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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!
We are going to start with this image right here. And when we look behind, we can see all the other images that are going to be used, there are just a lot of demolition sites of different buildings being torn down. We are going to take bits and pieces of each of these. So we go with this one first. This is going to be the main foreground street. Now this looks like a proper demolition, so we are going to be hiding that. Right now, let's go in here and start to separate this. Now I am going to go in here and select my sky. I am going to make sure the entire sky area is selected, right here. I am going to go in here and select these little portals in between here as well.
Because I want all the areas of the sky to be selected, and I can get it real close here, so I can see these little areas. And I am holding down my Shift key each time I click just to make sure I get all these little areas selected, and that one we'll just take that one away there, okay. So just pull back, and we see that we got the entire thing selected, and I am going to go in there and Contract it a little bit too. I am going to go in and actually in this case, I am going to Expand it just a little bit, I'm going to Expand it by a pixel just so it goes in there a little further, right? So now I am going to Inverse it.
So all my buildings are selected, and I am going to send them to a new Layer Via Cut. So that building is now all by itself right here in the foreground. Now I am going to start adding stuff to it. First thing we'll do is cover this guy up. So I am going to take image here, and what I want from this is this building here. So what I am going to do is I am going to get a little closer here so we can see what I am doing, and I am going to go in and very loosely select this section of the building, because we can easily go in there and eliminate the parts we don't want after the fact.
We go in there, and let's just go ahead and select that, and I want to deselect these areas of sky up here. I don't want that sky, so we'll go in there and make sure that the sky is deselected and in there, and okay, that's looking good. So now that we have that, I am going to take this and drag it into my scene here, and there it is right in front. So we are going to use that to cover up our tractor, right there. Now I am going to go in, and I am going to call up my Transform tools and hold down my Command key to automatically turn this into a distort, I am going to kind of distort this building into a different perspective, so it kind of fits more into the scene that we have here.
I am going to go in there and just kind of drag it down a little bit, it starts to kind of fit the perspective of the scene that we are working with, like there, like that. I'll bring this up a little bit just a tad, there we go, and we got this happening here. Now I'm going make it blend in a little better, so I am going to give it a--let's get a little closer so we can see what's going on here. We got this little piece of what looks like a coke machine, right? Let's get rid of that. So I am going to go in and get a nice little Clone brush, and I am going to make sure it's a little sharper here.
And you know what I am going to do? Because I don't want to go beyond this, I am going to say lock the transparency so that I can go in here, and I can just pick up right from here and start to clone and not have to worry about it going outside of that little area. I can grab from here and start dragging that down a little bit, so I got this little window action happening right in there. Let's grab this and throw right in there-- oops, a little off. Let's just undo that. That's the beauty of having History is that we can easily go back there and undo parts that we don't want. There we go.
All right, so now that we have that, I am going to unlock the transparency, so I can kind of pull some of this stuff in. Here we go, and there we are getting all this starting to happen in there, get some of this groundwork there, and I am going to kind of pull up some of these other dirt right in there, there we go, and I'm going to kind of eliminate some of this. And now I'm going to give it a mask. So in the mask I can kind of blend it up even more. So I get my brush, I'll make it a one of these solid brushes here, make it a little Harder, and I am going to start to go in there and start to paint it, in the mask, painting with black, so I can start to kind of hide it.
And I am going to bring down my Opacity to about 40%, so I can just slowly blend this stuff into its existing background like that. There we go. So now we have got the beginnings of our construction going there. So this building can now go away. Let's take another piece. We have got this guy here. Let's put him somewhere. I am going to just go ahead and select this whole section right in here like this, and I am going to deselect the sky, and I am going to deselect it right inside there.
Now that I have that, I am going to take this and drag it into my scene. Now this one, we can see that right off the bat, it is not as strong as the other guy, so what I am going to do is I am going to go into Levels, and I am going to increase those darks right there, there you go. Now we have a little more contrast happening, and I am going to go in there and make it a little larger. Larger like that, and I am going to flip it, I am going Flip it Horizontally. Now this building is going to be right here off the side, right in there like that just a little chunk of it, right in there.
Now, I can erase or mask, but in this case I am just going to erase I am going to erase some of the stuff in here, and it could just be rough, because the whole thing is destroyed, right. It looks pretty messy anyway. All right, so we got that. So now we got this building, this is a pretty intense looking destruction site here, so what I am going to do is I am going to select this entire area, all this, and I am going to deselect the sky, all right, and let's get rid of that little area.
Now I want that in a specific spot, so I am going to come back here to this original file and go to the background, and that's where I am going to put this guy. I'm going to drag him in, and there he is. Now, he is really big. These are all different resolutions. So I am going to hit my F key to go to full screen and then pull back a little bit. So I can see the whole thing. So now I can go in there and bring up my Transform tools and start to shrink that building way down into position where I want it, right back in here.
And we are going to have a kind of going off to the side like that. Let's go to full screen here, so we can see where it is. There is that building. It's just back there, and we might even make it a little bit smaller if we want. We can do that and just kind of lift it up a little, and there is that building in place, way back there. And we got this little opening here, so let's just go back to our regular view, and we can say goodbye to this one, and we have one more scene back here, this one.
So this, I am going to take. I am going to select this whole section right here, that section, and I am going to deselect the sky. Don't want the sky, and then we can leave that sky in there for now. So I am going to bring this into here, and it's also way in back. So what I am going to do is I am going to do a little Flip Horizontal, and this one I am going to shrink way down, because this is going to be our street way in back, back here.
Now when I see in, and that's because this other building is still there. So we'll just leave it there for now. Let's go back to this original building, this building, and we are going to get rid some of that visibility back there. So I am going to go in a little closer here, and we're just going to kind of erase it a little bit. We don't have to really go in there and mask it and waste time, because this stuff has all been destroyed, including those trees. Don't want those trees, but those tress are going to go away. I am going to make my eraser a little smaller, I am just going to erase this stuff back here, which is exposing that building we just brought in, see? Then I will just get rid of all this stuff, and we can get rid of that whole thing, there we go.
So now that last building we brought in, there it is. Let's pull back so we can see the overall scene, and we'll pull in just a little bit. I'm going to go in there, and we got it set up, I am going to in there, and I am going to distort it so that it takes on the same perspective of everything else and then shrink it down. Now this is the building way off in the background back there. Now that one is a little bright, so what I am going to do is I am going into Hue Saturation and bring down the Saturation for that building, so it's way in the back, and darken it, because it is further back, click OK, and there is our basic destroyed city, which we are now going take a step further and darken it and start to add some explosions that are still in progress.
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