Create a steampunk photo manipulation in Photoshop

In this lesson, we will create a mysterious man in the steampunk style against the background of the cityscape.

Let’s get started!

Final result

Source materials:

Step 1

Open Photoshop. Create a new document. Let’s go File – New(File -> New). Apply the following settings, which are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 2

Next, open the image with the background. You will need to rotate this image, go Image – Rotate the canvas – Rotate counterclockwise (Image -> Image Rotation -> 90 CCW).

After you have rotated the image, select the tool Fast selection (Quick Selection Tool). Using this tool, select the image as shown in the screenshot below.

Then, using the tool Move (Move Tool), move the selected image to our working document. Name this layer “Background”.

Step 3

Open image with sky. Select a part of the sky, as shown in the screenshot below.

Move the selected part of the sky to our working paper. Place the sky layer below the background layer. Name this layer “Sky”.

Step 4

In this step, we will do a little sky color correction.

For this, let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Brightness / Contrast (Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Brightness / Contrast).

Do not forget to tick the option Use previous layer to create clipping mask. (Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask).

Apply the following settings for the adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast):

Brightness (Brightness): -37
Contrast (Contrast): 59

Next we go Layer – New corrective layer– Black-white(Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> BlackWhite). Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below.

Next we go Layer – New corrective layer– Curves((Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Curves).

The result after the correction.

Step 5

Let’s make a small background color correction using correction layers. For this we go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Brightness / Contrast (Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Brightness / Contrast).

Do not forget to tick the option Use previous layer to create clipping mask. (Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask).

Apply the following settings for the adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast).

Brightness(Brightness): -119
Contrast(Contrast): -13

Levels(Levels)

Apply the following settings for the adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation).

Saturation (Saturation): -36
Brightness (Brightness): -72

Apply the following settings for the adjustment layer. Photo Filter (Photo Filter)
Colour (Color): # ffc53b
Density (Density): 12%

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 6

Make corrections on the layer mask for adjustment layers.

Processing on the layer mask of the adjustment layer Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast).

Processing on the layer mask of the adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation).

The result we got.

Step 7

Let’s create a light source using a street light that will serve as the main source of lighting for the scene. Create a new layer on top of the “Background” layer, name this layer “Glare”. Fill this layer with black.

Let’s go Filter- Rendering – Glare (Filter -> Render -> Len Flare).

Change the blending mode for the layer with the glare on Lightening the basics(Color Dodge) to hide the back black background. Move the highlight to the street light area.

For the highlight layer, apply the following adjustment layers.

Apply the following settings for the adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation):

Color tone (Hue): 42
Saturation (Saturation): 42
Brightness(Brightness): +20

Levels(Levels)

Create another adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation).

Saturation(Saturation): -69
Brightness(Brightness): +19

Apply highlight to layer layer mask.

We have a bright street lamp.

Step 8

Next, we will create an additional glow effect. Create a new layer. Choose a soft round brush. Using this brush, click on the image to draw a white soft circle.

Double click on the layer to activate Options nallegations (Blending Option):

In the window that appears, select the option External glow (Outer Glow):

Mode overlay(Blend Mode): Lightening(Screen)
Colour(Color): # e4b526
Tightening (Spread): 0%
The size (Size): 109 px
Range (Range): 71%

Next, select the option Color overlay (Color Overlay): change the color to # fff1c6.

Move the created glow effect to the street lamp.

Step 9

Create a new adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map) on top of all other layers.

Apply the following settings for the adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map).

Blend mode (Blend Mode): Soft light (Soft Light)
Opacity (Opacity): 69%
Fill (Fill): 67%

Process on the layer mask of the adjustment layer Gradient Map (Gradient Map).

So, we have completed the creation of the background!

Step 10

Open the image with the man, select the image of the man. Copy and then paste the copied image of the man on our working paper. Name this layer “Model”.

Now, we need to create a shadow falling to the ground.

Duplicate the man layer, fill the duplicate layer with black.

Next, go Image – Transformation – Distortion (Image -> Transform -> Distort) or simply press the keys (Ctrl + T), then right-click on the image and in the window that appears, select the option Distortion (Distort). With this option, create a shadow.

Let’s go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur)
Radius (Radius): 4.0 px

We get the following result.

Step 11

Once on a layer with a man, double click on this layer to make a window appear. Overlay options (Blending Option), apply the option Inner shadow (Inner Shadow).

Blend mode (Blend Mode): Multiplication (Multiply)

Bias (Distance): 4px
The size (Size): 27px

As you can see, the glowing blue edge of the outline of the image of a man is smoothly muffled using the option Inner shadow (Inner Shadow).

Step 12

Apply the following adjustment layers to the male layer.

