Do not leave me

In this tutorial, I will show you how to turn a regular image into a pictorial illustration. You will learn to apply lighting effects and create realistic shadows. If you have done my previous lessons, then you will see that this lesson is actually a review lesson.

Final result

Raw material

Step 1. The first step is very fast, because it is very easy. Open image with background. Next, with the tool Pen (Pen Tool (P) select the sky. After you have finished the selection tool Pen (Pen Tool), convert the outline into a selection and create a layer mask to hide the sky or just delete it. I chose to use a mask, because This technique allows you to continue to work with the image.

After you have removed the sky from our background, open the stock image of the sky that you downloaded from the link at the beginning of the lesson and place the sky under the background layer. Reduce the size of the sky in height. See screenshot below. (Do not worry that there is a gap between the sky and the background, it will not be visible).

Step 2. I applied a light correction to the sky to increase the contrast and make the shades of blue and green more visible. As always, I applied adjustment layers to achieve the effect I intended. These changes are not significant, but I wanted to demonstrate this to you. See screenshot below.

Translator’s Note: The adjustment layers in this step are applied as clipping masks.

Step 3. The main secret that allows you to make this illustration so beautiful is the lighting effects. You will have to move the light in the background image, while maintaining the same light effect. And now we will work on it.

First, select the layer with the background (the layer with the buildings) and right-click on the layer and transform the layer into Smart object (Smart Object). Due to this operation, you will be sure that you will not spoil the image and that you will be able to adjust the settings of the filters that we are going to apply next.

We want the light to come in from the front, so we will have to create the illusion that buildings and the road become brighter as they approach the light source and darker at the bottom and at the edges of the image.

Let’s go Filter – Rendering – Lighting Effects (Filters – Render – Lighting Effects) and apply the lighting effect, as shown in the screenshot below. Below you will see the settings for our new filter.

Step 4. After applying the lighting effect filter, apply an adjustment layer. Color Balance, as a clipping mask to increase the shades of yellow on the background layer.

Step 5. While we are still working on light effects, we will correct the light with a tool. Dimmer (Burning Tool) because our image looks too flat.

To do this, create a new layer with a fill of 50% gray. Editing – Run Fill (Edit – Fill) and set the blending mode for the new layer Overlap (Overlay). Next, with the tool Dimmer (Burn Tool) process the darker areas of the background. After that, using the tool Clarifier (Dodge Tool) process light areas.

The goal is to make the central part of the mossy road lighter and darker on the sides. For more realism, process each stone one by one (only large stones). See screenshot below.

Step 6. Moving on. It’s time to put the girl on our background. Open the stock image of the girl and select it with the tool Pen (Pen Tool (P), the procedure is the same as in Step 1 when you replaced the sky. Zoom out the girl if necessary and place it as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 7. In this step, we will create the shadow of a girl on a narrow alley. Remember, I said that we want the light source to be in front? Well, this means that the shadow we cast will be directed in the opposite direction. We will create a shadow for the girl, because light comes in from the front.

Duplicate the girl layer and flip vertically. Apply adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and decrease the value brightness (lightness) to -100. After that, apply to our shadow Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), the blur radius is 15px and lower the layer opacity to 50%. It remains to properly arrange and we get the shadow. Using tool Deformation (Distort tool) tilt the shadow and position it more successfully. to tilt it. You can even use the tool. Transformation – Perspective (Perspective and Warp Tools) for correction.

I explained this technique in more detail in my lesson, Light and Shadows, when I shared the secrets of image processing.

Step 8. I know that the allocation of hair can drive even the most advanced Photoshop users to madness. That is why, I almost always avoid isolating individual strands of hair. I will show you my way how to solve this problem.

So the girl’s hair looks after cutting tool Pen (Pen Tool) when I cropped the image.

Not very beautiful, is it? Let’s see how to fix it. I prefer to use the tool Finger (Smudge Tool) for hair correction. First, apply an average soft brush with an intensity of 25% to treat the hair and make it more tender. After that, increase the intensity to about 90% and apply a 1px hard brush to create hair strands. Do not worry, do not need a sedative.

