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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!
This image is going to start with this vacation shot taken way down in Los Cabos Mexico, and it makes a great rocky terrain for our planet. I'm going to go in there and isolate those rocks by selecting this sky up here, and I'm going to Shift to select all of the sky, including that little area down in between there. And I'm going to make sure that these little birds are also selected, so I'm going to Shift-select them with the Marquee tool so they will be completely selected, there.
Now that the entire sky area is selected I'm going to Inverse that selection and send those rocks and water into a whole new layer. I say New > Layer Via Cut. So now, this is going to be the basis of my planet. Now, it's going to be a waterless planet, not going to have a beautiful sea like this so I have another shot that I'm going to use, a little shot taken of a dry lake bed in Bodega Bay. Now this is going to be perfect for our little ground plane.
So I'm going to take this image and drag it right on top of this one, there it is. So I'm going to press my F key to bring me to full screen so I can see what I'm going to be doing now. I'm going to take this terrain here, and I'm going to drag it right into the center, and I'm going to go in there, and I'm going to press Command+T to bring me my transform tools. I'm going to hold down my Command key so I can do a little distortion here, I'm going to drag this guy out, little beyond there, and this guy a little beyond there, and I'm going to drag this down to the base, down in here, right into this area here, I'm going to pull it out just like that.
Now if that's a little too intense, that's no problem I can go in there and very easily just pull back a little bit, and let's bring these guys back in so they won't be so distorted, this is all the stuff we can do visually after the fact once as we are working, it's in its own layer so it's not affecting anything else, and there we have this ground plane down below. And there we now have whole new set, it's starting to look more like an alien planet. Here is our background, I'm going in there and change the color of that sky, so I have this dark kind of an orangey color I'm going to use here, very dark kind of a color like that.
And go to my Foreground Color, and you know what we'll pick that one in a second. Let's change the color of this scene first. I'm going to go ahead and merge this down into that rocket plane there, so now we have this as one layer, and I'm going to go up here and say Hue/Saturation, and I click on Colorize, so everything gets colorized together. And I pump up the Saturation a bit, darken a little bit, and I'm going to go into a nice warm tones like that, I want it to be kind of a, almost like a Martian landscape, about like that, click OK.
Now that I have that color I'm going go in there and pick something in that range, let's put that dark color, and let's make it a little darker now, and we'll put that as a Background and for the Foreground Color I'm going to go in there and pick one of these tones in here like let's say this dark tone right there. Now that I have that I'm going to go in there and lighten that up just a little bit, a little warmer right in there, we have it in the right range. Now that I have those two colors I'm going to go to my Gradient tool and in the background I'm going to go ahead and throw in a whole new sky, which will look like that, and make sure we're set to Linear Gradient, there we go, there so now we have our new terrain.
So there is our landscape. Into this in the next movie we're going to start to add some buildings and some other details which will make this look very real.
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