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Creepy Grey Metal Skull by Salazar

Creepy Grey Metal Skull by Salazar

Skull” is Colombian digital artist Santiago Betancur Salazar’s last project. Salazar has his own website, which exhibits his fabulous works with different styles. The reason why he presents his “Skull” here is he loves skull, so he shares his works.

Photos belows generally show Salazar’s working process with “Skull” by Photoshop. Skull itself is terrific enough, and Salazar created this “Skull” with creepy grey metal effects. The exquisite vein and muscle details prove Salazar’s skills and attitude. No matter seeing from the front or from the profile, Salazar’s Skull is naturally mixed together with its background, a grey metal skull emerging from its gray tenacious and unbreakable background.

Skull-01
Skull-02
Skull-03
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Skull-05

Create a Realistic 3D Snooker Ball in Photoshop

Create a Realistic 3D Snooker Ball in Photoshop

In this tutorial, it will demonstrate you how to create a realistic 3D snooker ball. It is not difficult to make. Hope you will find it interesting. To create a 3D design, the shadow and reflection are always the most important elements to think of. Once you get familiar, your design will become awesome.

My final result for the 3D snooker balls will be as this:

Full-Size-for-Snooker-L

1. The first thing to do is the background. Choose the combination colour brown & yellow – #bdc68d .

Create a Shiny 3D Snooker Ball in Photoshop1

2. Combine it with my chosen texture and set the opacity = 50% as below. (You can download the texture from http://www.flickr.com/photos/bittbox/2118265369/sizes/l/

Create a Shiny 3D Snooker Ball in Photoshop2

3. After complete the background, we can actually create the snooker ball. And I have chosen the ball in brown colour – #b79e3a. Using Elliptical Marquee Tool to make a simple circle, then fill the colour by gradient tool >radial gradient as below.

Create a Shiny 3D Snooker Ball in Photoshop3

4. The brown circle is created, we can move on the next step, making some shadow for the ball. Go to Select > Modify > Contract by 20 Pixel.

5. After the contraction, create a new layer. Then using the gradient tool to fill in the black colour and adjust the gradient editor setting as below:

Create a Shiny 3D Snooker Ball in Photoshop5

6. Using the blur tool > Gaussan Blur to the previous painted (black) colour. Set your Blur Radius = 5 pixel.

Create a Shiny 3D Snooker Ball in Photoshop7

7. You should achieve the ball similar as below. Then let’s go to make the reflection effect for the ball.

Create a Shiny 3D Snooker Ball in Photoshop8

8. Move the elliptical circle into the upper part. And then fill the colour in gradient > radial gradient and set the colour as below.

Create a Shiny 3D Snooker Ball in Photoshop9

9. Press ctrl, then move the pointer to the ball’s layer thumbnail. Then elliptical circle will move back to the ball. Then press ctrl + Shift + I to select the rest bit of the circle. And you can delete the colour out of the circle. You should achieve the ball as following.

Create a Shiny 3D Snooker Ball in Photoshop10

10. Using the above-mentioned skill, make the elliptical circle and apply the contraction to the circle set the radius as 6 pixel. Fill the circle in white colour and set Opacity into 80%. Then repeat the same step to make one more circle with 8 pixel. Then delete the colour inside the small circle. Use the eraser to make the upper bit reflection, it should be like the curve at final

Here you have to try the adjustment of Opacity & blur until the result reaches your satisfaction because the strength of reflection really rely on these adjustments. Here you go, it is my result.

11. For the shadow at the bottom, you just need to simply create an ellipse circle by elliptical circle tool, fill it in black by “paint bucket tool”. Apply the blur > Gaussian Blur into 6 – 8 pixel.

Create a Shiny 3D Snooker Ball in Photoshop11

12. The last step is to simply add a white circle in the centre and add the number.

Full-Size-for-Snooker2-2

13. Duplicate the layers, to create one more ball in red, and you should be able to achieve the scene as below.

Full-Size-for-Snooker-L

Hope you can enjoy and this tutorial can give you an idea to develop your personal 3D object.

