Create an abstract collage with a giraffe in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create abstract manipulation using layer masks and brushes to make a photo of the effect of creative decay in the form of birds flying out of a giraffe’s neck.

The translation is made on the basis of a lesson posted on the YouTube video portal, so we will do everything to make you understandable and easy to perform.

Step 1

Open a photo with a giraffe (Ctrl+O) (or just drag the photo into Photoshop).

Create an adjustment layer Levels (Levels) to give the image more light, as the original photo is a bit dark. To correct, move the right slider to the edge of the histogram to increase the brightness in the shadows; the left slider is to darken the highlights and move the middle slightly to the left to adjust the brightness of the image. (as in the screenshot).

Note: What is a histogram and how to work with it is described in detail in this lesson.

After applying the settings, you should get this result.

Step 2

To highlight the dark areas of the skin on the neck of the giraffe, the author used the tool MagicWandTool (Magic Wand) (W) with settings:

  1. SampleSize– 3×3 by Average;
  2. Tolerance – 27;
  3. Check the box next to Antialias and Contiguous.

If after the first click on a spot, it is not completely highlighted, you can use the key Shift. Then next to the tool icon MagicWandTool (Magic wand) (W) An icon appears with a plus and you can add a selection. If you need to reduce or remove the selection, hold down Alt, then a minus sign will appear next to the tool icon and it will be possible to remove the extra selection. Thus highlight a few dark spots on the thin area of ​​the giraffe’s neck, after creating a white LayerMask (Layer mask).

The mask will be useful if you remove the necessary spots on the neck, which then need to be returned. This can be done with a black brush.

The result, which should be:

After you have done everything, the author advises to use the function RefineMask (Refine mask). Call RefineMask (Refine mask) can be, being on the white mask layer and using the right click on the mask layer. The settings that the author used, you can see in the screenshot below.

It is also possible to correct the selection by clicking on the mask of the layer with the key pressed Ctrl. A selection of remote areas will appear and after that you can use the function RefineEdge (Specify edge).

What should be done to correct the selected area:

  1. To shade uneven edge after selection.
  2. Increase contrast to make the edge sharper.
  3. Shift (squeeze) the edge of the selection.

Name this layer Giraffe.

Step 3

Now we will fill the empty areas around the neck of the giraffe. Create a new layer, place it under the giraffe layer and name it Sky. Being on a layer with a giraffe using a tool Lasso (Lasso) (L) with feathers tenpx Highlight a small bright oval area of ​​the sky.

Copy it (Ctrl+C) and paste on the layer Sky (Ctrl +V). Move the area with the copied sky under the layer with the giraffe, i.e. so that under the distant areas on the neck, there was an area with the sky.

If after inserting a piece of sky, you see any areas that do not match with the image, you can use to correct LayerMask (Layer mask).

Step 4

In this step, we will use the brush with birds, which is attached to the lesson. Let’s create a new layer Ctrl+N, above the adjustment layer Levels (Levels) and call him Birds 1.

After loading new brushes, let’s take a sample of color for future birds. To capture the desired color, use the tool EyedropperTool (Pipette) (I) and click on the dark spot on the body of the giraffe. Now choose a brush with a bird №92 and move on to the brush settings WindowBrush(Ffive) and apply the settings as in the screenshot.

Next, put a few clicks on the image with a brush with birds, the radius of the brush 60%.

Next, choose a brush with a bird №112 and also set the settings as in the screenshot.

Arrange all the birds as the author drew.

Further, the author showed an approximate scheme of how he plans to arrange all the birds.

Putting a few more clicks with a brush with birds, you can see what happens.

Next, create a new layer (Ctrl+N), above the layer Birds 1 and name it Birds 2. Select birds under the number 2921, with a radius of about 600-800 px and click once on this layer, near the neck of the giraffe.

Next, use the brush. Number 80 and put a few clicks near the neck of our main character.

Create a new layer. (Ctrl+N), above the layer Sky and name it Birds 3. Use brush Number 88 and put a few clicks on the remote dark holes in the neck of the giraffe.

Being on the same layer, use the brush №123, after pressing the key Ffive and setting the settings as in the screenshot.

With this brush, put a few clicks in the “holes” on the neck of the giraffe.

Step 5

To give the work a more interesting effect, you can use the action attached to the materials AutumnTones.

If you do not know how to load, configure and use the action in Photoshop, then read this article.

After using the action to give more contrast, you can add a little Opacity (Opacity) to 20-30% on the top two layers Lighten and Darken.

Here we have such an interesting result. I hope that you got a lot of knowledge in the process and you liked the result.

Just in case, the order of the layers used by the author is attached:

Author: Andrei Oprinca

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