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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, the first thing we need for our scene of Atlantis rising from the sea is the sea itself. Now I've got a shot right here that I took one day in Bodega Bay, not a spectacular shot but this beach area right in front, this is perfect for what we need, right there. This other stuff, well that's not going to work because Atlantis, well we've got mountains back there and Atlantis is going to come up all by itself out of the sea right here. So all this stuff has to go, that sky has to go, we are going to create our own sky, it's going to be a little more misty, so we just want that foreground area.
And back here I have another shot, now this one you can see it is a very bad shot because of the setting, kind of overcast, one of those typical summer days in Bodega Bay, both in the Bodega Bay, California here. This area of the sea is perfect for what we want. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to select that portion back there. I like the angle of this beach, but I like the flowing back into infinity of this particular scene. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to select this whole area right here, and I'm going to drag it into the other sea right there. Okay, so there it is.
What I want to do now is I'm going to go in here, and I'm going to kind of stretch it out, I'm going to hit my F key to bring it to full screen so I can see everything there, and I'm going to stretch this out to fit into that other scene. So I'm going to go in there and do Command+T, and I'm going to pull it out, let's make it a little bigger, and bring it all the way out to there. And then I'm going to rotate it a little bit just to straighten out that horizon right in there like that and then bring it down so that it starts to match into that part of the sea right out there, kind of bringing it out just a little bit on both sides so it bleeds off just like that.
I want to curve it just a little bit just a little so we have a little bit of curvature there, and we'll click OK, and I'm going to move it down just a little more, right there. Now I want these guys to blend in together so I'm going to give that layer a mask. And I'm going to go in there, and I'm just going to throw a gradient right into it, white is where I'm going to see it and black is where it's going to hide. So I'm going to make sure I'm just going from black to white. And I'm going to go in here and start to create that little gradient right in there about like that.
There you can see where it is starting to flow together, we'll make it little bigger, there we go, and there we are starting to get that nice little flow from one sea into the other. So now it's starting to look like a long expansive of this kind of nice bluish sea. And now, the one in front is a little too saturated. I want to give it that muted kind of feel because this is going to have a kind of mystical look to our overall scene, so I'm going to go into Hue/Saturation right there, and I'm going to go in there and bring down the saturation for that foreground sea, so it starts to match the one in back a little more.
There you could see we are just getting a nice little match happening there, click OK, and now we have a continuous sea. Now the sky, sky, we are going to go in there, and we are going to pick a color, right there. I like this color right in there. That will be for the foreground color. And then for the background color, I'm going to pick a much deeper version. Let's go in here and say we pick this darker blue right there. That's going to look really good. So now I'm going to go in there and in a layer on top of this, I'm going to go and call this the sky, okay.
And we are going to call this one just so we can tell what our layers are, we are going to call this sea, far sea, all right. And now, I'm going to go in there and throw that gradient into my sky from the light color to the darker color right up in this area right here like this. Not that high up there, right about there, like that. That's looking good. Now I'm going to bring down the opacity just so I could see it there, and I could see, I'm going to give that another mask.
And this mask is going to be right in this little area right in here where I want it to appear, so I'm just going to give it a little gradient right through there, and there we can see that now we are getting this nice little effect of--there's our sky, it's nice and smooth going up, and we have created from this original scene here. We now have a complete sea, which is where we are going to have Atlantis rise.
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