Pink dreams in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a fantasy scene with fish using various photo manipulation techniques. You will learn how to combine several different stock images into one single composition using combination techniques, color correction, work with masks and a brush. You will also learn how to focus on details and create light and shade, as well as how to work with layers and much more.

Stages of the lesson:

At the beginning of this lesson we will create a working scene, this will be the sky, which will be created from three stock images. Next, we will add a boat, a tree, a girl, fish, and then combine them with the help of adjustment layers, masks and a brush. Next, we will conduct color correction, light and shade and contrast correction, completing the work with a final correction. To complete this lesson, you will need a version of Photoshop CS3 or higher.

Final result

Download the source materials for the lesson

Step 1

Create a new document in Photoshop. Apply the following dimensions to our working paper, which are shown in the screenshot below:

Step 2

Press the keys (Ctrl + Shift + N) to create a new layer. Choose a tool Gradient (Gradient Tool (G), install Radial gradient (Radial Gradient), gradient colors # 5a513d and # d1cba2. Drag the gradient from the top center down:

Step 3

Open the stock image ‘Sky 1’. Using tool Moves (Move Tool (V), move this sky image to our working document. Change the blending mode for the sky layer to Soft light (Soft Light), 100%:

Step 4

To make the sky look softer, let’s go. Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur). Set the blur radius to 2 px:

Step 5

Add a correction layer to the sky layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask to slightly change the color of the sky. Let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves):

Step 6

Open the second stock image ’Sky 2’. Move this image with the sky to our working paper, placing it on top of the ’Sky 1’ layer. Change the blending mode for this layer with sky to Hard light (Hard Light), 100%:

Step 7

To this layer with the sky, apply a filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur Filter). Set a blur radius of 7 px:

Step 8

Next, add an adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance) as a clipping mask to the sky 2 layer for the sky color correction:

Step 9

Open stock image with clouds. Move the cloud image to our working paper. Using tool Free transformation (Free Transform Ctrl + T), rotate the image as shown in the screenshot below:

To the cloud layer, add a layer mask through the bottom toolbar and use a soft black brush to hide the hard edges of the image to create a smooth transition with the whole scene:

Step 10

To the cloud layer, add an adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance) as an obravochnaya mask to add warm colors to the clouds:

Step 11

Next, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask to the cloud layer to darken the foreground a bit:

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) and with the help of a soft black brush, hide the correction near the horizon (in this part of the scene I’m going to add light soft tones).

Step 12

Open the image set, which includes the image of the boat. Separate the image of the boat from the white background. Move the selected image of the boat to our working paper, placing it in the center of the clouds:

Add a layer mask to the boat layer and use about 30% opacity with a soft black brush to hide the bottom of the boat, creating the feeling that the boat is floating among the clouds. Next, increase the brush stiffness to 100% to process the upper left side of the boat:

Step 13

To add more light to the boat, I used the effect of layer styles. Double-click on the boat layer and in the window that appears, select the option Inner shadow (Inner Shadow):

Step 14

Using the adjustment layer Curves (Curves), darken certain areas of the boat that are hidden from light:

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) and with the help of a soft black brush, hide the Curves correction in the upper part, which is illuminated by light:

Step 15

To the boat layer, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to reduce the saturation of the boat image:

Step 16

Next, add an adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance) to combine the colors of the boat with the whole scene:

Step 17

Open stock image with a tree. Using tool Lasso(Lasso Tool (L), select the tree trunk. Move the selected image of the tree trunk to our working document, located on the upper left side of the boat. Using the tool Deformations (Warp Tool) go Editing – Transformation – Deformation (Edit> Transform> Warp), warp the tree trunk, as shown in the screenshot below:

Using a layer mask, draw a combination of the bent part of the trunk with the boat:

Step 18

Next, select the top of the tree with leaves, moving it to our working paper. Place the crown with leaves on top of the curved part of the trunk. Using tool Deformations (Warp Tool), slightly distort the crown with leaves so that the angle of inclination coincides with the angle of inclination of the curved trunk:

Add a layer mask to the leaf layer. Using a soft black brush, hide the extra areas at the base of the crown of leaves:

Step 19

Select the layer with the curved part of the tree trunk and the layer with leaves, and then press the keys (Ctrl + G) to group them. Change the blending mode for the created group from Skip (Pass Through (overlay mode for default group) on Normal (Normal), 100%. Inside the created group on top of all layers, add a new adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to change the color of the tree:

Step 20

Using the adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance), add some yellow shades to the tree:

Step 21

Add another adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to reduce the saturation of the tree image:

Step 22

Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to lighten the tree:

