Create a mysterious tunnel in Photoshop

?Today you will learn how to create a sci-fi photo manipulation with a mysterious tunnel and stunning light reflections, as well as a huge entrance using Photoshop. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create your mysterious tunnel using textures. We will add a model in front of the entrance and at the end we will work on creating realistic shadows and light effects. You will also learn about the technique that will help you create your picture!

Stages of the lesson

In this lesson we will create a sci-fi scene of a mysterious tunnel with shining highlights and a striking huge entrance. We use basic techniques to create this picture. We will work with masks, brushes, filters, adjustment layers and textures. To perform this lesson, you will need the program Adobe Photoshop CS3 or higher, do not forget about a cup of coffee, someone can take a pack of cigarettes at will. Ready..?

Download the archive with materials for the lesson

The final result:

Step 1

Create a new document in Adobe Photoshop. Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Next, create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) and in the appeared window give a new name to the layer. Fill by color (solid color). While on a new layer, press the keys (Shift + F5) to fill the layer with a light brown color (# 6a5c45)

Step 2

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) on top of the layer. Fill color (solid color). Choose a tool Pen (pen tool (P)). With this tool, create a rectangular outline that is highlighted in orange in the screenshot below.

Once you have created the outline, right-click on the working document and select the option in the window that appears. Run fill contour (Fill Path). Fill in any color shade at your discretion, or you can fill with the following color shade # 312f29, as shown in the screenshot below. Finally, delete the work path. Name the layer with the rectangular shape ‘Rectangle on the right’.

Step 3

Create another new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N), create another rectangle filled, as shown in the screenshot below. Name this layer with a rectangular shape ‘Left rectangle’.

In the same way, create two more shapes with fill on two separate layers.

So, we got four rectangular shapes. The first and second rectangles are located on the right and left. Let’s call the third rectangle “The rectangle in the center in the foreground”, and the fourth “The rectangle in the left in the foreground”. All four rectangles are the walls of our future tunnel.

Step 4

Now we add the floor. Open the original image with a brick floor. Move this image to our working paper. Place this layer with a brick floor between the bottom layer with a fill and layers with rectangles. Using tool Move (move tool (V)), position the image with a brick coating, as shown in the screenshot below.

Finally, change the blending mode for the layer with the brick floor on Soft light (soft light), opacity (Opacity) layer 100%.

Step 5

Next, we will add brick texture to all four walls. First we do this with the wall to the right. Open brick texture. Place the texture layer on top of the rectangle layer on the right. Choose a tool Free transformation (free transform tool (Ctrl + T)). We will change the position and perspective of the texture in accordance with the right wall. Right-click on the brick texture and in the window that appears, first select the option Rotate 90 counterclockwise (rotate 90 ccw) and then select the option Flip horizontally (flip it vertically).

At the end, change the perspective of this image, to do this, hold the anchor point, pull it down to the right corner.

Once you have the desired perspective, convert the brick texture layer to a clipping mask (Alt + Ctrl + G).

Step 6

Do the same with the rest of the walls, adding brick texture to them.

Step 7

Next, we will remove the background fragment between the left and right wall. For this purpose we use a mask. So go to the filled layer we created in Step 1 so that it is active. Now we go Layer – layer mask – show all (layer> layer mask> reveal all). Choose a tool Brush (brush tool (B)), set a soft round brush, the color of the brush is black, and use this brush to paint the above-mentioned background fragment, which is highlighted in red in the screenshot below:

Result after mask correction. The hidden part of the background will be the entrance to the mysterious tunnel.

Step 8

Next, we will add a cloud texture to the background where we created the entrance. Create a new layer below the fill layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). Let’s go Filter – Rendering – Clouds (filter> render> cloud) to create a cloud texture.

Next, to the same cloud layer, we will apply another filter. Blur on the surface (surface blur) to soften the texture. Let’s go Filter – Blur – Blur on the surface (filter> blur> surface blur).