Thank you very much!

Deal of the Week: Gorgeous Gioviale Script Font

Deal of the Week: Gorgeous Gioviale Script Font

Script fonts have their issues. They can be bold and brash, yet legible. Or they can be beautifully curvaceous, yet a bit tough to decipher. What you need is a font that’s “just right.” The perfect balance between the two is the Gioviale typeface from Laura Worthington.

This gorgeous script font includes 300 swashes, more than 1,000 glyphs, 20 ornaments, 20 discretionary ligatures and more! Gioviale is available as both a Desktop font (files delivered in .OTF and .TTF formats) and Web font (supplied as .EOT, .SVG, .TTF, and .WOFF formats). The Desktop version is compatible with both Mac and Windows.

2014-06-16_174219

Gioviale normally sells for $37 (for the Desktop version), but for a limited time only, you can get this practical and pretty script font for only $15! That’s almost 60% off the regular price! OR get both the Desktop and Web Font versions together for just $22!

How to Create an Eye Catching Digital Illustration

How to Create an Eye Catching Digital Illustration

In this tutorial, we’re going to teach you how to use simple elements at your disposal and combine them to create an eye catching digital illustration. We will work through techniques like lighting placement, clipping masks, shadows and more. If you want to improve your Illustration skills and composition then this tutorial is for you.

Final Preview

Tutorial Details

Completion Time: 1 hour 30 mins
Stock: Beauty – http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-3736351-beauty.php

Step 1

Open up Photoshop and import your stock photo, I used Beauty From IstockPhoto in this case. Once you have the stock photo opened up, duplicate the layer by right clicking on the background layer and hitting duplicate layer (CTRL + J). Its always good to have a copy of your original present in your composition.

Now let’s add a Image adjustment, go up to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map and use the default Gradient Black to White, now drop the opacity of the layer down to 52% and set the blending mode to Luminosity.

Go up to Layer>New Fill Layer>Gradient and hit the OK button and choose a gradient that runs Dark Blue(#0e272f) to Light Blue(#5993a4) Now set the Blending mode of that layer to Screen and erase parts of the layer that you do not want.

Step 2

Now get yourself a Bubble C4D that you like and import it into the image, Position it where you want it and change the Blending mode to Linear Dodge. I positioned the Bubble C4D on the Bottom part of her shoulder.

Now go up to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Brightness and Contrast – Set your Brightness to +27 and your contrast to +39 and hit OK.

After setting up a new adjustment layer, create a new layer by going to Layer>New>Layer (CTRL + SHIFT + N) and Fill it with Black(#000000) set the blending options of the layer to Linear Dodge and grab your Brush Tool from your toolbar. I used a 500px sizes brush with bright orange(#ff6b00) and Faded Red(#7f1618) to Create two large lighting circles. I then scaled down the brush and used a soft white brush to just add some lighting depth to the circles and this is what it looked like without the blending mode active.

Step 3

We are going to use this step to add a few adjustment layers to our piece. Firstly go up to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map and choose the stock Purple(#290a59) to Orange(#ff7c00) Gradient and set the blending mode to Screen and the Fill to 13%.

Now go up to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves bend the curve slightly down, you will have to play around with the curves to get your desired depth on the image itself. Now go up to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels and set your levels to 6 – 1.13 – 253

After setting up those adjustment layers, you should have the outcome show below:

Step 4

Now we will create a new layer by going to Layer>New>Layer and then grab your gradient tool, (Shift + G) then set your gradient colors: Orange(#ff7c00) to Pink(#cc0033) and drag it from the top left hand corner to the right bottom corner and then set your blending mode to Soft Light and your Opacity to 30%. Be sure to erase any part of the gradient you don’t like.

The next part I used a Lighting Image that I download from Barton Damer that he shared with us last year, but he has since removed the pack for download and I am not able to share the full image with you guys, sorry for that. What I would have done is get hold of some long exposure photos that either you have taken or bought from somewhere. I integrated the image into the composition and set the blending mode to Linear Dodge and the opacity at 87%

Step 5

Now you are going to create a scatter brush, choose your brush tool (B) and choose a reasonably small size brush in the range of 2px – 5px and a Hardness of 100% and then go to Window>Brushes now check out the settings in the images below.