Apply the following settings for the adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation)

Saturation (Saturation): -41
Brightness(Brightness): -4

Apply the following settings for the adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast)

Brightness(Brightness): -15
Contrast(Contrast): 23

Apply the following settings for the adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map)

Blend mode (Blend Mode): Soft light (Soft Light)
Opacity (Opacity): 73%

Photo Filter (Photo Filter)

Result.

Step 13

Open the image with the Time Machine. Select this image by moving it to our working paper. Place the image with the mechanisms on top of the layer with the man.

Apply scaling to fit the mechanism on the back of a man.

Apply the following adjustment layers to the engine layer.

Apply the following settings for the adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast).

Brightness(Brightness): -32
Contrast(Contrast): -22

Curves(Curves)

Photo Filter (Photo Filter)

Change the color to # b2711c
Density (Density): 68%

Gradient Map (Gradient Map)

Blend mode (Blend Mode): Soft light (Soft Light)
Opacity (Opacity): 73%
Fill (Fill): 73%

We get the following result.

Step 14

Open 2 images with mechanical tentacles, create a selection around those areas that are shown in the screenshot below.

Position the tentacles below the box with the gearbox. Duplicate and then transform as shown in the screenshot below.

Select all the layers with tentacles, and then go Layer – Group Layers (Layer -> Group Layer (or press keys (Ctrl + G)) to merge all layers into one group. Name this group “Tentacles”.

Step 15

Apply adjustment layers to the “Tentacles” group that we just created.

Apply the following settings for the adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast)

Apply the following settings for the adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation).

Mode overlay(Blend Mode): Overlap(Overlay)
Opacity(Opacity): 85%

Apply the following settings for the adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map).

Mode overlay(Blend Mode): Soft shine(Soft Light)
Opacity (Opacity): 73%

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 16

It’s time to add a spark! Select the Zipper brush. Create a new layer and a new layer, draw lightning around all the tentacles. Do not forget, for each lightning, you must create a separate layer. Scaling and transformation of lightning will depend on your desire.

Remove some lightning areas on the tentacles.

Apply the following blending options to all layers with zippers. This procedure can be carried out quickly, simply apply the layer styles to one layer with a zipper, then right-click on the layer and in the appeared window select the option Copy layer styles (Copy Layer Style), then go to another layer with lightning and also right-click on the layer and in the window that appears, select the option Paste layer styles (Paste Layer Style).

Blend mode (Blend Mode): Lightening (Screen)
Opacity (Opacity): 100%
Colour (Color): # 1f7aea
The size (Size): 6px
Range (Range): 32%

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 17

Create a new layer using a soft white brush, paint the highlights, as shown in the screenshot below.

Apply Overlay options (Blending Option) option External glow (Outer Glow).

Blend mode (Blend Mode): Lightening (Screen)
Opacity (Opacity): 47%
Noise (Noise): 10%
Colour (Color): # 3da7ce
The size(Size): 122px
Range(Range): 72%

Thus, we created a light effect with a blue glow.

Step 18

Open the snow texture. Move this texture to our working paper, placing it as shown in the screenshot below. Change the blending mode for the texture layer to Lightening (Screen), Opacity (Opacity) layer 48%.

Add a layer mask to the snow texture layer.

Duplicate the snow texture layer, and then move the duplicate layer to the bottom of the composition.

Opacity (Opacity): 66%
Pressure (Flow): 72%

We got more snow at the bottom of the image.

Step 19

Next, let’s create a light fog. First create a new layer. Before continuing, make sure that the foreground color is set to white and the background color is black.

Let’s go Filter – Rendering – Clouds(Filter -> Render -> Cloud).

Change the blending mode for the fog layer to Lightening (Screen), Opacity (Opacity): 20%, Fill (Fill) 29%

Step 20

We are almost done! You must additionally create a shadow on the ground. To do this, create a new layer. Next, using a soft round black brush, paint over the bottom of the composition, as shown in the screenshot below.

Layer mask layer with shadow.

Change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft Light) and we should have a beautiful shadow on the ground.

Duplicate the shadow layer to enhance the effect.

Step 21

So, it remains for us to make a final correction to the entire image. Create the following adjustment layers on top of all other layers.

Apply the following settings for the adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map) 1

Blend mode (Blend Mode): Soft light (Soft Light)
Opacity (Opacity): 48%
Fill (Fill): 65%

Apply the following settings for the adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map) 2

Blend mode (Blend Mode): Soft light (Soft Light)
Opacity (Opacity): 37%
Fill (Fill): 40%

Curves(Curves)

Selective light correction (Selective color)

Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation)

Blend mode (Blend Mode): Linear clarifier (Add) (Linear Dodge (Add)
Opacity(Opacity): 54%
Fill(Fill): 70%

Adjustment Layer Mask Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation).

Color Balance (Color Balance)

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial. I will be glad to hear your comments on the lesson.

Final result

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