Magic Christmas collage in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a magical New Year scene in Photoshop. We use different brushes and images to get beautiful results. Let’s get started!

To complete this lesson, you will need a version of Photoshop CS3 or higher.

Final result:

For the lesson you will need:

  1. Space nebula
  2. The background
  3. Brushes: Moon, Ribbon, Christmas, Snow, Snowdrifts, Abstract, Magic Light, Fog, Trees
  4. Arm
  5. Bubble
  6. Christmas tree
  7. Christmas decorations
  8. Girl
  9. Snow Texture

Source materials you can downloadHERE (40 mb)

Step 1

Create a new document 934 x 652 px. Fill the background with black color (First, set the foreground color to black, then press the (Alt + Backspace) keys.

Step 2

Open the original “Background” image. Press the keys (Ctrl + A) to select the entire image, and then copy (Ctrl + C) the selected image. Go back to our working paper and press the keys (Ctrl + V) to paste the copied image. Press the keys (Ctrl + T) to activate the tool. Free transformation (Free Transform). Apply scaling by positioning the image as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 3

Reduce the opacity of the layer with the background to 57%. Name this layer “Gradient”.

Step 4

Open the original “Nebula” image. Select the entire image, copy / paste on our working paper. Using the free transform, position the nebula as shown in the screenshot below. Right-click on the layer with nebula and in the window that appears, select the option Transform at smart-an object(Convert To Smart Object). Convert all future image layers that we paste onto our working paper into smart objects (so that you can preserve the original data when scaling and applying filters).

Step 5

Change the blending mode for the nebula layer to Overlap (Overlay) and also reduce Opacity (Opacity) layer to 49%.

Step 6

To the layer with the nebula, add a layer mask, for this we go Layer – Layer Mask- Show All (Layer> Layer Mask> Reveal All). Apply the tool Gradient (Gradient tool) on the layer mask to combine the image with the nebula with the scene, creating a smooth transition.

Step 7

Using the command Set Management (Presets Manager), load the Luna brush, for this we go Editing – Manage Sets (Edit> Preset Manager). Press the button Download (Load) and in the window that appears, select the appropriate brushes). Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N). Select the crescent brush in the brush settings, go Window – Brushes (Window> Brush Presets). Add a white moon to our scene by clicking once on the upper right side of the image.

Step 8

Double click on the Moon layer to add a layer style. External glow (Outer Glow).

Step 9

Download brushes Ribbon. Create a new layer, draw a white loop next to the Moon, as shown in the screenshot below. To the layer with the drawn train, add a layer mask to hide the hard edges. Reduce the layer opacity to 66%.

Step 10

Double-click on the layer with a train to add a layer style. Add a gentle effect External glow (Outer Glow).

Step 11

Download the Christmas brush. Choose a brush with reindeers. Draw white Reindeer on top of the plume. Add a standard effect. External glow (Outer Glow), double click on the layer with deer to apply layer styles.

Step 12

Download the Magic Light brush. Select a brush. Scattered stars. Draw asterisks along the plume and below the reindeer.

Step 13

Open the original Hand image. Using tool Pen (Pen Tool), create a selection around the hand image. Copy the selected hand, and then paste it on our working paper. Position the hand image as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 14

The hand looks too detailed for our scene, so let’s fix it. Apply filter Blur on the surface (Surface Blur) to the image of the hand, so that the hand looks smoother, let’s go Filter – Blur – Blur on the surface (Filter> Blur> Surface Blur).

Step 15

To the layer with the hand, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask. Let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves). Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below. Hold the (Alt) key + click between this adjustment layer and the layer with the hand, so that the correction of the curves affects only the image of the hand. This process is called creating a clipping mask to attach one layer to another layer. If you are going to add another adjustment layer, then also hold down the (Alt) key + click between the newly created adjustment layer and the previous adjustment layer Curves (Curves), so that the correction of the newly created adjustment layer affects only the hand image. This we will do in the following steps.

