Dawn in a ruined city

In this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to create a post-apocalyptic scene. We will apply the technique of combining images and retouching of the main characters, drawing hair and much more. Let’s get started!

Final result

Source materials:

Step 1. Create a New Document

Document sizes should be 2000px in width and 1282px in height.

Step 2. Basis

Create a base like in the screenshot below.

Step 3. City

Open stock image with city. Move this image to our working paper. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Ovetlay).

Step 4. Layer Mask

Add to the city layer layer maskand using a soft black brush, hide certain parts of the image of the city.

Step 5. Clouds

Open an image with clouds, move this image to our working paper. Add a layer mask to the cloud layer.

Change the blending mode for the cloud layer to Soft light (soft light), and then using a soft black brush, process the edges of the image to create a smooth transition and combine the clouds with the image of the city.

Step 6. Sky

Open the image with the sky, and then move the image to our working paper.

Reduce value Saturation (saturation) to -100.

Step 7. Combine the Sky

Change the blending mode for the sky layer to Soft light (soft light). Also add a layer mask to the sky layer to hide part of the image and align with the bottom layer. The areas that we hide are those areas where clouds will appear that cover the city.

Step 8. Destruction

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (soft light). Draw cracks on buildings. For these purposes, you can use the Cracks brush.

Step 9. Model

Open the image with the model, and then move this image to our working paper, placing it as shown in the screenshot below. Create a selection around the model image using the tool. Lasso ( lasso tool).

Step 10. Layer Mask

Without removing the active selection, add a layer mask to the layer with the model and you will see the background in this image disappear.

Step 11. Details

Being on the layer mask of the model layer, using a black brush, go around the edge of the model image to clean the edges after selection.

Step 12. Leather

Using tool Lasso (lasso tool) select the skin areas of the model, and then duplicate the selection (Ctrl + J) to a new layer. Next, press the keys (Ctrl + U) to activate the correction. Hue / Saturation (hue / saturation). Reduce value Saturation (saturation) -25.

Step 13. Brightening Mode

Duplicate the layer again (ctrl + J) / Change the blending mode to duplicate the layer to Lightening (screen), reduce the layer opacity to 40%.

Step 14. Hair

To finish the hair, select a soft round brush, brush color white, brush size 1px and 2px. Using a customized brush, draw a curl of hair.

The screenshot below shows that in the upper part of the head and in the lower part, the hair locks are not so thick. Give the hair curls a wavy shape to create a feeling of developing in the wind.

Step 15. Makeup

To add makeup, create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). Using tool Pipette (eyedropper tool), take a color tone sample from the model’s eyebrow. Next, use a brush to finish eyebrows, making them thicker.

Below the eyebrow, draw a stroke with a white brush, and paint the pupil with a white brush, putting a white dot.

Paint the lips with a red brush, in the middle of the lips lightly paint with a white brush to give them a light glare.

Step 16. Strengthen the Contrast

We return to the model. Create a new layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (soft light). Using a black brush, hide part of the model image. This will add contrast to this part of the image.

Step 17. Shadows

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). Paint over the left side of the model with a soft black brush where no light falls. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (soft light), vary the opacity of the brush depending on how much you want the shadows to be saturated.

Step 18. Wolf
Use the same selection technique. Open the stock image of the wolf. Using tool Lasso (lasso tool), create a selection around the wolf image. Next, to the wolf layer, add a layer mask. The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 19. Wool

We need to finish the coat so that the wolf looks more natural. You can brush alternately with strokes or use Fur brushes. Using tool Pipette (eyedropper tool), take a color shade sample from wolf hair.

Step 20. Shadows

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). Using a soft black brush with low opacity from 5% to 10%, paint over the wolf hair, creating shadows. Shadows should be subtle.

Step 21. Strokes

You can add a small reflection on the wolf’s coat with a soft round white brush, brush size 1px, to highlight the details.

Step 22. Lighting Effects

Let’s work on the lighting effects. Create a new layer. Choose a soft round brush with low opacity (20%), the brush size will match the lighting that falls on the building and the model. Blend mode for this layer Normal (normal). You can create lighting effects on multiple layers. You can start by adding lighting effects to the city with a large brush, and for a model with a small brush. In the screenshot below, you can see the direction of light, and how lighting affects the elements of the composition.

Step 23. The Sun

To create the sun, choose a soft round brush with a yellow tint. Just draw a circle as shown in the screenshot below.

Next, go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) and apply a blur radius of 30%, if you want, then you can increase the blur radius. Blur will give the sun softness.

Next, change the blending mode for the layer with the sun to Lightening (screen) and then duplicate the layer (ctrl + J) to add intensities.

Step 24. Sea

Open stock image with the sea. Transfer this image to our working paper, placing it as shown in the screenshot below:

Using a layer mask, hide the sky and the coastal cliffs.

Step 25. Water Flows

Draw streams of water flowing through the streets of the city. You can use an image of water or a brush that would fit the image.

Step 26. Sun Rays

Create a new layer, add the rays of the sun to our scene. To do this, use a soft brush. Blend mode for this layer Normal (normal), layer opacity 50%.

To the layer with the sun rays add layer mask and using a soft black brush, paint over the edges of the rays so that they are softer. Try to make the rays more saturated at the top of the scene and more diffuse at the bottom of the scene.

Also draw a reflection of the sun’s rays on the surface of the water, using a soft yellowish brush. Change the blending mode to Overlap (overlay), brush opacity 20%.

Step 27. Sunset

Open the stock image with the sunset, then move this image to our working paper, placing it as shown in the screenshot below:

Next, change the blending mode to Overlap (overlay), the opacity of the layer is 80%. Add a layer mask to the sunset layer.

While on a layer layer mask, paint over the edges of the image with a soft black brush to create a smooth transition and alignment with the whole scene. In the screenshot below, you can see that the most visible part is where the light is most saturated.

Step 28. Lighting Effects

To make the lighting effects more dramatic, create a new layer and then paint over the model with a dark brown and orange brush and a wolf. Do not forget to change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (soft light).

Step 29. Light

Create a new layer. Paint over soft shades. Brush opacity 30%; brush size 400px.

Now, change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (soft light).

Step 30. Vignette

Create a new layer. Paint over the edge of the image with a soft black brush, creating a soft vignette effect. To do this, use a brush with an opacity of 30%, brush size 400px.

Step 31. Final Stroke

Let’s go Layer – Adjustment Layer – Color Search (layer – new adjustment layer – color lookup).

Select the option filmstock_50.3, and then reduce Opacity (opacity) layer up to 80% and Fill (fill) layer up to 30%.

Thank you for reading this lesson! I hope it was useful for you!

Final result

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