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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, going to go in here and start to finish our entire scene here. Now, the beauty of having everything in layers is that I can still go in there and make any adjustments at any time. So like, for instance, this particular area here is not looking quite like the others, so I might want to go in there and do some adjusting to it. So I am go in there, and I am going to select that layer, that layer right there, and just go see that--select that particular layer. So I can go in there and start to play with that one, and I'm going to do it in say--if we go into Hue/Saturation--well I am going to go in there and kind of change those colors a little bit and darken a little bit, so it starts to become closer to its neighbors right there to the side.
Bring down that Saturation just a tad right in there and bring it more towards those tones right in there and darken it just a little bit more just a little more like that, and you see that it starts to become a little closer the ground plains. And these particular trees they are not as bright, so I go in there and select that particular range right there. And what I am going to do is I am going to select that particular area for that bunch right there I am going to say, Inverse that, so I can go in there, and I am effecting just those dark areas. Well, I am going to go in there to Hue/Saturation, I am going to pump up the Saturation in those areas, lighten up a little bit, just a little, and start to form closer to Greens that we have elsewhere, click OK, and now it all starts to get a little more uniform, and that area starts to all start to work together.
These we could also go in there and start to desaturate those a little bit if we want to. But you could do that on your own, because you are going to have these files, and you can create this whole thing yourself. What we need to do now is to have this water run off somewhere, because you can see that river comes right up to the edge so we need a water fall coming down. Now in my many hikes I have taken shots constantly. So right here I have a shot of a waterfall. So, I go to my Channels, and you could see that I have an Alpha Channel for it already. Now the way I created that Alpha Channel is I looked at the individual color layers, I looked at the Red, I was looking at the Green, and the Blue to find the most contrast, and you see that in the Blue channel, in this case, is where you really see the waterfall against the rocks.
Red, kind of together there, Green not much difference, but the Blue, the waterfall really stands out. So I duplicated the Blue layer, giving me an Alpha Channel based on the information of that Blue layer, there is a Blue copy, and I am in that layer right now. So what I am going to do is I go into my Adjustments and Levels I am going to punch up all those tones, I am going to go in there and make all those dark tones real dark and then lighten up the water. So I go in there, and I start clicking on these guys and make them darker and darker. Once I have a nice configuration that I want I click OK and then using a black paint brush I am going to go in there, and we get a nice hard edge brush like this, harden it just a little bit, and I am going to go in there and start painting away all the area around it.
I can do it quickly by selecting the entire area like this and then go in ahead and filling with black and so on, let's deselect this little area. I'll go in there and just go ahead and fill that with little black, click OK, and I start getting rid of all this so that what I am left with is this little Alpha Channel here. So now going back to the color channels, I am going to go head and load that by either Command-clicking here or coming up here and saying Load Selection at which time it's going to show me Blue copy, that's the one I want, click OK, and now it's selected.
So with the waterfall selected I come over here, and I make sure I am in the layer that I want to cover. So I go see my Layers, and I want to cover this layer here, so I am going to select that layer. I make sure I have Auto Select selected for my pointer tool, and then I click on that and then selected that layer right there, which is the basic river or the plateau layer right there. So now when I bring something in it's going to fall right on top of that layer. So I go back to my waterfalls, and I grab this and drag it into this layer here, and there is the waterfall, right there. So now, I am going to shrink it.
Command+T to bring up the tool for scaling, and I am going to put it right so that this splash at the bottom is gone, we don't see that right. So I am going to scale it now, some more, but this time I am going to do it non-uniformly. You can see that I am going to scale it this way, I am going to scale it like that just like that. I am going to scale this in here, so it starts to take on the basic shape of my waterfall. So I am going to just keep scaling it a couple of times till I have it just where I want it, right in that little area, right in there.
Okay, and we'll just grab this, no turning, there we go just about like that, make that happen, and now I got the waterfall in place. Now, right in there it's not quite looking right so I am going to get in a little closer here, and now that I am really close I can probably shrink it just a little bit more right in there, now it's perfect the way we want it, and I am going to give that layer a mask. So I give that layer a mask, and using black, with that soft edge brush as before, I am going to go in there and just paint into this area to make the waterfall just appear where the water is right there like that so we have that nice little area happen, and then we could see that now we have the cascading water coming down from the edge of the river.
Now, right there that doesn't quite look right, it's in its own layer that's the beauty of all this. So I can go back into my adjustments and bring it right into that area perfectly, and now we have a true looking waterfall.
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