In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a post-apocalyptic illustration in the style of the film “The Day After Tomorrow” with the help of several stock images.
This lesson is quite long, since each image needs to be adjusted in color and contrast, and everything else is pretty simple. The technique described in the lesson can be applied in creating any winter illustration.
First, create a new document and drag a photo of a frozen lake onto it.
Next, drag the sky and place it in the upper corner of the document.
As you can see, both images do not look harmonious, because they are of different shades and saturation. Fix it. All adjustment layers that we will use in this process need to be converted to a clipping mask (CTRL + ALT + G) so that they do not act on other layers. Move on Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation (Layer – New adjustment layer – Hue / Saturation) and bleach photo. Use the parameters as in the screenshot below.
Next, from the same menu, select Curves (Curves) and add more brightness. On the mask of the adjustment layer, erase the upper part so that it remains darker.
Having corrected colors, we have to combine both images. Create a mask on the layer with the sky (for this click on the button Add layer mask (Add a layer mask) at the bottom of the layer panel) and with a black soft brush, erase the bottom edge.
Open the photo of the iceberg and place it as shown below. Here we will use only the mountains.
As in the previous step, change the color and contrast. Below are all the adjustment layers that we used. Remember to convert them to clipping masks.
one) Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation)
2) Curves (Curves)
We merge the images by adjusting the edges on the layer mask.
Open the photo of the city, adjust the size to place it as a background. Create a layer mask and erase everything except the city itself. You can cut it with Pen tool (Feather) (P).
Now we need to add ice and a bit of fog. Open the photo of fog and place it above the layer with the city. 1) Convert to clipping mask. 2) Change the blend mode to Soft light (Soft light).
Add some brightness by creating an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) with clipping mask.
Open the photo of the frozen lake and place it in the lower left corner. We use Curves (Curves) with clipping mask. Create a layer mask and remove extra image areas.
Open another photo of the frozen lake and place next to the previous one.
We do the same as with previous images. We will repeat this procedure for almost all photos of the lesson, only adjustment layers and settings will be different. For this picture add adjustment layers Levels (Levels) and Curves (Curves) and transform them into clipping masks. After that, add a layer mask and erase the extra edges.
Add an adjustment layer Color balance (Color balance). Use the parameters as in the screenshot below. In this step, we will add a bluish tint to the entire illustration, so we don’t need to convert the layer to a clipping mask.
In this step we will add a large iceberg in the background. We will use three photos of one iceberg, taken from different angles. Open the first one and place it as shown below.
Create an adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to add a bit of brightness. Then Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). We transform both layers into clipping masks. After adjusting the colors we erase everything except ice, we do not need a background.
Duplicate (CTRL + J) the layer with the iceberg and with all its adjustment layers to preserve the colors, and reflect it vertically Edit – Transform – Flip Vertically (Editing – Transformation – Flip Vertically). Now the image has become symmetrical and unnatural, so we need using Pen tool (Feather) (P) cut off the extra details.
Again open the photo of the iceberg and place it in the upper right corner. Remove unnecessary areas. Add Curves (Curves) and Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) with parameters from the previous photo.
In this step, we will correct the sky, because it is too cloudy. Create a new layer and using Clone stamp tool (Stamp) (opacity 30-40%) clone light less cloudy areas of the sky. I also used Brush tool (Brush) (B) with soft edges to fix some details.
Add Color balance (Color balance) with such parameters.
We continue to create ice on the background. Open the next photo of ice and place it so that it is a continuation of the previous one. Now we need to adjust its color. Apply adjustment layers as shown below. All of them should be an iceberg clipping layer mask. After finishing the color correction, add a layer mask and erase everything except a small area of ice.
Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation)
This is how your result should look.
This is the last part of the iceberg. Open the third photo and place it after the previous one. We use Curves (Curves) to add brightness to the picture. Remove the background in the same way as in the previous two photos.
Now add some snow. Open the first photo and place it in the lower right corner of the document.
Apply adjustment layers to it. Color balance (Color balance), Curves (Curves), Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Carefully remove borders.
We will use several snow photos, as we need only a small part of each. Open the next picture. Place it above the previous one. Adjust the colors as in the first photo. Then delete the edges.
Cut the statue (I used Pen tool (Feather) (P)). Place it above all previous layers. Add a layer mask and remove the bottom so that the statue looks sinking in ice water. For best results, erase on the border of the ice, as in the screenshot below.
Now edit the colors of the statue. We use Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), Curves (Curves) and Color balance (Color balance). All adjustment layers are converted to clipping masks (CTRL + ALT + G).
In this step we will add a small boat to highlight the huge size of the statue. Place the ship in the snow in the right corner and cut it out.
Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation)
Gradient Map (Gradient Map)
Now we will add snow on the city. For this we use Brush tool (Brush) (B). No need to detail it. The city is far away, so a few blurry strokes will suffice.
This is how the work should look like at this stage.
In this step we will add more snow around the Statue of Liberty. Open the necessary photo and place it behind the statue. We mask the edges and change the blending mode to Screen (Lightening).
Again we open the same photo of snow, but we place it to the right. Change the blending mode to Screen (Lightening).
Add adjustment layers: Curves (Curves), Gradient Map (Gradient Map) (about 25% opacity) and Levels (Levels). Transform them into clipping masks.