Now duplicate the cloud texture layer (Ctrl + J). Change the blending mode for duplicate layer to An exception (exclusion), opacity (Opacity) layer 100%.

This cloud texture will not be fully visible. it is located below the fill layer. Only a part of the fragment will be visible in the background, which we have hidden on the mask of the fill layer.

Step 9

Next, we add another object to our scene. Open the original image with a flight of stairs. Using tool Pen (pen tool (P)), select the iron railing on this image.

Move the selected part of the railing to our working paper.

Step 10

Now we will add light that comes in from the right wall through the open space in front of the entrance. To do this, create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) on top of two layers with a cloud texture. Choose a tool Brush (brush tool (B)). Set the settings for this brush, which are shown in the screenshot below.

Using a white brush, paint the right side of the entrance from top to bottom.

Step 11

Given the location of the light source, you need to add light that falls on the wall on the left, for this we add a glow on the wall. Go to the wall layer on the left. Create a new layer as a clipping mask on top of the specified layer. Choose a soft round brush stiffness (hardness) 0%, set very low opacity (opacity) brush, about 10-15%. On a new layer, paint over with a white brush to add a glow on the wall to the left.

Step 12

Next, we will make a color correction of the entire scene. First we will add an adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast), for this we go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Brightness / Contrast (layer> new adjustment layers> brightness / contrast). This adjustment layer should be placed on top of all other layers in the layers panel. The blend mode for this adjustment layer Normal (normal) Opacity (opacity) layer 100%.

Next, add a second adjustment layer. Color Balance (color balance). Place this adjustment layer on top of the adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast). Blend mode Normal (normal) Opacity (opacity) layer 100%.

Select the two adjustment layers created, and then press the keys (Ctrl + G) to group them into one group. Name the new group ‘Correction’. Next, go Layer – Layer Mask – Show All (layer> layer mask> reveal all) to add a layer mask to the created group. Hide the correction of the correction layers in the entry area on the mask of the layer with the group.

Step 13

Now we add light and shade to the walls. We will start with the wall on the right. Go to the layer with the wall on the right, create a new layer on top of the layer with the brick texture as a clipping mask. Choose a soft round brush stiffness (hardness) 0%, set opacity (opacity) brush by about 10%. On a new layer, paint over a brush of white and black in places where there is a need to create shadows and light.

Do the same by adding chiaroscuro on the remaining walls.

Step 14

Next, create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) on top of the ‘Correction’ group. On a new layer, we will intensify light and shade for the whole scene. Select tool again Brush (brush tool (B)). Paint with a soft brush of white and black in places where there is a need to create shadows and light. In the screenshot below, you can see an example of creating light and shadow on a white background.

The result of adding light and shadow under the mode Normal (normal) Opacity (opacity) layer 100%.

And this is the result of the mode Normal (normal) Opacity (opacity) layer approximately 75%.

Step 15

In this step, we will add shading to the walls and floor in the foreground. Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) on top of the previous light-shadow layer. Choose a tool Gradient (gradient tool (G)). Set the foreground color to black. In the gradient settings, set Linear gradient (linier gradient), opacity about 10-15%. Click on the bottom point + holding the mouse button, drag the gradient up, as the orange arrow shows.

In the screenshot below, you can see the gradient created as a guide.

By adding shading, the result should be as in the screenshot below. Select the layers with shading and light and shade, and then press the keys (Ctrl + G) to group them in one group.

Step 16

Continuing the lesson, create a new layer on top of the layer with the shading group. On the new layer, draw straight thin white lines along the edge on the left and right wall. These lines soften the edges of the walls.

Step 17

In conclusion, we will introduce an element of life into our scene, for this we will add an image of the model on the edge near the entrance. For this purpose, we use the original image with the model shown in the screenshot below. Highlight the model image.

Move the selected model image to our working paper. Flip horizontally (Flip horizontally), and also reduce the scale of this image as needed. The blend mode for this layer with the model Normal (normal) Opacity (opacity) layer approximately 75%.

