Make a magic collage with a coach and pumpkins in Photoshop

In this lesson you will learn how to create a magical composition with a carriage and pumpkins in the style of the classic Disney cartoon “Cinderella.” In the course of the lesson, you will learn how to use 3D renders and combine them with photos to create a dramatic collage.

Download the archive with materials for the lesson

Looking for inspiration

Initially, I was inspired by a beautiful picture with autumn forest. Nice colors and a relaxed atmosphere are great for a fabulous composition. It seems as if Cinderella just left her carriage and ran home.

For a start, on Pinterest and Google, I collected references that will help me build the right composition and create the right atmosphere. Are you curious what pictures I chose? I suggest using the link to view my collection in order to better immerse myself in the process of work!

1. How to download and use the 3D render

I have an account on Envato Elements, and I am crazy about the 3D section on this site! Therefore, for this tutorial, we need three 3D renderings.

Create your account, and then you will be able to view and download any available renders.

Step 1

Let’s start with the carriage. Click on View 360 Render to load the object.

Move the carriage with the mouse to get the desired viewing angle.

Since the background with the forest is fairly uniform in terms of perspective, I will focus on the usual side view. When finished, we load the finished render. The saved file can be opened as a normal image with a transparent background.

Step 2

You can build the entire composition from scratch using only 3D renders, but note that this is a fairly long process. A good combination of conventional images and 3D graphics will be the best option for this photo manipulation.

Download pictures of pumpkin 1 and pumpkin 2 with the following perspectives:

2. Add the background and the road

Download all the necessary sources, we begin the work.

Step 1

Create a new document with a size of 2500 x 1588 pixels and a resolution of 300 dpi.

Copy and paste the autumn forest on the working canvas, using free transformation (Ctrl + T) adjust the size and position.

Then go Filter – Liquify (Filter – Plastic).

Via Forward Warp Tool (W) (Deformation) we move the branches over the person slightly upwards to give them a more symmetrical arch.

We get this result.

Step 2

Take Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) (Rectangular lasso) and select the trees on the left. Press Ctrl + J to copy the selected area to the new layer. Apply to this copy Edit – Transform – Flip Horizontal (Editing – Transforming – Flip Horizontally).

Place the reflected trees on the right side of the person to balance the picture. It’s okay if you see part of the stone wall, leave everything as is.

Using the eraser (E) (Hardness (Hardness) 0% and Opacity (Opacity) 20-50%) edit the rough edges.

Step 3

Now let’s brighten the road and the background. Move on Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer – New adjustment layer – Curves).

Edit the RGB channel and lift the curve up to brighten the composition, then click OK.

Selecting the mask of the adjustment layer Curves (Curves) and black brush paint over the upper part in the form of an arch. We leave the brightness only in the center of the composition. Reduce the layer opacity to 35%.

Step 4

Let’s adjust the road. To accommodate the carriage and pumpkin, it must be wider.

Take Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) (Rectangular selection) and select the bottom of the road. Then press Ctrl + J to duplicate the selection to a new layer.

With the help of free transformation (Ctrl + T) we stretch the width of the road copy.

Step 5

Now add a stone road! Via Polygonal Lasso Tool(L) (Rectangular lasso) cut a part of the stone road. Copy and paste the selection to the working paper.

Duplicate (Ctrl + J) the resulting layer. Fill in the road with copies, as shown below.

Combine the copies together and call the resulting layer “Stones”. Set the blending mode of this layer to Difference (Difference) and add a mask to refine the boundaries of the road.

Perform color correction of the stone walkway.

Select the “Stones” layer and turn Image – Adjustments – Hue Saturation (Image – Correction – Hue / Saturation).

Adjust the settings to match the color of the road to the forest.

  • Hue (Color tone): -19
  • Saturation (Saturation): -71
  • Lightness (Brightness): -16

Step 6

Let’s remove the man on the road. Create a new layer and activate the tool. Brush Tool (B) (Brush). Adjust the brush: set Hardness (Hardness) at 0%, Opacity (Opacity) – 40-60% and color – on # e1dbd0.

(Do not worry that the shades are slightly knocked out of the overall composition, later we will do additional color correction.)

3. Add a carriage and pumpkins

Step 1

Open the picture with the carriage.

Press Ctrl + A to select the entire document, then copy and paste the selected area onto the working document. Move the layer with the carriage to the top of the layers panel. Activate the free transformation (Ctrl + T) and adjust the scale of the carriage.

We add a new one above the layer with the carriage; Paint Bucket Tool (G) (Fill) and fill it with a dark gray color (# 3a393b). Set the layer blending mode to Lighten (Replacing light) and reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 30%.

Step 2

Next, add white and orange pumpkins and adjust their size (Ctrl + T).

Several times we duplicate (Ctrl + J) both pumpkins. Using the free transformation (Ctrl + T), we adjust the width and height of each copy. Also, with this tool, you can rotate them, change the angle or perspective.

Open a picture with flowers and select a bouquet, then copy it and paste it twice on the working paper: one at the left pumpkin group, and the second at the right one. We modify the edges with Eraser Tool (E) (Eraser).

Also add one bouquet on top of the carriage. Reduce it Opacity (Opacity) up to 78%.

4. Adjust color using filters.

Step 1

Now that we’ve finished adding all the necessary elements, we can customize the colors to make the composition more dramatic.

