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Create A Science Fiction Movie Scene

Create an abduction scene above the cityscape. This tutorial explores combination of different blend modes, manipulating lens flares, and displacing lines, to create that extraterrestrial inspired sci-fi scene.

Images to be readied:

City scape 1: 5950914 © elwynn

City scape 2: 6143204 © elwynn

Human 1: 7564658 © Viorel Sima

Human 2: 3944291 © Alexander Yakovlev

Human heart: 6530580 © Sebastian Kaulitzki

People: 483352 © Andres Rodriguez

People: 2602126 © Andres Rodriguez

People: 4117898 © Lucian Coman

People: 4205344 © vladgavriloff

People: 5134728 © Pavel Losevsky

People: 5553228 © Alina Isakovich

People: 7594055 © Vladimir Nikulin

People: 7718909 © Alexander Yakovlev

People: 7887647 © Gino Santa Maria


1. Place the image so it can see part of the sky and buildings.

2. Reduce its exposure, to almost pitch black.

3. Import the 2nd image of a city, and change the blend mode to ‘Pin light’.

4. Reduce its saturation.


1. Import a nicely cut-out image of a guy.

2. Desaturate it.

3. Turn the black shorts into greyish color.

4. Remove the lines and smoothen the thigh area.

5. Duplicate 3 layers, and apply different filter to each of them. Set them to their respective blend modes.


1. Here I will eradicate the whites and retain the red color of the heart. Duplicate 3 instances.

2. Take the bottom most layer of the duplicate and Invert it. Set it to ‘Screen’ blend mode.

3. Set to ‘Color’ blend mode for the next layer,

4. and have the top most layer set at ‘Color burn’ blend mode.

Lines (on model)

1. Create a new layer; define a pattern (10px * 10px were used). Drag a selection over the model.

2. Remove the whites by dragging the blending slider.

3. Invert the layer.

4. Create a displacement map according to the same width and height of the pattern layer (Use a duplicate of the inverted model layer).

5. Go to Filter > Distort > Displace (10,10,Stretch to fit, Repeat edge pixels).

6. Clip or mask the layer according to the model.

7. Set layer blend mode to ‘Color dodge’.

8. Apply following Hue/Saturation settings.

9. We can duplicate this layer as ‘Vivid light’ blend mode to give it a bit more highlights.

Creating a hole

Simply create a new layer and brush a circle at where the heart is, using a black brush. Apply following settings in its blending option. Set layer blend mode to ‘Soft light’.

Streaks of lights

Using the finest and softest brush settings, start drawing multiple lines resembling fibers. Use black color to brush. Graphics tablet recommended. Again, apply the following blending option settings. Also, set the layer’s blend mode to ‘Linear dodge’.

Using another image of a model, repeat similar steps as before.

We can rotate, enlarge, and apply several blur filters to increase depth of the image.

This step requires us to cut out as many different human images, preferably jumping, or seeming like it is assuming a ‘floating’ position. Arrange them in anyway u like, and make sure there is sizable difference for each of the objects.

Duplicate several instances, and again, transform and place it accordingly.

Merge them together and apply these settings.

(Heavy weave pattern is used)

Duplicate this layer and set upper layer as ‘Screen’.

Apply different blur filters to their respective areas (refer below) on the ‘Screen’ layer. When making selection, feather it by 10 pixels at least. This will create a motion that resembles human getting sucked upwards.

Now we want to remove some black color in the other (bottom) layer. Quickest way would be to drag the ‘Blend If’ slider within its blending option (hold alt and drag to split sliders).


Merge both layers and reduce its brightness/opacity.

Reveal all layers. General layer accordance (from bottom to top): Background > Group of humans > 2 detailed human models.

Light flares (Grey background as visual aid)

1. Light flares makes a crucial element in spicing up this image. Lets start of with rendering lens flare.

2. Apply radial blur.

3. Duplicate the layer, set ‘Screen’ blend mode for duplicated layer. Flip it and merge them as one.

4. Apply radial blur another time.

5. Give it a color change. This will be our basic shape.

6. From here on, we can duplicate multiple copies of this flare, set it as ‘Screen’ blend mode and start transforming it whichever way we see fit. Change its perspective, warp or distort, scale it up or down, and experiment it with different shapes.

7. Play with different blend modes. Linear dodge (add), Color dodge, and Screen are able to bring out the shine in these flares. Following is my composition for flares. Notice the mixture of flares with perspective that resembles a UFO, and the light emitting from it.

We can further tweak the placements and blend modes after revealing the background. This is what I’ve come down to.

Try to increase definition or even add some noise to further enhance the image.

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