Create a picture of the future in Photoshop

The beauty of creating fantasy-style manipulations is that your work takes you and those who look at your picture into new worlds, reassessing ordinary life.

I am sure that this technique is useful for the majority of well-combined realistic scenes, but with the help of Photoshop program at our disposal, why should we stop at realistic scenes?

Composition creation is an expansion of the boundaries of visual effects, reality, physical foundation and imagination.

Therefore, in this lesson, you will learn the technique of combining images, creating light effects, composing a composition and much more. In addition, you will also learn how to combine ordinary images into something exciting and unusual.

What will you create today:

You can see the futuristic picture in the screenshot below. At the end of the lesson, you can say ‘I created this picture!’.

In addition to having fun, you will also learn some really useful tips and advice.

Final result

In the screenshot below, you can see stock images that we combine to create our masterpiece. Are you ready to start the lesson? Great, let’s go to the lesson!

Source materials:

Step 1

So let’s create a new document. Let’s go File – New(File -> New). Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below.

Fill the new document with black.

Step 2

Open the stock image Sky, then, select the entire image (Ctrl + A), copy and paste into our working document.

Next, we transform the sky a little with the tool Transformation (Transform), just press the keys (Ctrl + T) to activate the transformation, and then select the option Deformation (Warp), slide the corners of the image with the sky, as shown in the screenshot below:

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 3

Add a layer mask to the sky layer.

Next, we reduce the saturation and slightly enhance the contrast of the sky with the help of corrective layers: Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and Curves (Curves).

Remember to convert these adjustment layers to clipping masks to the sky layer, so that the correction applies only to the sky layer. When creating adjustment layers, check the box Use previous layer to create clipping mask. (Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask).

Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation)
Saturation (Saturation): -78
Brightness (Lightness): -8

Curves(Curves)

On layer mask Curves (Curves), brush with a soft black brush to hide part of the correction.

And we will get the sky, as in the screenshot below:

Step 4

Open the stock image of the Building, create a selection around the image of the building (you can use the tool Pen (Pen Tool) or tool Fast selection (Quick Selection Tool).

Once you have created the selection, copy and paste the copied image of the buildings onto our working paper. Position the selected building image as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 5

Next, we will carry out the correction of buildings using corrective layers:

Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast)
Brightness (Brightness): -14
Contrast (Contrast): -11

Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation)
Saturation (Saturation): -75

Curves (Curves)

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 6

Open the stock image Tower. Using the selection tool, select a part of the tower, as shown in the screenshot below:

Copy the selected image of the tower, and then paste it on our working paper. Apply scaling by positioning the image with the tower, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 7

Next, we will carry out the correction of buildings using corrective layers:

Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation)
Saturation (Saturation): -57
Brightness (Lightness): -6

Exposition (Exposure)
Exposition (Exposure): -0.80
Shift (Offset): -0.0104
Gamma Correction (Gamma Correction): 0.77

Curves (Curves)

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 8

Open the stock image Bridge. Transfer this image to our working paper, placing it as shown in the screenshot below:

Apply the following adjustment layers to the layer with the bridge:

Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast)
Brightness (Brightness): -43
Contrast (Contrast): -28

Exposition(Exposure)
Exposition(Exposure): -3.90
Gamma Correction(Gamma Correction): 0.87

Reduce the opacity of the adjustment layer. Exposition (Exposure) up to 80%

Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation)
Saturation (Saturation): -100
Brightness (Lightness): -24

Curves (Curves)

Next, go Layer – New layer-fill – Colour(Layer -> New Fill Layer -> Solid Color). Fill color # 3f5d7a.

Change the blending mode to Layer-fill (Color fill) on Soft light (Soft Light), further, reduce Opacity (Opacity) layer to 45%, and also reduce the value Fillings (Fill) up to 60%.

On the layer mask of the adjustment layer Exposition (Exposure), brush with a soft black brush with an opacity of 40% to hide part of the correction. Process the area as shown in the screenshot below.

The result of combining the bridge with the whole scene should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 9

In this step, we will create a neon light for the bridge. First create a new layer, then select the tool Pen (Pen Tool). With this tool, draw a rectangle, as shown in the screenshot below:

Note: If the tool Pen (Pen Tool) it is difficult for you (many good designers also have difficulties with this tool), then read our guide on mastering the skills of Become a Master of Per in 30 minutes.

Create an active selection by pressing the keys (Ctrl + Enter).

Right-click on the selected area and in the menu that appears, select the option Run Fill (Fill), set the fill color to white.

And we get the following figure:

Step 10

Next, we will create a light effect using the option Overlay options (Blending Options), which we apply to the layer with the rectangle.

