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How to Create a Colorful, Wavy, Tribal Photo Manipulation in Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom

This post is part of a series called Photo Effects.
How to Create a 3D Floral Collage in Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

I have always been a fan of Japanese art, so I decided to merge two styles together: Afrofuturistic and Japanese. I hope you will enjoy this. 

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to use Adobe Photoshop to create a colorful, wavy, tribal collage featuring a beautiful woman. I will also teach you how to retouch the artwork in Adobe Lightroom.

First, we'll isolate the model from the background. After that, we'll add our background, patterns, and waves. Later, we will cut out the model’s eyes, create some faux sunglasses, and add some stars to create that dreamy, futuristic mood. Then, we will additional elements such as the crow, the UFO, the face accessories, and some tribal marks. Finally, we will retouch the artwork in Adobe Lightroom. Let's get started!

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:

1. How to Isolate the Model and Prepare the Base Background

Step 1

Create a new 20" by 30” document in Photoshop with the given settings:

Setting up the canvas

Step 2

Open the model image. Cut out the image using the Pen Tool (P). Find a spot on the main image to start drawing the outline. As we're drawing, we want to zoom in closer to the subject. Press Control-(+) or Control-(–) to zoom in and out.

Showing the image we are going to work on
Outlining the model to be able to remove background

Step 3

We need to isolate the model to be able to work easily in the future. Click on the Marquee Tool (M), choose Make Selection, and then press Delete.

Deleting the background after outlining

2. How to Bring the Image Into Your Main Canvas

Drag the image onto the main canvas using the Move Tool (V). Then, press Control-T to resize the image. Hold Shift while resizing. Next, use the Move Tool (V) to center the image.

Dragging the image into the main canvas

3. How to Create an Accordion Effect on the Model

Step 1

Use the Rectangle Marquee Tool (M) and draw a vertical rectangle on the left side of the model.

Cutting out the edge of the image

Step 2

Then, Right-Click and select Layer via cut to separate the selected slice. Then, duplicate the layer nine times and align them as shown below. Use the Move Tool (V) to move each slice.

Creating the accordion effect

Step 3

Next, select all layers, Right-Click and merge layers, and rename the layer "Main image''. Then, activate the Move Tool (V) and move the image to the left of the canvas.

End result of the accordion effect

4. How Create the Colorful Background

Step 1

Hit Control-Shift-N to make a new layer. Name the layer “Background”. Set this layer under the model’s one.

Step 2

Activate the Brush Tool (B) and select #009e7d and paint over the background.

Adding the colorful background

5. How to Turn the Model Black and White

Select the Model layer in the Layers panel and turn it black and white. Click on Image > Adjustments > Black and white, and then click OK or Alt-Shift-Control-B.

Turning the model into black and white

6. How to Add the UFO and the Crow

Step 1

Drag the UFO picture into Photoshop. We need to remove the background. Cut out the image using the Pen Tool (P). Find a spot on the main image, and click on a point to start drawing the outline. To finish, we have to click from the last point to the first one we did. Press Control-(+) to zoom in and Control-(-) to zoom out during the process.

Outlining the UFO to delete the background
Deleting the background

Step 2

Now we want to import the UFO into the main file. Select the UFO layer, use the Move Tool (V), and drag the image into the main canvas. Then resize it to make it fit on the model’s head. To resize, press Control-T, holding the Shift key while resizing the UFO image. 

Bringing the UFO on the models head

Step 3

Now we need to add the crow. Drag the image into Photoshop, and use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the crow’s outline. Then, click on the Marquee Tool (M), Right-click, and Select inverse if the background is not selected. Otherwise, Right-click, Make Selection, and then press Delete.

outlining the crow

Step 4

Drag the crow image into the main file. Resize the image. Press Control-T, holding the Shift key while resizing. Use the Move Tool (V) and bring the crow onto the model’s left shoulder. Then we want to adjust the contrast and brightness.

Step 5

Next, we want to adjust the brightness of the UFO. Select Brightness / Contrast in the adjustment palette, and then bring down the Brightness to -110. Next, to apply the adjustment on the UFO only, press Alt on the adjustment layer and click on the layer thumbnail (the white square on the layer) to apply the settings.

Adding the crow and adjusting the exposure of the UFO

Step 6

Now, we want to adjust the contrast and brightness on the model as well as on the other elements. First, group all layers except the background together. Then, select Brightness/Contrast and boost the Contrast to +81. Place the adjustment layer above the group layer, and then press Alt on the adjustment layer and click to apply the settings to the model only, not the background.

Adjusting the exposure of the Model and each element

7. How to Add the Waves

Drag the wave picture into the main canvas. Place the layer under the model's layer. Then, duplicate the waves layer by pressing Control-J and place that layer above the model's layer. Use the Move Tool (V) to place the images as shown below.

Adding the waves

8. How to Add the Yellow Circle and the Patterns

Step 1

Select the Ellipse Tool (U), change the fill color to #ffff01, and draw a medium circle. Then place the layer under the model's layer. Use the Move Tool (V) to center the image.

Adding the yellow circle

Step 2

Drag the pattern image into the main canvas and bring the layer under the model's and the wave layer.

Adding tribal patterns in the background

Step 3

Then, lower the Opacity to 16%. Resize the patterns by pressing Control-T. Hold Shift while resizing.

9. How to Add Tribal Marks, Faux Sunglasses, and Stars

Step 1

We want to add some tribal marks. Activate your Ellipse Tool (U). Make sure the fill color is white, draw a small circle, and duplicate the layer four times by pressing Control-J. Redistribute the circles on the cheeks, forehead, and chin. 

Then activate your Ellipse Tool (U) again, and duplicate the layer four times by pressing Control-J. Use the Move Tool (V) to align the circles vertically and group the layers. Now duplicate the group layer twice and redistribute them on the two corners and on the model's chest as shown. 

Adding tribal marks

Step 2

Now we want to create our faux sunglasses. Use the Pen Tool (P) and draw the sunglasses outline as shown below.

Drawing the sunglasses outline

Step 3

Next, we want to remove the part we outlined. Right-Click, select Make Selection, and then hit Delete.

Removing the outlined part

Step 4

Bring the stars picture into the main canvas. Place the layer under the Main Image layer. Activate the Pen Tool (P) and draw around the sunglasses shape, and then Right-Click, select Make SelectionSelect Inverse, and hit Delete.

Adding the stars on the faux sunglasses
Removing the extra parts

10. How to Retouch in Adobe Lightroom

Step 1

We want to add more contrast to our artwork. Bring the Exposure to +0.24, the Clarity to +21, and the Vibrance to +62. Then go to the Hue palette and boost the Orange Hue to +100. 

Adjusting the exposure and hue in Lightroom

Step 2

Next, boost the Grain level to +54 and the Dehaze amount to +10.

Adding a vignette grain and dehaze

11. How to Export the Final Artwork From Adobe Lightroom

Now that we are finished, we want to export our artwork as a JPEG. Click File, then Export. Select in which folder we want to save the image. Then click Export.

Before and after

Awesome Work, You're Done!

I hope that you've enjoyed the tutorial and learned something new for your own projects. Feel free to share your results or leave comments in the box below. Keep creating!

Final result
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