Create a mystical photo manipulation in Photoshop

If you are a lover of everything mystical and otherworldly, then this lesson is for you! In this lesson you will learn how to create a mystical and sinister scene.

This lesson is quite complex with a lot of details, but for you I have described the whole process of creating this photo manipulation, therefore, you can do it. You will also learn about the combination of images, working with masks, highlighting images, lighting, color correction and much more.

So let’s get started!

Final result

When zooming in

Step 1

Create a new document in Photoshop with the following sizes 1300x900px. Fill it with white. Open the stock image with the background.

Using tool Move (Move Tool (V), move the image with the background onto our working document. Using the tool Free Transformation (Free Transform (Ctrl + T), apply scaling, and then rotate the image with the background:

Step 2

Next, we will darken the background, turning our scene into a night scene using an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask. Being on the layer with the background, go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves):

Next, go to the layer mask of this adjustment layer and using a soft black brush with a very low opacity (opacity) and by pushing (flow) approximately 10-15%), reduce the degree of darkening in some areas of the background.

You can see my brush processing on the layer mask and the result on the image in the screenshot below.

Step 3

Add another adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to heighten the darkness. On the layer mask of this adjustment layer, hide and also reduce darkening with a soft black brush, varying the opacity of the brush:

Step 4

I want to hide the window located in the background. Create a new layer, select the tool. Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select the window area. Next, right-click on the active selection area and in the window that appears, select the option Transform selected area (Transform Selection), and then rotate the selected area, as shown in the screenshot below:

Next, go Editing – Fill (Edit-Fill (Shift + F5) and fill with black color:

Name this layer “black fill 1 ?.

To this layer, add a layer mask. Using a soft black brush, work hard edges to create a smooth transition with the background:

Step 5

Do the same with the hole at the top of the background:

Step 6

Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Using a soft red brush, (I used the color shade # ff0000), paint over the window area that is filled with black, and then reduce the layer opacity to 60%:

Name this layer “red light 1 ?.

Step 7

Create a new layer below the layer ‘red light 1 ‘. Using a brush with the same color shade and brush opacity between 50-100%, paint over the areas illuminated with red light. Change the blending mode for this layer to Chromaticity (Color) 100% layer opacity:

Create a new layer above the layer ‘red light 1 ‘. Using the same brush, paint over the columns and the ground to enhance the lighting effect. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), 100%.

Step 8

Separate the model image from the background using any selection tool you prefer to work with. Move the selected model image to our working paper, placing it in the center of the composition:

Step 9

To the layer with the model, add a layer mask. With the help of a hard black brush, hide the lower part of the model’s dress, including small sections of the image, as well as some details on her right shoulder and on her hands.

Step 10

Next, we will add shades of red to the model image. Double click on the layer with the model and in the window that appears, select the option Overlay options (Blending Options):

Step 11

To the model layer, add adjustment layers as a clipping mask to change the brightness and contrast of the model image.

Curves 1 and 2:

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves 2 (Curves 2) and with the help of a soft black brush, hide the correction of this correction layer in the area of ​​the face and hair of the model, as well as in the area of ​​a small part of the arm, because I do not want these areas to be too dark:

Step 12

Next, add the adjustment layers to the model layer. Photo Filter (Photo Filter) and Color Balance (Color Balance) to add more red glow to the model image:

On layer-masked adjustment layers Photo Filter (Photo Filter) and Color Balance (Color Balance), using a soft black brush, reduce the red glow on the skin of the model:

Step 13

To add a glow to the outline of the model, we need to select the image of the model. Create a new layer as a clipping mask for the model layer. Next, hold down (Ctrl) + left-click on the thumbnail of the model layer to load the active selection around the model image:

Next, go Editing – perform a stroke (Edit-Stroke), stroke color # ff0000:

Result:

Being on a layer with a contour glow, we go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter-Blur-Gaussian Blur). Apply a blur radius of 20 px:

Using a layer mask, hide and also reduce the intensity of the red shade on the model’s shoulders, arms, and hair:

Step 14

So, it’s time for the most exciting part of our lesson. Open the stock image with a dress. Separate the dress image from the model image.