After setting up your brush create a new layer by going to Layer>New>Layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) and then choose white as your foreground color and brush along the lines of your previous layer, the lighting effect/exposure shot. You should have something like this.

Step 6

In this step we are going to use parts of the image itself to create a new element to use, Firstly create a new layer by going to Layer>New>Layer and then go to Image>Apply Image (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E) now grab your marquee tool and draw a small rectangle on her face, you can choose where, but I chose across her nose and eye and then hit (Ctrl + Shift + C) That merge copies the current selection.

Now create a New Layer by going to Layer>New>Layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) and then go up to Edit>Paste this will paste the copied piece in a new layer. Now go to Edit>Free Transform (Ctrl + T) and rotate the selection 45 Degrees.

Now set the Blending Mode to Soft Light and Move it down into the Lighting Area, I copied the selection twice and just moved them around on top of each other to create a vibrant feel. I also erased the parts that I don’t like to blend it in better.

Step 7

Now create a new layer by going to Layer>New>Layer and fill that layer with black(#000000) now set the blending mode of that layer to Linear Dodge and Grab your Brush tool, use a moderate size tool of about 500px with hardness set to 0%. Use a Dark Yellow(#f38d30) as your foreground color and brush in the bottom left corner of the piece. Remember to brush on the same layer that you filled with black. Now with the same layer selected go up to Filter>Blur>Radial Blur and use the zoom effect at 100% you should have something like this.

Next I used a Smoke Image that I got from SXC – http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=788872 and imported it into the composition. I then set the blending mode to Linear Dodge and set the Opacity to 27% I then Used Free Transform Edit>Free Transform to rotate the image to the left a bit and move it down into the comp to compliment the flushed lighting at the bottom.

I then created a new layer Layer>New>Layer and filled it with black(#000000) I then went to Filter>Noise>Add Noise and set it to 33% Uniform and Monochromatic noise and hit OK. I then went to Image>Adjustments>Levels and used the settings below:

Now set the Blending Mode of the layer to Linear Dodge and the Opacity to 37% and erase the areas over her face and the areas you don’t want. You should have something like this.

Step 8

In this step we will be leveling out the lighting in the piece a bit. Firstly create a new layer by going to Layer>New>Layer and then grabbing your brush tool at a medium size set the blending mode to Linear Dodge and then use a bright color ex.yellow or white to fill in the lighting gaps on the left hand side of the image, play around with the strength of the brush to determine how bright you want the actual brushing to be.

Next create another new layer and then set the blending mode to Linear Dodge now with the same brush choose a Soft Green (#c1b568) and brush it along the side of her eye, above her cheek.

Next create another new layer and set the blending mode to Linear Dodge and now using a bit larger brush with the color Pink(#c03369) brush on the bottom of the image to equal the pink at the bottom. You should have something like this.

Step 9

Now create a new layer by going to Layer>New>layer and then grabbing your brush tool and picking a nice splatter brush to use. Now brush on the back of her neck with the splatters moving away from her. Now hide that layer and create a new layer. Now go to Image>Apply Image and then unhide the layer that you previously hid that contains the splatter brushing now with the new applied image layer selected press (Ctrl + G) or right click on the layer and select Create Clipping mask. Now grab your Move tool (V) and then move the image around, you will see the image moving around within your splattered brush. Move the image around until you are totally satisfied with it.

Now Create a New another New Layer and select your Brush tool, but a normal Large soft brush ex 900px now select a soft blue color(#00acec) and brush on the bottom of the image on the right hand side, Now select Pink (#c03369) and brush on the left hand side, after you have brushed set the Blending mode of the layer to Linear Dodge.

Now go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Black and White and then hit OK. Set the Opacity to 53% and then erase parts of the layer that cover her face and the colors on the bottom. You should have something like this.

