Turning a photo into a fairy tale – Part I

Do you want a child’s photo to be unforgettable or you want to make an amazing gift, or create an interesting photo manipulation from a child’s photo, or want to create a magical and beautiful picture, or do you want to learn how to create the effect of phosphorescent stars? Then this lesson is for you! In this lesson, I will show you from start to finish how to create a beautiful magical picture! Read this lesson and learn how to create interesting effects, as well as how to create a beautiful forest fairytale!

In the first step, we will create the background and add textures. In the second step, we will add mushrooms and insects. In the next step, we will add a model and create a magic pollen effect, as well as add neon stars. In the final stage, we will add small details and additional effects. To complete the lesson, you will need any version of Photoshop, inspiration, attention and good mood!

Final result

Source materials:

Step 1

Before we begin, download all the source materials in one folder. Thus, it will be easy for you to work with source images. Download high quality source materials on DeviantART.com by clicking the (Download) button in the upper right corner of the page. Open Photoshop and let’s get started! Create a new document. Let’s go File – New (File> New) or press hotkeys (Ctrl + N). Set the following dimensions to 3000 px in width and 2000 px in height, resolution 200 ppi. I called the working paper “Queen of Mushrooms”.

Step 2

First we will add an image to create the background. Let’s go File – Post (File> Place) and select the “Background” image.

An image should appear on the entire working area of ​​our document. If you did not find this image, then go to the source site where you can download this image, as described in the first step.

Step 3

Zoom in a little, as shown in the screenshot below. To scale, use the tool Free transformation (Free Transform tool (Ctrl + T) or go Editing – Transformation – Scaling (Edit> Transform> Scale).

Step 4

Duplicate the background layer (Ctrl + J) or go Layer- Duplicate Layer (Layer> Duplicate Layer).

Next, flip the duplicate layer horizontally. Let’s go Editing – Transformation – Flip Horizontal (Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontal).

Slide down the original background layer a bit, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 5

Add a layer mask to the duplicate layer with the background.

Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B), set the following settings for this brush: The size (Size): 100px, Rigidity (Hardness): 0%, Opacity (Opacity): 100% – 50%, Pressure (flow): 100%.

Step 6

While on a layer mask, partially hide part of the image. Carefully handle the background, hiding certain parts of the forest landscape, creating a smooth transition with the original background image. As a hint, you can see my processing in the screenshots below. In the first screenshot, these are the areas of processing on the image, in the second screenshot, this is processing on the layer mask.

Step 7

Next, we will add a bokeh 2 texture to transform the background. Let’s go File – Post (File> Place) and select the image with the texture Boke 2.

Transform the texture to fit the working paper.

Change the blending mode for the texture layer to Overlap (Overlay), and also reduce the opacity of the texture layer to 75%. The same result can be obtained with the help of corrective layers, but then the image will not look expressive, and the process is quick. Sometimes I like these surprises. It is worth paying attention to them!

Step 8

Duplicate the Bokeh 2 texture layer (Ctrl + J) or go Layer- Duplicate Layer (Layer> Duplicate Layer). Zoom in by placing a duplicate layer, as shown in the screenshot below. Use the tool to scale. Free transformation (Free Transform tool (Ctrl + T) or go Editing – Transformation – Scaling (Edit> Transform> Scale). This action is performed so that the texture does not look the same.

Step 9

Next, merge all the layers with the bokeh texture into one group. To the layer with this group, add a layer mask.

Step 10

Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B), set the following settings for this brush: The size (Size): 600px, Rigidity (Hardness): 0%, Opacity (Opacity): 100% – 50%, Pressure (flow): 100%.

Hide part of the texture in the center of the image (where the little girl will sit). Hide the texture at the corners of the image, reducing the opacity of the brush to 50%,

Add an adjustment layer to the bottom texture layer. Curves (Curves), for this we go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves) or click the button Create a new adjustment layer (New Adjustment Layer) in the lower toolbar and in the window that appears, select the option Curves(Curves).

Set the control points for each channel, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 11

Combine all the layers related to the background, as well as the group with the texture Boke in one group. Name the united group Interior (Interior). To create a merged group, select all layers + press keys (Ctrl + G). Later, we will return to this group.

Step 12

Now we add the mushrooms! All that we have is 3 types of mushrooms, we will add the rest :). Let’s start by adding mushrooms around the edge of the image. Let’s go File – Post (File> Place) and select the “Mushrooms 2” image.

