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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 movie we're going to finally put our castle and its floating island into place. I got another shot back here, it's another one of my many hiking shots, in fact, there is my nephew right there who hikes with me and just took this shot looking out over the mountains, and this is where our castle is going to be floating. I want to crop this, I want just this area here, but we'll crop it after our castle is in place. So I go back over to this file where I have the layer with the castle and the island, I'm going to drag that into my scene. Now it's much larger, again these are all shot at different times, different resolutions, some are raw, some are not.
So what I'm going to do is I'm going to go in here and resize this. So I'm going to hit the F key, which is going to bring me to full screen mode, and I'm going go in there and shrink my view a bit so I can get the whole scene of my castle. I'm going to hit my Command+T, which is going to bring my Transform tools and holding down the Shift key I'm going to shrink it down, and I'm going to hold down my Option key so it shrinks down from the center. And I bring it into place, just like this, and make it a little smaller right there and put it into position right there. Let's get in a little closer, we see we that we got these little white things happening in there.
Now I can erase it, or I can go in there and colorize it, I'm just going to erase those because that's a rough area in there, so we don't really need those. Now I want it to be even rougher because I see that some of those spots are kind of smooth. So from my Eraser I'm going to use that same brush I've been using, that rough edge brush, but I'm going in here and use one of these smaller ones like that one right there. I'm in my Eraser tool so in my Brush panel, I'm going to go in there and modify that like I did with the others. I'm going to go in there, give it some spacing, just like that, and then Shape Dynamics, turn off my Pen Pressure and change the Size and the Angles so they are all nice and uneven there, so now I got this very rough kind of an edge.
Make it a little bigger, and we'll get a little closer here so we could see what's going to start to happen. I'm going in there and start erasing from that area all the parts, and you see as I erase it's making it even rougher now along the edge, which is what I want. I want it to be even rougher than my original root ball. So as I erase the parts that I want you can see that it's giving me this nice really rough edge, right in there, and let's go into some of these parts that are clean, and let's roughen those up as well. And there we go on this side, and we clean this up and roughen it up at the same time right there, so we just go in there and just get rid of this whole little horn right here.
There we go, we've got that happening there, and there just soften that up a little bit. So there's our root ball in place. So now we pull it back a little bit, and we could see the scene has started to come to life. So now I'm going in there and crop this. So the area that I want is pretty much this area right in here just like that. I'm going to go in there and go ahead and crop that, so there, now my image is starting to come to life here, let's deselect it. This is so saturated, I'm going to going go in there and saturate the background as well.
In my Hue/Saturation I'm going to just go in there and say pump up that Saturation so I start getting that same kind of vibrant colors that I'm seeing here. This is like a fairy tale thing, so we want these nice exaggerated colors, click OK, and now we see that we're getting all this color happening in here. As a final touch this castle is floating in the sky, so what I'm going to do is a layer on top of the background right here which I'm going to go ahead and call shadow, our island is going to be casting a shadow down below. Now we see that the light is coming from down here somewhere, and we see these strong shadows that's something to consider now that we have it in place.
We might want to go in there and play around with these shadows in here as well so that they follow the light of the scene we've brought it into. But right now let's deal with the shadow. I got black for the foreground, I get my paint brush, and I'm going to get that spatter brush, and I'm going go into my brush engine. And here we can kind of leave it like that, it doesn't matter, we'll give it just the angle so that it's a little different. Then down here start painting with black, and let's bring that Opacity all the way up. And we're going to start painting our shadow right into this area down here just in there like that, there is our shadow that this thing is casting.
You notice that I'm getting away from this part right here because that's a wall there that we want to keep. So we'll erase any parts that we don't need, so let's just keep going, and I'm going to start clicking away just like that. And I'm going to take that and put that in Multiply mode and reduce its Opacity, so it starts to become a much softer shadow down below. The way this shadow would work since it's way down below, it should get a little softer in certain areas. So let's get a little closer and start to see our shadow.
What I'm going to do now is I'm going to give that shadow a layer mask, and that layer mask I'm going to go and get a nice soft edged brush, make sure that Hardness is brought down. And I'm going to go in there, and I'm going to bring down the Opacity to about 50% and using black I'm going to start to paint that shadow to soften it up and make sure that it's not seen at all on the top of these rocks here. So let's go in there and just paint it out completely, I'm masking it in the mask right there so it's not visible through that area. There we have this long shadow down in there.
Now, in the castle itself, now I'm going to go in here, and I'm going to create these shadows in a separate layer, I can easily adjust them if I need to. I'm going to go in here, and I'm going to paint some black right on top of this and paint some blacks right up in here. And then I'm going to go in here and very carefully start to paint some blacks. Now I'm not going to do it that careful because in fact this just for demo purposes but I'll go in there and start to darken these little areas right in here just for this side of my castle and some of these areas in here.
And you can see I'm going a little over it, it doesn't matter that I'm going over because of the fact that this will all be masked. So now I got all these darker tones on the sides of my castle right through here, get all this nice and dark. Then I'm going to go ahead and clip this, Option-click on these two so that they clip into place, and there we could see that now it's been hidden inside of the actual area of the castle, and I'm going to bring down the Opacity just a little bit and put that in Multiply mode, so it's going to just darken those tones, and then we can pull back, and we look at the overall scene, and we see that our castle is now floating in space, right above our land, and we have a whole little fairy tale scene.
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