Create an image in Sci-Fi style in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create an image in the style of science fiction using Photoshop and 3D renders. Also learn how to create realistic lighting effects and work with color. The lesson is designed for users already familiar with the program.

The final result:

Before starting the lesson, download Archive

Step 1

Open the photo with the model. Carefully separate it from the background with the tool Pen (Pen tool), create a selection Ctrl + Enter and click on the icon Add layer mask (Add Layer Mask) at the bottom of the layers palette. It is better to use a layer mask so that you can always edit the changes and open / hide any areas.

Step 2

Create a new document (235 x 302mm) with a dark brown background – color # 040303. Create a new layer, fill it with a lighter brown color # 3e2c1b. Add a mask to the new layer and apply a radial gradient to create a light spot. Now go to the menu Filter – Noise, add noise (Filter> Noise> Add Noise). Put in the dialog box the value of 2%, this will help avoid gradient distortion. Paste the model on a new layer.

Step 3

Open file space suit.tif from the downloaded archive and download its selection by clicking the Ctrl key on the channel thumbnail Alpha in the channel palette. Copy and paste the selection in the layers palette. Now make multiple copies using the Ctrl + J combination and for the time being make them invisible. Rotate and place one render layer behind the model. Load the selection layer with the helmet and reduce on the adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) saturation value down to -40.

Step 4

Use a render copy using Free transformation (Free Transform (Ctrl + T)) rotate 177 degrees and place along the side of the neck. Load the selection layer and add two adjustment layers – Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) with a saturation value of -46 and Curves (Curves) where Output (Output) 105, and entrance (Input) 155. Now use a mask so that the object becomes darker, closer to the face tone. This will give it depth.

Step 5

Now we will place the render on the head, without changing its original position. Add a mask to this layer, hide the right side of the “crown” on the mask to create the appearance of the object around the head. Create an adjustment layer Curves (Curves) below the “crown” layer, where Output (Output) 102, and entrance (Input) 166. On the mask of the adjustment layer with a soft brush, reveal a shadow above your head.

Step 6

Create a new layer with overlay mode. Multiplication (Multiply), which will be used to add shadows to our model. Activate the tool Brush (Brush), put a size of 150 pixels, and Hardnessb (Hardness) 25% and draw the shadows very close to the edges around the crown. Repeat the same process for the chin. Copy the part of the crown and paste it at the cheek, reducing Opacity (Opacity) up to 10%. This will create a metallic reflection effect on the skin.

Step 7

Add adjustment layer Black and white (Black White), set the set Blue filter (Blue filter). Blend mode for this layer change to Brightness (Luminosity). This will only affect the glare. Now on the mask, treat the area around the right side of the render. We need to simulate the direction of lighting as a stock image with the model. Repeat with the second layer, but reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 45%, adding more shading to the render.

Step 8

Now add an adjustment layer. Black and white (Black White), set the set High Contrast Blue Filter (High Contrast Blue filter). Decrease Opacity (Opacity) up to 20%, overlay mode leave Usual (Normal).

Add the adjustment layer again. Black and white (Black White), but this time install the set High Contrast Red Filter (High Contrast Red filter). Use a soft round brush and mask around the face area to return color to the face and parts of the renders.

Step 9

Add an adjustment layer Gradient map (Gradient Map) Set the gradient markers to this position:

Position (Location) 0% Colour (Color) – # 6b119e (purple)
Position (Location) 37% Colour (Color) – # cf2950 (pink)
Position (Location) 93% Colour (Color) – # ffc15f (yellow)

Now add a radial gradient to the mask, set the blending mode Light replacement (Lighten) and reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 15%. Add an adjustment layer. Color balance (Color Balance). In the settings, set the values Shadows (Shadows) -26, 0, +18, meaning Mid tones (Midtones) -24, +10, 0. Walk on the mask at the edges of the image to soften the impact.

Step 10

Open the first hologram file – earth.tif and paste into your main document. Change the blending mode to Screen (Screen) and add in layer styles External glow (Outer Glow) with light pink color # ff5086. Decrease Opacity (Opacity) of this layer to 58%.

Add adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) with clipping mask (Alt + click between layers) and set these values: Color tone (Hue) +147, Saturation (Saturation) +84 and Brightness (Lightness) -35. Repeat the same process for files. moon.tif and man.tif, to add more holograms to our composition.

Step 11

Create a new layer, set it a suitable blend mode and add a glow at the intersections of the holograms with a soft round brush of bright pink color. Create a new layer again, set its blending mode. Lightening basics (Color Dodge) and paint the pink highlights on the renderers to give the metal a pink glow.

