In the moonlight

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create emotional photo manipulation in Photoshop. We will create a mystical scene in the rays of moonlight. We will work on lighting and light and shadows. We will apply lightening and darkening tools. You will also learn about combining images using adjustment layers and more.

First, we will create a foggy atmosphere, by combining stock images. Next we will create the moon with a brush, and then add an image of the model. You will learn how to combine the image of the model with the entire scene using the blending options, lightening and darkening tools, shadows, etc. Finally, we use the adjustment layer for the final stroke and at the end, I will show you how to create stars using filters. To complete this lesson, you will need a version of Photoshop CS5 or higher.

So let’s get started!

Download the archive with materials for the lesson

Final result

Step 1

First, download all the source materials in one folder to make it easier to perform the lesson. Next, create a new document, go File – New (File> New). Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below. Let’s start the lesson with the image of a foggy morning.

Step 2

Place a foggy morning image on our working paper. Let’s go File – Post (File> Place) and in the window that appears, select the stock image with a foggy morning.

Step 3

To the foggy morning layer, add a layer mask through the bottom toolbar. Next, select the tool Gradient (gradient tool), pressing the (G) key, set the gradient type Linear (Linear), gradient color black and white. Hold down (shift) and drag the gradient vertically. The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 4

Next, add a sky image to our working paper, placing the sky layer below the foggy morning layer.

Step 5

Switch to the Maca layer with a foggy morning and use a brush. opacity (opacity) and by pushing (flow) 40%, paint on the layer mask, as shown in the screenshot below. The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 6

Add a correction layer to the sky layer. Curves (curves) through the bottom toolbar. Apply the curve as shown in the screenshot below.

Result.

Step 7

Create a new layer on top of all layers. Right-click on this layer and in the window that appears, select the option Create clipping mask (create clipping mask). Next, select the tool Stamp (clone stamp tool) by pressing the (S) key. In the toolbar settings in the top option Sample (sample) set Current and next (current and below). Add branch patterns to the ground. The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 8

Next, add an adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient map). For shadows, set the gradient color to # 20425a, for the highlights of the light # ff8809. The blend mode for this adjustment layer Hard light (hard light). Reduce the opacity of the adjustment layer to 63%.

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 9

Next, add a fill layer. Gradient (gradient fill). Transparent to # 272f43 gradient colors, blending mode Chromaticity (color) gradient type Linear (linear). Once you have applied the gradient, select the tool. Brush (Brush (B). With a brush opacity (opacity) and by pushing (flow) 50%, paint over on the layer mask, as shown in the screenshot below.

Result on layer mask.

Step 10

Next, add two more adjustment layers. First add a correction layer. Selective color correction (selective color) to enhance the color of the image. Set the settings for this adjustment layer, which are shown in the screenshot below, then change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (soft light), and also reduce the opacity of this adjustment layer to 41%. I also chose blue in the adjustment layer settings. Selective color correction (selective color), in the settings reduced only the blue value to -10%.

Result after applying corrective layers Selective color correction (Selective color).

Next, add an adjustment layer. Curves (curves). Set the curve as shown in the screenshot below, and then change the blending mode to Soft light (soft light), and also reduce the opacity of this adjustment layer to 34%.

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 12

Next, let’s create the moon. To do this, create a new layer. Choose a soft brush with stiffness(hardness) 0%, opacity(opacity) and by pushing (flow) 100%., brush color # ffb400, brush size 800px. Paint over the top center of the composition. Next, change the brush color to a color tone close to the first # ffd776, and also reduce the brush size to 500px. Also paint over the brush in the upper center. Next, once again change the brush color to # ffeec5, and again reduce the brush size to 250px. Next, change the blending mode for this layer to Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge), and also reduce the layer opacity to 80%. The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Next, add an adjustment layer. Curves (curves) as a clipping mask for the layer with the Moon. Set the curve as shown in the screenshot below. So we created the background for our scene. Select all the layers with the background, and then press the keys (Ctrl + G) to create a new group. Name the new group ‘Background’.

Result:

Step 13

Next, add a model image to our scene. Choose a tool Pen (pen tool) by pressing the (P) key. Using this tool, create a contour around the model image, then right-click on the created contour and in the window that appears, select the option To form a selected area (make selection). Next, without removing the active selection, add a layer mask to the layer with the model. Do not forget in the settings tool pen, set the option Contours (path). Well, I’m not an expert in hair extraction. When selecting a hair, simply double-click on the layer mask of the layer to load the selected area, and then select the selection tool, right-click on the active selection and in the window that appears, select the option Refine edge (refine edge), select the hair and click OK. So I highlighted the hair.

Step 14

As you can see, the bottom of the model image is not very well aligned with the background. To carry out the combination properly, I need to save the leaves, located on the model’s dress. Select the brush with opacity and pressing 30%, brush size 100px, then paint it with a brush, as shown in the screenshot below. Now the combination looks great. I recommend everyone to play with opacity and brush pressure, as well as play with the size of the brush.