Step 10

We will start off by going to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map and then use the default black to white gradient and set the blending mode to Multiply and then erase the sections that you don’t want part of the gradient map.
Now in this section grab your Polygonal Lasso Tool (Shift + L) and then make a selection in the upper section of the piece that runs 45 degrees like seen below.

Now create a New Layer by going to Layer>New>Layer and then grab your gradient tool and set the gradient- white to nothing. And then drag your gradient tool from the top right to the bottom left within the selection then deselect the selection by going to Select>Deselect and then change the blending mode of your layer to Overlay and the Opacity to 58%. Now repeat that process about another two times putting them where you want them to be and where it suites your image.

Step 11

Now use the same scatter brush technique that you used in STEP 5 and Create a New Layer and fill it with Black then set the Blending mode to Color Dodge and opacity to 82% and then use a White scatter brush, a bit larger than the previous one though. Brush along your exposure lines and erase the parts you don’t like.

Now create a new layer by going to Layer>New>Layer and then go to your brush tool and select a 19px hard brush and then grab your pen tool (P) now drag a line on your earlier copied face layers and then stroke that layer with simulate pressure, offset it a little bit though. Set the Blending mode of the layer to Overlay and now repeat that process on the other edges of the copied piece.

You should have something like this:

Step 12

Create a New Layer and fill it with black. Set the Blending mode to Linear Dodge and Opacity to 60% now grab a Large Soft Brush and use the color Blue(#00acec) and brush on the bottom right hand side of the image and then use a soft Pink(#ff74d1) brush in the middle on the right hand side. You can use the colors that match your image if you aren’t following my exact tutorial.

Create a New Layer and then go to Image>Apply Image now go up to Filter>Liquify then use the Twirl Brush in the Liquify toolset and create random swirls and motions. Hit OK when you’re done and then set the Blending mode of the Layer to Lighter Color and erase all the parts that you do not want present in the image.

Now create another new layer and then set the Blending Mode to Color Dodge and grab your Brush Tool and select a Large Soft Brush and use the color Purple(#3b2d82) to light up the top of her head on the right hand side. You should have something like this.

Step 13

Create a Gradient map by going to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map and use the Default Black to White Gradient and set the Blending Mode to Luminosity and the Opacity to 44% Now create a new layer and use a Soft Pink brush(#ff4dd7) and brush on her check for some shine.

Now Create a new Layer by going to Layer>New>Layer and then setting your brush size to 10px and then grabbing your pen tool. Now Drag a small line with your pen tool and then stroke that line with Simulate Pressure and delete the path by right clicking>Delete Path. Now with the Layer selected hit (Ctrl + J) or right click on the layer and hit Duplicate Layer. Now use the Free Transform (Ctrl+T) tool to rotate the stripe 90 degrees. On the same layer grab your brush tool and increase the size of the brush and use it to make a dot in the middle of the corresponding stripes. Now press (Ctrl + E) to merge one layer down. Now move the star around to where you want to place it. Now duplicate it by right clicking on the layer and pressing Duplicate Layer and then move it around to another place. Play around a bit by duplicating them and resizing them to suite your needs. You should have something similar to me below.

Step 14

Last but not least create a new gradient map by going to Layer>New Adjustment Layer >Gradient map and choose the blue(#0a00b2) to Red(#ff0000) to Yellow(#fffc00) gradient and then hit OK. Set your Blending mode on the Layer to Soft Light and The Opacity to 18% and you’re done.

Thanks for reading the tutorial.

About the Author

Artist: Jacques van Heerden // An1ken
Portfolio: www.an1ken.net
Twitter: @An1ken – www.twitter.com/An1ken
Blog: www.creativeoverflow.net

Top 20 User Interface Design in Photoshop

Top 20 User Interface Design in Photoshop

Sometimes, you may find it difficult to look for some of the highest quality photoshop tutorials using search engines. As most of time, almost all tutorials would label themselves to be good, high quality or even the best photoshop tutorial you can find. When searching through all these tutorials, your time is wasted.

