What We Will Be Learning: In this tutorial, we will be learning how to create a frame out of various branches, We will also be learning easy shadow technique and how to make a quick and easy Halloween skull effect.
This tutorial assumes you have knowledge of basic Photoshop functions such as adjustment layers, layer masks, and layer effects.
Images Used: Texture: image #32205544
Forest: #44048760 @Denys Bilytskyi
Skull: #9507390 @Vladislav Ivantsov
Note: At the end of each step there is an image of what my layers look like at the point of that step in case you get lost!
Step One: Creating the Background First, we are going to put together a simple texture background.
1. Create a color fill layer and set it to a muted dark blue (#0c1320). 2. Find a grungy texture (image #32205544), and resize it to the image of your canvas. Turn it to black and white if it is not already. 3. Set the texture to “Overlay”.
Step Two: Tree Frame This is a very striking, but surprisingly easy effect. We will need several tree branch images: images #18157194, #18891062, #19245170, and #23783392 and any others you can find.
1. Extract all your branches from their background.
Arrange all your branches so that they form a circle. Duplicate, resize and flip branches as you need to. This will take a bit of time, but it’s very simple. Work on it till you are happy with the shape!
1. Create and clip a Gradient Map adjustment layer into your Tree Frame group, and have it go from the color #0d3c49 to the color #110000. Set the opacity to 57%. 2. Create and clip a Color Balance layer above your Gradient Map. Set it to Red -45, Green -4 and Blue 80. 3. Above that Create and clip a Black and white Gradient Map layer. Set the opacity to 36%.
Add an inner glow with the settings you see below:
To finish up the frame, go back into your group, and erase all the branch parts that you don’t want there. Think of it like trimmer a tree, get rid of the distracting or ugly branches.
Step Three: Adding a Picture Every frame needs a picture, a spooky forest is more than fitting for this one.
1. Find a foggy forest image (image#44048760) and resize it to where it fits behind your frame. Erase any leftover image with a hard round brush.
Step Four: Shadows Next, we are going to add a shadow to out frame to make it more dynamic.
1. Duplicate your tree frame group and merge it together. Bring that merged layer below your forest layer. 2. Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation: Lightness -100 to make the image 100% black. 3. Use the Warp mode of the Transform Tool to pull the shadow up.
Step Five: Adding the Skull Here is a very quick and easy way to add a ghostly effect to any image. In this case, we will be using a skull.
1. Find and image of a skull (image #9507390) and position it above your forest, but behind your frame and in the middle of your frame. Set it to “Screen”.
Do the same to a second skull but place it on the opposite side of the original skull.
Step Six: Fog Adding fog is one of the easiest ways to add atmosphere to an image!
1. Find an image of fog (image #2451170) and resize and place it at the bottom of your canvas. Set it to Screen. You can use the Transform Tool’s Warp mode to warp is some as well.
Step Seven: Final Color Correction Finally, to bring our whole image together we are going to add some adjustment layers that will give out image it’s final colors. These are listed from bottom to top. The Curves layer is the top.
1. Color Lookup layer: Crisp Winter, 50% Opacity 2. Color Lookup layer: Foggy Night, 27% Opacity 3. Color Lookup layer: Horror Blue, 42% Opacity 4. Curves Layer:
And you are done! Remember to always experiment and try your own techniques and have a Happy Halloween! As always, we welcome any tutorial suggestions. Just let us know in the comment box below!
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