Step 16

Next, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) as a clipping mask to the layer with the hand. Let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Hue / Saturation). Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below.

Step 17

Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N), convert this layer to a clipping mask to the layer with the hand. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay). Choose a standard round soft brush with an opacity of 10%; the color of the brush is black. Paint over the bottom of the hand.

Step 18

Create another new layer, also convert this layer into a clipping mask to the layer with the hand. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay). Next, with the help of the same soft brush, only, this time the color of the brush is white, paint over the top of the hand.

Step 19

Next, add a correction layer to the layer with the hand. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask. Let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves). Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below to create a lightening effect. Fill the layer mask of this adjustment layer with black and with a soft white brush, paint over the top of the hand to show the correction.

Step 20

The color of the hand is too cold, so let’s add some warm tones. Create a new layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Hard light (Hard Light), and also reduce the opacity of this layer to 44%. Paint with a soft brush with low opacity, the color of the brush is warm orange (# ce8b47) over your hand. Convert this layer to a clipping mask to a layer with a hand. The layers related to the hand in the layers palette should look like in the screenshot below if you have completed each step of this lesson.

Step 21

Open the original Bubble image. Using tool Pen (Pen Tool) or tool Oval area (Elliptical Marquee Tool), create a selection around the bubble image. Copy / paste the bubble image onto our working paper, it will be a glass ball. Place the glass ball on top of your hand, as shown in the screenshot below (and don’t forget to convert the glass ball layer to a smart object).

Step 22

To a layer with a glass ball, add a layer mask and using a black brush with 100% opacity, hide the bottom of the glass ball. Reduce the opacity of the brush to 50%, then paint over the rest of the ball.

Step 23

To the glass ball layer, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) as a clipping mask. Reduce value Saturation (Saturation) to -95.

Step 24

Download the Snow Drifts brushes. Create a new layer and with a white brush, paint the snow at the bottom of the ball. You can use a layer mask to reduce the opacity of the snow, or you can reduce the opacity of the layer itself. Add a couple more layers of snow to cover the entire bottom of the glass bowl.

Step 25

Open the original image “Tree 1”. Select the entire image (Ctrl + A), and then copy the selected image. Next, glue the image of the tree on our working paper, placing the tree inside the glass ball. Reduce the opacity of the Christmas tree layer to 69%.

Step 26

To the Christmas tree layer, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask. Set the curve as shown in the screenshot below to make the tree a little lighter.

Step 27

Open the original image “Christmas decorations”. Choose any Christmas ball, copy / paste the ball into our working paper. Place the Christmas ball on the Christmas tree.

Step 28

Double click on the Christmas ball layer to apply layer styles. Apply the following settings to change the color of the Christmas ball, as well as add a glow.

Step 29

Duplicate the Christmas ball layer seven times (Ctrl + J). Place duplicate balls across the tree.

Step 30

Group all layers with Christmas balls in one group. To the layer with the created group, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) as a clipping mask to change the color tone of the Christmas balls.

Step 31

Open the original image “Tree 2”. Select the image of the tree, and then copy / paste the image of the tree onto our working document, placing it on top of the existing tree.

Step 32

To the second Christmas tree layer that you just pasted, add a layer mask and use a black brush to hide the entire image of the tree, leaving only the gifts under the Christmas tree visible.

Step 33

Create a new layer, place this layer below the Christmas tree layer in the layers palette. Using a soft black brush and 30% opacity, draw the shadows.

Step 34

Open the original image with the girl. Using tool Pen (Pen Tool), create an outline around the image of the girl. Create a selection and then copy / paste the selected image of the girl onto our working paper. Place the image of the girl inside the glass ball next to the Christmas tree.

Step 35

To layer with girl, add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to darken the image of the girl. Convert this adjustment layer to a clipping mask for a layer with a girl.

Step 36

Download brushes Snow. Create a new layer. Draw the snow inside the glass ball.

