Take my soul

In this tutorial, you will learn how to separate an object from a white background, how to create the effect of painted paints, using some brushes and how to quickly create an HDR effect in a few simple steps. So let’s get started.

Final result

Source materials:

STEP one

First, open the model image. Double-click the layer to unlock the layer. Duplicate the image by pressing Ctrl + J, then, being on a duplicate, press Ctrl + L Levels (Levels). Apply the settings used by me, which are shown in the screenshot below. You can even darken a little harder.


Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B), press the D key to set the default colors. Set the foreground color to black. Make sure all brush settings are set to 100% and then paint over the layer you blacked out over the light areas, to fill them with black.


Next, go Highlight – Color Range (Select> Color Range) and apply the same values ​​that are shown in the screenshot below. Click OK, and then go to the layers palette and turn off the visibility of the duplicate layer.

STEP four

Go to the original layer with the model and in the lower settings panel, click Layer mask (Layer Mask). Now, you can simply remove the duplicate layer with the model, since we will not need it anymore. We used a duplicate only for the purpose of selecting an object.

So, it was an alternative way to select objects, usually users use for this Channels (Channels).

STEP five

So, this is only the first stage of selection, now, we need to combine the model with the desired background. To do this, create a new layer below the model layer, select the tool Fill (Paint Bucket (G) and fill the new layer with black. As you can see, the image still has some white edges. You can’t perfectly cut out the object, so either you need to perfectly match the image with the background, or just draw more neat selection.


Next, go to the layers palette, right-click on the layer mask thumbnail and in the menu that appears, select the option Apply layer mask (Apply Layer Mask). Next, hold down Ctrl + left-click on the thumbnail of the model layer to load the selection of the girl.


On the model layer, press Ctrl + Alt + R Refine edge (Refine Edge). Apply the approximate or the same settings that I used. You should see on the preview image how it works. Once you have entered values, click OK. The result with refined edges will be created on another layer, therefore, you can basically remove or disable the previous layer.


After a more accurate selection of the model, move it to the layer with the background. Make sure that you are on the model layer, next, let’s create the effect with a brush-drawn picture using a splatter brush using the tool Eraser (Eraser Tool (E). Then, using the same brushes, but at the same time, go to the layer with the background, use the eraser to clean the area in front of the model.

Translator’s Note: 1. Before you move the selected image of the model to the layer with the background, open the vintage texture from the texture set, which can be downloaded from the link at the beginning of this lesson and over the vintage texture, position the layer with the model. 2. You can a) as the author suggests using an eraser in the background, but do not forget to create a new layer below the texture layer, which needs to be filled with white or b) create a new layer on top of the texture layer and below the model layer and already on it layer apply vintage brushes or white splashes. This can be seen in the screenshot in the next step.


After you remove the top of the cup, move the image with smoke to our working paper. Next, apply a scaling to the smoke image. Free Transformation (Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T), and then position the smoke on the right side of the image. Change the blending mode for the smoke layer to Replacing dark (Darken).

Also, we will add a reflection of smoke on the model’s face. Next, once again go to the layers palette, hold down the Ctrl key and click on the model layer thumbnail to load the model selection. Then, create a new group on top of the model layer and without removing the selection, click Add layer mask (Add Layer Mask).

Now, when you add something to this group, it will be applicable only to the contour or silhouette of our model. Therefore, first of all, create a new layer in this group and change the blending mode for this layer to Linear dimmer (Linear Burn), reduce the layer opacity to a maximum of 30% and paint over with a soft brush. To create a reflection of a reddish hue, I used the color shade # f6a8a8.


In this step, we’ll play with the Flower collage brush, applying the brush on and over the top of the smoke. Next, we change the red hues with Selective color correction (Selective color).

STEP eleven

Next, we will create an HDR effect using a single image. To do this, first apply the function Run down (Flatten Image) to all layers.

Translator’s Note: 1. To perform the rollup, go to the topmost layer and right-click on the layer, in the window that appears, select the option Run down (Flatten Image) or 2. Simply create a merged layer on top of all layers Ctrl + Atl + Shift + E 3. Create a duplicate of the merged layer).

Next, go Image – Correction – Light / Shadows (Image> Adjustments> Shadow / Highlights). Set value Shadows (Shadow) and Sveta (Highlights) by 40-50%.


Duplicate the layer, then go Image – Correction – Discolor (Image> Adjustments> Desaturate), (for users of the CS3 program, go Image – Correction – Black and White (Image> Adjustments> Black White) and click OK).

After that, change the blending mode for this layer to Hard light (Hard Light).


Let’s add an extra touch to the picture. Duplicate the original image (We will name this layer Blur (Blur), place this layer on top of all other layers.

Next, go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur), set a blur radius of approximately 40 px.

Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light).

Take action Run down (Flatten Image), add some sharpness and the picture is ready.

I wish you a pleasant time to complete the lesson.

Final result

Like this post? Please share to your friends: