It’s time for the next lesson on photo manipulation. This lesson is a bit difficult, so it is intended for the most experienced users. Well, I exaggerated, the lesson on complexity is slightly above average. In this tutorial, I will show you how to play with fire, how to smooth the skin with a tool. Mix brush (B) (Mixer Brush Tool) and how to create realistic lighting effects. Enjoy the lesson.
STEP 1. First, we smooth the skin of a woman, so open the image of a woman in a chair. I used the original image dimensions, but you can reduce the size. Next, create a new layer on top of the woman layer, name this layer smooth skin. (I duplicated the stock image, but you don’t have to do it, because it will increase the file size unnecessarily).
In order to smooth the skin, I used the tool Mix brush (Mixer Brush Tool (B), (for the first time I use this tool since I use the program Photoshop).
Apply the settings for the brush as shown in the screenshot below.
So, we will apply the tool Mix brush (Mixer Brush Tool) to smooth the skin. After setting the settings, as shown in the screenshot above, we apply a slight smoothing by mixing pixels every time you apply brush strokes.
This tool works almost as a tool. Finger (Smudging Tool), but it does not destroy pixels to the same extent. And since we ticked the option box Sample of all layers (Sample All), we can apply the brush on a new layer without fear of spoiling the original image.
You must use a soft brush and adjust the size of the brush depending on the size of the area you are working on. As a rule, we do not use a small brush, because it leaves visible lines, and our goal is to create a smooth transition.
Care must be taken when processing light and shade. You must repeat the same lines of shadows and light, as well as repeat their direction, otherwise, you will “lubricate” them and spoil the shape of the face. A little practice and you will succeed. In the screenshot below, you can see BEFORE and AFTER using this tool. To smooth the skin, it took me about 10-15 minutes.
STEP 2. Next, we use the tool Stamp (Clone Tool (S), to remove the pill in the hands of a woman, later instead of the pill we insert a burning love note. In the settings of the stamp tool, check the box Sample (Sample) – All layers (All Layers) and on a new layer apply a stamp so as not to spoil the original image. Use this tool to remove the pill and restore the fingertips.
STEP 3. Let’s start applying the first corrections. Create an adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance) to add a blue tint to the entire image.
Next, create a new adjustment layer. Gradient Fill (Gradient Fill), default gradient type Black and white (Black to White), position the gradient so that the white part of the gradient is in the head and chest area of the woman, and then change the blending mode for this adjustment layer to Multiplication (Multiply).
To the corrective layer, I applied a layer mask to expose some parts of the girl’s body that were darkened with a gradient, in particular the legs, face and hands.
STEP 4. So, we come to the process Dimming / Lightening (dodging and burning). If you do not want to spoil the quality of the image, then create a new layer, fill it 50% Gray (50% Gray), change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay) and apply the tool on this layer. Dimmer/ Clarifier (DodgeBurn tool).
I have already laid out some of my lessons on the use of this technique, however, basically we darken to create shadows and lighten to create light highlights, while we use a soft brush, Exposure (Exposure) brush set at about 10%, Range (Range) specify Mid tones (Midtones).
In the screenshot below, you can see where I used the tool. Dimmer/ Clarifier (DodgeBurn tool). (Blend mode on the screenshot Normal (Normal), to illustrate to you where I used this tool).
Next, I clarified the edges with the tool. Clarifier (Dodge Tool) (also used a dimmer in some places), slightly increase Exposure (Exposure) (up to about 30-40%). You can work on the same layer on which you have just applied dimming / brightening, but I would prefer to paint over the edges on a separate layer, just in case, if I ruin something.
What I have done here is to lighten the edges of the lips, eyelids, nose nostrils, make brighter eyes and teeth, hair, finger tips, shoes, etc.
To enhance the effect, I duplicated the layer. Dimming / Lightening (dodging and burning) and layer Light highlights on the edges (Highlight edges), grouped these layers into one group and reduced the opacity until I got the look I wanted.