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) and using a soft black brush, reduce the effects of lighting on certain areas of the tree so that the contrast of the tree is combined with the background lighting:

Step 23

Create a new layer on top of all created layers inside the tree group. Using a hard brush, brush color # 987b47, brush size 4-5 px, paint the trunk and the branches of the tree to reduce their contrast so that they are even more combined with the image of the boat:

Step 24

Open the stock image of the girl. Separate the image of the girl from the background. Move the selected image of the girl to our working paper, placing the girl in the center of the boat. Reflect the image of the girl horizontally in accordance with the direction of light, for this we go Editing – Transformation – Flip Horizontal (Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontal):

To the layer with the girl, add a layer mask and using a hard black brush, hide the lower part of the girl’s dress to create the feeling as if she is sitting in a boat:

Step 25

To layer with girl, add adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to reduce the saturation of the girl’s image:

Step 26

Next, add an adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance) to add color shades to the girl’s image:

Step 27

Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to lighten up our little girl a little:

Step 28

Open the image with the fish (you can use your original images). Separate the fish from the white background. Select the fish you like, and then move them to our working paper, placing them around the boat and the girls.

Add layer masks to those fish that are located at the bottom of the scene. Using a soft black brush, create a feeling as if the fish are swimming in the clouds:

Step 29

Via Curves (Curves), darken the two fish on the left side of the scene:

Step 30

Combine all layers with fish, including adjustment layers (Curves) into one group, just as you did with the tree. Inside the created group, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to adjust the saturation of the fish image:

Step 31

Add color to your fish with a correction layer. Color Balance (Color Balance):

Step 32

Next, lighten the fish with a correction layer. Curves (Curves):

Switch to the layer mask of this adjustment layer and use a soft black brush to hide the correction curves to reduce the amount of light on individual fish:

Step 33

Right-click on the layer with the group with fish and in the window that appears, select the option Duplicate group (Duplicate Group). Right-click on the duplicate layer with the group and in the window that appears, select the option Combine the group(Merge Group). Now we have the image of fish on a separate layer. Turn off the visibility of the new merged layer.

Step 34

Create a new layer on top of all layers. Hold down (Ctrl) + click on the thumbnail of the merged layer to load the active selection of fish:

Using a soft brush, the color of the brush # ebe7da, paint over some areas of the fish to add light highlights to them. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), 100%:

Step 35

Add adjustment layer Gradient map (Gradient Map) on top of all other layers:

Hide part of the correction on the layer mask of this adjustment layer, and also reduce the opacity of the adjustment layer to 20%:

Step 36

Add adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance) to add warm colors to the whole scene:

Hide the color balance effect on the layer mask, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 37

Next, add two adjustment layers. Photo Filter (Photo Filter) on top of all other layers:

Step 38

To change the light focus, create a new layer. Apply the tool Gradient (Gradient Tool), gradient type Radial (Radial), the default gradient color (black and white).

Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), 100%. Using a layer mask, reduce the blackout effect on the upper left side of our scene:

Step 39

Create a new layer. Using a soft brush, brush color # 825111, paint over the right side of the scene to add some warm tones to this part of the scene. Change the blending mode for this layer to Chromaticity (Color) 10% layer opacity:

Step 40

Add a new adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) on top of all other layers to change the yellow shades:

Hide part of the correction on the layer mask of this adjustment layer using a soft black brush. Hide the correction in the upper left part of the scene, and also in the right part of the scene in the center:

Step 41

Add another adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance) to add some subtle cool hues to the scene:

On the layer mask of this adjustment layer, using a soft black brush with an opacity of about 20-25%, hide the correction, processing most of the clouds:

Step 42

Next, add an adjustment layer. Photo Filter (Photo Filter) to add more warm tones to our scene:

Next, go to the layer mask of this adjustment layer and using a soft black brush, process the right edge of the image (Translator’s Note: from the center and to the right, having processed 2/3 of the image height).

Step 43

Add adjustment layer Vibration (Vibrance) to enhance the final effect: Decrease saturation in selected areas.

Translator’s Notes: 1. those who have an earlier version of Photoshop, instead of an adjustment layer Vibration (Vibrance), you can use an adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) 2. The author slightly increases the saturation of the entire scene, and then hides the saturation effect on the left side of the composition.

Step 44

Final step (selective): While on the topmost layer in the layers palette, press the keys (Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E) to merge all visible layers. Being on the combined layer, we go Filter – Sharpness – Contour Sharpness (Filter> Sharpen> Unsharp Mask):

Switch to the smart filter layer mask and use a soft black brush to hide the filter effect where you think the effect is too sharp:

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

Final result

Like this post? Please share to your friends: