Sozuem collage in Photoshop with a mountain of Christmas gifts

In this lesson you will learn how to create a magic collage with a large swirling top of a mountain using the fill. Content-Aware (Given the content) and digital drawing.

Final image:

Note: The author used paid materials. In the archive you will find an alternative version of the images to perform the lesson.

In this Photoshop tutorial, you can find useful tips that can help you create a nice harmonious collage with some drawn details. You can learn some unusual ways to use fill. Content-Aware (Given the content). This PS tool can help you create new elements of the landscape without special digital drawing skills. This lesson is written for users who know the basic tools and settings of Photoshop, as well as being able to work with the lessons of medium and advanced complexity. The lesson does not contain a detailed description of actions, such as “how to create a correction layer”, “how to separate background elements” and others, due to the large number of steps.

Below is an animation of all the steps described in the lesson:

Step 1

Create a new document in Photoshop 2000 x 2600 px and Resolution (Resolution) 72 pixels / inch.

Insert image Sky on top of the background layer. Flip it vertically Edit> Transform> Flip Vertical (Edit> Transform> Flip Vertically).

Turn slightly to the center of the cloudless portion of the sky.

Select empty corners after turning with Polygonal Lasso Tool (Rectangular Lasso) and fill them with the option Content-Aware (Given the content) through the menu Edit> Fill> Content-Aware (Edit> Fill> Content-Aware).

Then go to menu Filter> Liquify (Filter> Plastic). Make the cloudless sky bigger and rounder with Forward warp tool (Reverse deformation). Move a large round brush from the center to the edges of the document.

Process the edges of the clouds with a smaller brush. Forward warp tool (Reverse deformation) to make them better and neater. Try to create something like a round frame of clouds around a clear sky.

Below is the result of applying the filter Liquify (Plastic).

Step 2

Duplicate the sky layer, flip it vertically and place it below the original sky layer. Merge both layers with clouds to cover the entire document background.

Create an adjustment layer Levels (Levels) above the combined cloud layer to make the cloud background darker and more contrast. Specify parameters from the upper right corner of the screenshot below. Correction layer Levels (Levels) and other adjustment layers for the next steps you can find by clicking on the round icon at the bottom of the palette. Levels (Layers).

Step 3

Take Magic wand (Magic Wand) mode Add to selection (Add to selection). Select the whole central area of ​​the clear sky. You can delete unwanted selection areas with the same tool in Subtract from (Subtract from selection) (next icon to the right of the marked one).

As a result, you should select an area similar to the one in the screenshot below. You can correct the selection through the menu Select> Refine edge (Select> Refine Edge), making it more shaded.

Do not deselect, add adjustment layer Levels (Levels). This adjustment layer will be applied only to the selected area.
Make the highlighted sky darker. Use the same parameters as in the screenshot.

Step 4

Add adjustment layer Gradient map (Gradient map). Point for him Opacity (Opacity) 60%. You do not need to save the selection when creating this adjustment layer. Apply a gradient to the entire image. (The selection in the screenshot below is left randomly).

Here are the parameters for the adjustment layer. Gradient map (Gradient map).

Step 5

Insert image The mountains. Erase the original sky area from it.

Add a layer mask and adjust the shape of the mountain with Brush (Brush). Use the black brush to remove the areas listed below.

Create a new empty layer and draw a new silhouette of mountains in it. You can use an ordinary round brush of any color for this.

Load the selection for the drawn gray shape (now you can hide the layer with the shape, we need it only to get the selected area of ​​the mountains). Go back to the mountain layer and fill the selected area. Content-Aware (Given the content) through the menu Edit> Fill> Content-Aware (Edit> Fill> Content-Aware).

Here is the result of applying the fill. Content-Aware (Given the content). You can try to fill each section separately – this can give a better, more natural result.

Add a layer mask to the layer with the mountains.
Take a round soft translucent brush (Opacity (Opacity) about 30%) and process the silhouette of the mountain next to the clouds to create a “haze effect”.

Step 6

Create a layer or layers on top of the mountain layers to create shadows and highlights. Here, separate layers are applied for dark shadows and light areas to create a volume effect. Use light and dark translucent brushes to paint light and dark areas on the mountains. You can use colors and shades from the sky palette. Hold Alt and choose a color from the background.

If you have created different layers for the shadows and highlights, you can apply a blend mode to the layer with dark shades. Multiply (Multiplication), and to the layer with light shades – blending mode Soft light (Soft light) or Overlay (Overlap). This will help you to keep the mountain texture. Also experiment with the settings. Opacity (Opacity) for shades of layers.

In order for light and dark areas to be applied only to the mountain, convert these layers to clipping masks for the mountain layer. To do this, right-click on the layer and select Create Clipping Mask (Create clipping mask). Layers as a blending mask have a small arrow pointing down on the left side of the thumbnail.

Step 7

Add adjustment layer Levels (Levels) as a clipping mask for mountains. Make them less contrasting and more “soft” in color.

Add another adjustment layer. Levels (Levels) to slightly remove the light tones only in the right side of the mountains. To do this, apply a linear black and white gradient in the layer mask of the adjustment layer. In the left part of the layer, the mask should be white (visible).

To make the image with the mountains better superimposed on the background, apply a correction layer to it. Gradient map (Gradient map) with Opacity (Opacity) 35%. Convert the adjustment layer to a clipping mask so that it only affects the mountains.

Step 8

Add a bit of snow on the mountains with brushes Mountains of light, warm colors.

Below are the areas where the snow effect was applied.

Smooth a bit of the upper peak of the mountains with one more adjustment layer. Gradient map (Gradient map). To apply this effect only to the top of the mountain, apply a black and white linear gradient to the layer mask using the vertical direction.

Step 9

Let’s add white clouds to the mountains. Make the layer with the mountains temporarily invisible. If you make the original layer with the mountains invisible, the layers with clipping masks should become invisible automatically.

Go to the palette Channels (Channels), select and duplicate the channel Red (Red).

Increase the contrast of this channel by setting Levels (Levels). To do this, go to the menu Image> Adjustments> Levels (Image> Correction> Levels).

Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the channel icon to load the selection of the white area in it.

Without removing the selection, make the RGB channel active to return to normal colors. You should see a regular color image of the sky. Then go to menu Edit> Copy merged (Edit> Copy merged data). Thus, you must copy the selected white cloud area.

Make the layer with the mountains visible again. Paste the copied clouds on top of all mountain correction layers.
Add a mask to the new cloud layer and fill it with a vertical black and white linear gradient to make only the upper part of the white clouds visible.

Step 10

Open the image with trees. You can do this in another document.

Increase the area of ​​the land and the number of trees, “repeating” the image.

Select the sky area with Magic wand (Magic Wand) and erase this area or hide it with a mask.

Hide the junction between the two images with Patch (Patch).

Below is the result of using the tool. Patch (Patch).

Step 11

Place the image of trees in our document above the layer with the mountains. Create a new layer and draw in it the twisted treetops with an ordinary brush and any color. Use the same method that we used when drawing the tops of the mountains.

Then load the selection for each tree and fill it with the option Content-Aware (Given the content). Do this for each swirling element separately. The result looks better when you fill each item separately.

Here’s what we got:

Adjust the colors with the adjustment layer Levels (Levels).

Apply adjustment layer Gradient map (Gradient map). Install Opacity (Opacity) 50%.

You can correct the treetops with the same brush that adjusted the snow on the tops of the mountains in the previous steps.

Use light brushes for the right side of the trees and dark ones for the left side.

Step 12

Download Clouds brushes and use them to create curlicues on the clouds. To make the clouds and curlicues more realistic, use the parameters Opacity (Opacity) and Flow (Push) brush about 80%. To select the desired shade for cloud curls, hold down the Alt key, click next to the place where the new curl is created.

Below are the options for setting the brush-cloud:

Step 13

Insert the image of the bag with gifts. If desired, decorate it with sparkling stars using PS brushes.

Insert an image with ice. Separate the ice from the background.

Change the shape of the ice using transformation Warp (Deformation) through the menu Edit> Transform> Warp (Edit> Transform> Warp) and position it at the top of a swirling mountain peak. Adjust form using filter Liquify (Plastic).

Add a layer mask and process the bottom edge of the ice, connecting it to the mountain. Use translucent brushes at the junction of ice and mountains to create a translucent ice effect. Also apply to the layer with ice Opacity (Opacity) 85%.

Apply a correction layer to the ice. Selective color (Selective color correction) as an edge mask.

Reduce saturation with a correction layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation).

Make the left part of the ice darker with a correction layer. Levels (Levels) and linear gradient in the mask of the adjustment layer. The left side of the mask should be white (visible).

Create another adjustment layer. Gradient map (Gradient map) for ice, set for it Opacity (Opacity) 50%. Fill the adjustment layer mask with a black and white linear gradient so that it is visible only in the lower left part of the ice.

Step 14

Insert the image of Santa, reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 90%

Draw a rope with Line (Line). Specify layer style Gradient overlay (Gradient overlay). Erase part of the rope from the figure of Santa.

Use light and dark shades for the gradient of our work.

Step 15

Insert an image with icicles.

Highlight and remove black background.

Download the selection for icicles and using the function Refine edge (Refine edge) through the menu Select> Refine Edge (Select> Refine Edge) make their contour softer.

Transform the layer with icicles to make it smaller and curve the shape of the mountain. To do this, go to the menu Edit> Transform> Wrap> Arch (Edit> Transform> Warp> Arch).

Apply to the icicle layer the blending mode Screen (Screen).

Erase the top of the icicles. Try to create a smooth transition between rock and ice.

Adjust the levels for the icicles layer to make them even more transparent. Apply an adjustment layer to the layer. Levels (Levels) and specify the parameters shown below.

Add another adjustment layer. Levels (Levels) to make the left side of the icicles darker and less shiny. Fill the adjustment layer mask with a linear black and white gradient so that the effect can be seen only on the left side of the icicles.

Add adjustment layer Gradient map (Gradient Map) on top of all corrective layers for icicles.

Take the same brush that we used to create the effect of snow on the mountain, and with its help add some snow to the icicles at the junction of the stone and the icicles.

Step 16

Paste the trail image and apply the following layer styles to this layer:

Inner shadow (Inner shadow):

Gradient overlay (Gradient overlay)

Drop shadow (Shadow)

Step 17

On top of all created layers, paste the image with the stars:

Apply blending mode to this layer. Screen (Screen)

And here is the result!

Author: Alexandra Fomicheva

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