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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!
So now we are going to finalize this image and make it look like the way it should. So I am going to go in here and add a little drama to this scene, so I am going to take this building here, and I just selected it by clicking on it with my Move tool, set to Auto Select, so it's selected that layer right there. And let me go in there and apply some Levels to it. I am going to in there and just take the dark tones and make them darker and the midtones and make them darker just to add a little more drama to that building there. All right, now I am going to do that to all of the other buildings as well, but we'll do them uniformly.
First what I am going to do is I am going to select this particular building right there, that building just way in the back there, and I am going to add a layer in front of it. And this layer what I am going to do is I am going to add a couple of little tones in here. Let me take away everything that I did to my brush before, and let's get in real close, so we can see what's going to happen right in that area there, let's go right in here, and let's go to full screen, so we can get into that area. Now I am just going to draw a couple of little tones right in here. I am going to get the brush little smaller. I just kind of throw couple of tones into this area.
And see, you can see I am just drawing a couple of little weird little shapes. What I am going to do is I am going to clip that right there to that scene, I am going to split that layer in overlay mode. So what's happening here is as you can see is that I am starting to get light coming in from that explosion that just happened over there. So what I am going to do now is I am going to slow make it fade away, so I am going to add a layer mask to that little thing, and I am going to throw in some tones. I don't want it to totally disappear, so I am going to start my black out here and slowly work its way into the white, right about here.
So you can see how it got a little softer, let's just do a little more, and there we could see that we are getting just that little softening happening right along the edges. I will that last one there, we can see it's stronger along this edge, getting lighter as it gets further back. Okay, so now that we have that, that's looking pretty good. All right, so let's just pull back to a full scene, and at this point I can now go in there, and let's eliminate the stuff in the back, the sky, the explosion, the smoke, and the flying debris.
And there is the flying debris and the front smoke. That leaves only our buildings. So what I am going to do is I am going to go in there and merge all those buildings into one, Merge Visible. And we are going to go ahead and call that layer our foreground. Now we'll see everybody else, bring everybody else back on, and we are going to take that foreground right there, and I am going to go into my Levels again. And we can see that we have a lot of light tones in there, so we are going to just kind of bring the whole city down, bring it down, so it's really dark.
I am going to go into my Hue/Saturation so I can bring down saturation. I don't want all that color in there, this is a really drab looking dead city. Click OK. So now, for the final touch I am going to give that a Layer Style, I want to give it a Inner Glow, and I am going to pick that same orange I just picked up a second ago. Nice bright orange like this, which I am going to bring up the Opacity and the Size just a little bit, right in there, like that.
And I am going to choke it, I am going choke it a little bit more, so it gets a little shaper, and now that we choked, we can bring it down Size just a little, about like that. That's looking good. All right, so what I am going to do now is I am going to take that Layer Style I just created, and I am going to separate it from the rest of the image. So I go over the Layer Style and say Create layer. So it's a separate piece altogether. I am going to select that, and I am going to start to erase it from all the places I don't want it. So I am going to go in, make a nice big brush for my eraser. I am going to just erase it from the edges. We don't want it there, of course.
And I am going to raise it from here, and I am going to go in and start to erase it from very selective spots. I am going to go in, and I am going to just erase it from here. I am going to erase it from certain spots in here, this side can be completely erased, and this little corner here and up here, we don't need it in there. So we can what's happening is just creating this little halo, and let's get it real small. This little halo being caused on the edges of the buildings where they're picking up the light from that explosion right into these little areas in there, let's lower this one up in there, and let's get there.
And there we can see that now we have all these little explosions happening, and we have the light coming from it, and when we pull the full screen, we can see there is our totally destroyed city. It was all done with little pieces all put together and with a couple of specialized brushes.
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