Create a sci-fi collage in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create an abstract sci-fi scene in Photoshop. You will learn how to combine several different stock images, how to create abstract elements and work with the group, as well as how to create light effects.

Stages of the lesson

At the beginning of the lesson we will create a night scene using an image of the sky, two images with a desert and star textures. Next, we will add the planets, the model, add the nebula textures, and also create abstract elements, then combine all the elements of the composition with the help of adjustment layers, masks and brushes. In conclusion, we will add light effects and color-correct the entire scene. You will need Photoshop CS3 or higher to complete this tutorial.

Note: The author used the image of a model in the nude genre, available for viewing and downloading for people over 18 years old. You can use the alternative image of the model in the archive.

The final result:

Step 1

Create a new document in Photoshop. Install the following dimensions:

Step 2

Press the keys (Ctrl + Shift + N) to create a new layer. Press the ‘G’ key to activate the tool Gradient (Gradient Tool), set the gradient type radial gradient (Radial Gradient), gradient colors # 384962 and # 09131d. Drag the gradient from the top center of the image down:

Step 3

Open the texture set with the stars, select the texture “starry 1 ?. Move this texture to our working paper. Change the blending mode for this texture layer to Lightening basics (Color Dodge), opacity (Opacity) layer 100%:

Duplicate the star texture layer three times, placing duplicate layers on a dark background to enhance the effect of the stars and make them more visible:

Step 4

Add a sky image to our working paper, placing it on top of all layers. Change the blending mode for the sky layer to Soft light (Soft Light), opacity (Opacity) layer 100%:

To the layer with the sky, add a layer mask by clicking on the corresponding icon at the bottom of the layers panel. Next, using a standard soft black brush with an opacity of about 30-40%, loosen the effect of the clouds in the background:

Step 5

Open the original image ‘Background’. Move this image to our working paper:

To the layer with the background, add a layer mask and using a soft black brush, process the top edge of the image to combine it with the starry sky:

Step 6

Add an adjustment layer to the background layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask to darken the desert. Let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves):

Step 7

Next, add an adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance) as a clipping mask to combine the color shades of the desert with the background:

Step 8

Open the original image ‘Front Background’. Move this image to our working paper, placing it in the foreground. Apply the transformation as shown in the screenshot below:

Using a layer mask, draw a combination of the desert image with the background:

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

On the filter mask, using a soft black brush, hide the blur effect in the middle of the image to add depth to our scene:

Step 9

To the layer with the image фон Front background коррект, add an adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to darken the desert in the foreground. Set the curve as shown in the screenshot below. Next, go to the layer mask of this adjustment layer and using a soft black brush with an opacity of about 40-45%, hide the darkening effect on the area closer to the background:

Step 10

Next, add an adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance) for desert color correction:

Step 11

To add a little fog effect to our scene, create a new layer and using a soft brush, brush color # cadbe7, opacity (opacity) and pressure (Flow) brush about 50%, paint over the image, in particular over the mountains:

Step 12

Open the original image ‘Planet 1’. Turn off the background visibility, and then press the keys (Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E) to merge all visible layers. Move the merged planet layer to our working paper. Position the planet in the upper right of the sky. Place this planet layer below the background and foreground layers.

Change the blending mode for the layer with planet 1 to Lightening (Screen), Opacity 100%. Next, add a layer mask to the layer with the planet and use the soft black brush to process the dark part of the planet to combine it with the sky:

Duplicate the planet layer 1. Zoom out the duplicate layer with the planet by placing it next to the first planet:

Step 13

Open the original image ‘Planet 2’. Move this image to our working paper, located on the left side of our scene behind the mountains. Change the blending mode for this layer with the planet to Lightening (Screen), opacity is 100%. Using a layer mask, spend combining the planet with the sky:

Step 14

Open the star texture set. Select the texture “starry 5 ?. Place this texture on top of the planets in the upper left corner of the image. Further, using the free transformation tool (Ctrl + T) in the Deformations (Warp), warp the texture by placing the layer with this texture below the layer with the group of planets:

Change the blending mode to Lightening (Screen), opacity 100%:

Step 15

Next, on the “starry 5?” Texture layer, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation):

Next, add an adjustment layer. Levels (Levels) to change the contrast of the effect created:

Step 16

Open the original image with nebula 2. Move this image to our working document, located on the left side of the sky. Change the blending mode to Lightening (Screen), opacity 100%:

Next, using the layer mask, hide part of the image, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 17

To layer with nebula 2, add an adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to create the following effect:

Next, use Levels (Levels) to hide visible edges of the image:

Step 18

Open the original image with nebula 3. Create a duplicate layer (Ctrl + J). Next, go Filter – Plastic (Filter> Liquify) select tool Deformation (Forward Warp Tool (W)):

