Create an abstract space scene in Photoshop

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In this lesson we will create a beautiful photo manipulation with a man’s face, which is distorted in space and time. We use the standard filters of the program Photoshop, as well as additional textures. Both beginners and advanced Photoshop wizards will learn a lot from this tutorial. Let’s get started!

The final result:

Step 1

Open the original image with the face of a man.

Step 2

Duplicate the original male face layer (Ctrl + J) and then apply the filter Crystallization (Crystalize) to duplicate the layer, for this we go Filter – Appearance – Crystallization (Filter> Pixelate> Crystalize). Install The size cells (Cell Sixe) 20 px.

Step 3

Duplicate the original layer with the man’s face again (Ctrl + J), and then apply the filter again. Crystallization (Crystalize) to the created duplicate layer, for this we go Filter – Registration – Crystallization (Filter> Pixelate> Crystalize). Install The size cells (Cell Sixe) 40 px. Shift this duplicate layer to the top by placing it on top of the first duplicate of the layer we created in Step 2 (if the layers palette is hidden, press the key (F7). Click on the layer, hold it, and then drag up).

Step 4

Now we should only see a layer with large crystals, since It is located on top of all other layers. Add a layer mask to this layer, for this we go Layer – New Mask Layer – Show All (Layer> New Layer Mask> Reveal All). Choose a standard soft round brush. Opacity (opacity) 100%, brush color is black. Paint over the face on the layer mask to hide certain parts of this layer, as well as show the effect of the underlying layer.

Step 5

Now we need to show the individual features of the original face of a man. Group both layers with a crystallization effect (hold down ‘Ctrl’, click on each layer to select them), and then press the keys (Ctrl + G). To the created group, add a layer mask. Next, using a soft black brush with 100% opacity, paint over the eyes and lips on the layer mask of the layer.

Step 6

Create a merged layer from all visible layers, to do this, press the keys (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E), and then apply a filter to the merged layer Motion blur (Motion blur), for this we go Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter> Blur> Motion Blur). Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 7

Add a layer mask to the layer we created in Step 6, and then select the tool Gradient (Gradient Tool (G)). Set the default colors to black and white (D). Click on the layer mask thumbnail to make it active. Now hold down the ‘Shift’ key and drag the gradient from right to left to create a black and white gradient, as shown in the screenshot below. This step will give our scene a sense of dynamics.

Step 8

Now let’s create separate fragments that break away from the face. Choose a tool Rectilinear lasso (Polygonal Lasso Tool (L)). Create a small active selection on the face (in the pixel region), as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 9

Now press the keys (Ctrl + Shift + C) to copy the merged data (copy from all visible layers), and then press the keys (Ctrl + Shift + V) to paste the selection into a new layer. You should have a face fragment on a new layer. Using tool Move (Move Tool (V)), place the fragment somewhere to the right.

Step 10

Repeat Steps 8 and 9 until you have created a sufficient number of fragments (10 or 20 fragments should be enough). You can rotate them, change the scale of the fragments (Ctrl + T) so that they do not look the same, and the scene was more interesting.

Step 11

The fragments do not look natural because they have no shadow. Now we could add a shadow to each layer with a fragment, but it will take a lot of time. Instead, we will group all the sliced ​​layers (hold down ‘Ctrl’, click on each layer to select them), and then press the keys (Ctrl + G) to group them. Next, double click on the layer with the group to open the window with the overlay parameters. Choose a layer style Shadow (Drop Shadow). Set the following settings, which are shown in the screenshot below, so we will add a shadow to all the fragments.

Step 12

In my opinion, at the moment there are too few fragments in the image. Duplicate a group with fragments once or twice, and then apply a scaling / rotation to the duplicate group (use Free transformation (Free Transform) (Ctrl + T)) so that the duplicate fragments differ from the original. Arrange the duplicate fragments in random order – but they should all be on the right side of our scene. If you don’t like something in the duplicate group, simply add a layer mask to hide the interfering fragments (use a black brush on the layer mask).

Step 13

Now let’s create voids, from which the fragments split off. Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N) and using the tool Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso Tool (L)), create a small triangle (approximately the same size as one of the fragments). Fill the selected area with white (Shift + F5). Repeat this procedure until you have 10 or 15 white triangles on your face, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 14

Now double click on the layer with white triangles to make the overlay parameters window appear. Add layer styles Inner shadow (inner shadow) and Color overlay (color overlay) to make the effect look realistic.

