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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!
In this first movie what we're going to do is we're going to create the basic scene as we look over the cliffs down on to this lake. So here we go. This is where we're going to create the whole thing, because this is going to serve as our backdrop, way back here, all these nice little clouds down there, because we're way up on the cliffs looking over at this. Now in this scene we happen to be that way, we're looking over some high cliffs, but we're not really in cliffs, we're just on a high mountain. This happens to be a view from Mount Diablo in the Bay Area of California.
But right now I'm going to go in here and get this little lake here. Now I have this lake. This lake is going to be the lake that we're going to have inside of our scene. Now the first thing that I need to do is to get rid of this part of the island here, but we'll do that after we've got the other rocks in place so we see how much of it is showing, we don't want to do extra work than we need to. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to come in here, and I'm going to start to select just the portion that I want, which is basically this bottom portion of my image right here, incorporating some of the trees just a little bit of the trees there and in fact let's just grab a little more of those trees right there, and that's the area that we're going to bring in.
I'm going to take that and drag it over into our scene here. So now I'm going to put it into position where we want it, right down in here. So let's just place it, I would say right about, put it right about here, that's a good spot for it, right there. So now what I'm going to do is I'm going to go in here and start to eliminate some of those trees. So I'm going to give this a mask, and in that mask I'm going to start to go in there and start to paint out these trees. I'm going to come in close so we can start to see what's going to happen here.
Now these trees are fairly large, so what I'm going to do is I want to cut them out by just making them still look like little trees. So I'm going to use one of my little favorite brushes here. I'm going to get this one here, which is a little bit of a cluster, and I'm going to go in and start to modify it as we have before. Give it a little Space and a little Shape Dynamics where we can just go in there and say the Size Jitter and the Angle Jitter, so we have enough of variety going there, so I can now start going in there and start to mask out these trees.
I'm going to make the brush a little bigger, and then I'm going to start to just paint in, right into these areas, so you can see that I'm starting to paint the trees, and I just kind of painting in a mess as you can see. I'm painting with black so that I'm actually getting the tops of these trees to show through. See, I'm just kind of cutting them down, and it's doing it with this brush that has shapes to it. So it starts to make the trees look like they are little closer to us, and that they are in fact nice little trees, there they are, and let's come back to this in a minute, because again I don't know for sure how much of this is going to be visible.
So let's go in there and start getting the cliffs that we're standing behind looking at this scene. Say goodbye to this. And back here I have a couple of images taken from various heights, it's just a rock, and I have another one, there is the other one right there. I don't have to worry about the wires because this is basically just certain sections of this that I want, like here. I want this guy right here, really good little area. So you'll see that I created an Alpha Channel right there which selects that portion of the rocky face.
So I'm going to turn that into a selection, and I'll drag that into my scene right here. There is that rocky cliff. Now I'm going to go in here, and I'm going to make this a little larger in a second, and let's create this rock. Again I have an Alpha Channel I created to separate that rock, so I'm going to load it and drag that rock into here. So now that I have these two rocks in place, let's put them in position. I'm going to hit my F key to go Full Screen so I can see what's happening.
Now this rock here is going to go on this side, so let's just set this to Auto Select. All right, so there. I'm going to put it in place, and I'm going to press Command+T to give me my Transform tools, and I'm going to just drag it right up to the edge of the image here and drag it down so that it just bleeds off the bottom right down there. Okay, right in there like that. Let me just grab this guy, put him in place, there we go, all right. Now I'm going to drag them and put them going right out. Now I can see how much of that island is showing down here, which I'm going to have to get rid of, but there we see that we have this one rock in place.
Now that's a cliff that's pretty far away from us, it's pretty far. This was a little closer, as you're going to see when we start to construct this overall scene. So this one I'm going to bring down, and I'm going to flip it, because we see where the lights are coming from, you can see lights are all coming from that side, you can see it in the trees as well. So we're going to take this rock, and we're going to do a little Flip Horizontal on it. And there it is in place, and I'm going to drag it into position right in there, and I'm going to hit that Command+T again just to enlarge it, so I can now make it a little bigger, and this one we'll bring down a bit, there it is a little lower.
Make just a tad larger so that it kind of fills up that space on the side there, and we'll move it out, out of range so that we can--there we go, so now we can see, now we see how much of the lake we're going to see and how much of the trees we're going to see. So I'll hit Enter to make that happen. So okay, this is the cliff that we're standing on, it's pretty close to us, we can see that little moss on the rocks, this one is a little further away. Now we're going to establish that sense of distance in a little while when we start adding some foliage. So now we can go back to our other layer right here, the lake layer and back to its mask so we can continue to paint out those trees.
Let's get a little closer, and we can go in there and start to paint out those trees with the brush that we were using. So we'll go in here, and we'll start, get a little smaller, and we start to paint out those trees just so that we have it exactly the way we want it, right in there like that. So there are all our little trees in place. Over here, and we just clean up a couple of spots, and let's get these guys a little pointing. So there we have all our little trees and our lake. All right so that's starting to fall into place.
Now this portion here, we don't want that. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to my Clone tool, and because we have this texture here, this texture is very important. I don't want to use it in its default state, which is usually a very soft brush, and I don't want to go very hard, because I'm going to have a hard edge. Let's bring the size down a little bit, more manageable. Now that I have a hard edge, which again, is going to be make it very easy to see where you're cloning, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to soften the edge just a little bit. I usually bring it down to about an 85. That's enough of an anti-aliased edge so that it's going to give me a nice smooth transition in here.
So I'm going to say Option, click here, this is where I want to clone from, right there, and I'm going to go over here, and I'm going to reduce the Opacity a bit, and bring it down to about 70 so that as I start to paint here, and I'm going to paint right here in the actual lake, I'm going to go in there, and you can see I'm starting to get the--now you see those hard edges, see the hard edges that are happening? All right, that right there is telling me that, that edge is still too hard for this particular resolution, so I'm going to bring it down a little more. And then I'm going to continue to clone.
Now since I'm not working with full opacity you can see that I'm slowly building it up as I go along. So I can start to slowly start to build this thing, and I bring down my opacity a bit. So I can just very lightly start to add a little tone which is going to kind of blend the waters into each other just like that, so there. So now we've gotten rid of that item that was there. In the next movie what we're going to do is add a new island and put our castle on top of it.
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