Step 13

Reduce the size of the image, and also rotate the image, placing it as shown in the screenshot below. I chose a place for these mushrooms in a small meadow with moss, in order to create a sense of incident light on them from the general atmosphere.

Step 14

Next, with the tool Fast Allocation (Quick Selection Tool (W)), select the blue background, including the part of the image with moss.

Invert the selection (Ctrl + Shift + I). Without removing the active selection, select the option Refine edge (Refine Edge) in the top toolbar.

Step 15

In option view options Refine edge (Refine Edge) we will install On black (On Black). Select the brush in the settings and use the brush to go around the outer contour of the mushrooms, not touching them so much (otherwise, you will remove some of the mushrooms) to remove the remaining background areas and improve the quality of the selection. Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below. Click OK.

Step 16

Without removing the active selection, add a layer mask to the layer with mushrooms to completely hide the background.

To make the mushrooms look realistic, go to the layer mask of the mushroom layer and use a brush to brush the bottom of the mushroom legs, where the mushrooms touch the moss (only lightly). Settings for the brush: The size (Size): 100px, Rigidity (Hardness): 0%, Opacity (Opacity): 50%, Pressure (flow): 100%.

Step 17

Repeat Steps 12 – 16. Add an image of the mushrooms using the stock image “Mushrooms 5”.

Step 18

Duplicate this mushroom layer (Ctrl + J). Next, go Editing – Transformation – Flip Horizontal (Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontal). Zoom out the image of mushrooms (Ctrl + T) or go Editing – Free Transformation (Edit> Free Transform).

Temporarily hide the appearance of a duplicate layer with mushrooms by clicking on the eye next to the layer thumbnail.

Step 19

Now, from these two mushrooms, we will create a small glade of mushrooms. Hold down (Ctrl) + click on the layer mask to create an active selection around the image of the mushrooms. Choose a tool Lasso (Lasso Tool (L). Hold down the (Alt) key and hide the selection of one mushroom.

The highest and most round mushroom remains. Duplicate the image of the selected mushroom (Ctrl + J).

Step 20

Using the transformation (Ctrl + T), zoom out the image of the fungus, stretching it a little, for this we go Editing – Free Transformation (Edit> Free Transform). Place a duplicate layer with the mushroom, as shown in the screenshot below.

Once again duplicate the mushroom (Ctrl + J) by placing a duplicate of the mushroom, as shown in the screenshot below.

We return to the original image of the mushrooms, select the highest and round mushroom, duplicating it on a new layer. With the help of Free Transformation (Ctrl + T) or go Editing – Free Transformation (Edit> Free Transform), increase the size of the mushroom by positioning it, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 21

Next, we add the last mushroom. Let’s go File – Post (File> Place) and select the image “Mushrooms 1”.

Zoom in on the mushrooms, and then tilt the image so that the main mushroom cap is raised, but the mushroom remains in a stable position relative to other mushrooms, finally, flip the image horizontally, for this we go Editing – Transformation – Flip Horizontal (Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontal). Arrange the mushrooms as shown in the screenshot below. This will be our main mushroom.

Using tool Fast selection (Quick Selection Tool (W), select a large mushroom and a part of the moss at the bottom of the mushroom stem. Next, select the option Refine edge (Refine Edge).

The principle of improving the quality of the isolation and processing of the mushroom stem remains the same, I will not describe it again, just repeat Steps 15 – 16.

Step 22

Duplicate the mushroom 2 times (Ctrl + J). Apply the transformation to duplicates (Ctrl + T) or go Editing – Free Transformation (Edit> Free Transform). Arrange duplicate mushrooms as shown in the screenshot below. Mushroom in the middle must be reflected horizontally, for this we go Editing – Transformation – Flip Horizontal (Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontal). The layer with the smallest mushroom should be placed on top of the other two layers with mushrooms so that it is closer to the observer.

So you should succeed. The layer with the main mushroom should be located below all layers with mushrooms. You can place the mushrooms at your discretion, I just described how I arranged them for myself.

Merge all layers with mushrooms into one group, name this group “Mushrooms” (first select all layers + and then press the keys (Ctrl + G).

Step 23

Let’s add some wildlife. Let’s go File – Post (File> Place) and select the image of the spider.

Reduce the size of the spider by placing the spider on the mushrooms.

Next, we add snails. Let’s go File – Post (File> Place) and select the image with snails.

Choose a tool Lasso (Lasso Tool (L). First select the second snail, and then duplicate the selected snail image on a new layer (Ctrl + J). Be careful when selecting snails, do not miss the details!

