Fire Warrior in Photoshop

In this lesson you will learn how to create a beautiful fiery fantasy in Photoshop. You will learn how to make composite elements of an image into one whole picture. You will also learn how to effectively combine textures, light effects, and more.

Final result

Source materials:

Step 1

Open Photoshop, create a new document. Let’s go File – New (File -> New), apply the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Fill the document with black.

Step 2

Open the stock image ‘Heaven’. Create a selection as shown in the screenshot below.

Copy / paste the copied part onto our working paper.

Step 3

To the sky layer add the following adjustment layers as a clipping mask: Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast).

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 4

Open the stock image ‘Mountains’, create an active selection around the image of the mountains (you can use the tool Pen (Pen Tool) or create a selection using the tool Fast selection (Quick Selection Tool).

Copy the selected image, and then paste the selected part of the mountains on our working paper, arranging, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 5

Next we convert the layer with the mountains into a smart object. Right-click on the layer with mountains and in the menu that appears, select the option Convert to smart object (Convert to Smart Object).

Thus, we can apply different filters to the layer, adjust the layer opacity, work with the mask without the need to create an additional layer. You can always go back and make additional corrections or delete all applied filters. You can apply scaling or transformation to a smart object, while not distorting the image quality of the image, cool, is not it?

Now we go Filter – Blur – Blur by Gauss(Filter -> Blur> Gaussian Blur), apply a blur radius of 0.8px.

Step 6

To the layer with mountains, add the following adjustment layers as clipping masks to effectively combine with the whole scene: Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast), Photo Filter (Photo Filter), Curves (Curves), Exposition (Exposure).

Next, right-click on the layer with the mountains and the window that appears select the option Overlay options (Blending Option), apply the option Inner shadow (Inner Shadow):

Next, go to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), brush with black brush on the specified area on the layer mask, as shown in the screenshot below.

The result should be as in the screenshot below!

Step 7

Having finished combining the mountains, let’s proceed to the next part: Ruins!

Open the stock image ‘Ruins’. Highlight the next part of the image:

Copy / paste the copied part onto our working paper, arranging it as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 8

To the ruin layer, add the following adjustment layers as clipping masks to effectively align with the entire scene: Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast), Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), Levels (Levels), Exposition (Exposure).

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Levels (Levels), brush with black brush on the specified area on the layer mask, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 9

Now use the same technique we applied to the mountain layer, convert the ruin layer to a smart object, and then apply the filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), blur radius 1.2px.

Next, create a new layer on top of the layer with the ruins, convert this layer into a clipping mask (right-click on the layer and in the menu that appears, select the option Create clipping mask (Create Clipping Mask). Choose a soft brush, brush color # dc6f25. Using the selected brush, paint over the edge of the ruins, as shown in the screenshot below:

Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), reduce the layer opacity to 80%.

Next, go to the layer with the ruins (if you didn’t complete Step 5, this is very bad), now you have to add a layer mask to hide the effect of the Gauss Blur filter.

The result at the moment should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 10

From this step we will begin to create the atmosphere of the battlefield by adding fire to our scene! Download a set of images with fire, select several images, start placing them behind the ruins. Change the blending mode for layers with fire to Lightening (Screen) to get rid of black background.

It is easy to see the annoying edges on all images with fire, so use a layer mask to hide them!

And we already see fire raging!

Step 11

Next, we will carry out a light correction of the ruins. Create a new adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) on top of all other layers.

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast), process the specified area.

Result:

Step 12

Open the crack texture, move this texture to our working document:

Choose a tool Transform (Transform), select the option Distortion (Distort), apply the distortion as shown in the screenshot below:

Change the blending mode for the texture layer to Overlap (Overlay).

Process the edges with a layer mask.

Add adjustment layer Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) to the crack texture layer.

We had a great cracked earth.

Step 13

We need to add more cracks! This step is the same as Step 12, the difference is that we will add cracks to the columns, not to the ground.