In this step, we will continue to add snow. Open the next photo and place it behind the statue. With the help of layer masks we hide extra areas.
Now add the shadow of the statue. On a new layer with a brush (B) we draw a figure according to the shape of the statue’s silhouette and reduce its opacity to 29%.
At this stage, we already have a rather attractive illustration, but it will be much better if we add more small details. To begin with we will add snow at the base of the statue Take Clone stamp tool (Stamp) (S) and copy the snow on the right side of the image. Snow is added to the new layer, which should be located under the layer with the shadow of the statue. Add adjustment layers to correct the colors: Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and Color balance (Color balance).
Create a new layer above all the previous ones and take a brush (B). Holding the ALT key, take a sample of the color from the snow and draw. Can use Clone stamp tool (Stamp) (S).
Now add icicles. Open the photo and with the help Pen tool (Feather) (P) cut out several icicles.
Place them on the statue’s hand, change the layer blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication) and reduce the opacity to 50%.
Duplicate the icicle (CTRL + J), change the copy mode to Screen (Lightening) and increase the opacity to 100%.
Group both layers created in step 25 and duplicate the group several times. Using CTRL + T we deform copies of icicles.
Move the duplicates on the statue’s hand.
Again, duplicate the icicles and place them on the torch in the form of thorns.
1) Cut another icicle with a photo and place it on the crown of the statue. 2) Set the blending mode to Screen (Lightening). 3) Duplicate this layer.
Group both layers and duplicate the group. Reduce the copy (CTRL + J) and place it next to the previous one.
1) Cut a new group of icicles with photos and place them on the third edge of the crown. 2) Set the blending mode to Overlay (Overlap). 3) Duplicate the layer and change the copy blend mode to Screen (Lightening).
1) Group both layers (CTRL + G) and duplicate the group. We reflect the icicles horizontally and slightly reduce (CTRL + T). We have on the fifth edge on the right. 2) On the new layer, draw a white line using a hard brush (B), and next with another soft brush. This will add additional brightness on the right side of the icicle. 3) We place these strips on the right side of the icicle.
1) Cut a new group of icicles with a photo and place it on the central point. 2) Set the blending mode to Screen (Lightening). 3) Duplicate the layer and change the copy blend mode to Overlay (Overlap). 4) Again duplicate and change the blend mode to Screen (Lightening). 5) Add a bright white line using a small hard brush (B). 6) And place it on the left side of the spike.
For the sixth point we duplicate any of the previously created icicles. And we get this result.
Add a glow around the spikes to create a cool vapor effect. 1) Open the image with mountains in the fog. 2) Double click on the layer to open the window Layer style (Layer styles) and customize the parameter Blend if (Overlay if) to hide the dark pixels.
1) Set the blending mode to Screen (Clarification). 2) We hide the excess, leaving a light white haze.
1) This is what a head without steam looks like. 2) In the second figure, steam has already been added. Duplicate, reduce, reflect, deform, change the opacity to achieve a similar result.
I also added steam on the torch.
1) Cut a large area with icicles. 2) Turn them to get the same angle of inclination as the first icicles.
1) Place them on your hand. 2) Duplicate, add a layer mask and adjust it.
1) This is how the hand should look like at this stage. 2) Add more icicles (just like we did in the previous steps).
Add Gradient map (Gradient map).
Now we will create a special texture that will add to our work the effect of icy wind and give dynamics. 1) Create a new layer and fill it with the color 2e3649. Make sure the foreground color is white and the back color is 2e3649. 2) Go Filter – Render – Fiber (Filter – Rendering – Fibers). You can use the function Randomize (Accidentally) until you get the desired result.
Rotate the texture as shown below.
Set the blending mode to Soft light (Soft light).
Duplicate the texture layer to fill the entire document. Add a layer mask and edit it with a soft brush with 50% opacity. Remove the texture in places where it is superfluous.
Apply adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to the whole image.
Apply again Curves (Curves), but this time only to those areas that need to be darkened.
Next we will create a special brush to add falling snow. Move on Window – Brush (Window – Brush). On the panel of brushes we set the parameters as shown below.
Use the low opacity brush to create snow particles next to the icicles.
Apply adjustment layer Curves (Curves).
Apply the adjustment layer again. Curves (Curves).
Add an adjustment layer Gradient map (Gradient map). We need it in order to add cool shades. Set the layer opacity to 33%.
Add the adjustment layer again Curves (Curves), but this time we apply only in the upper left corner to make this area darker.
In this step, we will reduce the sharpness of the city to give depth to the picture. Therefore we pass Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) (4-5%). This filter is used only for the city.
Make the topmost layer active (just click once on it to select it) and click CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + E, to merge all visible layers on one new one. Then go Filter – Other – High Pass (Filter – Other – Color Contrast). Set the layer blending mode to Hard light (Hard light) and reduce the opacity to 90%.
Apply adjustment layer Photo filter (Photo Filter).
Add a Hue / Saturation adjustment layer (Hue / Saturation). Set the parameters as shown below.
Our work is almost finished. We have to add text. Choose some minimalistic font and in white color write The Frozen World. Duplicate the text layer (CTRL + J). Apply filter to copy Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter – Blur – Blur in motion) with a high value of Distance (Distance). If you think this is a lot, you can decrease the parameter.