In order to save your time, Photoshop Lady come up with Top 20 User Interface Design in Photoshop. These are selected from our Photoshop users and readers.

How to Create a Piece of Heaven in Photoshop

How to Create a Piece of Heaven in Photoshop

In this tutorial I am going to show you how to create a piece of Heaven in Photoshop. This photo manipulation is inspired by the Metuzalem website and I would like to thank Tajana for allowing me to write this tutorial. I’m very grateful to her.

Also, I would like to thank all the photographers and artists for their wonderful stock images and for the permission to use them. This tutorial would never be possible without they: resurgere, SimplyBackgrounds, ro-stock, nighthawk663, Disney-Stock, WammyP, indeed-stock, Enchantedgal-Stock, redheadstock, Tasastock, Momotte2stocks, Kristina Mileva, Jan Flaska, Marina García, Claudia Meyer, Martin Hurry, Hilde Vanstraelen, clix, Sheila and magstefan.

All the images from deviantArt have specific rules and everyone who is planning to use them on anymore than just following the tutorial should read those rules and ask the photographer’s permission to use them.

Final Result

This is a Piece of Heaven we are about to make. You can see the final result bellow. Also, you can check out the larger version here.

Step 1 – Setting up the document

First, download this image and open it in Photoshop. You can adjust the dimensions of your image by going to Image > Image Size. My image is 1125px wide by 1334px height. Now we want to get rid of the moon because it doesn’t fit with what we are going to create in this tutorial. Select the Clone Stamp Tool (S), select a soft brush with the diameter of 250-300px and use it to erase the moon. Then select the Smudge Tool, chose a big soft brush, set the Strength to 25% and use this tool to get rid of the traces left by the Clone Stamp Tool.

Step 2 – Adding a Lens Flare filter

Create a new layer and fill it with black using the Paint Bucket Tool (G). Right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object. This way you will be able to modify any filter you apply to this layer anytime you want. Then go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare and use the settings from the following image. Set the blend mode of this layer to Linear Dodge (Add) and name it “lens flare.”

Step 3 – Creating mist

From now on, we are going to use groups to keep everything organized. Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “island.” Create another group inside the “island” group, and name this one “mist.” Download these Photoshop brushes and install them. Create a new layer, set the foreground color to white, select one of the brushes you downloaded and use it to create mist in the center of your image. Fell free to use as many layers and brushes you want.

Step 4 – Creating the base of the island

Create a new group and name this one “rocks.” Download this image and open it in Photoshop. Double-click on the “Background” layer to unlock it. Then use the Magic Wand Tool (W) to select the sky, and then hit Delete.

Step 5

Move the rocks into your first document using the Move Tool (V). Then right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Go to Edit > Free Transform (Ctrl+T), hold down the Shift key and scale this layer down. Flip this layer horizontally (Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal) and vertically (Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical), and then name it “rocks.”

Step 6 – Masking the rocks

Add a mask to the “rocks” layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All), select a black brush with a diameter of 30px and with the hardness around 60%, and then mask some parts of the rocks like I did. You can let the top of the rocks as it is because it will be covered by grass later.

Step 7 – Adding light to the rocks

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and create a curve like I did. Then fill the mask of this layer with black, select a white soft brush and paint with it over some areas of the rocks. Take a look at the following image for reference.

Step 8 – Adding shadow to the rocks

Go again to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and create a curve like I did. Then fill the mask of this layer with black, select a white soft brush and paint with it over some areas of the rocks.

Step 9 – Adjusting the brightness and the contrast

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Step 10 – Masking the rocks

Add a mask to the “rocks” group, select a big black soft brush with the opacity around 50% and mask the edge of the island, to be able to see just a little the light that is coming behind it.

Step 11 – Adding the grass

Create a new group and name it “grass.” Then download this image, open it in Photoshop, move it into your first document using the Move Tool (V) and name this layer “grass.”

Step 12

Add a black mask to the “grass” layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All). Now the grass should disappear, but don’t worry, it’s still there. Set the foreground color to white, select the Brush Tool (B) and use a brush with a diameter of 40px and with a hardness of 55% to paint over the top of the island. Take a look at the following image for reference.

