In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a beautiful abstract illustration using light effects, several images with fractals, a special brush, including an interesting editing technique. Enjoy the lesson.
STEP 1. Open the image of the girl in Photoshop and reduce the height to 4000 px, then turn on the lock to keep the proportions. I decided that in this case, there is no need to use the tool Pen (Pen Tool (P) and separate the girl from the background, in particular, on this image, the background looks good: good lighting, appropriate color shades and texture. If your computer’s processor is slow, you can reduce the image size.
STEP 2. I immediately began to draw light effects. These light effects will serve us as the basis for creating additional effects, determining the atmosphere and creating a beautiful composition. To create these first light effects, apply a large soft brush, blending mode Lightening basics (Color Dodge). See screenshot below.
STEP 3. In this step, you can add the first fractals. I used a few fractal images that I found on the deviantART website, but you can use your own images if you have or search for others. You can also use images with 3D graphics, if you like.
The blend mode that I used for fractal images is Lightening (Screen), but you can just as well apply Lightening basics (Color Dodge). If fractals need more contrast when using blending mode Lightening (Screen), apply Levels (Levels) or Curves (Curves) to enhance the shades of black. You can change the color shades of the fractals using Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and change Color tone (Hue). Place the fractals as shown in the screenshot below.
STEP 4. Continue adding light effects using the tool. Brush (Brush Tool) and blending mode Lightening basics (Color Dodge). The initial idea was to create something like a light blast, which breaks out of the girl’s chest, but in the end I decided to simplify a little. With the help of these fractal bubbles, I wanted to achieve a kind of abstract effect of the soul, which breaks out the girl.
To enhance the effects, I added 2 more light effects (orange and green) above the girl’s breasts. I also added light effects to the bottom of the image using shades of pink and turquoise (aqua). See screenshot below.
STEP 5 – Shard Effect
Now, I will show you how I created the effect of shards on the legs of a girl. I found amazing 3D images on the site and used them. I chose one of the images and moved it to my document.
Next, to the image with 3D graphics, I applied a layer mask and used a brush with splashes to create small fragments, as well as create several cuts so that you can see the girl’s body through them. Without a layer mask, the same looks good, so decide for yourself whether to use a layer mask or not.
As soon as I processed the 3D graphics, I duplicated the girl layer and placed it on top of the 3D graphics as a clipping mask and turned the image to the desired result. I also added another light effect on top of the fragments and grouped all the layers.
If you want more fragments, simply duplicate the group and place the group where you like it. Next, I added another image with streams / splashes of water.
STEP 6. Using tool Pen (Pen Tool (P) I created a contour, and then transformed the contour into a selected area and, using a large soft brush, I painted several lines along the outer edge of the selection to get shaded white lines.
As soon as you brush over the outline as above, change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay). I duplicated the figure, unfolded it and placed it in another position. Try adding shading to one of the shapes you just created and see how it will look.
STEP 7. Adding shards of squares is very simple. All you need to do is select the square brush by default and play a little with the settings. In the brush settings, increase Form dynamics (Shape Dynamics) – Size fluctuation (Size Jitter) to almost 100%, set Angle swings (Angle Jitter) up to about 60%. Check the option Scattering (Scatter) and install Counter (Count) at 1, and Scattering (Scatter) up to 1000%, put a tick in the box Both axes (Both axes). If the squares are not sufficiently separated, then in the option Brush Print Form (Brush tip shape), increase Interval (Spacing) to about 400%. Once you have a brush set up, try different diameters and paint over the brush with a few white lines, as shown in the screenshot below. Apply blend mode – Overlap (Overlay).
STEP 8. I added some colorful butterflies. Each butterfly has its own external glow, because I wanted to add even more light effects. The blend mode for the Outer Glow effect is Brightening the base.
STEP 9. To finish, I added a vector image – like lines, using Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso tool) and Shift keys to position the vector at a 45º angle. Next, I applied motion blur (Motion Blur) again at an angle of 45º and created such disappearing lines. Then, I changed the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay) and duplicated the shape several times.
STEP 10. So let’s get down to the “final correction.” In this step, I created a merged layer (i.e., selected the entire document CTRL + A, and then Copied combined data (Copy Merged), let’s go Editing – Copy merged data (Edit> Copy Merged) or by pressing Shift + Ctrl + C) and pasted to the new document.
The purpose of this step is to give the image a final touch, to create a contrast between light and shadow, as well as between the color shades themselves.
After we copied and pasted the merged image to a new layer, I transformed the layer into a smart object (optional), and then I applied my favorite light filter: Lighting Effects, let’s go Filter – Rendering – Lighting Effects (Filter> Render> Lighting Effects). I applied the following settings.
Last but not least, I added an adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map), with Opacity (Opacity) layer 35% and blending mode Soft light (Soft Light). This will affect the color shades. I used the settings that are listed below.
And if there are people who are still wondering why I applied step 10, the answer is in the screenshots below. Screenshots show the result before and after step 10.