Step 15

Duplicate the void layer (Ctrl + J). Apply scaling to the duplicate layer, and also change the location relative to the original voids for a change. Use a layer mask to correct areas that spoil the view.

Step 16

Now let’s add contour lines to the man’s face and nose (to combine them with all the crystals) to make these elements more expressive. Create a pair of new layers, change the blending mode for both layers to Overlap (Overlay). Using a soft round brush Opacity (opacity) 30%, brush color is white, draw sharp lines along the outline of the face and nose of the man, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 17

Now let’s blur the left side of the scene – just next to the face. Create a merged layer from all visible layers (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E), and then on the merged layer, apply a filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), for this we go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur). Install radius (Radius) blur 50 px. Add a layer mask to this layer, and then fill the layer mask with black color (Shift + F5). Using a soft white brush, paint over the area highlighted in the screenshot below to restore the Gaussian blur effect in the brush processing area.

Step 18

Now let’s create the effect of dynamic white lines. Using tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Tool), create a rectangular selection, as shown in the screenshot below. Fill the selected area with white (Shift + F5).

Step 19

Decrease Opacity (opacity) layer with a rectangular shape up to 15%, and then duplicate the layer with a rectangle three times (Ctrl + J). Move each duplicate layer up, placing each rectangle above the previous one.

Step 20

Group all the layers with rectangular shapes into one group, reduce Opacity (opacity) layer with a group of up to 55%. Next, add a layer mask and use a soft black brush to hide the area on the right side of our scene (you need to paint on the layer mask).

Step 21

Now let’s add more dynamic lines. Create a new layer and then apply a filter. Clouds (Clouds), for this we go Filter – Rendering – Clouds (Filter> Render> Clouds). Add some noise, for this we go Filter – Noise – Add Noise (Filter> Noise> Add Noise). Set the following settings, which are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 22

Now apply the filter Motion blur (motion blur), let’s go Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter> Blur> Motion Blur).

Step 23

Change the blending mode for the layer with motion blur to Soft light (Soft Light) and then add a layer mask. Partially hide the area on the right side of the scene, as well as on top of the face.

Step 24

Let’s change the overall mood of the whole scene. Create a new adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance), for this we go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Color Balance (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Color Balance). Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 25

Create a new adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), for this we go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves) to enhance the glow. Set the curve as shown in the screenshot below. Next, go to the mask for this adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) and using the tool Gradient (Gradient Tool), hide the curves effect on the right side of the scene.

Step 26

Let’s add light highlights to the face to make it expressive. Create a new layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay). Choose a standard soft round brush with an opacity of 30%, a brush size of 100 px. Paint over the cheekbone, nose and frontal area.

Step 27

Now let’s change the dynamics of our lines. Create a merged layer from all visible layers (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E) and using the filter Plastics (Liquify tool) (let’s go Filter – Plastic (Filter> Liquify)) create an effect as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 28

Next, add a layer mask to the layer with the effect of plastic and with the help of a soft black brush hide the too obvious lines that we created in the previous step.

Step 29

Once again, create a merged layer from all visible layers (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E), and then apply the filter again Plastics (Liquify tool) to change the face, as shown in the screenshot below. Basically, we pulled the back of the head with the tool to the right and the frontal part of the face to the left.

Step 30

Now let’s add a soft contrast to our scene. Create a merged layer from all visible layers, and then apply a filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) to the merged layer. Install radius (Radius) blur 50 px. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light) and you will see not only an increase in contrast, but also an increase in saturation.

Step 31

Let’s add some sharpness. Create a new layer from all visible layers, and then apply a filter Contour sharpness (Unsharp Mask) to the created merged layer, for this we go Filter – Sharpening – Contour Sharpness (Filter> Sharpen> Unsharp Mask). Add a layer mask to hide the effect of sharpness over the entire image except for the face (do not forget to switch to the layer mask and paint over the areas where you want to hide the effect with a soft black brush).