Step 13 – Adjusting the light and the shadow of the grass

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Step 14

Now we are going to make the bottom area of the grass layer darker. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image. Then fill the mask of this layer with black, select a white soft brush and paint with it over the bottom area of the grass.

Step 15

Now we are going to make the top of the grass layer brighter. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image. Then fill the mask of this layer with black, select a white soft brush and paint with it over the top area of the grass.

Step 16

The passing between the rocks and the grass is not very realistic right now. To correct this, hold down the Alt key, click on the “grass” layer in the Layers palette and drag a copy of it beneath the original one. Then click on the mask of this layer to activate it, select a white soft brush, and paint with it over the area beneath the original grass layer. Set the opacity of this layer to Soft Light.

Step 17 – Adding a fence

Download this photo, open it in Photoshop and use the Pen Tool (P) to cut out the fence. To remove the hydrant you can use the Clone Stamp Tool (S). Then move the fence into your document, right-click on it and select Convert to Smart Object. Go to Edit > Free Transform (Ctrl+T), hold down the Shift key, scale this layer down, and put the fence on your island. Name this layer “fence”, then put it inside a new group and name the group “fence” too.

Step 18

Add a mask to the “fence” layer, select a black little soft brush, set the opacity of this brush around 40% and mask the bottom area of the fence, to look like it is really there.

Step 19 – Adding a shadow to the fence

Ctrl-click on the “fence” layer’s thumbnail to select it, create a new layer and fill the selection with black. Then go to Edit > Free Transform, right-click on the image, select Flip Vertical, move this layer at the bottom of the fence, hold down the Ctrl key and move the middle bottom control handle like I did. Set the opacity of this layer to 20%, move it beneath the “fence” layer and name it “shadow.”

Step 20 – Adding a cave

Create a new group and name it “cave.” Download this photo, open it in Photoshop, use the Pen Tool (P) to cut out the cave, and then move it into your document using the Move Tool (V). Right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Go to Edit > Free Transform (Ctrl+T), right-click on the image and select Flip Horizontal, then hold down the Shift key and scale this layer down. Go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask and use the settings from the following image. Name this layer “cave.”

Step 21

Add a mask to this layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All), select a brush with a hardness of 80% and use it to erase the straight edges of the cave.

Step 22

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Step 23

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Step 24

Now we are going to make the bottom of the cave darker. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and create a curve like I did. Then fill the mask of this layer with black, select a white soft brush (B) and paint with it over the bottom part of the cave.

Step 25

Now we are going to make the top of the cave brighter. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image. Then fill the mask of this layer with black, select a white soft brush (B) and paint with it over the top area of the cave.

Step 26 – Adding a shadow to the cave

Ctrl-click on the “cave” layer’s thumbnail to select the cave, then hold down the keys Ctrl+Alt+Shift and click on the mask of the “cave” layer. Now you should have only the cave selected. Create a new layer beneath the “cave” layer, fill it with black and name it “shadow.”

Go to Edit > Transform >Flip Vertical and move the “shadow” layer at the bottom of the cave. Then go to Edit > Free Transform (Ctrl+T), hold down the Ctrl key and transform the shadow like I did by moving the middle bottom control handle of the Free Transform box.

Now there is an empty area at the bottom of the cave because of the cave’s entry. Use a black brush to fill that area. Then right-click on the “shadow” layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and add a gaussian blur of 3px. Set the opacity of the “shadow” layer to 60%. Then you can use a layer mask and a black soft brush to mask the area of the shadow which looks too dark.

Step 27 – Adding trees

Download this image, open it in Photoshop, move the tree into your document using the Move Tool (V) and put it in the front of the cave. Right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Go to Edit > Free Transform, hold down the Shift key and scale this layer down. Then go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask and use the settings from the following image. Name this layer “tree.”

Step 28

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Step 29

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Step 30

Put the “tree” layer and the two adjustment layers inside a group and name the group “tree 1.” Then add a mask to this group and use a black soft brush to mask the bottom part of the tree.

Step 31

Create a shadow for the tree, just like you did with the fence and the cave.

Step 32

Create more trees and put them on the island. Organize all these layers using groups. Take a look at the following image for reference.

Step 33 – Adding an angel statue

Download this image, open it in Photoshop, use the Pen Tool (P) to cut out the angel statue and move it into your document using the Move Tool (V). Right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Name this layer “angel”, put it inside a group and name the group “angel” too. Go to Edit > Free Transform (Ctrl+T), hold down the Shift key and scale this layer down. Add a mask to this layer and use a black soft brush to mask the bottom part of the angel.

Step 35

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Step 36

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and create a curve like I did. Fill the mask of this layer with black, select a white soft brush and paint with it over some areas of the angel to make them darker.

Step 37

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and create a curve like I did. Fill the mask of this layer with black, select a white soft brush and paint with it over some areas of the angel to make them brighter.

Step 38

Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “ivy.” Then download this image, open it in Photoshop and move it into your document using the Move Tool (V). Right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Go to Edit > Free Transform, hold down the Shift key and scale this layer down. Put the plant at the bottom of the angel statue and name this layer “ivy.”

Step 39

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Then go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and create a curve like I did. Fill the mask of this layer with black, select a white soft brush and paint with it over the bottom area of the plant to make it darker.

Step 40

Download this bonsai photo and open it in Photoshop. To separate the tree from the background go to Select > Color Range, hold down the Shift key, and click on the background many times until it turns white in the Color Range window. Then go to Select > Inverse to inverse the selection and hit Ctrl+J to put the selection into a new layer. To delete the pot you can use the Pen Tool (P).

Step 41

Move the tree into your document using the Move Tool (V). Name this layer “bonsai”, put it inside a group and name the group “bonsai” too. Right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object, go to Edit > Free Transform (Ctrl+T), hold down the Shift key and scale this layer down.

Add a mask to the “bonsai” layer and use a black small soft brush to mask the tree’s roots. Then go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask and use the settings from the following image.

Step 42

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Step 43

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and create a curve like I did. Fill the mask of this layer with black, select a white soft brush and paint with it over some areas of the tree to make them darker.

Then go again to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and create a curve like I did. Fill the mask of this layer with black, select a white soft brush and paint with it over some areas of the tree to make them brighter.

Step 44

Add a shadow to the bonsai, just like you did with the fence, the cave and the trees.

Step 45

Download this quartz image, open it in Photoshop and use the Magic Wand Tool (W) to remove the black background. Move the quartz into your document, right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Go to Edit > Free Transform (Ctrl+T) and scale this layer down. Then put the quartz in the right side of the island. Name this layer “quartz”, put it inside a new group and name the group “quartz” too.

Step 46

Add a black mask to the “quartz” layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All). Now the quartz should disappear from your image, but don’t worry, it’s still there. Select a white brush with a hardness of 50% and paint with this brush over the area where you want the quartz to become visible.

Step 47

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and create a curve like I did. Fill the mask of this layer with black, select a white soft brush and paint with it over the area where the quartz touches the island.

Step 48

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Then go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Step 49 – Adding stairs

Download this image, open it in Photoshop and use the Pen Tool to cut out the stairs. Then move the stairs into your first document using the Move Tool (V). Right-click on this layer, select Convert to Smart Object and name this layer “stairs.” Go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Then go to Edit > Free Transform (Ctrl+T), hold down the Shift key and scale this layer down. Put this layer inside a group and name the group “stairs.”

Step 50

Add a mask to the “stairs” layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All), select a black brush with a hardness of 60% and use it to mask the bottom area of the stairs.

Step 51

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Then go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Then go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and create a curve like I did. Fill the mask of this layer with black, select a white soft brush and paint with it over the right and bottom areas of the stairs to make them darker.