Step 15

The model looks as if it is floating in the air, this is due to the lack of shadow. Create a new layer below the model layer by pressing the keys (Shift + ctrl + N). Name this layer ‘Shadow’. Using an opacity brush and pressing 40%, the brush color is black, the brush size is 125px, paint over the edge of the model’s dress. Once again, reduce the opacity and brush pressure to 20%, and also reduce the brush size to 100px., Then draw additional shadows. If the shadow is too saturated, you can also reduce the opacity of the shadow or apply a Gaussian blur filter to the shadow layer. But my shadow turned out great, you can see the result in the screenshot below:

Step 16

As you have already noticed, the light source is the Moon, which is located above the model, therefore, we need to add light highlights to the upper part of the model image, as well as darken the lower part of the image. Never forget the source of light in your work. In accordance with the light source, I added layer styles Gradient overlays (Gradient overlay), for this, right-click on the layer with the model and in the window that appears, select the option Options overlay(blending options). AT Gradient overlays (Gradient overlay), set the gradient colors to # 000000 for the shadows, and for the highlights, I chose the shade # 989923. Also set the blending mode to Soft light (soft light).

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 17

Next, add an adjustment layer. Curves(curves). Set the curve as shown in the screenshot below. I want this correction to be applied only to the model image, therefore, right-click on this correction layer and in the window that appears, select the option Create clipping mask(Create clipping mask). If you use the keys, then hold down the (alt) key + click the mouse between the model layer and the adjustment layer Curves (curves) to create a clipping mask.

Step 18

Next, I added an adjustment layer. Gradient (gradient), gradient color # 133943, gradient type Linear (Linear), additional settings are shown in the screenshot below. Change the blending mode for this adjustment layer to Soft light (soft light), and also reduce the opacity of the layer to 49%. Also, don’t forget to convert this adjustment layer to a clipping mask.

After filling with a gradient, the result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 19

Next, using the adjustment layer Color tone / Saturation(hue saturation), darken the image. Set the value Color tone (hue) +8, and the value Saturation (saturation) -41 and Brightness (lightness) -26. Also convert this adjustment layer to a clipping mask.

Result:

Step 20

Next, add an adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness and contrast). Set the value Brightness (Brightness) -28, and the value The contrast (Contrast) -21, and then reduce the opacity of this adjustment layer to 50%. Also convert this adjustment layer to a clipping mask for the layer by the model.

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 21

Create a new layer by pressing the keys (ctrl + shift + N). Name this layer Lightening / Fading (dodge and burn). Let’s go Editing – Run Fill (edit – fill) and fill 50% gray (50% gray). Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap(overlay).

Step 22

Choose a tool Dimmer (burn) by pressing the (O) key. Install Range (range) to Mid tones (midtones), and the value Exposure (strength) by 9%, brush size 50 pixels, then start painting the dark part of the model image. Then, select the tool Clarifier (dodge tool). Install Range (range) to Mid tones (midtones), and the value Exposure (strength) by 9%, brush size 50 pixels, then start painting the upper part of the model image to create light highlights. The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 23

Next, add the fog effect with Clouds filter (cloud filter). To do this, create a new layer below the model layer by pressing the keys (shift + ctrl + N), set the foreground color to # 858585, and the background color to #FFFFFF. Next, go Filter – Rendering – Clouds (filter-render-clouds) and apply the Clouds filter twice.

Step 24

To the fog layer, add a layer mask. Choose a soft black brush with opacity and press 80%. Next, paint over the bottom and top of the layer. Name this layer ‘Fog’. Change the blending mode to Soft light (soft light), and also reduce the opacity of the layer to 40%. The result should be as in the screenshot below. Before we continue, group all the layers with the model in one group, name the new group “Model’ ”.

Step 25

Next, we will add stones to our scene. Open the image with a dark forest. Move this image to our working paper by placing the dark forest layer on top of the ‘Model’ group layer. I want to leave only the image of the stones.

Step 26

To leave only stones, we need to add a layer mask to the image with stones and using a soft round brush. opacity (opacity) and by pushing (flow) 100%, hide the upper part of the image, because we want to leave only a stone.

Step 27

Next, reduce the opacity and brush pressure to 30 – 40%. Paint over the stone as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 28

To align the stone with the entire scene, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) as a clipping mask for a layer with a stone. Set the value Color tone (hue) +16, and the value Saturation (saturation) -66 and Brightness (lightness) -49.

Step 29

Result:

Step 30

Once again, open the image with a dark forest. Once again, move this image to our working paper, closing our entire scene, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 31

Add a layer mask to the second layer with a dark forest and using a soft black brush, the brush settings are the same as we used in step 25 26, paint as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 32

Next, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) as a clipping mask to the second layer with a dark forest. Apply the same settings that you applied in Step 28. As you can see, we combined the stones with the whole scene properly.

Step 33

Next, I created a stream of light. To do this, select a soft brush. stiffness (hardness) 0%, opacity (opacity) and by pushing (flow) 30%. Brush color # dfdf15. Paint over the brush as shown in the screenshot below.

Translator’s Note: do not forget to create a new layer.

Step 34

Next, change the blending mode for the layer with the stream of light to Soft light (soft light), and also reduce the opacity of the layer to 40%. The result is in the screenshot below.

