Create a magical photo manipulation with a snail in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a fabulous snail with a house instead of a shell.

First, we will create a base scene using two source images with a lichen. Next, we add an image of the snail and cover the shell with climbing plants. After that, we will add a window, a door, mushrooms, a chimney, smoke, as well as a flashlight and combine all these elements with the help of adjustment layers, working with a mask and brushes.

In this tutorial, we use the bokeh texture to enhance the magical feeling of the entire scene, and also apply several adjustment layers to enhance the final effect.

The final result:

1. Create a Base Scene

Step 1

Create a new 1500 x 1100 px document in Photoshop. Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 2

Open the original image with the foreground in Photoshop. Using tool Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso Tool (L)), select the foreground in this image, and then use the tool Move (Move Tool (V)), move the selected image fragment to our working document, placing it at the bottom of our scene. Choose a tool Free transformation (Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T)). Rotate the image so that it is horizontal.

Step 3

Click the second icon at the bottom of the layers panel to add a layer mask to the layer with the foreground. Using a soft round brush, the brush color is black, soften the edges of the image to create a smooth transition with a white background.

Step 4

Next, go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur). Install Radius (Radius) blur at 8 px:

Switch to the filter mask using a soft black brush to hide the blur effect in the middle of the image so that the blur effect is visible only at the edges.

Step 5

Next, go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Hue Saturation). Convert this layer to a clipping mask. Reduce value Color tone (Hue) to -17:

Step 6

Open the original image with the background. Move this image to our working paper with the tool Move (Move Tool (V)). Position this image behind the foreground image. In the layers palette, position the layer with the background below the layer with the foreground fragment.

Step 7

To the layer with the background, apply a filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), set the blur radius to 12 px. The blur radius should be larger than the blur radius we applied to the foreground. Thus, we will separate the background from the front, as well as enhance the depth of field.

Step 8

Add adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance). Change the value Yellow (Yellow) for Medium tones (Midtones) at -32. Thus, we will combine the background with the foreground.

Step 9

Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to make the background brighter.

2. Add Snail

Step 1

Open the original image with a snail. Separate the snail image from the background with the tool. Magic wand (Magic Wand Tool (W)). Move the selected image with the snail to our working paper, placing it in the center of the non-blurred area in the foreground.

To a layer with a snail, add a layer mask and using a black brush of medium softness, brush size (3-4 px), process the bottom edge of the snail image to combine the snail with a lichen on the ground.

Step 2

Add adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance). Change the settings for Medium tones (Midtones):

Step 3

The main light source comes from left to right, so the back of the cochlea should be darker. Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to reduce the brightness of the snail image. Next, go to the mask of this adjustment layer and use a soft black brush to hide the blackout correction in the front part, as well as in the uncovered area of ​​the cochlea.

Step 4

Add another adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to add more lighting to the front of the snail. Next, go to the mask of this adjustment layer and use a soft black brush to hide the brightening correction in the shaded area of ​​the cochlea.

3. Adding Climbing Plants

Step 1

Open the original image of the house. Using tool Lasso (Lasso Tool), select a fragment of the image with climbing plants in front of the image of the house, and then add the selected plants to the snail shell.

To remove excess wall details left after selection, select the tool. Brush (Brush Tool (B)), and then in the settings window of the brush click on the small triangle and in the drop-down menu select the option Restore brushes (Reset Brushes) to set all brushes to default. Choose a brush Spray 24 pixels (Spatter 24 pixels) to process the outline of the image of a climbing plant and hide the extra details, and also to make the edges of the plant look more natural.

Step 2

Add more vines to completely cover the snail shell using the same technique.

Step 3

Select all layers with climbing plants, and then press the keys (Ctrl + G) to group the selected layers into one group. Change the blending mode for the layer with the group from the mode Skip (Pass through) on Normal (Normal), opacity is 100%. Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) inside the group created to lighten the top of climbing plants on the sink. Now go to the mask of this adjustment layer and use a soft black brush to hide the lightening effect in the lower shaded part of the plants.

Step 4

Add another adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to enhance shading at the bottom of the plants. Next, go to the mask of this adjustment layer and with the help of a soft black brush hide the shading effect in the upper part of the plants.

Step 5

Add adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance) to combine the color of climbing plants with the whole scene.

4. Add a window

Step 1

Open the original image with a window. Using tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Tool (M)), select only the window image. Move the selected window image to our working document, placing it in the upper left part of the snail shell. Using the free transformation tool (Ctrl + T) in the mode Deformation (Warp), warp the window in accordance with the perspective of the snail shell.

Step 2

To the layer with the window, add a layer mask and using a brush Spray 24 px (Spatter 24 px), process the edges of the image window to create the feeling as if the window is buried in plants.

Step 3

Add adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Reduce value Saturation (Saturation) to -49:

Step 4

Add adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance). Change the value Yellow (Yellow) for Medium tones (Midtones) at -46:

Step 5

Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to make the window slightly lighter:

5. Add Door

Step 1

Open the original image with the door. Highlight the door image. Move the selected door image to our working paper, placing it in the lower right part of the snail shell.