Step 18

Next, we will conduct another color correction of the entire scene, for this we use two adjustment layers. On the topmost layer in the layers panel, create a new adjustment layer. Selective color correction (selective color). Navigate Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Selective Color Correction (layer> new adjustment layers) and in the settings window of this adjustment layer that appears, set the following settings:

Next, add an adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast).

Now go to the adjustment layer mask Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast) and using a soft black brush, hide the effect of the correction layer on the left wall, as well as on the floor in the areas that are highlighted in red in the screenshot below.

Step 19

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) on top of the two adjustment layers created. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (overlay) opacity (Opacity) layer 100%. Choose a soft round brush with low opacity of about 10-15%. On a new layer, draw a falling white light with a soft white brush, the direction of which is indicated by an orange arrow.

Step 20

To give a fantastic atmosphere, we will add light highlights on the walls and floor. For this purpose we will draw light highlights. We will create them on a separate document. Create a new document (Ctrl + N) with the following settings, which are shown in the screenshot below:

Create a new layer, fill this layer with black color. Choose a tool Brush (brush tool (B)), press the key (F5) to display the brush settings window. Set the size of the brush, as well as the shape of the brush print, which are shown in the screenshot below. Brush color: light blue # 53f6f8. Click once on the document.

Reduce the size of the brush, now click the white brush in the center of the light blue spot.

Set the size of the brush, as well as the shape of the brush print, which are shown in the screenshot below. Brush color is bright light blue (# c1fcfd). Draw a line crossing the blue flash.

Once again, change the size of the brush, as well as the values ​​of the shape of the print of the brush, set the values ​​shown in the screenshot below. Draw another line, the color is the same bright light blue, only this time the line should be bigger.

In conclusion, once again change the brush size, as well as the shape values ​​of the brush print, set the values ​​shown in the screenshot below. Now draw a bright thin white line. Select all the flare related layers, and then press the keys (Ctrl + E) to merge them into one layer. Name the new merged layer ‘Light Flare’.

This action is selective. You can apply a layer style. External glow (outer glow) to the layer with the flare, for this we go Layer – Layer Style – Outer Glow (layer> layer style> outer glow).

Step 21

Now move the merged highlight layer to our working paper. Place the flare layer on top of all other layers in the layers panel.

Change the blending mode for the layer with the light flare to Lightening basics (color dodge). Activate the tool Free transformation (free transform tool (Ctrl + T)). Swipe the flare by holding the left center anchor point + drag it to the right.

Position the flare as shown in the screenshot below.

Duplicate the layer with the light flare several times, and then place duplicate highlights along the entire scene on the walls and floor. We can change the highlight color by adding an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (hue / saturation) as a clipping mask.

Step 22

Next, create a new layer on top of all other layers. Fill this layer (Shift + F5) with black. Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening basics (color dodge). While on a new layer, lightly paint over the highlights with a soft brush, adding a bit of blue, white, and green tones. In the screenshot below you can see my result of adding color to highlights in the mode Normal (Normal).

Given the colors that we added, the result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 23

Finally, create the last new layer on top of all other layers, change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (soft light), opacity (Opacity) layer 100%. Last select tool Brush (brush tool (B)). Set a soft round brush with an opacity of about 10%; the color of the brush is white. Paint over the areas marked with orange arrows, adding soft highlights to the floor. Name this layer ‘Soft White’.

Step 24

While still on the ‘Soft White’ layer, which is located on top of all layers in the layers panel, press the keys (Shift + Ctrl + Alt + A) to create a merged layer from all visible layers. Name the new layer ‘Final result’. Next, go Filter – Sharpening – Contour Sharpness (filter> sharpen> unsharp mask). This filter will add some sharpness to the image.

We have completed the lesson! Thank you for being with me. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and you learned something new today. Good luck in new projects!

The final result:

PSD lesson

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