Using tool Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso Tool), select the part of the dress. Move the selected part of the dress to our working paper, placing it to the left of the model. Apply the tool Deformation (Warp Tool), let’s go Editing – Transformation – Deformation (Edit-Transform-Warp) to deform the highlighted part of the dress, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 15

Select a larger part of the dress, place this part of the dress to the right of the model:

Using a layer mask, hide the extra areas of the dress, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 16

Select part of the dress again, and then duplicate the selected part of the dress on a new layer (Ctrl + J). With the help of free transformation (Ctrl + T), turn the selected part of the dress:

Next, go Filter – Plastic (Filter-Liquify) and select the tool Deformation (Forward Warp Tool). Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below:

With this tool, deform the selected part of the dress to get the shape that you like. You can see my result in the screenshot below:

Step 17

Move the deformed part of the dress to our working paper, placing it closer to the foreground. Apply additional deformation:

With the help of layer masks, spend the combination with the rest of the dress:

Step 18

To this dress layer, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask to darken this part of the dress a bit:

Step 19

Select another part of the dress, also apply a plastic filter. Place this part of the dress to the left of the model:

Using a layer mask, hide the extra areas of the image:

Step 20

To this dress layer, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask to lighten this part of the dress a little. And then, on the layer mask of this adjustment layer, using a soft black brush, hide the lightening correction at the bottom of the dress, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 21

Keep adding tails to the dress using the same technique. Use Curves(Curves) to darken or lighten if necessary. This is a great and safe way to correct light in certain areas of your image.

Step 22

Keep adding tails to the dress:

Step 23

Next, we will create the top of the dress. Select another part of the dress. Place this highlighted part of the dress over the right hand:

Spend the combination of this part of the dress with the hand of the model using a layer mask:

Duplicate the layer with the sleeve, and then displace the duplicate layer, placing it on your left hand. Using a layer mask, swipe the sleeve to match the dress. To this duplicate layer, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask to darken this sleeve of the dress a little:

Step 24

Select another part of the dress. Place this part of the dress on top of the model. Using tool Deformations (Warp Tool), warp this part so that it fits the model body:

Using a layer mask, hide the extra areas of the dress:

Duplicate the layer with this part of the dress. Move the duplicate layer to the left and then flip horizontally. Let’s go Editing – Transform – Flip Horizontal (Edit-Transform-Flip Horizontal). Next, also to the duplicate layer, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to darken this part of the dress a bit:

Step 25

Select another part of the dress to complete the dress on our model:

Step 26

To make a general correction of all layers with parts of the dress, first select all layers, and then press the keys (Ctrl + G) to group them into one group. Change the blending mode for the layer with the new group from the mode Skip (Pass Through (overlay mode for default group) per mode Normal (Normal), 100%. Inside the created group, add two adjustment layers to darken the dress, and also add red shades to it:

Since we changed the blending mode for the group layer to mode Normal (Normal), 100%, then these adjustment layers will affect only the layers within this group (layers with parts of the dress).

Step 27

To a layer with a group, add a layer mask (add a layer mask in the same way as for a regular layer). Using a hard black brush, paint over your right hand so that the details of your hands are more clearly visible:

Step 28

Right-click on the layer with the group and in the window that appears, select the option Duplicate group (Duplicate group). Once you have created a duplicate group, right-click on the duplicate group and in the window that appears, select the option Merge group (Merge Group). Next, click on the layer mask of the merged layer and in the window that appears, select the option Apply layer mask (Apply Layer Mask). So, we have created a selected image of the dress on a separate layer, this will be useful to us in the following Steps.

Step 29

In this Step we will add the shadow of the dress on the ground. Create a new layer below the layer with the group with fragments of the dress. Using a soft black brush with an opacity of 40%, paint over the model’s dress tails.

Step 30

As you can see, the folds of the dress look lumpy and shapeless. To fix this, create a new layer on top of all layers. Choose a tool Finger (Smudge Tool), with a value Intensity (Strength) approximately 70-80%. In the brush settings, select the Particle brush. Load the active selection by clicking on the thumbnail of the duplicate layer with the image of the dress that we created in Step 28. Start brushing the dress along the dress to soften the details:

Step 31

In this Step, I want to add small details on the dress. Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Using tool Pen (Pen Tool), draw small shapes on the edges of the tails of the dress. Hold down (Ctrl) + press (Enter) to convert the shapes into an active selection, and then fill the active selection with the # 450000 color shade:

Step 32

To the layer with additional details on the dress, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask to darken these details:

Switch to the layer mask of this adjustment layer and use a soft black brush to reduce the effect of darkening on certain parts of the image, as shown in the screenshot below:

Name this layer “fine detail”.

