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Discover how to use Adobe Photoshop, without any added fine art skills, to modify artwork and turn the ordinary into extraordinary. Author and illustrator Bert Monroy takes an unexciting photo and transforms it into an amazing dream sequence by combining it with other photos and techniques. His process touches on compositing, digital painting, masking, and other key image editing techniques. All you need is Photoshop, some images that could use a boost, and your imagination!
Now in this movie we are going to start adding all the rest of the trees that are going to form this entire landscape on top here. Now I've got quite a few other files open that are just pictures of trees that I've taken during some of my many hikes and here is a good start for, right here. I am going to go in here and select this sky area right there, and I am going to Shift-select, get this white and get these darker tones in here, these blues right in there, and let's get this blue up here. So now that I have that I am going to go ahead and Inverse this selection, I've got my trees are selected, I'm going to drag that into position right on top of my painting here.
It shows up pretty big, again these files haven't been modified so we are seeing them in their original state. Now right here I could see I get this trail. Well, I don't want that trail, so let's go in there and clone it out. So I am going to just take area right in front here and just going to just go right through this little trail and blot it out. So I am using a soft edge brush and just cloning the areas around it just to get rid of it, that's pretty close. I am going to pull back, and I can resize this. So I go and do this I am going to go in there and just resize this down to a manageable size that I want just going to be about like that.
Let's go do a full screen view here, and let's put these trees in position where I am going to want them right about there, so I am going to shrink it down even more. And let's just shrink these guys all the way down to about where I want them right about like that. That's good for now, I am going to have to give them a little mask so give them a layer mask, and I'll start to paint out all the parts that I don't want. So we're going to start to let this blend in to this foreground, right through here, and we want those little cliffs to show through right through there, and we might want to get rid of these trees altogether just these on the side here.
And let's just get rid some of the stuff in here. Now although I go in there and get really tight on this I can get a paint brush, one of the spatter brushes, this would be a good one right there. I'll just make it a little smaller, I'll just start to paint into this area right in here. Just to get those trees to start to look like they are in fact soft edged trees against our background, and let's get rid of these guys, because they are inside of our cliff there.
And a little smaller, and we just paint right through here, there we go. I just pull back, I got some more trees. That was trees now we got trees2. Just going to grab this little section right in this area right in here, that's going to be good maybe a little longer. And we are going to dump the sky so I am going hold down my Option key and click up here to make sure we get rid of these bluish tones that we don't want those. Now that we have that I am going to hit F key to bring me to full screen, I am going to grab that and drag that into here as well, and again they are really big.
So let's go in there and size this one down to the size we want. So I am going to drag it, my Shift key to constraint it and put it right up in there like that. Now we have that manageable let's go look at that, and let's see what that looks like, we'll put this somewhere right about here, in fact let's do a little Flip Horizontal on it for various reasons. One, the shadows, you see that our shadows are all coming from the light source over here. I had to flip it because now the shadows are on that side so that is where we want.
So let's go and shrink it down some more because these trees are even further away. So we're going to put these way back in here right there, because they are way in back. And we are going to mask that out a little bit, let's just keep adding the trees for now. Now let's go see number 3. Now here we have some nice little croppings down below here, these are kind of cool. So what I am going to do is I am going to just select right through a nice little section right through here and get these guys right through there.
And let's add to this, and it's nice we have some little cracks happening here like in our general scene. So I am going to take that and drag that into our overall scene again right in there, these aren't that big so we can kind of resize them right off the bat right here. And let's start to get these guys down and these guys are going to be right down here in this little area, let's bring them down a little more like that. What I am going to do here is I am going to load that mask.
That mask is going to allow me to go in here and start to actually give that one layer the mask and mask that area out. Now, I am going to bring back some of it. So I am going to use white, and I am going to start to bring back some of this tree right in here, right into that area, and bring back some of this tree. And then with black and a soft edge brush I am going to start to go in here and get rid of the stuff that I don't want. So I am just going to start to kind of soften up these edges right through here, and we start to get this nice sense of our area of the plateau up there in that corner.
We are starting to get there. One more set of trees down here, let's go see number 4, let's see what that looks like. Now this is a nice big plain back here, so I am going to select this whole section right back in here. And like before I am going to eliminate the sky so I am going to Option-click on those areas of the sky, and that background scene way back there, make sure none of that is selected, and I am going to drag that into my scene here. I am going to shrink this down. This is going to be way in the back.
Hit Return for now, and I am going to make sure that that layer is, in fact, behind all the other trees, I am going to put it back here, there it is way back in there. And do we have anymore trees that we might want to use? Let's just go down here, and let's see number 4. You know what we could take some of these trees, right here, let's take some of these, this little batch right in here, and let's drag those into there as well. Those are going to be way in the foreground down in here. Let's shrink them down a little bit, and that's going to be this little batch of trees right in there.
Let's go in there and start masking these guys all up, let's see the whole scene, we can get rid of this guys back here, we don't need to see the trees. So now we are going to start to mask these guys so that they are all going to fit into place. Say Auto Select so we can select that layer right there. So now, I am going to select the layer behind it because then I am going to put a structure here. So what I got is our little castle in the sky from before, right there. So what I am going to do is I am going to go to the Layers, and I am going to turn off these two layers, and I am going to cut my shadow layer, I am going to go ahead and merge that down.
It's in the right direction so that's pretty good. And I am going to bring it into my scene, and we'll shrink it down just a little bit. Move it down so we can see what we are doing, and let's just shrink it down just a little bit, put it into position where we want it right in there like that. Now I am going to start to put this whole thing together and make it all become one big giant plateau. I am going to go in here and give this a mask, and in that mask I am going to paint away all this bottom area, don't want any of that stuff.
There we start to expose our little crevices in the terrain. There is our little castle in position, so now we are going to select this layer here, and let's go in there and give that a mask, and you notice that I am masking rather than erasing. The reason for that is that it allows me to go in there and be little more selective, and it also gives me the ability to change my mind later on if I want to keep some of this stuff. Now this guy really belongs a little further out here like that, and we'll give it a mask so we could start to mask out the areas that we don't want there, like down in here, get some of that terrain showing back up right into that area there.
And finally, we are going to go in here and select this guy. We have a mask for him so we'll just go and continue that mask to expose some of these other trees in the background, and we are also going to desaturate that one, which is going to go in there and get that layer and desaturate it a little bit because it's a little stronger than all of the others, so we're just going to bring it down just a tad like that. So there we see that we now start to have this entire scene on top of our plateau with a little river running through it. In the next movie we are going to create a waterfall cascading right down the side of the cliff.
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