Create a photo manipulation with Spartan in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to combine and distort various stock images with deserts to create a dynamic fish eye effect like perspective, and use different adjustment layers to give unusual shading and unique feeling to manipulation. Let’s get started!

Final result

Source materials:

STEP 1. Open Photoshop and create a new document.
The size of the document should be approximately 7200 px in width and 4800 px in height with a resolution of 300dpi. (You can reduce the size by half if the dimensions are too large to work with).

STEP 2. Move the stock sandstone image to our document and rotate the image slightly to one side. This will help us start creating our perspective.

Next, move the stock image of the desert to our document, placing it on top of the layer with sandstone and turning it to match their position. You can reduce the opacity of the layer if you are unable to combine two images.

Add a layer mask to the layer with the desert and using soft brusheswith a stiffness of 0%, hide the upper part of the image so that the horizon line coincides with the sandstone horizon line and the two images are aligned with each other.

STEP 3 Now we will work on combining two images. First, we need the shades of the image of sand in the desert to coincide with the shades of the image of sandstone. Let’s go Image – Correction – Levels (Image> Adjustments> Levels) (or Ctrl + L) and apply the following values ​​to lighten shades:

Now go Image – CorrectionHue / Saturation (Image> Adjustments> Hue and Saturation) to correct color shades.

Let’s go Image – Correction– Brightness / Contrast (Image> Adjustments> Brightness and Contrast) for the last correction:

This is how your image should look like at the moment:

STEP four. Although we carried out the correction of color shades in both images, they are not well enough combined, a smooth transition between these two images is necessary. To fix this, we will use the tool Stamp (Cloning Stamp Tool (S) to soften the edges between two images.

Create a new layer on top of the desert layer, select the tool Stamp (Clone tool), set a soft (stiffness 0%) large round brush with an opacity of 45%, in the settings Sample (sample) set option Currentandfollowing(Current and Below). Hold the Alt + key and click on the image, where to get the source of the cloning. Once you have selected the cloning source, move the cursor over the edges between the two deserts to apply the brush.

Choose as many new designs as you need. Do the same on the edges to better combine both images together.

Continue repeating this step until the transition looks like in the screenshot below:

STEP five. Select all the layers and merge them together (Ctrl + E). You can duplicate them and save them for later use if you want a backup copy before you merge the layers.

We need to merge the layers into one, because we are going to apply warp to create an unusual effect. Once you have merged all the layers, go Editing – Transformation – Deformation (Edit> Transform> Warp) and deform the image, as in the screenshot below:

Try to experiment with the deformation, it may take time to get the desired result.

STEP 6 After the deformation, the white areas appeared on the document and the smooth transition between the layers was lost, so we need to fix this. Using tool Pen(pen tool (P) or Lasso (Lasso Tool (L), create a selection of those areas that you want to fill or combine.

Apply a feathering value of about 5 px when creating the selected area to simplify the alignment process. As you can see in the screenshot below, we need to fill in the areas with the desert and the sky. First, we need to create a selection on the sand part, as in the screenshot below:

Create a new layer on top of the layer with the deformed desert and select the tool again. Stamp(Cloning stamp tool). We use the same settings, but this time we need to set the opacity of the brush to 100%. Just as we did in Step 4, select the source of the cloning and fill in the empty areas.

Do not use feathering when creating a selected area when the fill area has sharp edges, as in the screenshot below:

Watch edges and jagged transitions:

Fix the sky a little harder due to the contrast of shades. Try to take samples of shades closer to the place that you are going to fill and often change the source of cloning for a smooth transition.

STEP 7 Now we will add a vignette effect to enhance the focal point, which will be the statue located in the center. Create a new layer on top of all layers with deserts and set black as the foreground color. Choose a big round brushwith a hardness of 0%, set the opacity of the brush to 40% and paint over the brush along the edges of the document, as shown in the screenshot below:

Change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay).

Create another layer and set the brush opacity to about 25% and brush again along the edges of the document, but this time change the blending mode to Multiplication (Multiply).