Add adjustment layers Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) to the columns, the first adjustment layer to the left column, the second to the right column.

Step 14

Open a stock image with bones, create a selection around the image of the bones, and then move the selected image to our working paper, placing the bones on the ground

Create a new layer below the bone layer. Paint a soft black brush under the pile of bones, creating a shadow. Change the blending mode for the layer with the shadow on Soft light (Soft Light).

Add a new adjustment layer Exposition (Exposure) to the layer with bones.

Process a pile of bones on the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Exposition (Exposure):

And we have completed work on a pile of bones!

Step 15

Once again open the images of fire, move this image of fire to our working document, placing it on top of the layer with a pile of bones. Change the blending mode for the fire layer to Lightening (Screen).

Using a layer mask, process the edges of the image.

Add adjustment layers to the fire layer Levels (Level) and Curves (Curves).

We have completed work on the creation of the background! You can take a break before we continue, or if you are ready to move on, then let’s continue! The next step will be difficult!

Step 16

Open the stock image of the model. Create a selection around the model image. There is no need to detail her hair, because This is a very difficult task. Besides, this is a hard work, so we use a different way to solve this issue.

Choose a tool Finger (Smudge Tool), next, we will draw hair for our model!

Tool Finger (Smudge Tool) can take samples of shades from the original texture / layer when you click the processing area with the mouse and reproduce it when you paint. In this case, we use her hair by default as a sample. Start to draw hair curls using the settings for the finger, which are listed below, the hair curls should look realistic.

This task is easily accomplished if you have a tablet, but this does not mean that you cannot draw hair locks with the mouse (as I did). For this, just have patience.

Mode (Mode): Normal (Normal)
Intensity (Strength): 91 – 97% (depending on how thickly curls you want to draw hair)
The size brushes(Brush size): 3 – 4px

You can always turn on the visibility of the original image to look at the original hair curls and use the original hair curls as a pattern for drawing. There are many ways to isolate hair, but each method depends on the specific situation. This method is very useful when the hair develops on a complex background with many details.

Once you’ve finished curling your hair, move the model’s image to our working paper.

Step 17

Next, we will make a small correction of the image of the model. Apply Overlay options (Blending Option) to the layer with the model by applying the option Inner shadow (Inner Shadow), color: # e3a614.

Brightness / Contrast(Brightness / Contrast), Color tone / Saturation(Hue / Saturation), A photo filter(Photo Filter).

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 18

Paint over the model with black brush to darken the indicated areas:

Translator’s Note: do not forget to create a new layer on top of the model layer.

Reduce the opacity of the layer with dimming to 40%.

Step 19

The lighting on the image of the model does not fit our scene at all because of the large flame behind the model’s back, we will fix this with the tool Clarifier / Dimmer (dodge / burn tool).

First create a new layer, fill this layer 50% gray (50% Gray), convert this layer to a clipping mask to the model layer.

For those not familiar with this tool, the tool Clarifier (Dodge Tool) is used to lighten objects in comparison to Dimmer (Burn Tool), which is used to dim.

Use a small soft brush with a value Exposure (Exposure) 10%. So, let’s proceed to the correction of light and shade on the image of the model.

(Red arrows indicate where to use the tool. Clarifier(Dodge Tool) Blue arrows indicate where to use Dimmer (Burn Tool).

In the screenshot below you can see the result, did you use the tool correctly? Clarifier / Dimmer (dodge / burn tool). You can see significant changes in light and shade on the face, hair and legs of the model.

Step 20

OK, so our model can’t just stand on the battlefield without any signs of battle, it doesn’t look very likely, does it? Move the blood splash texture to our working paper, convert this texture with blood splash into a clipping mask to the model layer so that the texture fits the model image.

Change the blending mode for the blood texture layer to Multiplication (Multiply) to get rid of the white texture, leaving only a spray of blood.

Using a layer mask, hide the extra areas of texture with blood splashes, we need blood, yes, but not so much!