Using tool Deformation (Forward Warp Tool (W)), warp the nebula to create the following effect:

Move the layer with the deformed nebula onto our working paper, placing it on top of the layer with nebula 2 (which is located below the layers with planets, background and foreground). Using the free transform (Ctrl + T), transform the nebula as shown in the screenshot below:

Change the blending mode for layer with nebula 3 to Lightening (Screen), the opacity is 100% and using the layer mask to hide the effect over the middle of the scene, as well as over the planets:

Step 19

Via Levels (Levels), dim the effect:

Step 20

Open the original image with nebula 1. Move this image to our working document, located in the central part of the sky. Change the blending mode for this layer with nebula to Lightening (Screen), opacity 100%:

Using a layer mask, hide the glow in the center of the nebula, as well as at the edges, to create a subtle effect:

Duplicate this layer with Nebula 1, and then apply a deformation to the duplicate, go Editing – Transformation – Deformation (Edit> Transform> Warp). Warp the nebula as shown in the screenshot below:

Using a layer mask, hide the hard edges of the image so that the effect is visible only on the image Planet 2:

Step 21

Select both layers with Nebula 1, and then press the keys (Ctrl + G) to group these layers. Change the blending mode for the created group from Skip (Pass Through (default group mode) on Lightening (Screen), 100%. Next, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to change the color of Nebula 1:

Next, go to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and with the help of a soft black brush hide the correction in the middle, because I didn’t want this correction layer to affect this part of the image:

Step 22

Next, add an adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance) to create the following effect:

Step 23

Next, I used an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to enhance the contrast, and then using a soft black brush, I hid the correction in areas that are indicated in the screenshot below:

Step 24

Open the original image with the model.

Note: The author used the image of the model in the nude, available for viewing and downloading for persons over 18 years old. You can use the alternative image of the model in the archive.

Move this image with the model to our working paper. Place the model layer on top of all other layers. Using a layer mask, separate the image of the model from the background, placing it in the center of the image, as shown in the screenshot below.

To create a shadow from the model, create a new layer below the model layer. Hold down (Ctrl) + click on the thumbnail of the model layer to load the active selection:

Fill the selected area with black (Shift + F5), and then convert to a smart object. Flip Vertically (Flip it vertically) a layer with a shadow, for this we go Editing – Transformation – Flip Vertically (Edit> Transform> Flip Vertical), and also reduce opacity (Opacity) layer up to 50%. Move the shadow down, placing the model near the legs, apply the transformation (Ctrl + T) to tilt the shadow:

To the layer with the shadow, apply the filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), blur radius 3 px, and then use a layer mask to slightly blur the upper part of the shadow:

Step 25

To the model layer, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to reduce model saturation:

Step 26

Next, add a adjustment layer to the model layer. Color Balance (Color Balance):

Step 27

Next, using the adjustment layer Curves (Curves), lighten the dark side of the model, to do this, set the curve, as shown in the screenshot below, and then on the layer mask using a soft black brush, slightly muffle the correction curves on the light side of the model image:

Step 28

Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Choose a tool Oval area (Elliptical Marquee Tool (L)). Using this tool, create a circular selection above the model image. When creating a circle, hold down the (Shift) key:

Without removing the active selection, go Editing – perform a stroke (Edit> Stroke). Set the stroke color to white:

Next, to the layer with the stroke, add a layer mask and use a black brush to break the circle, and also blur certain parts of the circle, slightly reducing the opacity, as shown in the screenshot below:

Double-duplicate the created circle, reducing the size of duplicates. Place duplicates inside the first circle. Decrease opacity (Opacity) layer with a circle in the middle to 50%. The circles should look like in the screenshot below:

Step 29

Choose a tool Line (Line Tool (U)). Set the following settings:

Draw a lot of lines around the planets, as well as on the tops of the mountains, place the lines at your discretion, the main task is to create a feeling of abstraction (do not forget to draw the lines on separate layers). My result in the screenshot below:

Add layer masks to layers with lines to reduce the opacity of the lines, in particular at the ends of the lines, to avoid a hard look.