Step 33

In my opinion, some parts of the dress should be darker, so, once again load the active selection of the dress, hold down the (Shift) key, load the active selection of small details. Add a new adjustment layer Curves (Curves) on top of all layers. Let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer-New Adjustment Layer> Curves):

Using a soft black brush, hide the correction on the layer mask of this adjustment layer so that the individual details on the dress are visible. The result of processing with a brush on the layer mask and the result on the image, you can see in the screenshot below:

Step 34

Once again, load the active selection of the image of the dress and small details, then press the keys (Ctrl + Shift + N) to create a new layer. In the window that appears, set the blending mode Overlap (Overlay), 100%, and 50% gray fill:

Choose a tool Clarifier / Dimmer(Dodge and Burn Tool), set the value Range (Range) on Mid tones (Midtones), and the value Exposure (Exposure) approximately 20-25%. With this tool, add more detail to the folds of the dress, as well as to the body of the model. You can see in the screenshot below where I applied this tool in the mode Normal (Normal), as well as the result when Overlap (Overlay). Please note that I also painted a belt on the model’s dress:

Step 35

In this Step we will add light highlights to the tails of the dress. Once again, load the active selection of the dress image and small details, then, using a brush, brush color # 8e0005, paint over the outline of the dress. You can use a layer mask to enhance the details of the highlights:

Using the same technique, I added light highlights on the sides of the dress, using the brush color # ff0000:

Step 36

Create two new layers. Reduce the brush size to 1px. Next, go to the bookmark Brushes(Brushes) in the layers palette and select the option Pressure pen(Pen Pressure) in the brush settings Dynamics forms (Shape Dynamics). Next, draw fine hairs at the ends of the tails of the dress to create a sinister effect. On the first layer, use the brush color # 610002, and on the second layer, use a brighter color (# 8e0005):

Step 37

Create a new layer, select a soft brush, brush size 2px, brush color # ff0000. Draw dots at the ends of the tails of the dress; these will be “special eyes” located at each end of the tail:

To layer ‘special eyes’, apply layer styles External glow (Outer Glow) to make your eyes look more distinct:

Step 38

Separate the horns from the background. Move the selected image of the horns to our working paper, placing them above the model’s head. Using a layer mask, draw a combination of horns with the model’s head:

Step 39

Create a new group for the horns, just like you did for the layers with the dress. Inside the created group, add the following adjustment layers. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), Color Balance (Color Balance) Curves (Curves) to darken the horns, and add a red tint to them:

Step 40

Inside with the group with horns, create a new layer. Load the active selection image of the horns and using a soft brush, brush color # ff0000, opacity (opacity) and pressure (flow) brush about 40-45%, add light highlights to the horns:

Step 41

Load the active selection of the horn image, then create a new layer with the same settings as in Step 34. Using the tool Dimmer (Burn Tool), darken parts of the horns:

Step 42

Create 6 new layers on top of all other layers. Change brushes for Cracks, which can be downloaded from the link at the beginning of this lesson, brush color # ff0000. Draw cracks on the horns, use the free transformation (Ctrl + T) if necessary, and also hide the extra details using a layer mask:

Step 43

Create a new layer on top of all layers. Using a brush, brush color # ff0000, paint over the model’s eyes. Next, change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), 100%. Using a layer mask, reduce the degree of brightness on the left eye:

Create a new layer with the same settings as in Step 34. Using the tool Clarifier/ Dimmer (Dodge and Burn Tool), add sharpness to the eyes:

Step 44

To add a slight glow to the face of the model, create a new layer and using a soft brush, brush color # ff0000, paint over the model’s eyes. Next, change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), 100%:

Step 45

Add a new adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) on top of all layers, to slightly increase the saturation of the whole picture:

Step 46

Final Step: Press the keys (Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E) to merge all the visible layers in the layers palette. Being on the combined layer, we go Filter – Sharpness – Contour Sharpness (Filter-Sharpen-Unsharp Mask):

Add a layer mask to the merged layer and using a hard black brush, hide the created filter effect on the horns, as I do not want the horns to look too distinct:

Congratulations, we have completed the lesson! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

Final result

Download the archive with materials for the lesson

Author: Jenny Le

Translator: Sadigaliyev Marat

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