STEP 5. Create a new layer, name this layer Fire in Glass 1. So, open the stock image Fire in Glass 1, move the image to our document and change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (Screen). Next, add a layer mask to this layer and hide everything except the glass on the layer mask. You can disconnect the mask and turn the fire until you find a suitable position.
To make the fire more vivid and natural, add layer styles. Inner Shadow (Inner Shadow) with Offset (Distance) 0, and By size (Size) approximately 50px (depending on the size of your document. So that the shadow covers almost the entire area of the glass), then change the blending mode for the shadow to Soft light (Soft light). This option will enhance the contrast and color of the fire.
Now open the image Fire in Glass 2, move the image to our document and position the image of fire right above the glass, applying the blending mode Lighten (Screen). See screenshot 5b.
STEP 6. So, it’s time to add some light effects. To make the fire in the glass more realistic, create a small glow with a soft brush. I used color tint # 7f4500 on a new layer, set the overlay mode for this layer to Lightening basics (Color Dodge), then I duplicated this layer and changed the blending mode for the duplicated layer to Lightening (Screen).
STEP 7. For more realism, create a light that comes from the fire on the body of a woman. Mainly on the hand that holds the glass, on the neck and on the knees. For this, I used two layers, blending mode for these layers, I used Lightening Basics (color dodge), but if you want, you can use a single layer.
The main color tint I used for this effect was # 5E3403, but you will need to change the tint depending on the area where you want to apply the glow. For rich / bright light, use bright colors, for less bright light, use shades darker.
STEP 8. Now, let’s create a love note. Open the burnt piece of paper in Photoshop, then remove the background with the tool Magic wand (Magic Want Tool (W). Zoom out a little and turn it so that you can type text on a piece of paper. Using the tool Text (type tool), write the text on the note. I used the font Sweetly Broken. You can also put a photo if you wish.
Next, merge these two layers (text layer and paper layer) using the Ctrl + E hot keys. Copy and paste the merged layer onto our document.
So apply the tool Free Transformation (Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T) to distort the note, and then place the note in the woman’s hand. Using the layer mask, hide unwanted areas to create the impression that a piece of paper is squeezed between the woman’s fingers.
STEP 9. Create a new layer to create a finger shadow on the note. Next, on the note layer, I applied an adjustment layer. Levels (Levels) to darken Mid tones (Midtones) and enhance the contrast of the paper. Both layers, I used as clipping masks.
STEP 10. Open the image burning paper, then copy and paste on our document. Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (Screen) and apply the tool Transformation (Transform Tool (Ctrl + T), so that the image fits into the burnt note. You can use the option Deformation (Warp Tool) for more accurate correction.
STEP 11. We once again use the image Fire in Glass 1, with the help of this image we will add sparks flying in the air. For this, using the tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Tool (M)) copy / paste the upper part of the image onto our document.
For this layer, set the blending mode Lightening (Screen) to get rid of the black background, then apply the tool Eraser (Eraser Tool (E) or a layer mask to remove some sparks. Leave only a few sparks that will be at some distance from each other. Then, you can duplicate the layer and apply a small blur using a filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) to create a defocus effect, which will give your image a little more depth
STEP 12. As a last correction, I created a merged layer by pressing Shift + Ctrl + Alt + E. You can also select the entire image, then go Editing – Copy merged data (Edit> Copy Merged), and then paste the copied image on top of all layers.
Once you have created the merged layer (which I called Final), then go Image – Correction – Options (Image> Adjustments> Variations) and select the option More Blue (More Blue) and then More Green (More Green) in that order and click OK.
Then, reduce the opacity of the layer to 30% and change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft light).
Congratulations, we have finished the lesson. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If yes, then I am waiting for your feedback and work. See you at the next lesson.
Final result BEFORE and AFTER
Author: Andrei Oprinca