Create photo manipulation in horror style in Photoshop

Want to create something creepy in Photoshop? Then try to complete this lesson, which was prepared by Jenny Le. In this lesson, you will learn how to create an abstract scene that depicts a chilling woman-tree engulfed in flames. You will learn different techniques for creating photo manipulations, such as creating light effects, and using textures.

Final result

Step 1

Create a new document, the size of the document 1000h1050rh, fill it with white. Set the size of the document and the fill color at your discretion. Open the texture.

Choose a tool Move (Move Tool) to move this texture to our working paper. Using tool Free transformation (Free Transform tool (Ctrl + T) reduce texture scale to 40%:

Step 2

I don’t like some details on the texture, so create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) and using the tool Stamp (Clone Tool (S), delete them:

Step 3

Open stock image with forest. Move this image to our working paper, placing it on top of the texture layer. Change the blending mode for the forest layer to Soft light (Soft Light), layer opacity 100%:

Add a layer mask to the forest layer through the bottom toolbar. Using a soft black brush with an opacity of 30-70%, blur some areas of the forest. In the screenshot below you can see the result of processing on the layer mask:

Step 4

Duplicate the forest layer and then Flip horizontally (flip it horizontally) duplicate layer. Let’s go Editing – Transformation – Flip Horizontal (Edit-Transform-Flip Horizontal). Shift the duplicate layer with the forest to the right and with the help of the layer mask, hide the hard edges, creating a smooth transition:

Step 5

To correct layers with a forest, first select the layers with the forest, and then press the keys (Ctrl + G) to group the selected layers into one group. Change the blending mode for the layer with the group from the mode Skip (Pass Through (group default mode) to mode Soft light (Soft Light), 100% (it is very important to keep the effect the same as before creating the group). I called the forest layers “1? and 2?.

Being on the layer ‘2’, we go Layer New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Curves):

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) and using a soft black brush with varying degrees of opacity, hide or blur some areas of the correction:

Since we changed the blending mode for the group layer to Soft light (Soft Light), 100% (rather than leaving mode Skip (Pass Through) then this adjustment layer Curves (Curves) will only affect the layers within the created group (layers with forest).

Step 6

To change the background brightness (texture, forest), add a new adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) on top of all other layers:

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) and using a soft black brush, process the selected area, which is shown in the screenshot below:

We will continue to darken the background, to do this, create another adjustment layer Curves (Curves). Use a soft black brush on the layer mask of this adjustment layer to get the result, as in the screenshot below:

Step 7

Open the stock image of the model. Separate the model from the background, and then move it to our working document, placing it in the upper central part of the picture (I didn’t pick out the legs, because we don’t need them):

Step 8

Add a layer mask to the model layer. Using a brush, hide the white blotches that remained after the model was selected:

Step 9

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

Let’s go Editing – Fill (Edit-Fill (Shift + F5), fill color is black. Move the shadow layer a little to the right. Convert the shadow layer to a Smart Object:

Reduce the opacity of the shadow layer to 50%. Next, go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter-Blur-Gaussian Blur), apply a blur radius of 6 px:

Using a layer mask, blur both sides of the shadow:

Step 10

To correct the color and brightness of the model image, add a new adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to the model layer as a clipping mask. Being on the layer with the model go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation (Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Hue / Saturation):

Curves (Curves) and Photo Filter (Photo Filter):

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), hide the correction in the upper left side of the model’s shoulder (on the side of the observer) so that this part is slightly lighter:

Step 11

Open the set with the skulls. I chose the skull number 0053. Cut out the skull, and then move it to our working paper, placing it on the model’s face after scaling and turning:

Using a layer mask, draw the combination of the skull with the face of the model:

Step 12

Add two adjustment layers to the skull layer as a clipping mask to reduce saturation, and also to darken the skull:

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), hide the correction in the center of the skull so that this part of the skull is lighter than the rest:

Step 13

Open the tree texture. Using tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Tool), create a rectangular selection, as shown in the screenshot below:

Move the selected part of the texture to our working paper, placing it on top of the model’s left hand. After zooming out, apply the tool Deformation (Warp Tool), let’s go Editing – Transformation – Deformation (Edit-Transform-Warp) to deform the texture, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 14

Open the brush set menu. Select an option Restore brushes (Reset Brushes). Next, select a brush. Spray24 pix. (Spatter 24 pixels):

Press the key (F5) to change the settings for this brush:

To the layer with the texture of wood, add a layer mask. With the Spray brush set up, hide the extra texture areas to align with the model’s hand. You can change the brush size to achieve a more natural result:

Step 15

Add wood texture to the other hand using the same technique.

Step 16

Hands look flat after adding texture. To fix this, I grouped the layers with the tree texture into one group, and then changed the blending mode for the layer with the group to mode Normal (Normal), 100%. Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to this group:

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), hide the correction in some areas to add contrast to your hands:

Step 17

I need to add more contrast to the hands, so I added a new layer on top of the layer with the texture group of the tree, filled 50% gray (50% gray), and also set the blending mode Overlap (Overlay):

Using tools Clarifier (Dodge) and Dimmer (Burn Tool (O), install Range (Range) on Mid tones (Midtones) value Exposure (Exposure) 20-25%, lighten the upper left and right side of the shoulder, and also darken the edges. In the screenshot below you can see where I applied lightening / dimming during blending mode. Normal (Normal) and result in blend mode Overlap (Overlay):

Step 18

Open a set of climbing plants. I chose the image at number 1, placing the plant on the top of the left shoulder. Also used the various parts of the plant at number 11, placing the model on top of two hands. Using a layer mask, hide the plants behind the outline of the hands, and also blur some parts of the plants to create a more natural look:

Step 19

Open the stock image ‘Branches 1’. Separate the branches from the background. Use separate sections of the image, placing them around the head of the model. Use transformation, duplication, layer mask if necessary, to create an arbitrary look:

I used 10 layers to create this effect.