Step 37

Create a new layer, select a standard round soft brush, 10% opacity. Brush in a semicircle over the glass ball to create the illusion of reflection. Reduce the opacity of the layer if the effect is too saturated.

Step 38

Download Abstract Brushes. Create multiple layers. Using a white brush, add abstract effects to our scene. Reduce the opacity of the layers if the effect is too saturated. Next, group the abstractions into one group (Ctrl + G).

Step 39

Download the Magic Light brush. Create a new layer. Using a brush Scattered small stars, add white stars to our scene.

Step 40

Select the brush “Sampled Brush 5”. Create a new layer. Using a white brush, draw the effect as shown in the screenshot below. Using a layer mask, create the feeling that this is a snow blizzard bracelet.

Step 41

Repeat the previous step a couple of times to add rings to the bracelet.

Step 42

Select the brush “Sampled Brush 4”. Create a new layer. Reduce brush opacity to 20%. Create a circular effect around the ball using low brush opacity and a white brush.

Step 43

Create a new layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay). Using a soft white brush with an opacity of 10%, paint over girls and Christmas trees to add a little bit of brightness.

Step 44

Using tool Oval area (Elliptical Marquee Tool), create a selection around the glass ball, fill the selection with white. Place the new layer on top of the glass ball layer. Double click on a layer to apply layer styles. Stroke (Stroke), set the stroke size to 1 px, the stroke color is white. Using a layer mask, hide the stroke on the left and bottom of the ball.

Step 45

Create a new layer using a brush with a diameter of 1 px, draw lines where the arrows in the screenshot below point to create a sense of mirror highlights on the ball.

Step 46

Using the same small diameter brush, paint over the upper outline of the arm.

Step 47

Increase brush size to 10 px. Create a new layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay). Paint over the outer area around your arm, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 48

Create a new layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge). Using a 10% opacity brush, brush white to paint over your hand to make your hand look brighter and more airy.

Step 49

Are you still with me? Congratulations on your patience for coming to this step. It will be a little easier later, so stay with me until the end of the lesson. Now, let’s add a vignette to our scene. Create a new layer, fill it with white. Change the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply), then we go Filter – Distortion – Distortion Correction (Filter> Distort> Lens Correction). Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 50

Next, add an adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast). Increase the value The contrast(Contrast) to 50.

Step 51

Create a new layer. Fill it with black. Next, we add a highlight, for this we go Filter – Rendering – Blick (Filter> Render> Lens Flare). Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below.

Step 52

Now, change the blending mode to Lightening (Screen) for a layer with a highlight, and also reduce the layer opacity to 36%. Place the flare where you see fit and if you see any hard edges, hide them by adding a layer mask and painting with a black brush over the correction area.

Step 53

Next, add a new adjustment layer. Gradient map (Gradient Map), let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Gradient Map). Change the blending mode for this adjustment layer to Overlap (Overlay) and also reduce the value Fillings (fill) up to 46%. Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 54

Select Brush Dawn in the brush settings. Add white glow / bokeh to our scene. Reduce the layer opacity to 10%.

Step 55

Repeat the previous step, only this time, use the dark blue brush color (# 274e9d), and also reduce the layer opacity to 47%. Also, change the blending mode for the layer with this effect to Lightening basics (Color Dodge).

Step 56

Open the snow texture. Select the entire texture, copy / paste the texture onto our working paper. Change the blending mode for the texture layer to Lightening (Screen), and also reduce the opacity of the texture layer to 14%. You can also hide the snow effect in the center of the image using a layer mask by painting over with a black brush over the glass ball.

Step 57

Download the Fog brush. Create a new layer. Using a white brush, draw a fog below the arm.

Step 58

Download Brushes Trees. Create a new layer. Choose a brush with Christmas trees. Draw white spruce below the hand. Add a glow effect.

Step 59

Create a new layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening the basics(Color Dodge). Using a soft white brush, paint over the bottom of the hand to make the hand look softer.

Thank you for being with me until the end of the lesson. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

Final result

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