Step 32

Let’s add some interesting details to our scene. Open the original texture with the stars, select the entire texture (Ctrl + A). Copy the selected image (Ctrl + C), and then return to our working document to paste the copied texture (Ctrl + V). Transform a layer with the texture of stars into a smart object, to do this, right-click on the layer and in the appeared menu select the option Transform at smart-an object (Convert To Smart Object). Always convert layers with source images to a smart object when adding them to a working document to save pixels and information on source images. In the future, we will be able to apply scaling, as well as apply various filters without loss of pixels. Change the blending mode for the layer with the texture of stars to Lightening (Screen).

Step 33

To the layer with the texture of stars, add a layer mask and with the help of a soft black brush hide the texture effect over the face, as well as in those areas where the effect was too saturated. The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 34

Open the original image with the moon. Using tool Oval area (Elliptical Marquee Tool), create an active selection around the image of the Moon, then copy / paste the selected image of the Moon onto our working document. Transform the layer with the Moon into a smart object, then apply the scaling, placing the Moon in the lower right corner of the scene. Change the blending mode for the layer with the Moon to Soft light (Soft Light).

Step 35

Create a new layer, convert this layer into a clipping mask to the layer with the Moon. To convert a layer to a clipping mask, to do this, hold down the ‘Alt’ key and click between the layers in the layers palette. Due to the clipping mask, the top layer will be visible only through the pixels of the lower layer, thus, without affecting the entire scene. Next, using a soft round brush opacity (opacity) 10%, add light highlights on the edges of the image of the moon.

Step 36

Let’s add some interesting lighting effects to our scene. Create a new layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening basics (Color Dodge). Select a dark blue pattern from the image (by selecting the tool Brush (brush tool), hold the ‘alt’ key until the cursor appears to take a sample of the color tint, and then click on the image to select the desired color tint – in this case, I chose # 1d3378). Set the brush size to 50 px, Opacity (opacity) brush 20%. Paint over smooth brush strokes over the image of the moon and man’s nose.

Step 37

Now let’s add optical effects to our scene. Download textures with optical effects 1 and 2 from the link at the beginning of this tutorial. Inside the texture folders, you will see many files with color effects of smoke on a black background. Select the texture you like. Open the selected texture with optical effects in Photoshop. Copy / paste the selected texture onto our working paper, change the blending mode to Lightening (Screen) to get rid of black background. Decrease Opacity (opacity) layer texture up to 50%.

Step 38

I want to apply this optical effect not to the whole scene, but only to the right side of the image. Therefore, to the layer with the optical effect, add a layer mask and use the soft black brush to hide the effect on the left side of the scene to get the result, as in the screenshot below.

Step 39

Repeat Steps 37 and 38 using other optical effects from the downloaded effect folders. You can rotate the optical effects, apply scaling with the tool Free transformation (Free Transform), but before that, remember to transform layers with optical effects into smart objects. Use the layer mask to hide the extra areas with effects and do not forget that we need to show the effects mainly on the right side of our scene.

Step 40

Let’s add a highlight effect. Create a new layer, fill it with black. Next, go Filter – Rendering – Blick (Filter> Render> Lens Flare). Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 41

Change the blending mode for the layer with the glare on Lightening basics (Color Dodge), and also reduce Opacity (opacity) layer up to 70%. Add a layer mask to hide areas that look horrible or where the effect is too saturated – do not be afraid to shift the flare to where you like – just do not forget about the hard lines that will become clearer when the flare is shifted – if this happens, hide them on the mask with a black brush.

Step 42

Let’s work on general lighting to focus the viewer’s attention on certain areas of the image, as well as improve the lighting of the entire scene. Create a new layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay). Using a soft round brush opacity (opacity) 30%, paint over the sections of the scene that are highlighted in the screenshot below. Next, with a black brush with an opacity of 20%, paint over the image of the Moon, as well as along the edges of the image, to focus attention in the center of the scene.

Step 43

Create a new adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast), for this we go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Brightness / Contrast (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Brightness / Contrast) to enhance the contrast slightly. Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 44

Let’s add a bit of soft contrast, as well as a little saturation. Create a new layer from all visible layers, then apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) to the merged layer. Install radius (Radius) blur 150 px. Change the blending mode for the merged layer to Soft light (Soft Light), and also reduce the value Fillings (fill) up to 51%. You will see that the effect is too saturated in certain parts of the image (for example, too dark areas over the eyes), therefore, add a layer mask to hide these areas with a soft round black brush until you like the final result.

Thank you for being with me during the lesson. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

The final result:

PSD lesson

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