Step 20

Create a new layer below the layers with branches. Using a soft black brush with low opacity (about 20%), draw the shadows from the branches on the model’s body:

Step 21

Merge all layers with branches into one group, change the blending mode for this layer with the group to mode Normal (Normal), 100%. Name the group “Branches 1 ?. Name the layers with branches from 1 to 10. Inside the created group, add two adjustment layers Curves (Curves) and Photo Filter (Photo Filter) to change the contrast and color of these branches:

On the layer mask of the first adjustment layer Curves (Curves), I hid the correction in the left part of the image so that this part remains lighter than the right part. On the layer mask of the second adjustment layer Curves (Curves), I hid the correction on the right side of the image so that this part is darker:

Step 22

Move the stock image of the nest to our working paper. Apply the deformation to the nest so that it fits on the model’s head:

Step 23

Add adjustment layers to the nest layer Curves (Curves) and Photo Filter (Photo Filter) as a clipping mask to create contrast and change the color of the socket:

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), hide the correction in the right side of the socket so that this part is darker than the left side:

Step 24

Open the stock image ‘Branches 2’. Separate the twig from the background. I used different parts of the branches, placing fragments of the branches on both sides of the picture:

Step 25

To add depth of field to our picture, apply a filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), blur radius 4 px to added twigs:

Step 26

Combine the branches in the foreground into one group (I called this group “Branches 2?). Inside the created group, add adjustment layers Curves (Curves) and Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation):

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), hide the correction of the branches located on the left side of the scene so that they remain lighter than the branches on the right:

Step 27

Add a few adjustment layers on top of all layers for color correction of the whole picture. I used the following adjustment layers Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), Gradient Map (Gradient Map), Color Balance (Color Balance) and Photo Filter (Photo Filter):

Change the blending mode for the adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map) on Soft light (Soft Light), 100%. Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Hide the correction on the left side of the model image to keep the brightness:

Step 28

Open the image with the tree. Copy a part of the tree, and then paste the copied part into our working paper:

Add a layer mask to the tree layer and hide the extra part of the tree on the layer mask, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 29

Create a new layer as a clipping mask for the tree layer. Using tool Stamp (Clone Tool) fix some details on the tree:

We will change the color of the tree later.

Step 30

Cut out the image of the crow by moving it to our working paper. Place the crow on the nest:

Step 31

Add a few adjustment layers to the raven layer:

Step 32

Next we add light effects to our scene. Create a new layer on top of all layers. Using a soft brush, brush color # ff6600, paint over the bottom right of the scene, and then change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), 100%:

Create another layer. Change the brush color to # ef4c54. Paint it as shown in the screenshot below. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), 100%:

Step 33

Create three new layers on top of all other layers. On the first layer, apply a brush, the color of the brush is # ff6600. Paint over the tree, as well as on the bottom of the dress and model’s hands. Change the mode

On the second layer and the third layer, apply a brush, brush color # ef4c54. Paint over the wood, the dress of the model, the arms and the lower right side of the scene. Change the blending mode for the second layer to Chromaticity (Color) 30%, and for the third layer on Soft light (Soft Light), 90%:

Step 34

Open the image ‘Fire for the background’. Place this image at the bottom of the composition:

Select Splatter 24 px Brush with the same settings that you used in Step 14. Brush the image of fire with a brush. The main task is to get a rich flame, but do not overdo it. You can see my fire processing result on the layer layer mask and the result on the image:

Step 35

Open the image with the flame. Select different areas with the flame by placing them around the roots of the tree. Apply transformation and duplication, if necessary:

Change the blending mode for all layers with flame to Lightening (Screen), 100%. Using a layer mask, hide or blur some of the flame details:

Step 36

To hide the hard edges on the images with the flame, double-click on the layer with the flame so that the window appears Overlay options (Blending Options). Hold the (Alt) key + shift the black parameter slider This layer (This Layer) to the right until the black edges disappear. Next, select all the layers with the flame, right-click and in the window that appears, select the option Copy Layer Styles (Copy Layer Styles). We get the following result:

Step 37

Group all the layers with the flame, then change the blending mode for the layer with the group to Lightening (Screen), 100%. I added adjustment layers Color Balance (Color Balance) and Curves (Curves) so that the effect created the fire becomes more red and more natural:

On the layer mask of the adjustment layer Curves (Curves), I slightly hid the correction in the right side of the fire:

Step 38

Final touch: I added two new adjustment layers on top of all other layers to enhance the contrast and color of the whole picture:

On the layer mask of the adjustment layer Levels (Levels), using a soft black brush with low opacity (20-25%), blur the effect of darkness in the right side of the scene:

Final result

Like this post? Please share to your friends: