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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 here we see a tree trunk. When I looked at this, I didn't see a tree trunk I actually saw it as this cliff. Now to isolate it I went in and created an alpha channel. The special movies on explaining an alpha channel will tell you how this was created but this isolates that little tree trunk from the rest of scene in back. So I'm going to load that channel to make it a selection, I'm going to send this over to a new Layer Via Cut. Now it's in its own layer and still it's like a tree trunk but now if you squint your eyes a little bit you could almost see a cliff here with a big city in the back ground, you can just let your imagination go to town here.
Now what I'm going to do here is I'm going to start to add a new top to it. So I have here another file that I have, which I called river because it has this river right there. This is a faraway scene kind of like our little cliff is faraway, so this is going to be the element that I'm going to bring into this scene. So I'm going to take this whole thing and bring it into here. So there it is. it's much bigger than I want so what I'm going to do is I'm going to in here and go back to the layer with the cliff.
Let's turn this one off for now, and I'm going to take the layer of the cliff, and I am going to surround this little part up on the top here, I'm just going to go and surround this little general area being pretty rough about it just to get a general idea of that shape, there's my basic shape up there. So now I turn this layer back on and what I'm going to do is with that selection made I'm going to go in there and say give it a mask. So now it's contained inside of that area. Let me hit the F key to bring me to full screen so I can pull back a little bit, so I could see the extent of the overall file itself, which is right here.
Here I'm in a mask, now I'm in the layer itself. I'm going to unlink them, and the reason for that is I'm going to resize that main image to fit my new top there, and if they link, the mask will be resized as well. I want the mask to stay exactly where it is so I unlink them. So now any modifications I do to the layer are not going to affect the mask, the mask will remain in place. So now, Command+T to bring up the actual handles, and you see they're much bigger than what I have, so let's escape. These files are in their original size in which they were created so now let's Command+T, now we could see it.
So I'm going to hold down my Option and Shift key to constraint it and size it from the middle and bring it down to a manageable size like that, put it centered in there, hit Enter that make it happen. And then I'm going to go to full screen here, so now I can kind of pretty much see my entire scene there. So I'm going to move it into place. Now I want that river just about there and yes that river is going to be cascading down in the form of a waterfall coming off this side of this cliff. So what I'm going to do right now is I want to keep the mask as is so let's just get a little closer and what I'm going to do is I'm going to take that mask and enhance it a little more.
So now what we are going to do is we are going to adjust this mask. So I got myself a paintbrush with a nice soft edge, make sure it's a nice soft edge. I am going to switch to the mask, and I want to expose so I'm going to use it white, I'm going to paint with a soft edge brush using white, make sure my Opacity is brought back up to 100%, and I'm painting in the mask. So as I start to paint on the edge you see that the area is coming back. I'm starting to expose more of what was hidden before by the mask. So I'm just going to kind of go right up to these little edges right in here, like so.
So it's getting exposed into this whole area right through here where I want it to be. Put the little river going right into that area, right in there like that. We'll just kind of bring this whole area back in here through there and right in through here as well. And let's just cover up that little hole right there. All right so that's starting to get there. This we are going to completely change so we are not going to worry about that. There is our river, that's what we needed. Now this grassy area I'd like to expand that into this area here.
So I'm going to take my Clone tool, and I'm going to set it up with soft edge brush as well. And I'm going to clone from right here, and I'm going to pick up this green and start putting it and make sure I'm into the layer itself. I'm going to pick up the green and just kind of throw it into this area right in here. So I'm just kind of getting rid of that little edge of water that we are seeing right in there. And that will expand this a little into here just so we get a little more grass going there, roughen that up there. I'm going to put another set of grass in here so we are not going to worry about that any more. So now we got the river going along the top of our cliff.
When we pull back we see that in our basic scene we're starting to get the sense that this is a big high plateau somewhere. In the next movie we are going to start to add all the details that go to the top of this cliff.
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