Apply the following settings:

Inner Glow (Inner Glow)
Colour (Color): 1467a8
Blend mode (Blend Mode): Normal (Normal)

External glow (Outer Glow)
Colour (Color): 35A8EB
Blend mode (Blend Mode): Lightening (Screen)
Opacity (Opacity): 100%

We will have a beautiful glowing neon light on the bridge stand.

Do not forget about the opposite side of the bridge, neon light is also needed there, just duplicate the layer with neon light. With Transformations – Flip Horizontally (Transform -> Flip Horizontal) is a duplicate of a layer with neon light, located on the left rack of the bridge.

Step 11

It’s time to create a fog effect!

First create a new layer, then select the tool Lasso (Lasso tool) with Feathering (Feather) 20px. Using this tool, create a selection, as shown in the screenshot below:

Next, go Filter – Rendering – Clouds (Filter -> Render -> Cloud) (make sure that the foreground color is set to white and the background color to black or vice versa)
Next, change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (Screen), Opacity (Opacity) layer 42%, Fill (Fill) 75%.

Result:

Step 12

We will add some fog to the surface of the bridge, using the same technique that we used in the previous step, but using a small perspective. Create a new layer, and then create a selection, as in the screenshot below:

After you apply the Clouds filter to the selected area, go Transformation – Perspective (Transform -> Perspective), and then drag out the lower anchor points, as shown in the screenshot below.

Reduce the layer opacity to 54% and lower the value Fillings (Fill) up to 57%. The fog will be in the same perspective as the surface of the bridge, creating a natural look.

Step 13

Create another fill layer on top of all layers to give a bluish tint to the entire image. Fill color # 3f5d7a.

So we created the background. At the moment, the result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 14

Next, we will deal with our main character. Open stock image Cyberpunk model. Create a selection around the model image. Copy / paste the selected model image onto our working paper. Apply scaling to the model image.

Apply adjustment layers to the model layer (remember to convert these adjustment layers to clipping masks).

Color tone (Saturation)
Saturation(Saturation): -59
Brightness (Lightness): -13

Curves (Curves)

Brightness / Contrast(Brightness / Contrast)
Brightness (Brightness): 1
Contrast (Contrast): 61

Fill layer (Color Fill) fill color # 3f5d7a
Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening basics (Color Dodge) – Fill (Fill) 75%.

On layer mask Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast), process a soft black brush to hide part of the correction.

The result that we should have:

Step 15

To create a shadow of the model, duplicate the layer with the image of the model, then hold down Ctrl + click on the thumbnail of the duplicate layer to create an active selection, once you have made the selection, fill the active selection with black.

Next, go Transformation – Distortion (Transform -> Distort) and move the upper anchor points down, as shown in the screenshot below:

Next, go Filter – Blur – Blur by Gauss(Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur) 2.5px.

Change the blending mode for the layer with the shadow on Soft light (Soft Light) – Opacity (Opacity) layer 68% – Fill (Fill) 72%.

The shadow will look like this:

Step 16

Create a new layer as a clipping mask for the model layer. Choose a soft black brush. Using this brush, paint over the following parts of the model:

Reduce the opacity of this layer to 46%.

Step 17

Open the stock image of the Terminator, paste this image on our working paper.

For the terminator layer, apply the following adjustment layers:

Brightness / Contrast(Brightness / Contrast)
Brightness (Brightness): -26
Contrast (Contrast): 40

Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation)
Saturation (Saturation): -67
Brightness (Lightness): 13

Fill layer (Color Fill) fill color # 3f5d7a
Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening basics (Color Dodge) – Fill (Fill) 75%.

Result:

Step 18

Create a layer below the terminator layer. Select a soft black brush, using this brush, draw shadows:

Change the blending mode for this layer with the shadow on Soft light (Soft Light) – Opacity (Opacity) layer 68% – Fill (Fill) 72%. We will have a beautiful terminator shadow.

Step 19

It’s time to add a zipper! Open the stock image of Lightning. Create a selection as shown in the screenshot below:

Copy and then paste the selected part of the lightning on our working paper, move the layer with the lightning down, placing it on top of the layer with the sky. Rotate image with zipper:

Apply the following adjustment layers to the zipper layer:

Levels(Level)

Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation)
Saturation (Saturation): -100
Brightness (Lightness): -41

Brightness / Contrast(Brightness / Contrast)
Brightness(Brightness): 4
Contrast (Contrast): 100

Change the blending mode for the layer with lightning to Lightening (Screen). Result:

Step 20

In the next steps we will correct the lighting of the entire image.