Step 12

With a little tough Brushes (Brush) with Opacity (Opacity) 20% stain the pink edges of the render, giving the impression of reflecting pink light from metal parts.

Remember that a pink hologram gives off light at the edges around itself – the effect is like in 3D. Also use a harder, smaller brush to add subtle rays of light that design the hologram image.

Step 13

Draw a few similarly shaped hieroglyphs and set the layer to 15% opacity. Add layer styles External glow (Outer Glow) with pink color # f8c5df. Decrease Opacity (Opacity) of this layer to 75% and set the blending mode to Screen (Screen).

Below create a new layer with blend mode. Linear light (Linear Light). Using tool Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso tool) draw a rectangular shape that will give the impression of a movie screen. Use white soft Brush (Brush) with low opacity to fill the shape with a gentle glowing light.

Step 14

Open file cubes.tif and place the squares in the forehead area. Edit the angle of their position in the menu. Editing – Transform – Warp (Edit> Transform> Warp) and reduce Opacity (Opacity) 23%. Create two adjustment layers and add clipping masks to the squares layer.

First adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) where Color tone (Hue) -31, and Saturation (Saturation) 36. Second adjustment layer Color balance (Color Balance). In the settings, set the values ​​for Mid tones (Midtones) + 45 / -30 / + 45. Use the techniques from the previous steps to add light and shadows to the squares.

Step 15

Create a new layer in overlay mode. Screen (Screen) and using a soft pink brush add a glow to the top of the helmet. Use the technique of steps 11 and 12 to add reflective lighting around the edges. Just like in step 13, create more characters and symbols for the second projection screen at the top of the helmet.

Step 16

Create a new layer with overlay mode. Linear light (Linear Light) and using a soft brush of blue # 00baff add a glow around the face coming from the metal parts. Using the same methods as in step 12 (but with blue hues), add blue (‘# a4ffff’) light at the edges. Do this on metal parts and hair. Use as many layers as necessary.

Step 17

For the harmony of lighting in our composition, we add some highlights on the right side of the face to get the effect of the backlight. Use soft white Brush (Brush) with low opacity (10-15%) and start painting on the edges of the face – for example, nose and lips, and with softer lighting around the chin. For reference, you can use natural light.

Step 18

To add a shadow around the object, create a new layer and fill it with a diagonal linear gradient, drawing it from the bottom left corner to the top right corner. Use a gradient from dark blue to transparent # 131729. Put the Opacity (Opacity) for this layer 73%. Now add a layer mask and hide the effect of the shadow effect, leaving it only at the bottom.

Step 19

Apply correction Gradient map (Gradient Map) by setting the blending mode for this layer to Light replacement (Lighten) and Opacity (Opacity) 8%. Use a radial gradient from pink to # f62c88 black. Next, add an adjustment layer. Color balance (Color Balance). In the settings, set the values Shadows (Shadows) -9, +6, +15, meaning Mid tones (Midtones) -22, -1, +15 and values Sveta (Highlights) +13, -19, -9. Add a layer mask to soften the effect in places with pink light so that it does not lose its glow.

Step 20

Add more blue around the face. To do this, add a correction. Color balance (Color Balance). In the settings, set the values Shadows (Shadows) -12, +0, +1, values Mid tones (Midtones) -9, 0, +9 and values Sveta (Highlights) -3, +2, -20. Create an adjustment layer Curves (Curves) and for the first marker, put the values Output (Output) 43, and entrance (Input) 51, and for the second value Output (Output) 175, and entrance (Input) 161.

Step 21

Create a merged layer using the key combination Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E. Copy it and paste into a new document. Then go to the menu Image – Correction – Toning Hdr (Image> Adjustments> HDR Toning (at least version CS5)). Install Radius (Radius) by 109 pixels Intensity (Strength) at 0.98, Gamma (Gamma) 0.86, Exposition (Exposure) -0.77, Detailing (Detail) + 30%, Shadows and Light (Shadow / Highlight) 0% Vibration (Vibrance) 0% and Saturation (Saturation) + 20%. Drag the image into the main document and position it above the main object. Edit the mask correction to give effect.

Step 22

Open file particle_brush.psd and define a brush. Use this brush to draw pink (‘# f83186’) and blue (‘# a4ffff’) elements around the lights. Blend mode for these effects change to Screen (Screen). Add a little glow to these elements. To do this, make a copy of them, put the layer in the blend mode Screen (Screen) and apply Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter> Blur> Motion Blur), at a 90 degree angle and Offset (Distance) 214.

Step 23

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N), set its blending mode Overlap (Overlay) and fill it with 50% gray. Activate the tool Clarifier (Dodge tool) with 10% opacity add additional highlights on the face and around the luminous parts of the suit.

Final result

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