Step 30

Draw an additional six vertical lines emanating from the hands of the model. Arrange the lines in such a way as to create a feeling as if she is holding these lines. Decrease opacity (Opacity) layers with lines up to 30, 50 and 70%:

Step 31

Create a new layer on top of all layers. Using tool Oval area (Elliptical Marquee Tool), draw a circle:

Choose a tool Gradient (Gradient Tool), gradient type Radial (Radial), gradient colors # 834115 and # f8b2f2. Drag the gradient from the bottom left to the top right:

Transform this layer with a drawn circle into a smart object, zoom out the circle image:

Duplicate the circle drawn circle several times. Place the spheres on the tips of the lines that are drawn in the mountains, as well as next to the planets, and also add the spheres to the sky and above the desert. For the spheres that are located in the foreground, apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), the blur radius is 8 px, and apply a blur radius of 4 px to other spheres to add depth to our scene:

Step 32

Let’s change the color of the sphere, which is located next to the two planets, using the adjustment layer Channel Mixing (Channel Mixer):

Step 33

Group all layers with spheres in one group, change the blending mode for the layer with group to mode Normal (Normal), opacity is 100%. To the group layer, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to discolor individual spheres:

Next, go to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and with the help of a soft black brush, hide the effect of this adjustment layer, in particular on those spheres that are located above the lines and in the sky:

Step 34

Next, add a correction layer to the spheres. Color Balance (Color Balance) to add a bit of blue to them:

Next, go to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance) and with the help of a soft black brush hide the correction effect on the spheres that are located above the desert:

Step 35

Next, using Curves (Curves), clarify individual areas:

Next, using a soft black brush, hide the effect of the curves on the layer mask of this adjustment layer on the spheres that are located above the desert and in the sky, because they are located in the dark part of the scene:

Step 36

Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Using a soft brush, brush color # d65f35 and # fbbd59, place a spot on the image as shown in the screenshot below:

Transform this layer into a smart object, and then using transformation (Ctrl + T), transform the painted spot into a line. Position the transformed line so that it proceeds from the hand of the model between the white lines:

Change the blending mode for the layer to line to Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge), opacity 100%, and then duplicate the layer with the line, placing a duplicate layer with a line over the model’s second hand:

Step 37

Duplicate the light effect layer, this time apply the tool Deformation (Warp Tool) for warp effect. Place the warped effects in the upper left and right side of the scene:

To create effects, apply a filter. Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), blur radius 3 px to soften the edges:

Step 38

For the created light effect, create a new group. Change the blending mode for the created group to Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge), opacity is 100%. Next, add the adjustment layer to the created group. Color Balance (Color Balance):

Next, hide the effect of the adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance) on a layer mask using a soft black brush. Paint over the vertical lines above the model’s hands:

Step 39

Open the original image with nebula 4. Move this image to our working paper, placing it on top of the white circles. Change the blending mode for the nebula layer to Lightening (Screen), 100%. Next, with the tool Deformation (Warp Tool), apply a slight deformation to create the following light effect:

Using a layer mask, hide specific parts of the effect, as shown in the screenshot below:

Duplicate the effect layer by placing a duplicate layer on top of the model:

Step 40

Open the wire frame image set. I chose a triangular frame, which I placed inside the white circles:

To invert the color of the wire frame, let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Invert (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Invert):

Step 41

Duplicate the planet 1 layer. Place the duplicate layer with the planet inside the wire frame. Place this layer with the planet on top of the layer with the group of planets, change the blending mode to Normal (Normal) 100% layer opacity:

Via Curves (Curves), loosen the contrast of the planet image:

Step 42

Using the adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance), change the color of the planet:

Step 43

Open the set with light effects. Select a light effect number 40. Duplicate the layer with the background. Next, go Filter – Plastic (Filter> Liquify) to warp this light effect just as we deformed Nebula 3 in Step 18:

Place the light effect on top of the model body, change the blending mode for the effect layer to Lightening (Screen), 100%. Using tool Deformation (Warp Tool), apply a slight deformation according to the curvature of the model’s body:

Duplicate the light effect layer five times, placing duplicates around the model’s body to make the light effect more visible. Using a layer mask, hide the extra areas of the effect:

Step 44

Duplicate the first layer twice, and then zoom in (Ctrl + T). Place duplicate layers inside white circles:

Using a layer mask, hide some extra areas to make the effect look more subtle:

Step 45

Group the layers with the light effects that we created in the previous two steps. Change the blending mode for the layer with group to Lightening (Screen), opacity is 100%. Via Color Balance (Color Balance), add to them more warm shades:

Step 46

The time has come for a general color correction of the scene. Create a new adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map) on top of all other layers:

Change the blending mode for the gradient map layer to Soft light (Soft Light), opacity 100%:

Step 47

Next, add an adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance) to add blue / blue hues to our scene:

Step 48

Next, add an adjustment layer. Selective color correction (Selective Color) for correction of blue shades:

Step 49

Next, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to enhance image contrast:

Next, go to the layer mask of this adjustment layer and use a soft black brush to hide the correction in the area around the model and the circles to preserve their brightness:

Step 50

Next, add an adjustment layer. Vibration (Vibrance) to enhance the final effect:

Next, go to the layer mask of this adjustment layer and using a soft black brush with opacity of about 40%, loosen the effect on the glow around the circles:

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and find it useful.

The final result:

PSD lesson

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