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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 have our main building built, let's go in there and create some of the other buildings. So I have here a archway that I am going to use. Now, I need to isolate that archway, so there is a lot of different ways I happen to have an alpha channel already constructed. There is a movie that explains what the alpha channel is and how it's created. I would suggest that you refer to that in case you want to know exactly, how I created this alpha channel. But that's what I am going to use to isolate this part of the structure. I go in there and select it, and I am going to drag it into my scene, right there.
Now it's a tiny little guy, and it shadows around the opposite side so I am going to right of the bat do a little flip horizontal on it, so the shadows are all facing the right direction, and I'll make it a little larger. I want to go in there and start to make this a larger building just like that. I am going to put it right here down at the base of this building here. Let me make it little bigger. There is our little archway there. Okay, now I am going in there, I am going to desaturate a little bit because it's very strong right now, and that looks good.
And actually our shadows are actually going in the right direction. Let's switch that back. I am just looking at it closer, now that I raised it up and okay. So now our shadows are in right direction, because they are just going to the left just like we see here. So now, now that we have it in place, let's just put it so that we can have a little of the other building showing through right in there like that. Okay, now let's get rid of that, and I have another one here, there is another building. Now this one, this one has definitely got the shadows going in the opposite direction so that I am going to go in there and flip this one.
So let's say flip it horizontally, and I have an alpha channel set up for this one as well. So I go in there, load that alpha channel and drag these guys into here. Now in this particular case, I don't like to save that. I want to put that in back-- in back of the little arch that I just created. Let's put into position here, and I am going to make this pretty large as well. I'll get this enlarged, and we'll put it out here. Now these bordering areas, we don't have to worry about those now. We will not worry about those at all, because they are all going to be changed later.
So it's going to kind of put it in position there like that, and that's going to be a good size for it. In fact, we'll bring it in just a little, click OK, and I am going to desaturate this one as well. Let's just desaturate a little bit and so they start to kind of blend in to each other a little better, just a little better there. Now I like these little columns right here. And so what I might want to do is I am going to make sure that this guy is selected, and I am going to grab those little columns right here at the edge, and I got to duplicate those right across and stick them way out here, there. That's going to be good. It comes way out in the outside area.
And then, I have one more set right here, this guy. This guy is going to be good. Now he's very large, so he's actually going to be a little close to us and sure enough, I have an alpha channel set up for that one as well. So we'll go ahead and load the channel, and we'll drag this into our scene, and it will appear right there, and it's at the top. So let's go in there and enlarge this. It's going to be much larger, this guy is like really close to us. So let's just kind of put him right about here. Right, so there is all our little buildings.
So this guy we can turn off for now, and we are going to concentrate on this little group back here. So I am going to go in there, and I am going to take these guys, and let's take them and right now we are going to go near and adjust all that colors and make them kind of the same. So what I am going to do is I am going to unite them and go in there, and we are going to merge them. Let's turn off the ones we don't want to see, which is to see and everything else in the background and then this batch here, these buildings, and we'll select the bottom, I'm going to say Merge Visible.
Right, so there they are, one big set of buildings. Now we can turn back our backgrounds. Now what we are going to do is go into Hue/Saturation right up here, Hue/Saturation, I am going to say Colorize. So now they are all going to be colorized into the same color, and I am going to bring them down into a kind of a beige color like this and bring down the Saturation just a tad, so now they are all kind of like the same color and maybe darken them just a little bit, like that. click OK, now they are often a distance, so what I am going to do is I am going to blur them.
So I am going in there to Gaussian Blur, I am going to give them a little bit of a softening. Yeah that's good enough, and now I'm going to move them up a little bit, so they are right at the top here and what I am going to do now is I am going to give them a mask, and I want the bottom area to disappear. So what I am going to do is I am going to just give it a little tight little mask right through here like that, and now you can see that they are just coming out of the water just out of the water back there, and it just kind of flowing up coming through, right? So now I am going to take that whole bunch, and I am going to duplicate that.
There's the duplicate. And the one in the back, let's put this guy in back, 'cause what this is going to be, it's going to be the reflection, right there. So I am going to do a Flip Vertical and drag him down. So that they are directly below what we see in there, I am going to bring down their opacity considerably, way down, quite a bit. I am going to give it in that mask, I am going to darken of some of these areas down here, so I am going to get a nice soft brush, soft brush, and I am going to just kind of paint down here, so these areas will disappear and all these areas will disappear right through there, don't want to see those right.
And I am going to give it a little bit of a motion blur. I get the layer itself, and I'll give it a motion blur. I go in there and say Motion Blur straight up and down, and we'll increase that distance a little more, click OK, and there we will see that that starts to give you that kind of an effect there. Now I would like to show in certain areas only, so I am going to go into the layer styles for that layer and in the Blend mode, the Blend If modes down here for the Underlying layer I like those white areas to show through and some of those dark areas to show through.
So I am going to bring this in just like this and split that. Holding down the Option key I could split that. So that you see that my white tones are being hidden, and some of those really dark tones, I am going to bring those in so that they don't get hidden. And I'll Option split that so we get a nice softening of the reflection in the water, so it starts to look a little more realistic. Then we have that final piece right there, this guy here we are going to go in there and give it a similar color treatment, I am going to into my Hue/Saturation and say Colorize, bring it to kind of warm tones that we did before, kind of grayish, kind of brownish and a little more Saturation and darken them just a little, and let's bring that Saturation just a little more.
Now these are going to stay clear because they are much closer to us, much closer. So that we'll leave right there like that, and we'll go ahead and give that layer mask and go and hide that just as we did before and go in there and just hide the bottom part so they are in the water just like that. And we'll give it a reflection, so I'll duplicate it, put the guy in back, this guy we are going to go and save flip it vertical and move it down into position right where we want it, directly below.
Now back in it's mask, I am going to go in and erase all the stuff that I wanted to see-- especially in the sandy area. I don't want it to show anywhere in there. So I am going to go in there and start to paint away all the parts I don't want. And let's paint right through here, bring down its opacity, it's just a little bit of reflection, give it that same motion blur that we did before, and I am going to give the motion blur to the layer itself.
And just as I did with the other reflection, I am going to go in and allow the dark tones from underneath to show through and the light tones to show through, option split those sliders to soften out that reflection, and there we could see that now we have that reflection happening for that. Now in the next and final movie, we'll add a little flock of birds that are flying around saying, hey, what's going on over here? There might be food.
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