In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a colorful and fantastic lake scene using a wide range of collage techniques.
First we will create a lake scene from two images of the sky using Displacement Map (Displacement map). Then we add the boat, the roses and the dove and combine them together using adjustment layers, masks and various brushes. We will enhance the light, color and contrast of the scene with a soft yellow brush and several adjustment layers.
And at the end we will add a flickering effect using a light texture. During this lesson, you will learn how to work with groups, create a depth of field and more.
1. Creation of a lake
First create Displacement Map (Displacement map), which is used to create an artificial water surface. Create a new document in Photoshop 2000 x 1000 pixels and fill it with white. Press (Ctrl + J) to duplicate the background layer and convert it into a smart object. On this layer go to menu Filter > Noise> Add Noise (Filter> Noise> Add Noise).
Press key D, to set foreground and background colors to default (black and white). Go to menu Filter> Sketch> Bas Relief (Filter> Sketch> Relief):
Now go to menu Filter> Blur> Motion Blur (Filter> Blur> Motion Blur) to create a ripple effect:
Duplicate this layer and apply Free transform tool (Free Transform) (Ctrl + T) to change its perspective, as shown below:
Tool Crop tool (Frame) (C) select the middle part of this image and delete unnecessary areas:
Save this document as a PSD file and name it ‘ripple_ texture’ or whatever you like.
Create a new document with a size of 2000 X 1288 pixels and the settings shown below.
Open image Sky 1. Select the sky using the tool. Rectangular marquee tool (Rectangular selection area) (M):
Drag this selection to a white canvas with the tool. Move Tool (Move) (V) and position in the upper half of the canvas. Name this layer ‘Sky’.
Duplicate this layer and place a copy under the first one. Flip duplicate vertically through the menu Edit> Transform> Flip Vertical (Edit> Transform> Flip Vertically). Move the layer down to cover the white canvas. Name this layer ‘Lake’.
To create a ripple effect on the lake, go to the menu Filter > Distort > Displace (Filter> Distort> Offset) and specify the file ‘ripple_ texture’ that we created in the first step. Change the settings in the filter Displace (Offset) to get the result that you like. Here are my settings:
To soften the ripple, go to menu Filter > Blur> Motion Blur (Filter> Blur> Motion Blur) and change values Angle (Angle) and Distance (Bias):
At the bottom of the layers panel, click the second icon to add a mask to the sky layer. Using a black soft round brush, soften the line between the sky and the lake.
In order to give depth to the lake, create a new layer and take a soft Brush (Brush) (B) with color # e6af73 and Opacity (Opacity) 30% and walk it around the horizon. Change the blending mode of this layer to Multiply (Multiplication) 100%.
To add even more depth, create a new layer and walk along the soft horizon line. Brush (Brush) (B) color # a99580. Set the blending mode for this layer. Multiply (Multiplication) 50%.
Open image Sky 2. Select the sky with Rectangular marquee tool (Rectangular selection area):
Place this sky on top of our main image and cover it with the existing sky. Change the blending mode of this layer to SoftLight (Soft light) 100%. Using a layer mask, erase the part of the sky that overlaps the lake and reduce its opacity so that it blends in better with the existing sky.
To reduce noise for a layer Sky 2, go to menu Filter > Noise > Dust Scratches (Filter> Noise> Dust and Scratch) and change Radius (Radius) 3px.
Duplicate this layer and flip it vertically. Place a copy on top of the existing lake to create a reflection of the sky on the surface of the lake.
Apply filter Displace (Offset) with modified parameters (Sky 2 different texture from Sky 1, therefore, you must change the settings to get the appropriate result).
Apply filter Motion blur (Motion Blur) with settings Angle (Angle) 0, Distance (Offset) 15:
On the image Sky 2 unwanted detail is present. To remove it, create a new layer and apply Clone tool (Stamped) (s) to remove this item:
2. Adding a boat
Separate the boat from the background and place it in the middle of the lake. Flip it horizontally through the menu Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontal (Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontally). Using the free transform (Ctrl + T), change its perspective slightly as shown below:
Duplicate the boat layer, and place a copy under the first boat. Create a reflection of the boat using filters Displace (Offset) and Motion blur (Motion blur).
Add a mask to the layer with the reflection of the boat and, using a soft black brush, reduce the opacity of the upper part to make it disappear in the water.
Select the whole boat and its reflection and press (Ctrl + G) to group them. Change the blending mode of this group with Pass through (Skip) on Normal (Normal) 100%. Go to menu Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves) and reduce brightness:
On the mask of this layer, using a black soft brush, erase the side of the boat and the reflection, as if they are illuminated with background light.
Apply a correction layer to add more brightness to the red and yellow tones of the boat and reflection. ColorBalance (Color balance):
Create a new layer above the boat and set it as a clipping mask. Using a soft brush with the color # f1bb52, scroll it to the very top of the boat to add some highlights.
3. Primary light and color
Create an adjustment layer Curves (Curves) on top of all layers and reduce brightness.