STEP eight. Download the image of the Statue, then open the downloaded image in Photoshop. Let’s go Image – Rotate Canvas – Flip Canvas Horizontal (Image> Image Rotation> Flip Canvas Horizontal). Then, using the tool Pen (pen tool) separate the statue from the background, try to keep as much detail as possible when highlighting it with a pen, and then move the selected image to our document, scale the image if necessary.

STEP 9. Once you have moved the image of the statue to your document, we need to create a shadow from the statue on the sand. Duplicate the statue layer and apply the correction. Hue / Saturation (Hue and Saturation) by pressing Ctrl + U, decrease the value Brightness (Lightness) to -100:

Move this duplicate of the layer below the original layer with the statue. Now, we need to apply the transformation so that the shadow is reflected in perspective in the sand. Holding the key Ctrl, pull the square down on the outline of the figure to create a perspective effect. Use the screenshot below as a link.

Let’s go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur) and apply a blur radius of approximately 21 px:

Now, we need to deform the shadow a little so that it repeats the curve of the earth.

Choose a tool Eraser(Eraser tool (E) and set a soft round brush with an opacity of 70% and erase the upper part of the shadow.

STEP 10. In this step, we will apply adjustment layers that will give the image beautiful hues and unusual contrast. I propose to group all the layers into one group (Ctrl + G) and place this group on top of all layers with deserts and a statue, so everything will be organized.

First we change the curve values ​​in the image. Let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves) and apply the settings, as in the screenshot below, to get a nice image contrast:

Now, we will create several adjustment layers. Colour (color), each adjustment layer will have an individual blending mode and its own opacity value. Below the adjustment layer Curves (Curves), create a new adjustment layer – fill Colour (Color), for this we go Layer – New Layer – Fill – Color (Layer> New Fill Layer> Solid Color).

For the first adjustment layer, apply Dark Blue # 070d5f, blending mode for this layer Overlap (Overlay), layer opacity is 25%.

For the second adjustment layer, apply a red tint # d30c0c, blending mode Overlap (Overlay), set the layer opacity to 15%.

For the third adjustment layer, apply a dark green tint # 007711, blending mode Chromaticity (Color), layer opacity set to 20%.

For the last layer, the tint should be orange # cb4105, set the blending mode to Chromaticity (Color), layer opacity also set to 20%.

Try experimenting with the order of the layers, with opacity and color shades to get different results.

STEP 11. Let’s go back to our main layer with the Statue and select one of the arrows.

We are going to duplicate this layer several times. Arrange them around the Statue to enhance our idea and composition. At the beginning, I added more arrows around the body of the Statue:

Next, duplicate the boom layer several times and place the arrows on the ground. Increase the size of the arrows as you approach the observer and accordingly reduce the size as you move away from the observer.

Apply blur to the arrows closer to the observer that are larger. Apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian blur), apply the blur radius according to the boom size and approach distance:

So, we need to create shadows for each arrow. You can do this by duplicating the arrows and turning them in perspective so that the shadow falls on the sand (use the shadow of the statue as a guide). Apply a Gaussian Blur to the created shadows, a blur radius of about 10 px and erase the arrowheads, just like we did with the shadow of the statue.

STEP 12. As an addition, we will add sparks to the left side of the image. Open the Fireworks image and drag the image to our document. Using tool Lasso(Lasso Tool (L), create a selection image and copy to a new layer.

I want the sparks to be bright red to match the hues of the image. For this, we apply the correction Hue / Saturation (Hue and Saturation) (Ctrl + U) and apply the following values:

Apply deformation to get a curved shape:

Change the blending mode to Light replacement (Lighten) You can also duplicate this layer by changing the size or applying a blur to get the sparks in different positions.

We finished the lesson. I hope you learned some new techniques in the process of doing this lesson. Do not forget to experiment with color shades and other values, using this lesson as a base. Enjoy the lesson!

Final result

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