To the layer with the door, add a layer mask and using a brush Spray 24 px (Spatter 24 px), process the edges of the door image to combine the door with climbing plants.

Step 2

Add adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Change the settings for Red (Reds) Channel:

Step 3

Add adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance). Change the settings for Medium tones (Midtones):

Step 4

Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to enhance the contrast of the door.

6. Add Mushrooms

Step 1

Open the original image with the mushroom 1. Separate the image of the mushroom from the background, and then move the selected image of the mushroom to our working document, placing it in the lower right corner of the scene behind the image of the cochlea.

To the mushroom layer, add a layer mask to combine the bottom of the mushroom with the lichen on the ground.

Step 2

Create a new layer below the layer with mushroom 1. Using a black brush of medium softness and opacity (opacity) approximately 50%, draw a narrow shadow from the fungus (because the light falls from left to right).

Step 3

Add adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Change the settings for the mode Everything (Master):

Step 4

Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to darken slightly the right side of the mushroom. Next, go to the mask of this adjustment layer and using a soft black brush paint over the front side of the fungus to hide the darkening of the curves in this part of the fungus.

Step 5

Add another adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to enhance the light in the front. Next, go to the mask of this adjustment layer and using a soft black brush paint over the back of the fungus to hide the lightening effect in this area of ​​the fungus.

Step 6

Open the second original image with mushrooms 2. Separate the image of mushrooms from the background, and then move the selected image of mushrooms to our working document, placing them in the lower left corner of the scene. Use the layer mask to mix the mushrooms with lichen.

Step 7

Add shadows to mushrooms 2 just as we added shadow to mushroom 1.

Step 8

Group the layer with mushrooms 2 into one group, and then using the correction layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), slightly change the color of the mushrooms.

Step 9

Add adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance) with the same goal. Change the settings for Medium tones (Midtones).

Step 10

Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to make the mushrooms lighter. Now go to the mask of this adjustment layer and using a soft black brush paint over the bottom of the image of the mushrooms to keep the darkening in this part, because it is located in the shade.

7. Add a Chimney and Create a Smoke Effect

Step 1

Open the original image with the chimney. Separate the image of the chimney from the background, and then move the selected image to our working document, located in the middle in the upper part of the snail shell.

Step 2

Add a shadow from the pipe in the same way as we added a shadow to the previous elements of the composition.

Step 3

Add adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance) to add a little red / yellow tones to the chimney.

Step 4

Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to make the chimney lighter. Now go to the mask of this adjustment layer and use a soft black brush to hide the lightening effect over the back wall of the chimney, strengthening the shadow in this area.

Step 5

Open the original image with smoke, select the fragment with the image of smoke. Move the selected smoke fragment to our working paper, placing it above the chimney. Rotate the image with smoke to match the direction of the chimney.

Change the blending mode for the layer of smoke fragment to Lightening (Screen), the layer opacity is 100%, and then use a layer mask to hide hard edges around the smoke image.

Step 6

Add adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to discolor the remaining patches of blue in the smoke image.

Step 7

Add adjustment layer Levels (Levels) to change the visibility of smoke, making the bottom part more visible and the top part smoke less visible.

8. Add a Lantern

Step 1

Open the original image with a lantern. Select the image of the lantern on the right, and then move the selected image to our working paper, placing the image of the lantern on the back bottom of the snail shell.

Using a layer mask, hide the iron mount of the lantern inside the climbing plants.

Step 2

Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to brighten the lantern.

Step 3

Add adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance). Change the settings for Medium tones (Midtones).

Step 4

Create a new layer and use a soft brush, brush color # 2a1b01, paint over the image of the lantern, and climbing plants around the lantern. Change the blending mode for this layer to Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge), opacity (Opacity) layer 100%.

Step 5

Create another new layer, set a lighter shade of the brush # fbd796. Paint over the flashlight to enhance the light of the flashlight. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay) 100% layer opacity.

9. Add Bokeh Texture

Step 1

Open the original bokeh texture. Move this texture to our working paper. Change the blending mode for the Bokeh texture layer to Lightening (Screen), layer opacity is 100%.

Using a layer mask, reduce the visibility of the bokeh. Also hide the bokeh effect over the snail and mushroom image:

Step 2

To the Bokeh texture layer, apply a filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) to make the effect more subtle. Set a blur radius of 8 px.

10. Final correction

Step 1

Add adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance). Change the settings for Medium tones (Midtones).

Step 2

Add adjustment layer Gradient map (Gradient Map). Set the gradient colors to # 512114 and # f6fbcb. Change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft Light), Opacity (Opacity) of this adjustment layer 100%.

Congratulations! We have completed the lesson!

I hope that you liked this lesson, and you learned something new for yourself. Thank you for attending the lesson, and I wish you a good time at this lesson.

The final result:

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