On the mask of this layer using a soft black brush, erase the middle, leaving a dark effect only on the sides and corners of the image. This step adds a vignette effect to the scene:
Create an adjustment layer ColorBalance (Color balance) and increase the valuesMidtones (Mid Tones) Red (Red) and Blue (Blue):
4. Adding roses
Open image Roses. Separate the roses from the background using Magic wand tool (Magic wand) (W).
Using Lasso Tool (Lasso) (L), select the part of the top roses and place them on the boat:
Add a mask to this layer and, using a hard black brush, remove some roses so that they look like they are inside the boat.
Select a part of the top roses and add them to the left of the existing ones, and using the free transformation (Ctrl + T) reduce them a little.
Take a part of the lower branches and the upper rose and place them in the lower part of the boat:
To create a reflection for all the roses in the boat, select all the layers with roses. Right click and select Duplicate layers (Duplicate layers) and then merge them all by selecting Merge layers (Merge layers). Flip this layer vertically and place it under the boat.
Lower Opacity (Opacity) of this layer up to 90%. Apply filters Displace (Offset) and Motion blur (Motion blur) to this layer.
Add a mask to this layer and, using a soft black brush, mix the reflection with water:
Select the rose branch from the source image and place it in the foreground of the lake:
Add a mask to this layer and using a soft black brush, lower the bottom of the rose stem a little into the water:
Name this layer ‘Big Rose’.
Create a rose reflection using filters Displace (Offset) and Motion blur (Blur in motion), lower Opacity (Opacity) of this layer is up to 80%.
Using a layer mask, make the reflection disappear in the water:
Make a group for all layers, including the ‘Big Rose’ layer. Create an adjustment layer ColorBalance (Color balance) and increase the value Red (Red) to +79 for Midtones (Mid Tones):
Using an adjustment layer Curves (Curves) increase the brightness. On the mask of this layer with a soft black brush, remove the light from the rose in the foreground and from the roses in the back of the boat.
Create another adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) and reduce the brightness. On the mask of this layer, use a soft black brush to erase the side of the roses on the boat and the big rose.
Create a new layer above the ‘Big Rose’ layer, set it as a clipping mask, change its blending mode to Overlay (Overlap) 100% and fill with 50% gray:
Take the tool Dodge tool (Clarifier) (O) with parameters Range (Range): Midtones (Mid Tones), Exposure (Exposure) 20–25% and walk them through the upper leaves and petals to add more light on these details. Below you can see how this is done on the layer with the normal blend mode and with the blend mode Overlay (Overlap).
Create an adjustment layer Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask to darken this rose more strongly. On the mask of this layer, use a black soft brush to erase the upper part of the rose to maintain the brightness balance:
5. Adding a dove
Separate the pigeon from the background and place it on the bow of the boat:
Create a reflection of the dove, as we did with the rest of the elements.
Create a group for the pigeon and its reflection. Using the adjustment layer ColorBalance (Color balance) change values Midtones (Mid Tones):
Create an adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to reduce the light on the dove. Using a soft black brush on the mask of this layer, reduce the effect of the adjustment layer on the reflection of the pigeon.
6. Enhancing light, color and contrast.
Create an adjustment layer Curves (Curves) and reduce the brightness:
On the mask of this layer, use a soft black brush to erase the area in the middle in order to preserve brightness:
Use another adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to increase slightly the amount of light:
On the mask of this layer, use a soft black brush to erase the sides of the scene so that the light is concentrated in the center.
Create an adjustment layer ColorBalance (Color balance) to change the color of the entire scene:
Create a new layer, take a soft brush with color # b0975c and draw a spot on the center to add more bright light to this area.
Change the blending mode of this layer to HardLight (Hard Light) 100%
After changing the light and color, we will use two adjustment layers. Curves (Curves) to enhance the contrast of the entire scene. The first is to darken the scene. On the mask of this layer with a soft black brush with a very low opacity (about 10-15%), reduce the effect of this correction layer on the boat and dove:
To increase the brightness of the light in the center, use the following adjustment layer. Curves (Curves):
On the mask of this adjustment layer, use a soft black brush to erase the sides of the scene, the boat and the birds:
7. Adding a light texture
Open the archive with a light texture. Select an image ‘starry 4’ and place it in a working paper.
Change the blending mode of this layer to Screen (Screen) 100%.
Duplicate this layer and apply a filter. Motion blur (Blur in motion) to create the effect of twinkling glowing dots:
Add a mask to this layer and, using a soft black brush, reduce the light effect of the flickering dots to get a more subtle result:
Go back to the first light layer and apply a filter to it. Displace (Bias):
Create a group for these light layers and change the blending mode to Screen (Screen) 100%. Use adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to slightly change the color of the light:
On the mask of this layer with a soft black brush, reduce the effect of the correction layer on the luminous points on the lake surface:
Add a mask to this light group and use a soft black brush to reduce the red light at the top of the sky, on the pigeon and the back of the boat, to create a delicate effect:
Congratulations! You are done!
I hope you learned something new from this lesson. Feel free to share your results, suggestions or feedback in the comments below. Enjoy Photoshop!