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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!
Our scene is now almost complete. The one thing we need to do is add a little life. Now this is back in the days of Renaissance. They didn't have central heating back in those days. So they still relied on fire places. And those chimneys that came from those fire places have to be spewing all kinds of smoke in the middle of the night so that those people can sleep nice and comfortably. So we are going to create some smoke coming out of all the smoke stacks. Even though we don't see smoke stacks there is going to be some smoke coming out of them. Now to do that we are going to create a smoke brush. Now I am going to do that right from here, right here in our clouds file.
Now what I am going to do is I am going to go in here, and I am going to look at the channels of this clouds file. I am going to look at the red, look at the green, and look at the blue. Now the one that gave me the most contrast happens to be the red channel, which is where the contrast information is for any file. So I am going to go in there and use this particular channel as my source. Now we are not concerned at all with what's going to happen to the color we're just using this to create the brush itself. So I am going to in here, and I am going to invert this.
I am going to hit Command+I, or I can come up here and under Adjustments and go down here and say Invert, right there. Now we are looking through here to find a nice little puff of smoke, and there is a good one right there. So let's get a little closer to that, and I am going to go into my levels. Adjustments > Levels and in Levels I am going to push my whites to become a nice pure white all around that puff right there. Now in the movie on creating brushes it will explain some of the necessity for things to be white.
Watch that movie if you really need to know why, but right now we are just going to create the brush itself. Now that I have pushed this area to white, I am going to click OK, and I am going to get a white brush and with the paint brush make sure that the Hardness is set to 0. I am going to go in here, and I am going to make it little bigger, and let's just start to paint, right into this area here. Now I got the Opacity set to 0. So I am going to bring it back to 100, and I am going to kind of paint and isolate that little puff of smoke with white all around it, like so.
Isolated that little puff right there. So now I am going to take my selection tool and select that little puff of smoke right there, and I am going to say, Define Brush Preset. I am going to call that brush smoke, click OK. That's it. I go back to my original file right there, and I am going to go to my layers. Now I want this to be behind the city, but in front of the clouds. So I am going to go in there and right now I have the cloud selected, and I am going to create the layer right there which I am going to call chimney smoke.
And I get a little closer here so we could see what's going to be happening now. I am going to get my paint brush, and I am going to choose that brush that we just created, and it will appear at the end of our list. I'm going to click on it. Right now, it's pretty big. So I am going to create a much smaller brush, and when I paint it does that. So let's undo that. I am going to go into my Brush controls, I am going to bring up the brush panel right here. There is my Brush panel, which is going to automatically show me the currently selected brush. I am going to give it a little more spacing and increase the spacing to it so I get nice individual tips just like that, maybe a little more spacing right there.
Now I kind of looks like caterpillar or something right there. That's because it's just laying down tip on top a tip. I am going to go in there and go to my shape dynamics where I am going to turn off my pen pressure, but I am going to do is size jitter. So now I have a little variation in the sizes, and I am going to change my angle. I am going to send that all the way to 100%. So now you can see what's starting to happen there. I am getting a little spacing kind of a thing happen. Say OK, and I am going to make my brush a little smaller, I am going to bring down the Opacity, bring it down to about let's say maybe about by 20%.
So we are going to say that there is a smoke stack right back here. So I am going to go in there and start to draw these little tones right in there like that, and I draw a couple right in here, make my brush a little smaller, and we'll draw a couple back here and smaller still and draw a couple back here. One right there and one right there. Now I am going to make my brush a little bigger now, and I am going to bring down the opacity to about a 20%. And I start to draw more little touches right in there of my smoke couple in there, make it a little smaller and throw some in here, maybe a little bigger just couple right in there, and we'll throw a couple in here and a couple in there.
I will make it even bigger, and we'll bring down the opacity all the way down to about 10% maybe even lower than that just so that we get a little hint, and we just throw a couple, last little touches of the smokes just as it starts to dissipate the way from our chimney, make a little smaller and throw a couple in there, like so, and a couple in there, and we are just going to throw enough in there so that we start to see it distinctly against the sky right into that area there. They are much smaller. I don't have to worry about our building here because of the fact that it's a layer behind the building so they are not going to cover our building, and we are just going to throw that smoke right up in there, and there and then when we pull back to the full scene, and we'll go to full-screen on this, and there we see that we now have our completed scene, complete with the life on the chimney and a little guy sitting up really late at night thinking up all these cool stories and painting about them.
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