Try to dispel the hair more naturally, while guiding the main direction of the hair. At first it may be hard, but with experience you will get better. Here’s what I got. I think it has become much better than before.

Step 9. If you are still here, this means that you have not yet thrown your computer into the window in step 8, great. Let’s continue.

The most difficult part of the lesson has already been done, all that is left to do is to make a small correction of the girl and create sunlight on her body, but first let’s do a little color correction.

I almost always spend a little color correction of the elements that I add to the created scene, so that their shades match the background. This is what I explained in my series of processing secrets in Part 2 – Color Matching.

I used an adjustment layer Color balance (Color Balance) and applied the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 10. The “structure” of our layers is ready. All we have to do now is add the latest light effects. The only difference between the picture A and B is the light effects and the main small correction. So let’s get started.

The first thing you need to do is recreate the light on the left side of the girl’s body. To do this, we apply the technique, which I explained in a series of my secrets on processing.

Click on the girl layer to bring up the layer styles (layer styles) and add an effect. Inner shadow (Inner Shadow). Apply blend mode Lightening basics (Color Dodge), shade # d1ae7e. See screenshot below.

The settings shown in the screenshot above also depend on the size of your image. As I said before, we want to apply a light effect on the left side of the girl’s body, but because we applied a lot of settings, then the light effect will be visible throughout the body.

To eliminate this, you must turn the inner shadow effect into a layer. You can do this by right-clicking on the effects layer, select Form a layer (“Create Layer“). When the window pops up, then click apply and everything is ready.

Now, you have an internal shadow effect on a separate layer, create a mask and hide unwanted areas with a brush.

This is before and after applying the effect of the inner shadow to create light on the body.

Step 11. I also applied the lightening / darkening technique to the girl’s dress, because I wanted to darken some areas on the back and lighten the areas on the hair strands. Tool Dimmer / clarifier (dodge / burn tool) – really powerful tool.

(Translator’s note: create a new layer with a fill of 50% gray Editing – Run Fill (Edit – Fill) and set the blending mode for the new layer Overlap (Overlay), all the same as in step 5. Do not forget to create a clipping mask)

Step 12. Let’s get down to the final touches. We still need to add more light, but first, let’s apply color correction. I again used corrective layers.

Create a new adjustment layer. Gradient map (Gradient Map) in the lower settings panel or from the menu Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map).

Blend mode Chromaticity (Color), Opacity is 10% and for the gradient, use the colors as in the screenshot below.

Next, create another adjustment layer. Gradient map (Gradient Map) or duplicate the layer you created in the previous step, just change the settings. Settings for the second gradient map adjustment layer: Blend modeLinear light (Blend Mode – Linear Light), layer opacity (Opacity) – 10%, colors for the gradient as in the screenshot below.

Step 13. We are almost done. In order to apply the main lighting effect, I will use a stamp. How do you do it. Select the topmost layer in your layers palette and press Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E. I know that there are a lot of keys, but I have no idea how to create a clone through the menu, I always use the shortcut keys mentioned above.

After you pressed the shortcut keys, you have a new layer on top of all your layers. We will use this layer to apply a light filter to it. I converted the layer to a smart filter, so I can change the filter settings wherever I want, but this is up to you.

Apply light filter through Filter – Rendering – Light Effects (Filter – Render – Lighting Effects) with settings. Listed below.

Step 14. The final touch is the sun flare. Create a new layer, take a large soft brush and apply once using the color # dca366, then set the blend mode for this layer Lightening (Screen). I called this layer “sunspot”.

Next, create a new layer and fill it with absolutely black color. Set the blending mode to Lightening (screen) and set the layer opacity to 50%. We use this layer to add highlights.

Create a sun glare through the menu Filter – Rendering – Glare (Filter – Render –Lens Flare). Apply a lens type of 50-300mm, brightness 100%. Place somewhere near the top of the head of the girl.

After adding highlights, we finished the work. Hope you enjoyed the tutorial.

Author: Andrei Oprinca

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