In this tutorial Loredana Papp shows you how to create a beautiful photo manipulation of an angel on fire.
The final illustration in this tutorial was created using the following stock images:
- Background by compot-stock
- Blaze by resurgere
- Fire by blue-horse-stock
- Model by mjranum
- Angel wing is from personal resources, but you can find some great wings here
The first step is to open the stock. You can find the beautiful background here, at my stock account.
Next you should cut-out the Model, so take the Pen Tool, make the selection and then press Command + J. You should save this separately on another PSD file because you never know when you should use it again. You don't have to bother to cut out the hair because, as you'll se in the next steps, the hair will be completely painted over.
Drag and drop the model into the background. Place her on the right side of the picture.
Now let's erase the shadows from her dress. Press Command + J and multiply the model's layer. Select the Dodge Tool and use it on her dress, as in the picture below, until it becomes smooth.
Go to Adjustment layers, select Curves with an Output of 50 and Input of 117 on the RBG channel.
Press Command + Backspace and fill the layer mask with a black color. Now select the Pen Tool and erase with a white color on the mask as shown.
Next drag the wings into the picture. Since they are already cut-out they are pretty simple to use.
Go to the Adjustment Layers and select Color Balance. Pick the next levels: +25, 0 and -35, as shown.
Press Command + Backspace and fill the layer mask with a black color. Now select the Pen Tool with a basic brush and smooth edges, then erase with a white color on the mask as shown. This layer is for creating a sensation of light in the left corner.
Go to the Adjustment Layers again and select Curves on the RBG channel with 65 Output and 103 Input. This is to make the right corner darker and create some shadows on the model, so erase with a basic brush (smooth edges) set to a black color on the layer mask as shown.
Now let's work at the grass around the model so it will blend in a bit more. For this I used some brushes that I created myself especially for the grass. This kind of brushes are all over the internet so it will be pretty easy to find some for your work.
Create a new layer and with a dark green place some grass around the model's dress. Now create a new layer and with a lighter green apply some new grass. Do this operation as many time as is necessary, but remember: create a new layer for each color because you never know when you have to erase something.
This is the part when we create proper make up for the model to increase the drama of the picture. Create a new layer. Select the Eyedropper Tool and pick a light color of her face. Next select a basic brush with smooth edges and paint some areas of her face so it will look lighter because she is looking into the light.
Create a new layer for painting the mouth, a new one for the eyes and another one for the sparkles. For this to have great results increase the image to 200% -300% so after you decrease it, then it will look better.
Now let's paint the hair. I will explain this in seven different steps so it will be easy for everybody. The first step is to create a new layer, then pick the darker color you want to use for the hair. This will be the base. Next, select a basic brush with smooth edges (in this case not bigger than 30 px) and paint the shape of the hair, as shown.
Create a new layer. Next decrease the basic brush dimensions (about 10-15px in diameter depending on the image size you are using) and pick a lighter color, but you have to be careful because if the color is to light near to the base, then it will look strange. Paint some lines on the hair where you think the light should be. Pick the Eraser Tool (basic brush with smooth edges) and erase the extremities of the lines so they will blend in.
If you think that the color you obtain is to light, then you can add a few lines with a darker color as shown.
Next create a new layer and decrease the brushes dimensions again at about 5-6 px, then set the Opacity to 60-70%. Pick a lighter color and draw some lines, then erase the edges so they will blend in.
Do the same as you did in Step 16. Create a new layer, then pick a lighter color and decrease the brushes dimensions. Now apply some final lines on the hair.
In this step, we'll apply some light on the hair. Now create a new layer and using a basic brush with smooth edges (Opacity set to 20-40% and diameter to 1-2) and a very light color, start drawing some small lines where the light should be, as shown below.
Now you have to merge all the hair layers by selecting all of them and pressing Command + E. Pick the Burn tool (Opacity set to max 60%) and use it on the darker parts of the hair, then select the Dodge Tool (Opacity max 50%) and create some light on the hair as shown.
Go to the Adjustment Layers and pick the Photo Filter. Set the Density to 25%.
