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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!
Here we see the castle that's going to be floating in the sky. It's a cloudy overcast day and it's winter time. So you notice that all the trees are now dormant. We need to bring those trees to life and take this castle and bring it to life. Now the first thing we need to do is to separate this castle from the background. Now I have created an alpha channel for that purpose. The chapter on creating alpha channels will show you exactly how this alpha channel is created, but there is my alpha channel. So what I am going to do is I am going to go over here and say Load Selection. So right now it knows that that other file is open back there. See? It knows that as being an alpha channel so it's bringing that one in.
So I am going to click OK and my castle is selected. Plus parts of the ground underneath it. So I am going to go in there and send this to a new Layer Via Cut. We are going to actually take the background and throw it away. We don't need it. And I am going to go in there and call this the Castle. Now these trees right now are all dormant. We need to go in there and create some life in them. So let's get rid of the alpha channel back there, and I have a file here of some trees. I am going to clone these trees into this scene here to make it come to life.
But one thing about these trees is that they are pretty solid area and here the trees are going into areas that are open. If we just take our Clone tool with whatever is the default brush, and I click, let's say, I am going to go from here and come over here and start drawing them in--let's get a nice big brush so we can see what's going to happen--I start drawing it and they don't really look like trees. You see that soft edge? So you might say, well, maybe I'll harden the edge? No. That's not what you want. What you want is a brush that's going to look like all the tiny little leaves that are at the edges of those trees.
So I am going to change to brush that's being used by the Clone tool. I am in the Clone tool, and I am going to go in here, and I am going to choose one of spatter brushes that come with Photoshop. In fact, I am going to take this one right here, which has a nice little clump around it, and I am going into my brush engine. Well, I am going to go in there and give them a little bit of a space, just like that. So now we got a little variety going on in there, and I am going to go into Shape Dynamics where I am going to turn off my pen pressure, I am going to set up a little bit of a size jitter, and turn the angles all the way to 100% so now we have total randomness happening through there.
Let's close this up, and I am going to make my brush a little bigger. You can see that I am going to get a nice little clump of trees just like that. I am going to get all these individual little leaves starting to happen on top of my trees, right there. So I am going to start clicking all through this tree to bring that tree back to life. Then we are going to go in here start drawing some of the stuff in here. Now this dark area here is because of where I am cloning from. You know what I am going to do is I am going to throw these trees into a whole new layer to make sure they work like I want. So let's go look at that trees layer, and I am going to start from a fairly even toned area like here.
So I am going to say let's clone from right there. So now when I come back over here, and I start to clone, there you can see I am getting all these nice light tones happening through there, and you can see the individual leaves start to look a little more realistic. I am going to throw some of those light tones into this dark tree here, and we will start putting all of these other trees to life, and let's pull back a little bit so we can see what's going to happen here. And I am going to just start to draw all through here clicking away at all my trees. I can make my brush a little bigger, if I want, just to speed things up, and let's add a little life to these trees here. There we are getting those dark ones.
So let's undo those. If we could just go to history and get rid of those last bunch of trees we just created there, bring that all down. Let's start with a nice light area. In fact, what I am going to do is I got my trees here, I am going to tell the brush to not align them. So I am going to pick it from the same spot every time, but that might look a little too rough. So I am going to go in there and just make sure I get a nice even tone there, like here. I am going to pick that up right from there.
Come over here and start to bring my trees back to life again. I am going to start clicking away get all these nice light color trees and bring some into this area. Now I am going to start to form a circle down here, a circular area, because this is where I am going to connect this little castle to my other scene. So I am going to go in here and just start to cut all this up and all these trees, and we can see where everything is coming right to life just like that.
Now just to know exactly what I am creating here I can go to my background, and I want to erase. So I am going to hit my F key to bring me to full-screen and pull back a little bit. So I can see what's going to happen. I am going to just erase this area down here just so I can get a better sense of the shape of my little castle here. So that's going to be the shape right there. So now that I have that I can go back to my Clone tool and continue to add the trees along this edge here just to soften it up.
Now that we got all the trees in place, all the nice little foliage, we'll go back to our trees, pick up some of these light tones from right here. In fact, let's pick this really nice bright green right there. Go back to our scene of the castle, and we'll throw some of those light tones right into there giving us these nice little lighter highlights of trees right in that area there. So now that we have all that let's make that castle a little more alive. So I am going to go into the layer of the castle right there, and let's put those light tones in those trees right there, there we go, and bring that one.
I go to layer of the castle it self, and I am going to go into my Adjustments and say Hue Saturation. I am going to pump up the saturation for the castle, bring it up, make it nice and colorful like that, and maybe darken it just a little bit. Pump up that saturation, click OK, and there we see that kind of drab looking castle is now alive. What I am going to do is I am going to take these two layers, merge them together, and I am going to go into my Transform tool and right here I am going to rotate it so it's nice and straight up and down.
And there we see that our castle is ready to go.
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