Now the image looks much better!

Add blood to the top of the model image using the same technique. Now no one asks why the girl is on the battlefield with no signs of blood and injuries!

Step 21

This is a very simple and quick step. Create a new layer, select a soft brush, brush color # de750c, paint over the edges of the model image, try to determine where the light falls from the flame, then you need to increase the lighting and brush it accordingly.

Change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay), set the value Opacity (Opacity) and Fillings (Fill) 60%.

Step 22

On the original image, the model holds the sword (if you look closely, you can see the hilt of the sword), in our picture we use something more substantial, a trident! Move the image of the trident to our working paper, placing it as shown in the screenshot below.

Using a layer mask, hide the extra areas of the trident, particularly in the brush area where the girl is holding the trident.

Add to the trident layer Overlay options (Blending Option).

Apply the following options: Stamping (Bevel Embross) Circuit (Contour), Color overlay (Color Overlay).

This is the main retouch of the trident, by adding depth and a metal surface, in the next step we will work on color shades.

Step 23

Next, add the following adjustment layers as a clipping mask to the trident layer.

Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), Photo Filter (Photo Filter), Exposition (Exposure).

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 24

Next, we add a light reflection of the light on the armor located on the shoulder. Create a new layer, select a large soft white brush.

Activate the tool Transformation (Transform Tool) and using the option Deformation (Warp), warp the light flare, as shown in the screenshot below:

Apply scaling, placing on the armor. Change the blending mode for this layer with reflection to Overlap (Overlay).

Do the same on other parts of the armor. You can at any time duplicate the layer with the light flare to enhance the effect of light reflection.

Step 25

Open the set with Highlights, select one of the highlight highlights:

Move the highlight to our working paper by placing it on top of the trident.

Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation).

Change the blending mode for the layer with the light flare to Lightening basics (Color Dodge) and congratulations! You made a massive trident more spectacular!

Step 26

Once again, open the stock image with the ruins. Highlight the stone that is shown in the screenshot below:

Move the selected stone image to our working paper, placing it at the bottom of our scene to hide the missing part of the model’s leg. Duplicate the stone layer by placing duplicate layers around the foreground.

Merge all layers with stones into one layer, to do this, select all layers, then right-click on the selected layers and in the menu that appears, select the option Merge layers (Merge Layers). To merged layer, apply filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), blur radius 1 px.

To the combined layer with stones, add the following adjustment layers.

Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast), Levels (Levels), Exposition (Exposure).

We got what we need!

Step 27

Next, we will add additional effects, before we move on to the final color correction.

Create a new layer, paint it with a black brush around the edge of the image. Reduce the layer opacity to 40%.

Create another new layer, additionally paint it with a black brush over the specified area.

Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), layer opacity 40%.

Create another highlight on the trident using a large soft white brush.

Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), Opacity (Opacity) 75%, Fill (Fill) 42%.

Step 28

Let’s create a fog effect using a filter. Clouds (Cloud) is the easiest and easiest way. Before we begin, set the foreground color to white and the background color to black. cloud shades will be determined by these shades.

Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), Opacity (Opacity) 55%.

Handle the clouds on a layer mask.

Looks much better!

Step 29

It won’t hurt if we add sparks, right? Open the texture with sparks, move this texture to our working paper!

Change the blending mode for the sparks texture layer to Lightening (Screen), add a layer mask to the sparks texture layer. Using a layer mask, hide the extra areas with sparks, because too many of them!

If you get to this part of the lesson, then you can salute yourself! We are coming to the final stage!

Step 30

Next, we will carry out the final correction by adding the following adjustment layers!

Curves (Curves), Color Balance (Color Balance) Selective color correction 1 (Selective Color 1), Selective color correction 2 (Selective Color 2), Curves (Curves).

Step 31

Black brush on the layer-masks of some adjustment layers.

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Congratulations, we have completed the lesson!

Final result

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