At the very top of the layers panel, add an adjustment layer. Color Lookup (Search color).

Install 3DLUT File (3DLUT file) on FoggyNight.3DL. Then reduce the opacity to 87%.

Now it looks much better.

Above we add a new adjustment layer. Curves (Curves). Configure the RGB and Blues (Blue) as below:

Step 2

We continue!

Above we add an adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient map). In the settings, select the linear gradient and apply red (# 431704) and blue (# 4079d7) colors.

Then set the blending mode to Hue (Color tone) and reduce the opacity to 35%.

Step 3

Add the last adjustment layer Color Lookup (Search color). Install 3DLUT File (3DLUT file) on Filmstock_50.3DL. Then reduce the layer opacity to 45%.

5. Adjust the lighting

Noticed how ugly and unrealistic 3D-objects look?

Let’s fix it!

Step 1

Above the carriage layer, add a new layer and transform it into a clipping mask (Ctrl + Alt + G).

Take Paint Bucket Tool (G) (Fill) and fill the layer with dark gray (# 3a393b), then reduce the layer opacity to 59%. Take Eraser Tool (E) (Eraser), install Hardness (Hardness) at 0% and Opacity (Opacity) by 20-40%. Use the eraser to remove the excess fill to create a shading effect on the carriage. Do not forget about the main source of light.

If you delete too much, take a brush (B) and restore the color with the same shade of gray.

Step 2

Now pumpkin.

At the moment I have two groups of combined layers: one with pumpkins and flowers on the left, and the second with the rest of the objects on the right. Merging layers will make work more convenient and reduce the size of the finished file.

To adjust the lighting for the right group of objects, create a correction layer above. Levels (Levels) and transform it into a clipping mask (Ctrl + Alt + G). Configure the RGB channel:

  • 58, 1.14, 242
  • Output Levels (Output values): 0, 126

In the same way we configure the left group of objects. We use the same settings.

Step 3

Now for each group of objects we will add small details!

To do this, do the following:

Above group create new layer in blend mode Multiply (Multiplication) and transform it into a clipping mask (Ctrl + Alt + G).

Choose a dark gray color (# 171718), then add shadows on pumpkins and flowers.

We take a soft round brush (B) (stiffness 0%, low opacity) and suggest clearer lines on pumpkins. Then we increase the rigidity of the brush to 50-100% and continue to add details. We also draw shadows and cracks on the road.

Below you can see step-by-step revision of the left group.

We add small strokes and scratches to make the composition interesting and realistic!

Using the same approach, we refine the right group of objects.

Do not forget to draw the shadows on the bouquet, which is on the carriage. For more realism, add shadows under the carriage.

6. Final touches

It’s time to add the final touches!

Step 1

At the very top of the layers panel, create a new layer. We will use it for applying glare (the easiest way to do this is using a graphics tablet).

We take a rigid round brush (B), on the top panel we activate sensitivity to pressure and in white we paint highlights on pumpkins, flowers and carriage. Errors are corrected with Eraser Tool (E) (Eraser) with an opacity of 10-30%.

Step 2

Create another new layer in blend mode. Overlay (Overlap).

Light cream color (# e7e2d8) add golden highlights throughout the scene. We work with a soft round brush (B), then to add small parts we increase the rigidity of the tool.

In the picture below you can see the result with blending mode. Normal (Normal) (left) and Overlay (Overlap) (right).

We continue to add more layers with highlights in blend mode. Overlay (Overlap). Explore different forest pictures and other photos to understand how realistic lighting works.

Step 3

In this step, we will finish the color refinement! For this we need three adjustment layers.

Let’s start with Brightness and Contrast (Brightness / Contrast):

  • Brightness (Brightness): 11
  • Contrast (Contrast): 17

Then create a correction layer. Color Lookup (Search color). Install 3DLUT File (3DLUT file) on LateSunset.3DL. Reduce the layer opacity to 20%.

We finish the revision with a correction layer Color Balance (Color balance). Customize Shadows (Shadows), Midtones (Mid Tones) and Highlights (Bright tones).

We get this result!

Step 4

Now add some magic!

Load brushes “Stars and highlights” and set them in Photoshop. Create new layers and apply additional effects. To save the lighting and tint, add new layers under the corrective from the previous step.

Select brush 1267 and draw a few flickering highlights.

Add more glow on the carriage! For more interesting results, experiment with different brushes! We draw small points on the road and around the carriage with a small stiff brush.

Add sun rays to add drama to the picture. We start with a simple line, and then modify it with an eraser (E).

We continue in the same spirit and with a rigid round brush (B) we draw new highlights and rays. Finish the edges with an eraser (E). Just make sure that the rays and highlights correspond to the main source of light!

Step 5

In the last step, we will create a glow on the carriage.

Click the right mouse button on the layer with the carriage and select Blending Options (Overlay options). In the opened window, activate the layer style. Outer Glow (External glow) and customize it:

The result is a pleasant external glow that falls on the road near the carriage. Below you can see the final result.


To view the work in detail, click on the image below to open the picture with a higher resolution.

With the help of 3D renders, you can do amazing things, and I hope this lesson will inspire you to try something of your own!

Below in the comments leave your questions, feedback and share the results.

Posted by: Melody Nieves

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