top of page

[Tutorials] How To Create A Magical Photo Manipulation

Hi guys! Want to try something new this weekend? Check out this magical photo manipulation that will challenge your Photoshop skills! In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a fantasy maiden scene where you’ll learn how to combine stock images using adjustment layers, making and brush, make a depth of field, create a magical effect and more. Let’s get started!

Final Image


maiden-final

Software: Photoshop CS3 +

Difficulty: Intermediate

Estimated Completion Time: 90 minutes

Resources Used In This Tutorial:


17996529_m

13547850_m

20899451_m

 Step 1

Create a new 1000×665 px document in Photoshop and fill it with white but feel free to make your own size. Open the forest image and use the Move Tool (V) to drag it into the white canvas. Make the misty background visible and hide the ground as shown below:


Step 2

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the radius to 8 px.


This step is to add some depth to the scene.

Step 3

Use a Curves adjustment layer to darken the forest background. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves:


On this layer mask, use a soft round brush with black color (soft black brush) to erase the middle section as we aim to add light there.


Step 4

Make a Levels adjustment layer to darken the forest more.


On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to paint on the middle to maintain the lightness there:


Step 5

Open the model image. Use your own method to isolate her from the background and copy her selection into a new layer. Make a new layer between the extracted model layer and the background one and fill it with a bright color ( I chose #f3efe9):


Step 6

Create a new layer and use a hard brush with the color #1e130c (picked from the head) to paint some missing hairs:


maiden6

Step 7

Hide the background layer and the fill one then press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E to merge all the visible layers into a new one. Move the merged model into our main document and place her in the left side:


Make a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and set it as Clipping Mask to desaturate the model:


Step 8

Use a Color Balance adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) to change the model color:


Step 9

The model looks too bright compared to the background at the moment so use a Curves adjustment layer and decrease the lightness:


On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase the outside section around the face and shoulder, also on the hair to keep the lightness on these areas:


Step 10

Use another Curves adjustment layer to darken the model more:


On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to paint around the model head, face, shoulder and hair:


Step 11

Create a new layer and use a hard white brush to paint reflection in her eye:


Step 12

Make a new layer (set as Clipping Mask), change the mode to Overlay 100% and fill with 50% gray:


maiden12

Activate the Dodge and Burn Tool (O) with Midtones Range, Exposure about 10-15% to refine the light and shade on the model. You can see how I did it with Normal mode and the result with Overlay mode:


maiden12a

Step 13

Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color and pick the color #cfe5f1.


Lower the opacity of this layer to 20%. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase the most parts of the model except the outside of the top head, face and shoulder to make some subtle hazy effect there:


Step 14

Create a new layer and use a soft white brush to paint around the head, face and shoulder to brighten these areas more. Change this layer mode to Overlay 100%:


maiden14

Step 15

Open the butterflies image. Isolate them from the background using the Magic Wand Tool (W) then take the butterfly at the top right to place in the left of the model eye:


Go to Filter > Liquify Tool and take the Forward Warp Tool to stretch the wings to make them longer and have a fantasy look:


maiden15a

Step 16

Use Ctrl+T to resize it to be much smaller. Add a mask to this layer and use a soft black brush to blend the butterfly with the eye corner:


Step 17

Duplicate this layer and flip it horizontally by clicking Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Move it to the right and enlarge it to catch the look direction of the model:


Add a mask to this layer and use a hard black brush with a very small size (3-4 px) to paint along the wings:


Step 18

Select all the butterfy layers and hit Ctrl+G to make a group for them. Change this group mode from Pass Through (default group mode) to Normal 100%. Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer within this group and decrease the Saturation value to -90 to desaturate the butterflies:


Step 19

Use a Color Balance adjustment layer to match the butterflies color with the rest:


Step 20

Make a Curves adjustment layer and increase the lightness. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase the butterfly beside the eye as it’s hidden from the background light:


Step 21

Time to add some sparks and glows. Make a new layer on top of the layers. Activate the Pen Tool and draw several curvy lines on the model hair:


Change the foreground to white and select a hard round brush with 3 px. Press F5 to change the settings of this brush:


maiden21a

Select the Pen Tool and right click the paths, choose Stroke Path with Simulate Pressure unchecked:


Here is the result you should get:


Step 22

Add a mask to this layer and use a soft black brush to make some dots (especially the ones near the shades) faded into the hair:


Step 23

Create a new layer and increase the brush size to 6-7 px. Use this brush to make some bigger dots on the existing lines.


Double click this layer, choose Outer Glow. Set the color of glow to white.


maiden23a

Step 24

Create a new layer and use a hard white brush with a very small size (about 2-3 px) to paint some lines around the eye corner and on the big butterfly. It’s better to use a graphic tablet pen for it.


Step 25

Make a new layer and use a soft white brush to paint over the big butterfly. Change this layer mode to Screen 30% to add a subtle glowing effect to it.


Step 26

Create a new layer again and use a white hard brush to paint some scattering dots around the big butterfly.


Hit Ctrl+G to make a group for this layer. Change this group mode to Color Dodge 100% and the effect looks really better!


Step 27

Double click this layer, choose Outer Glow and set the color of glow to white:


We now have a magical effect for this butterfly!


Step 28

Create a Color Fill layer on top of the layers and pick the color #353333. Lower the opacity of this layer to 60% and on its layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase the background and the higher part of the model. This step is to make the lower part of the model faded and blended better with the background.


maiden28

Step 29

Make another Color Fill layer and pick the color #29011c. Change this layer mode to Exclusion 100%.


Step 30

Use a Curves adjustment layer to brighten the middle section a bit.


On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase around the image except the middle section to maintain the lightness there.


Step 31

Make a Levels adjustment layer to darken the whole scene.


On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase some parts of the hair not to make them too dark and lost the details.


Step 32

Make a Photo Filter adjustment layer and pick the color #eaa3d7:


Step 33

Create a Vibrance adjustment layer and increase the Vibrance value to maximum:


On this layer mask, use s soft black brush to reduce this adjustment layer effect on the model eye and an area of the background:


Step 34

Use another layer and a soft brush with the color #6f938d to paint on the background and the hair to fix the color there. Change this layer mode to Soft Light 100%:


maiden34

Step 35

Make a new layer and use a hard brush with the color #b2fcef to paint some brighter hairs around the head to fit the background light:


Final Result


maiden-final
20 views
bottom of page