Go to the Adjustment Layers and pick the Color Balance. Set the Levels to +15, 0, and -44. This is to create a bigger light on the left corner. Erase the layer mask as shown.
Create a new layer. For the light coming from the left corner I used a custom made brush, but this can be made easily with a basic brush by drawing a few lines and then set the Opacity of the layer to 20%.
Go to the Adjustment Layers and pick Brightness/Contrast. Set the Brightness to +9 and Contrast +18.
Go to the Adjustment Layers and pick Levels. Input levels to 10, 1,00 and 242. Erase some parts on the layer mask as shown.
Go to the Adjustment Layers again and pick the Curves. Set the channel to RBG and the output to 60 and the input to 88. Erase the left part as shown.
Drag in the picture with the Blazing Fire for the wing. Set the image size to a proper size (Command + T) and place it on the right wing.
From the Blending Mode drop down menu select the Blending mode screen.
Create a mask for this layer, then with a basic brush (smooth edges) that has a black color erase the corners of the picture.
Open the same picture with the Blazing Fire again and decrease the size as shown. Place it on top of the other fire picture to make the wing bigger.
Set this layer to the Screen blending mode as well.
Go to the adjustment layers and select Gradient map, apply the settings shown below.
Drag the Fire picture for the dress. Decrease the size and place the picture on the model's dress.
Do the same thing as you did for the wing's fire. Set it to a Screen blending mode and erase all the edges on the layer mask. Do the same for all the fire on the dress.
To make things easy press Command + J and duplicate the layer as many times as is necessary. You can decrease the size of the image or flip it horizontally (Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal).
Drag in the picture of the Fire for the background. Decrease its size and place it between the light and the dark part.
From the Blending Mode drop down menu select the Overlay blending mode. Erase some parts on the mask as shown.
Just stay and take a look at the image. This is how it should look so far.
Go to the Adjustment Layers and pick Color Balance. Set the Levels to +16, 0 , and -13. This is done to create a warmer atmosphere.
Create a new layer. Select a basic brush with smooth edges. Set the brush Opacity to 40-50% and select a a warm color from the fire. Now draw a few lines coming out from the fire.
Create a new layer for the wings. Now with a basic brush that has smooth edges, draw some feathers for the wings. You should pick the colors from the wings with the Eyedropper Tool.
Go to the Adjustment Layers and pick The Color Balance. Set the levels to +25, 0, and -27. Use this only for lightening the parts surrounding the fire as shown.
Go to the Adjustment Layers and pick Levels. Input Levels to 0, 1,00 and 225. Erase some parts on the layer mask, as shown below.
Next we'll make a minor change. Pick a basic brush and draw some new lines on the right wing. Do this with a much lighter color than the other lines.
Go to the Adjustment Layers and pick Curves. Set the channel to Red. Set the Input to 63 and Output to 86. Erase some parts on the mask. This should be applied only in the fire's area.
Go to the Adjustment Layers and choose Hue/Saturation. Set the Saturation to -60, then go to the blending modes and select Color Dodge. This is only for the grass so erase the other parts on the mask.
There are some strange parts from the fire picture right next to the model's face. This can be solved by using the Clone Stamp Tool.
Put some feathers next to the left wing. You can paint over them so they will blend in. Just use a basic brush for this.
Go to Color Balance and use it in 3 different ways:
- Tone Balance: Shadows, with Levels: -19, +38, and -37
- Tone Balance: Midtones, with Levels: +19 0 0
- Tone balance: Highlights, with Levels: -19 +20 +13
This is for the grass as well.
Select Hue/Saturation from the Adjustment layers. Hue -5 Saturation -25 Lightness -5.
Go to the Adjustment layers and chose Levels on 4 channels: Blue, Red, Green and RGB. Apply the following settings:
- Blue levels: 0, 1,00 and 255
- Green levels: 11, 1,00 and 255
- Red levels: 19, 1,00 and 255
- RBG levels: 0, 1,00 and 255
Sit back and take a look at your final photo manipulation.
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