Create a magical photo manipulation in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a beautiful magic scene with a boat in Photoshop. You will learn the technique of creating photomanipulations, including the technique of combining stock images, working with masks, creating light effects, and working with groups.

Final result

Source materials:

Step 1

Create a new document of 1000? 1000 px in Photoshop, fill it with white color (you can choose the size of the document and the fill color at your discretion). Open the stock image ‘Grass’. Using tool Move (Move Tool (V), move the grass texture to our working paper. Apply tool Free Transformation (Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T) to scale and distort the texture, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 2

To change the color and contrast of the grass, add a few adjustment layers as a clipping mask. Being on a layer with grass, we go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Photo Filter (Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Photo Filter):

Curves (Curves) and Levels (Levels):

Being on layer-masked adjustment layers Curves (Curves) and Levels (Levels), using a soft black brush with an opacity of about 30-35% for Curves (Curves) and 70-90% for Levels (Levels), process the left side closer to the horizon. In the screenshots below, you can see the result of my processing on layer-masks, as well as the final result of processing:

Step 3

Open stock image with sky. Using tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Tool), select the part of the sky, and then move the selected part of the sky to our working paper, placing it at the top of the scene:

Through the bottom toolbar, add a layer mask to the layer with the sky. Using a soft black brush, process the hard edges of the image to combine the sky with the grass texture:

Step 4

Add some adjustment layers. Curves (Curves) and Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) as a clipping mask to darken and slightly change the color of the sky:

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), and then using a soft black brush with an opacity of 30-50%, process the right side of the sky, because this part of the sky is too dark:

Step 5

Select the image ‘Boats’. Move this image of the boat to our working paper, placing it in the center of the composition.

Add a layer mask to the boat layer. Using a black brush, hide the upper bow of the boat, and then change the brush to Grass brush. I chose the brush number 503 and 504 to align the bottom edge of the boat with the grass:

Step 6

To make the left side of the boat lighter (because more light from the horizon falls on this side), I used the effect Inner Shadow (Inner Shadow). Double click on the boat layer to make a window appear. Overlay options (Blending Options):

Step 7

To darken the image of the boat and reduce the effects of lighting on unwanted areas, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask:

On the layer mask of the adjustment layer Curves (Curves), apply a brush, varying the opacity from 30 to 80% to reduce the shading effect on both sides of the boat.

Step 8

Create a new layer as a clipping mask to the boat layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), 100% layer opacity, and fill 50% gray (50% gray):

Using tool Dimmer (Burn Tool (O), Range (Range) Mid tones (Midtones), Exposition (Exposure) approximately 20%, additionally darken the boat. In the screenshots below, you can see the processing result in the blend mode Normal (Normal) as well as the final result for Overlap (Overlay):

Step 9

To create the shadow of the boat on the grass, create a new layer below the boat layer. Hold Ctrl + click on the thumbnail of the boat layer to load the active selection of the boat:

Next, fill the active selection with black color (Shift + F5). Let’s go Editing – Transformation – Flip Vertically (Edit-Transform-Flip Vertical), further, move the shadow down, placing below the image of the boat. Using transformation (Ctrl + T), transform the shadow, as shown in the screenshot below:

Reduce the opacity of the shadow layer to 40%, and then go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter-Blur-Gassian Blur), set a blur radius of 6 px:

Add a layer mask to the shadow layer. Using a brush, reduce the intensity of the shadow to obtain a gentle shading effect:

Step 10

Open stock image with lichen. Using tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Tool), select the part of the lichen, and then move the selected part of the lichen to our working paper, placing the image on top of the boat. Next, using the option Deformation (Warp Tool), warp the lichen texture, let’s go Editing – Transformation – Deformation (Edit-Transform-Warp):

Add a layer mask to the lichen layer. Select the Grass brush, brush number 199, to process hard edges and to combine the lichen with the boat, if necessary, reduce the brush opacity when processing on a layer mask to achieve a more natural result:

Step 11

Use the same technique to “decorate” the whole boat with a lichen:

Step 12

To correct a lichen, first select all layers with lichen, and then press the keys (Ctrl + G) to combine all layers with lichen into one group. Change the blending mode for this group to Skip (Pass Through (overlay mode for default group) per mode Normal (Normal), 100%. Name the layers with lichen from 1 to 3.

Inside the created group, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to darken layers with lichen:

Step 13

I consider the layer “1? the lichen should be darker, so add a new adjustment layer Curves (Curves) on top of the specified layer:

Step 14

Create a new layer on top of all layers using the same settings that you already applied in Step 8. Using the tool Dimmer (Burn Tool), additionally darken the boat to create a beautiful contrast:

Step 15

Open stock image with a tree. Using tool Lasso (Lasso Tool (L), select the part of the image of the trunk, and then move the selected part of the trunk to our working document, placing it over the bow of the boat. Bend this part of the trunk with the tool Deformation (Warp Tool):

Use a layer mask to combine the bent part of the trunk with the boat:

Step 16

The bent part of the trunk looks too dark compared to the boat, so add a correction layer. Curves (Curves) to a layer with a curved part as a clipping mask to lighten this part:

Step 17

Highlight the crown of a tree with leaves, located above the curved part of the trunk. Expand the crown, as shown in the screenshot below:

Add a layer mask to the leaf layer. Using the Grass brush, brush number # 199, hide the extra lower part of the crown with leaves:

Step 18

Next, add adjustment layers. Photo Filter (Photo Filter), Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask to the foliage layer to change the color and contrast of the foliage:

On the layer mask of the adjustment layer Curves (Curves), I processed the right side, because I do not want it to be too dark:

Step 19

To remove the extra part of the crown of the tree, create a new layer on top of all layers, then select the tool Stamp (Clone Tool (S). Change the brush on the Grass brush, brush number 199. Use the stamp to hide the extra part of the crown:

Step 20

Separate the image of the lamp from the background, then move the selected image to our working document, placing it under the crown of the tree:

Step 21

Open the stock image ‘Fishes’. Select the fish you liked, then move it to our working paper, positioning on the left side of our composition, rotate the fish image a little:

Step 22

Add adjustment layers Color Balance (Color Balance) and Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask to the fish layer to change the color and brightness of the fish:

On the layer mask of the adjustment layer Curves (Curves), process the side of the fish so that this side is slightly darker than the whole fish:

Step 23

Open the ‘Butterfly’ stock image. Select one of the butterflies, create a selection around the wing of one of the selected butterflies, and then copy / paste on our working paper by placing the copied wing on the side of the fish:

Duplicate the wing, shifting in the opposite direction, apply the transformation in accordance with the direction of movement of the fish:

Step 24

Using a layer mask, spend the combination of wings with a fish:

Step 25

Group the layers with wings, just like you did with layers of lichen.

Inside the created group, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to slightly change the color and brightness of the wings:

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) and using a soft black brush, dim the brightness in the specified areas:

Step 26

Create several adjustment layers on top of all other layers:

Gradient Map 1 and 2 (Gradient Map 1 2):

Reduce the opacity of the adjustment layer. Gradient Map 1 (Gradient Map 1) up to 30% and opacity for the adjustment layer Gradient Cards 2 (Gradient Map 2) up to 20%:

Photo Filter (Photo Filter), Curves (Curves) and Levels (Levels):

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Levels (Levels), using a soft black brush, reduce / hide the blackout effect on the area that is highlighted in the screenshot below:

Step 27

To create a beautiful contrast for the whole picture, first create a new layer on top of all the other layers. Choose a tool Gradient (Gradient Tool (G), install Radial Gradient (Radial Gradient), default gradient colors (black and white). Next, drag the gradient from the top left to the bottom right:

Change the mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), 100%. Using a layer mask, hide the shading effect on the boat and on the bottom right of the picture:

Step 28

In this step, we will add magic sparkling sparks to our image. Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Select a brush, brush color # f7de79, brush size 2-4 px. Press F5 to customize the selected brush:

Draw flickering sparks around a tree, boat, lantern, grass:

Change the blending mode for the spark layer to Bright light (Vivid Light), 100%:

Step 29

From the sparks layer, press the keys (Ctrl + G) to create a group for the sparks. Change the blending mode for the layer with group to Bright light (Vivid Light), 100%. The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 30

Add a Layer styles (Layer Style) to a layer with flickering sparks:

Step 31

Inside the created group with sparks, add an adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance) to slightly reduce the shades of red:

Step 32

To create a glowing light emanating from the lantern, create a new layer on top of all other layers. Next, select a brush, brush color # 422a03. Using this brush, paint over the lantern, and then change the blending mode for this layer to Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge), 100%:

Create a new layer, apply a brush, brush color # f7de79, to enhance the lighting effect. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), 100%:

Step 33

Create a new layer using the same brush, draw a reflection of light on the foliage from the lantern. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), 100%:

Step 34

To add light to our image, create a new layer. Select brush, brush color # d0ba87. Using this brush, paint over the horizon as shown in the screenshot below. Change the blending mode to Hard light (Hard Light), the opacity of the layer is 20%, then add a layer mask to hide the effect on the boat and sparks:

Step 35

Next, add two new fill layers to change the color of the whole picture, go Layer – New Fill Layer – Color (Layer-New Fill Layer-Solid Color):

Change the blending mode for the layer – fill (layer 1) to Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge), layer opacity 60%, for layer 2 on Hard light (Hard Light), opacity 20%.

On the layer mask of the second layer with a fill (layer 2), using a soft black brush, process the lower part of the image, which is highlighted in the screenshot below:

Step 36

Add some adjustment layers to add contrast and vibration to our image. Black and white (Black White) Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), Vibration (Vibrance):

Change the blending mode for the adjustment layer. Black and white (Black White) on Soft light (Soft Light), 100%. Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Black and white (Black White), soft black brush, walk on the horizon, as well as sparks. Next, go to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), process the selected area with a soft black brush to hide the correction on the flashlight image:

And we have completed the lesson!

I hope you enjoy this tutorial.

Final result

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