First create a new layer. Choose a soft white brush. Apply the brush as shown in the screenshot below:

Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), Opacity (Opacity) layer 30%, Fill (Fill) 30%.

Go to the layer with buildings, create a new layer on top of this layer. Convert a new layer to a clipping mask for the building layer. Using a soft white brush, paint over the top of the buildings:

Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), Opacity (Opacity) layer 75%

Next, choose a soft black brush. Using this brush, paint over the bottom of the buildings:

Change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft Light), opacity 90%. The result we get:

Step 21

Add the same lighting effect to the Tower. To do this, create a new layer on top of the turret layer. Using a soft white brush, paint over the right side of the tower, as shown in the screenshot below:

Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), Opacity (Opacity) layer 50%

Create another layer, add more white color:

Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), Opacity (Opacity) layer 70%, Fill (Fill) 67%

Go to the layer with the terminator body. Create a new layer below the terminator layer. Using a soft black brush, paint over the area as shown in the screenshot below:

Change Opacity (Opacity) layer up to 60% – Fill (Fill) up to 77%.

Step 22

Download brushes Lightning. Draw a zipper on the body of the terminator, as shown in the screenshot below:

Apply Overlay options (Blending Option) to all layers with zippers. You can simplify your work, first apply the layer styles to one layer, then right-click on the created layer styles and in the window that appears, select the option Copy Layer Styles (Copy Layer Style), then right-click on the next layer and in the window that appears this time, select the option Paste Layer Styles (Paste Layer Style).

External glow (Outer Glow)
Blend mode (Blend Mode): Normal (Normal)
Opacity (Opacity): 100%
Colour (Color): # 4590ED
The size (Size): 3

Group all layers with lightning, hold down Ctrl + click on each layer to select, then press (Ctrl + G). Duplicate the group to enhance the lighting effect.

Step 23

OK, now we have to add evidence to prove that our model has just killed the Terminator! Open the stock image of the Arrow. Create a selection around the arrow, and then copy / paste the selected image of the arrow onto our working paper, placing the arrow in the area of ​​the terminator’s head:

Duplicate the boom layer several times, placing duplicate layers with arrows all over the terminator’s body. For each layer with an arrow, add a layer mask:
Translator’s Note: The author processes the arrowheads on the layer mask of the layer using a black brush.

Group all layers with arrows into one group. Apply the following adjustment layers to the created group:
Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation)
Saturation (Saturation): -58
Brightness (Lightness): +5

Photo Filter (Photo Filter) (Cooling Filter 80)

Result:

Step 24

Open the stock image Light Glare, select one of the highlights:

Copy and paste the highlighted flare into our working paper. Expand the highlight:

Change the blending mode for the layer with the glare on Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge), to the light flare layer, add a layer mask:

Create a new layer. Choose a soft brush, brush color # D9F5F6. Apply the brush as shown in the screenshot below:

Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft shine(Soft Light), layer opacity 50%. We have a beautiful glow effect on the hilt of the model’s bow.

Step 25

Next, we will add a small shadow to the bottom of the scene. To do this, create a new layer, then choose a soft black brush. Using this brush, paint as shown in the screenshot below:

To create a shadow layer, add a layer mask and use a soft black brush to process the shadow as shown in the screenshot below:

Create a new layer, hold down the (Ctrl) + press the (A) key to create a selection, then we will create a fog effect, the same thing we did before, go Filter – Rendering – Clouds (Filter -> Render -> Cloud).

Change the blending mode for the cloud layer to Lightening (Screen), Opacity (Opacity) 35%, Fill (Fill) 20%.
Apply a layer mask to the cloud layer, and process as shown in the screenshot below:

And we have a beautiful light fog effect:

Step 26

We have almost completed the lesson! The time has come for the final touches. Apply the following adjustment layers:
Translator’s Note: The author conducts a general color correction of the entire image, therefore, adjustment layers will NOT be used as clipping masks.

Brightness / Contrast(Brightness / Contrast)
Brightness(Brightness): 3
Contrast(Contrast): 16

Color Balance(Color Balance)

Brightness / Contrast(Brightness / Contrast)
Brightness(Brightness): 83
Contrast(Contrast): 6

Levels (Level)

Selective color correction (Selective color)

Step 27

Process the layer mask of the second adjustment layer Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast):

Go to the model layer. Create a new layer on top of the model layer as a clipping mask. Paint over the areas shown in the screenshot below. Brush color # 8ca7c8:

Change the blending mode for this layer to Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge), opacity 80%.

Go to the terminator’s corpse, create a new layer as a clipping mask to the layer with the terminator. Paint a white brush over the terminator body:

Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), layer opacity 40%.

Final result

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