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Learn how to create artwork with Adobe Photoshop—no fine art skill required—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. This installment shows you how to fill your scenes with imaginary creatures, stormy weather, ancient ruins, and more. 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!
Check out the original Bert Monroy: Dreamscapes Volume 1 for more inventive illustrative techniques.
'Kay, now we have our ghost, there's this nice beard going on, we're going to have to retouch him. So, for one thing, when I shot this, I simply set my little camera on self-timer, and I ran over and stood in place and posed and took the shot. I couldn't really see what was going on, so there are things that need to be retouched. So let's go in there and do that now. So for one thing, I don't need all this background, so let's just, right off the bat, let's get rid of the background, it's going to make it easier to go in there and create our mask to separate our ghosts. We're going to go in there and crop this.
So here we have the basic ghost. All right, I'm going to deselect that, and let's get a little close so we can see what's going to happen next. Well for one thing, the beard, the beard is kind of just laying there, so let's go into the beard layer and give it a little Layer style. And I'm going to go in, give it a drop shadow. Bring that distance over just a tiny bit. And there, now we see we have a little shadow for our beard. And I'm going to bring up the opacity just a tiny bit. That seperates the beard from the background just a little bit. Click OK, and well it's just a towel, and there it is overlapping my arm, that doesn't quite look right, so let's go in there and fix that next. I'm going to get in real close, and I'm going to get rid of this little flap here.
To do that, what I'd like to do is I'm going to clone the arm over it. So let's go to the layer that has our ghost, and I'm going to say, let's clone from right here, and I'm going to bring down the size of my brush, I'm going to start to clone in right in here, the arm, right into that area there, right just like this, so I'm going to kind of create the fence of The sleeve that we have below. Lets get some of these dark tones in to here. There we go. And lets get to this light area here Lets clean up the rest of this arm right here.
And, and these tones. Now there is a shadow that we need there, so what I'm going to do. Its I'm going to just take. I'm going to selsect this area, and for this, because its so straight forward. I'm going to go in there and just use my magic wand and just select this little area of the arm, and shift slect this part, and right in there. Now we've got the whole arm selected there. Lets click that again, and there's our arm. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take my burn tool. Right there, and I'm just going to kind of throw a little, shadow right into that edge right there, just like that. That's enough for that.
Now, the, other parts of the towel, like right in here, let's get rid of some of that stuff. Let's get rid of that one little Extra little fold that we see there. Same thing on this side. Alright, we don't want this part here, so lets just go in here and we'll clone from right there. And let's get our brush a little larger so we can see where we're going to clone from. So we're going to say that we're going to clone from right here. Let me get rid of that little clone we just did there. Let's get rid of that. Alright, Okay. So, we're going to clone, from right here.
We're going to say clone from right there, and, we'll match it up, nice and even, and we'll start to clone away, so we're going to clone out that whole little section of our Towel overlapping. Where you're right into this area right in there like that. So there, we got rid of that Now we'll need to get rid of these areas here. So we're starting to get rid of all of these little tones that make it look seperated. And we're going to just kind of take this and very lightly just have it fade in to our little hood, so we're just going to bring in all this in here, I'm going to bring down the opacity some more, bring it down to about 20%, and slowly start to just have this whole thing fade into itself, right there like that, there we're getting those folds. Right, so now it starts to look more like the, the hood is all part of the garment. Now, I've never seen pictures of wizards With pockets. And this is a ghost of a wizard.
He definitely doesn't need pockets. So let's get rid of those pockets. I'm going to go in here and get real close on this and we'll Clone those pockets out. And I'm going to bring up the tones below so it starts to just blend into itself. And I'm working with a lowered opacity. In fact, let's bring it up to about 50%. And I'm just slowly going in there and building up, let's take from the top now, and build this down, right in through here, let's get this little tone right in there, there we go, and we're slowly getting rid of our pocket. And now we get this dark area here, let's soften that up a little bit, there we go, build up from the bottom, and right here, I think we're just going to erase that part, which we'll do by again, just cloning these nice areas from right there, and match it up right in there, and start to slowly paint that away And there we go, and now we're going to just grab from the outside here, and just paint that area right out.
Now this is all going to be blurry, so it doesn't have to be that perfect. And look, a belt loop, definitely don't need that, so let's just go in there to get our brush a little smaller, and we slowly start to build that up to get rid of the belt loop. And look, our little wizard is married. We need to get rid of that. So lets get rid of this little wedding ring right there. That's gone. And, there's a little something there, who knows what that is. And now, the wizard is starting to look really good now. There's a funny little thing here. Lets get rid of that.
Oh, and I think that's in our beard, that's part of our beard there. Alright, so, let's pull back. And now we see that our wizard has still has one more pocket over here. Now, let's get rid of that last pocket, and we'll be done with this. Now let's go pick from the dark areas here, and slowly start to build it in, right into here. Get some of those light tones into here. Alright, and we, bring this nice fold down in to here. Get these lighter tones slowly build it up. Again, this is going to be so out of focus that you're not going to see a lot of this stuff.
And lets get rid of this. And then the bottom part. And now our wizard is starting to look more like what he should be. In the next movie what we're going to do is going to take this guy out and really turn him into a real ghost.
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