Post-apocalyptic photo manipulation in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a post-apocalyptic scene in Photoshop with the help of several stock images, using your photo manipulation technique to change the scene lighting.

Final result

Stock Images

Step 1 – Delete the original sky

Open the image of a man with a gas mask. With the tool Quick Selection tool – or any other tool that you like best – select the sky and hide it with a mask.

Step 2 – Adding a New Sky

We are going to replace the original sky with a different one, more detailed and cloudy. Open the provided sky or another image with the sky of your choice and paste it on a new layer below the layer with the person and the background.

If you use another image of the sky, make sure that it is not very bright and colorful, because it does not fit the background, you will need additional color correction.

Step 3 – Smooth Edges

As you can see in image 2, the edges of the background are too hard and do not mix with the new sky. To fix this, we use a layer mask by painting over the edges with soft black. brush (brush) or having a black and white linear gradient (gradient) for a soft transition. Try to get something similar to the image below.

Step 4 – Some Details

Copy the column from the provided PSD file and paste it into the working document, as shown in image 4. Create a layer mask and hide the lower part of the pillar with black color, mixing it with grass. I used a brush of grass, which is the default in Photoshop.

You can add destroyed cars or houses to create a post-apocalyptic space.

Step 5 – Dead Tree

Place the tree separated from the background in the working document so that its part remains behind the image, as shown in Figure 5. Change the size of the tree. Again we use the layer mask to blend the bottom of the tree with grass.

Step 6 – General Correction

Add adjustment layer Photo Filter (Photo filter) over all layers, selecting the Orange (Orange) filter with a density of 25%. Set this blend mode to Darken.

Step 7 – Global Lighting

I used the Global light filter to change the lighting of the entire scene. To do this, I created a new layer and filled it with white. Further Filter> Rendering> Filter> Render> Lightning effects. I applied the settings shown in the image below.

This is how it looks in the layers palette. Layer with the applied filter, I set the blend mode Overlap (Overlay). If the light is too strong, try changing the filter settings, use blending mode. Soft light (Soft light) or reduce opacity — which is less recommended, but faster.

Step 8

Upload images of crows and place them on the branches of a dead tree. I also added a flying crow to give the scene a bit of dynamics.

Step 9 – Lightening / Darkening

This is what I do with almost all my photo manipulations. See these lessons:
Lesson 1
Lesson 2

Note translator: The method that the author uses can be seen, for example, in this lesson in step 16.

Step 10 – More Correction

Now everything will depend on your personal preferences. I added a new Photo Filter (Photo filter), using a Sepia filter and a density of 25% with a Normal blend mode. You can use Variations, Gradient Map or Color Balance to get the color effect you want.

Step 11 – Final Lighting Effect

Create an empty layer above all the others, press Shift + Ctrl + Alt + E to create a flattened copy of all layers and apply the filter again Lighting Effects, To darken the edges a bit and lighten the part of the image with a tree.

Thanks for watching my lesson. If you have questions, leave your comments.

Final result

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