Surreal City

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a scene with a surreal city, mixing different images.

Step 1. First we need to separate the statue from the background.

1. Go to channel panel and make active only the channel Red (Red), then right-click on it and select Duplicate channel (Duplicate feed). We will use exactly the red channel, since it has the highest level of contrast between the statue and the background.

2. Hide the copy of the red channel and re-activate the RGB channels (to do this, click on the eye on the channel panel). Go back to the layers panel and double click on the background layer to unlock it. Move on Select – Load Selection (Select – Load Selection), select the duplicate red channel and click OK.

3. Click on the button Add layer mask (Add layer mask) at the bottom of the layers panel.
After we create a new layer, fill it with some contrasting color and place it under the layer with the statue.

4. Activate the created mask and call Levels (Levels) (CTRL + L) to increase contrast and add sharpness. Then apply the filter Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) to soften the edges.

5. Now let’s do a little trick. Duplicate (CTRL + J) the working layer, right click on the duplicate layer mask and select Apply Layer Mask (Apply a layer mask). Next, create a new layer mask and using Brush tool (Brush) (B) Hide the back of the statue.

6. Duplicate the layer you just worked with (CTRL + J), then click CTRL + I, to invert the mask (while it must be active) and the back of the statue became visible, and the front disappeared. Next, right-click on the mask and select Apply Layer Mask (Apply a layer mask).

Step 2. Create a new document in Photoshop and start using the standard tasselsChalk (Chalk) 11 pixels in size, draw elements of the cityscape, lowering the brush opacity (opacity) up to 50% to simulate the effect of a pencil drawing.
Activate the grid View – Show – Grid (View – Show – Grid) (CTRL + ‘) to draw more or less straight lines, but not too much, such that it looks hand-drawn.
Increase the size of the brush and reduce its opacity (opacity) and add some shadows.

Step 3. Duplicate the created elements to fill the entire city. Just do not overdo it, try to achieve diversity, and do not forget about the perspective (houses in the background should be smaller in size than those in front of them). This will add volume and depth to the work.

Step 4. We have a statue on the document with the city. Create a new layer and use a rigid round brush to draw a heart-shaped shape at the feet of the statue. Lower the opacity (opacity) of this layer to make the heart slightly transparent.

Step 5. We load in Photoshop Old paper texture and place it on the working document on top of all layers. Bleach the texture (CTRL + SHIFT + U) and change blending mode (overlay mode) layer on Multiply (Multiplication).

Step 6. Activate a soft brush with a low level of opacity (opacity) (5-15%) in dark gray color draw shadows on a new layer with blending mode (overlay mode) Multiply (Multiplication).

Step 7. Now on a new layer with blending mode (overlay mode) Overlay (Overlap) apply light in light gray color, using a brush with a low level of opacity (opacity) again. Place the working layer under the layer with the statue and press CTRL + ALT + G to create a clipping mask.

Step 8. Load the Clouds image into Photoshop and cut out the area with the sky. Paste it on the working paper as a background and change blending mode (overlay mode) on Overlay (Overlap).

Step 9. Go to the layer with the statue and using Lasso Tool (Lasso) (L) select the letter, then go Edit – Define Brush Preset … (Edit – Define a brush …) to create a brush. Create a few more brushes from letters.
Using them, we draw letters soaring in the sky. We use different parameters for each brush. Window – Brushes (Window – Brushes).
On the menu Brush tip shape (The shape of the brush print) is adjusted Spacing (Interval) in Shape dynamics (Dynamics of the form) play with the settings Size jitter (Size fluctuation) and Angle jitter (Jitter angle). Activate Scattering (Scattering), leaving Scatter (Scattering) with a low rate.
If you are using a graphics tablet, you should also activate Other dynamics to control brush pressure.

Step 10. Almost done.
Open the image of the Flying books, cut out the book and bleach it (CTRL + SHIFT + U). Paste on the working paper. Duplicate the book several times and change the size, location and tilt of each copy using Free transform (CTRL + T) to diversify the work.

Step 11. Final result:

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