Advertisement
  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Photo Effects
Design

Create a Devastating Twister With Photo Manipulation Techniques

by
Difficulty:IntermediateLength:LongLanguages:
This post is part of a series called The Wizard of Oz.
Quick Tip: Create a Rainbow Brush Using a Blend in Adobe Illustrator
How to Colourise an Old Photograph in Adobe Photoshop
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating
This tutorial was originally published in April 2010. Although this tutorial does not use the latest version of Adobe Photoshop, its techniques and process are still relevant. 

If you're looking to create a really nice photo manipulation, often you will have to combine several photos and apply a few effects to get your desired look. In today's tutorial I decided to combine a few photos that I took while I was traveling to create a devastating tornado consuming everything in its path. Okay, let's get started!

1. Prepare Your Canvas and Gather Resources

To create images like this, I recommend that you gain a bit of knowledge of perspective, focal point, vanishing point, etc. It helps a lot while bringing together various images into one final composition.

Step 1

First, create a new document in Photoshop and name it tornado. Create a layer and fill it with some color, and come up with a rough sketch of your composition.

Prepare Your Canvas and Gather Resources

Step 2

Download the following images, and open them up in Photoshop. Use the upper image for the sky and the lower one for the land.

Prepare Your Canvas and Gather Resources

2. Construct the Twister From Clouds

Step 1

With the help of the Lasso Tool and a 20 px feather, cut out the sky and paste it into your tornado document.

Construct the Twister from Clouds

Step 2

Now that the sky is ready, our next job is to make the sky look cloudy.

Construct the Twister from Clouds

Step 3

Make some adjustments the image's Brightness/Contrast and Hue/Saturation.

Construct the Twister from Clouds

Step 4

Use the Clone Stamp Tool to help spread out the sky.

Construct the Twister from Clouds

Step 5

Use the Clone Stamp Tool to change the shade of the clouds.

 Construct the Twister from Clouds

Step 6

Open the second image and select some portions of the grass and vegetation using the Lasso Tool (5 px feather). I used multiple selections of the ground for my image.

Construct the Twister from Clouds

Step 7

Now paste the vegetation fragments of my image, and then bring them together. Use the Lasso Tool to spread the vegetation across your canvas.

Construct the Twister from Clouds

Step 8

Start selecting portions of the sky, and play around with the brightness and contrast just to give it some variation.

Construct the Twister from Clouds

Step 9

Use the same technique with other parts of the image as per my sketch and change the shade of the clouds in those areas.

Construct the Twister from Clouds

Step 10

At this point it's time to start laying out the tornado.

Construct the Twister from Clouds

Step 11

Use the Clone Stamp Tool to spread the tornado out in the selected area of the drawing.

Construct the Twister from Clouds

Step 12

Repeat the same process for the other selected areas.

Construct the Twister from Clouds

Step 13

The dust can be created by cloning portions of the sky and by changing its shade.

Construct the Twister from Clouds

Step 14

Use the Clone Stamp Tool to create a smooth transition between the various elements in the composition.

Construct the Twister from Clouds

3. Add the Finishing Touches

Step 1

To enhance our image, we now need to create a new adjustment layer with a black to transparent gradient. Set the Blend Mode of this layer to Soft Light

The purpose of this step is to enhance our image so that the upper edges look darker and that the viewer's focus is directed to the center. Repeat this step in one more layer if you want more variation in shading.

Add the Finishing Touches

Step 2

Now it is time to shade the outer areas of the composition. Do this by drawing a rectangle with the Rectangular Marquee Tool (with 0 px feather) in a new layer and fill it with black color. Use the Lasso Tool to cut the layer as shown. 

After this, set the layer's Blend Mode to Soft Light. The purpose of this step is to darken some areas of the image to shift the focus towards the center.

Add the Finishing Touches

Step 3

Now let's play around with some color variations. Make sure that you do it in adjustment layers, so that if you don't like it you can just delete the layer.

Add the Finishing Touches

Time to Go to Oz!

That's it. I hope that this tutorial helped you learn a little about photo manipulation techniques. Good luck!

preview
Advertisement
Advertisement
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.