Step 35

So, we have completed work on the background, model and stones. The time has come for the final correction. We will first apply the adjustment layer. Curves(curves). Set the curve as shown in the screenshot below, and then reduce the opacity of this adjustment layer to 21%.

Step 36

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (curves) and using a soft black brush, click the brush in the moon area, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 37

Next, let’s give the image a soft, warm look with an adjustment layer. Photo Filter (photo filter). In the settings, select the filter (warming filter (85). Change the blend mode for this adjustment layer to Chromaticity (color), and also reduce the layer opacity to 51%. Next, go to the layer mask of this adjustment layer and using a soft black brush, paint over the layer mask, as shown in the screenshot below.

Result:

Step 38

Next, add an adjustment layer. Gradient Map (gradient map) to darken the lower part of the image and slightly lighten the middle part of the scene. For shadows, set the color to # 000000, and for the highlights of the light, # 9c5b07. Next, change the blending mode for the adjustment layer with the gradient map to Soft light (soft light) and then reduce the layer opacity to 20%. Next, go to the layer mask of this adjustment layer and using a soft black brush with opacity and pressing 30%, paint over the layer mask, as shown in the screenshot below.

Result after applying the adjustment layer Gradient Map (Gradient Map).

Step 39

Next, I added an adjustment layer. Channel Mixing (channel mixer). This layer is an important step in this lesson, because he completely turns our composition into a night moon scene. So add a correction layer. Channel Mixing (channel mixer). In the settings, select Red (red) channel and set the value Blue (blue) to +2. And then, select Blue (blue) channel and set the value Red (red) at -11, and the value Green (green) at +44.

Step 40

Next, load the active selection around the model image. To do this, hold down (ctrl) + click on the thumbnail of the model layer. Next, invert the selected area by pressing the keys (Alt + Shift + I) and on the layer mask of the adjustment layer Channel Mixing (channel mixer) using a soft black brush with opacity and pressing 100%, hide the correction effect, as shown in the screenshot below. Next, once again load the active selection around the model image, and then, on the layer mask of the adjustment layer Channel Mixing (Channel Mixer), hide the effect of correction with a soft black brush with opacity and pressing 30%.

Step 41

Result after applying the adjustment layer Channel Mixing (Channel Mixer).

Step 42

Next, add an adjustment layer. Gradient map (Gradient Map) to give the image a warm look. The gradient colors are # 3e270c and # 01040a. Change the blending mode for this adjustment layer to Lightening basics (color dodge), and then, lower the layer opacity to 83%.

Result:

Step 43

Next, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / saturation). Set the value Color tone (Hue0 at +230, and the value Saturation (saturation) at +27 and Brightness (lightness) at -14. Switch to the layer mask of this adjustment layer. Next, using a soft black brush opacity and pressing 30%, paint over the model’s dress, as shown in the screenshot below.

Result:

Step 44

Next, add an adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast). Set the value The contrast (contrast) +2, and the value Brightness (brightness) +32.

Result:

Step 45

Next, add two more final adjustment layers. Select adjustment layer Color search (color lookup), in the settings select the option (Horror blue). Then, change the blending mode to Soft light (soft light), and also reduce the opacity of the layer to 30%. Using a soft black brush with the settings as in Step 43, paint over the layer mask as shown in the screenshot below.

Result:

Step 46

Next, add the final adjustment layer. Curves (curves). Set the curve as shown in the screenshot below, and then reduce the layer opacity to 40%. Using a soft black brush with the same settings as in the previous step, paint over the layer mask, as shown in the screenshot below.

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 47

Next, combine all final adjustment layers into one group, name this group ‘Final Correction’. So, it’s time to add stars using filters. Create a new layer on top of all other layers, convert this layer to Smart object (smart object), by right-clicking on the layer and in the window that appears, select the option Convert to smart object (convert to smart object). Fill this layer with black, go Editing – Run Fill (edit> fill).

Step 48

Next, go Filter – Noise – Add Noise (filter Noise> add noise), set the noise value to 80%, also put a tick in the box Monochrome (monochromatic). Next, go Filter – Filter Gallery – Texture – Grain (filter> filter gallery> texture> Grain). In the filter settings, set the value Intensity (intensity) 0, Contrast (contrast) 54, but Type of grain (grain type) Contrasting (contrasty).

Filter Settings Corn (Grain).

Step 49

Next, go again Filter – Gallery of filters – Sketch -Gypsum(filter> filter gallery> Sketch> Plaster). Make sure the foreground and background color is set to black / white. In the filter settings, set Tone Balance (Image Balance) 16, Softening (smoothness) 3, Shine (light) Top (top), as shown in the screenshot below.

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 50

Next, change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (screen). Switch to the smart filter mask and using a soft black brush 300px in size, as well as opacity and pressing 70%, paint over the entire image except for the top of the scene, since the stars will be in the sky. You can see the brush processing on the smart filter mask in the screenshot below.

Step 51

Result:

Congratulations, we have completed the lesson! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

Final result

Download the archive with materials for the lesson

Download psd file

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