Next, we return to the original layer with the image of snails and select the third snail. Duplicate the selected snail image on a new layer (Ctrl + J). Next, I removed the layer with the original snail image.

Reduce the size of the snails (Ctrl + T) or go Editing – Free Transformation (Edit> Free Transform), and the image of the second snail reflect horizontally, for this we go Editing – Transformation – Flip Horizontal (Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontal). Place the snails as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 24

Next, we will add a frog image to our scene. Let’s go File – Post (File> Place) and select the image of the frog. Reduce the size of the frog image, and then flip the image horizontally. Position the frog closer to the center.

Using tool Fast selection (Quick Selection Tool (W)), create an active selection around the image of the frog, and then add a layer mask to remove the background.

Step 25

We must add shadows to the elements of nature. Create a new layer. Let’s go Layer – New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) or press keys (Ctrl + Shift + N). The layer with the shadow must be above the layer with the frog, since the shadow will fall on the frog and above the layer with the snails, not obscuring them so much.

Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B). Set the following settings for the brush: The size (Size): 75px, Rigidity (Hardness): 0%, Opacity (Opacity): 30%, Pressure (flow): 50%.

Now draw the shadows very carefully, because the result will depend on it. Slowly and carefully move the brush along the snail and the mushroom at the same time. You can brush one time under the snail shell. Darken the back of the frog as well as the legs. Add shadows to the mushrooms. Do not forget that the shadows on the mushrooms are not only due to the incident light. On small mushrooms the shadow falls from large mushrooms. In the future, always be attentive to such details and do not apply too contrasting shadows.

Combine all the layers with snails and a frog into one group, name this group “Insects” (select the desired layers + press keys (Ctrl + G). I combined them into one group to apply adjustment layers that will apply only to snails and frogs .

Step 26

Create a new group by clicking the button on the bottom toolbar. Next, add a layer mask to the created group. Move the Insects and Mushrooms folder to this group.

Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B). Set the following settings for the brush: The size (Size): 70px, Rigidity (Hardness): 0%, Opacity (Opacity): 45% Pressure (flow): 100%.

Treat the legs of the mushrooms in the group’s layer mask so that the mushrooms look realistic. In some places I changed the brush opacity to: 70% to enhance the effect.

Step 27

Next, we add chiaroscuro to the mushrooms, frog and snails. To do this, create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N). Note that this layer applies only to the group and not to the whole document.

Use the tool Clarifier (Dodge Tool (O) to create light highlights and tool Dimmer (Burn Tool (O) to create shadows. Set the following settings.

Draw light and shade, as shown in the screenshot below. Pay attention to snails and a frog. Draw shadows on the frog’s back and snail shells to make them look realistic. Shadows should be drawn in accordance with the background lighting.

Step 28

As soon as we finish working with light and shadows, we need to correct the saturation of all the mushrooms so that they look natural and natural. We will add 2 adjustment layers. First adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to adjust saturation and gamma. Let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves) or click the button on the bottom toolbar Create a new adjustment layer (New Adjustment Layer) and in the menu that appears, select the option Curves (Curves).

The second adjustment layer is Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). It is necessary to add a little dark shades to bring the picture to reality.

This is what mushrooms look like after correction. Not darkening them as well, without adding hard light and dark shades. Otherwise, your work will not look realistic and will be too overexposed. I combined all the adjustment layers and groups into one group and called this group “Mushrooms and insects”.

Step 29

Next, we will add a web. For this, I used the Web brush. If you do not know how to download these brushes, then you can read my previous lessons on installing brushes or use the search :). I created three different layers with different cobwebs located in different places.

Let’s start with the bottom layer! Create a new layer, select the Web tool, the name of the brush is “Spider_web_5 ?. Make the following settings for this brush: The size (Size): 400px, Opacity (Opacity): 100%. Brush color for all #cacaca webs. I deliberately didn’t use white to make the cobweb look more natural. Draw a web between the mushrooms so that the center of the web is in the middle. Also, make sure the edges of the web touch the edges of the mushrooms.

The second layer. Draw a web. The name of the brush is “Spider_web_11? (the web is blue) Select the next brush “Spider_web_12? (the web is marked in red) The size (Size): 300px.

The third layer. Draw another web. Select the brush “Spider_web_4? (the web is marked in blue) The size (Size): 256px.

We will change the last web a little. Go to the brush settings and apply the following settings, which are shown in the screenshot below. The name of the brush is “Spider_web_3? (the web is marked in red) The size (Size): 200px. Since the web is drawn on different layers, it added volume and play of light.

PSD file the lesson

Author: Maria Semelevich

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