of the city, about which I spoke not to close in Step 2. Using the tool Oval area (Ellipse Marquee tool), select a part of the main skyscraper.

Step 14

Right-click on the selected image and in the window that appears, select the option Copy to new layer (Layer Via Copy). Thus, we will copy the selected part of the skyscraper image to a new layer.

Step 15

You can turn off the visibility of the original layer with the image of the cityscape, which is located below to focus on the selected part of the house. On the layer with the selected part of the skyscraper, right-click on the image and in the appeared window select the option Free transform (Free Transform), then right-click again and in the window that appears, select the option Deformation(wrap). Randomly shift the control points to create a distortion of the image, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step sixteen

Select the brush Splits that you downloaded, create a new layer. (Translator’s Note: create a new layer on top of the layer with the deformed part of the skyscraper). Being on a new layer, paint over the selected brush over the deformed part of the building, any brush color. Hold down (Ctrl) + click on the thumbnail of the layer you just painted on to load the active selection of the drawn fragments. Next, without removing the active selection, go to the layer with the deformed part of the skyscraper, select the tool Magic wand (Magic Wand tool), then right-click on the active area and in the window that appears, select the option Copy to new layer (Via Copy). Fragments of fragments with a skyscraper texture will be copied to the new layer. You can see the fragments created in the screenshots in the following steps.

Step 17

Move the layer with the created fragments to our working paper. Apply scaling, placing the fragments, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 18

To enhance the effect of the explosion, duplicate the layer of shrapnel a couple of times, and then randomly arrange duplicate layers, pre-turning them for a change.

Step 19

Group all the fragmented layers into one group. To the layer with the created group, add the following adjustment layers as a clipping mask.

Step 20

Next, we will focus on the destroyed part of the building. Open the stone texture. Using tool Oval area (Ellipse Marquee tool), select a part of the image.

Step 21

Copy the selected part of the Stone texture, and then paste the selected part onto our working paper. Apply scaling, placing part of the texture on the image of a skyscraper, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 22

Using tool Eraser (eraser tool) with a hardness of 0%, arbitrarily process the selected part of the Stone texture. Process the hard edges of the image.

Step 23

To the stone texture layer, add the following adjustment layers as clipping masks.

Step 24

Select the Blast brush, create a new layer. Select any brush from the brush set. Randomly paint over the brush on the texture, as well as around the stone texture to create an effect, as in the screenshot below. For each individual brush blast, use a separate layer to create a more realistic effect.

Step 25

Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Next, go Filter – Rendering – Clouds(Filter> Render> Clouds). Change the blending mode for this cloud layer to Lightening (screen) and then apply a layer mask through Layer- Layer Mask- Hide All (Layer – Layer-mask – Hide All). Being on a layer layer mask using a brush with by pushing (flow) 20%, carefully paint over some parts of the clouds to create a gentle smoke effect.

Step 26

Next, we will add fragments / fragments from the explosion of the destroyed building. Create a new layer and with the Shard brush, paint over the blast area.

In the final steps, we will add color shades using adjustment layers on top of all other layers. Since this is the final color correction, then these adjustment layers will NOT be used as clipping masks: Selective color correction (Selective color), Color Balance (Color Balance) Vibration (Vibrance) Curves (Curves).

3. Add visual effects used in movies.

Step 27

In this video tutorial, I will show you how to create the visual effects used in the movie.

Create a new layer, name this layer ‘Chroma’. Change the blending mode for this layer to Chromaticity(Color). Using tool Brush (Brush Tool), brush color is light purple # caa7ba, just paint over it as shown in the screenshot below. Use varying degrees of brush opacity.

Step 29

Download this texture. Move this texture to our working paper. Change the blending mode for the layer with this texture to Lightening (Screen). To the texture layer, add an adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) as a clipping mask. Apply the following settings, which are shown in the screenshot below.

Step thirty

Next, add adjustment layers. Photo Filter (Photo Filter) and Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) on top of all layers.

Step 31

Download the texture with highlights. Select one of the textures. Add a flare texture to our working paper by positioning the flare as shown in the screenshot below. If you choose a color highlight, you will have to apply a correction. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to discolor the image.

Step 32

To add color effects, I used highlights that are shown in the screenshot below. Therefore, this time, first look at how the highlights should look, before adding them to the image. Change the blending mode for the layer with the glare on Light replacement (Lighten) Next, apply the filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) and filter Motion blur (Motion blur) to blur the color texture.

Step 33

Next, we will add an adjustment layer. Gradient (Gradient Fill), gradient colors: # 838383 and # 81a8d1.

Step 34

Change the blending mode for the adjustment layer. Gradient (Gradient Fill) on Chromaticity (Color), and also reduce the layer opacity to 60%. Next, go to the layer mask of this adjustment layer and using a soft brush with different degrees of opacity, process the image as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 35

Next, add another adjustment layer. Gradient (Gradient Fill), gradient colors: black and white. Change the blending mode for the adjustment layer. Gradient (Gradient Fill) on Chromaticity (Color), and also reduce the opacity of the layer to 70%. Also, go to the layer mask of this adjustment layer and using a soft brush with different degrees of opacity, process the image as shown in the screenshot below.

We have completed the lesson. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I wish you a pleasant time to complete this lesson.

Final result

Author: Dwight Daley

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