Step 52 – Adding a rock

Download this package of photos and open the image “pkg_bot015.jpg” in Photoshop. Use the Pen Tool (P) and Color Range (Select > Color Range) to separate the rock from the background (or you can use the Quick Selection Tool (W) instead of Color Range).

Move the rock into your document using the Move Tool (V), right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Name this layer “rock” and put it inside a new group. Name the group “rock” too.

Select the “rock” layer, go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Then go to Edit > Free Transform (Ctrl+T), scale this layer down and put it in the right side of the stairs. Then add a mask to this layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All), select a white brush with a hardness of 50% and use it to mask the bottom area of the rock. Take a look at the following image for reference.

Step 53

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Then go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and create a curve like I did. Fill the mask of this layer with black, select a white soft brush and paint with it over the bottom area of the rock to make it darker.

Then go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Channel Mixer, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Step 54 – Adding a tap

Download this photo, use the Pen Tool to cut out the tap and move it into your document. Right-click on this layer, select Convert to Smart object, and then name it “tap.” Then go to Edit > Free Transform and scale this layer down. Add a mask to this layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All) and use a black soft brush to mask the area where the tap touches the island. Put this layer inside a new group and name the group “tap & water.”

Step 55

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Step 56 – Adding the water

Download this image, open it in Photoshop and use the Pen Tool (P) to cut out the water.

Step 57

Move the water into your document using the Move Tool (V). Right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Go to Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical, and then go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.

Then go to Edit > Free Transform (Ctrl+T), hold down the Shift key, scale this layer down and move the water at the bottom of the tap to look like it’s coming out of it. Set the opacity of this layer to 90%, name it “water” and put it beneath the “tap” layer.

Step 58

Add a mask to the “water” layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All), select a black soft brush and paint with it over the bottom area of the water. Then select a smaller brush and, if necessary, paint with it over the area where the water is coming out of the tap.

Step 59

Duplicate the “water” layer by hitting Ctrl+J. Then go to Filter > Blur > Radial Blur and use the settings from the following image. Set the blend mode of this layer to Screen, the opacity to 70% and then name it “water 70% screen.”

Step 60

Duplicate the layer which you have created at the previous step by hitting Ctrl+J. Set the blend mode of this layer to Linear Light, the opacity to 30% and then name it “water 30% Linear Light.”

Step 61 – Adding pigeons

We can’t have a Heaven scene without pigeons, right? So, create a new group and name it “pigeons.” Then download this image, open it in Photoshop and use the Pen Tool (P) to cut out the bird. Move the pigeon into your document using the Move Tool. Right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Go to Edit > Free Transform, hold down the Shift key and scale this layer down. Name this layer “big pigeon.”

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Step 62 – Adding a lens flare

Create a new layer beneath the “big pigeon” layer and fill it with black. Right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Then go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare and use the settings from the following image. Set the blend mode of this layer to Linear Dodge (Add) and name it “lens flare.”

Step 63 – Adding more pigeons

Here are some pigeons photos that you can use. Download these photos, open them in Photoshop and use the Pen Tool (P) to cut out all those pigeons. As usual, move each pigeon into your document using the Move Tool (V) and convert each layer into a smart object (right-click on the layer and select Convert to Smart Object). Then go to Edit > Free Transform, hold down the Shift key and scale each layer down. Use the Move Tool (V) to put each pigeon where you want, and then name all these layers.

You can use the same pigeon more times in your photo manipulation. Just duplicate a pigeon layer and go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Then go to Edit > Free Transform (Ctrl+T), hold down the Shift key, scale the new layer down and move it in a different place. If you look closely to the following image you will see that the pigeon from the angel’s hand is the same pigeon from the cave.

Step 64

Use some Brightness/Contrast adjustment layers to add more light and contrast to the pigeons. Also, you can add a shadow to the pigeon sitting on the rock (or any other pigeon you want). To do this, create a new layer beneath that pigeon layer, select a black soft brush and paint with it over the rock. Then set the opacity of this layer to 40% and name it “shadow.”

Step 65 – Adding a divine light

Create a new group beneath the “pigeons” group and name this one “light.” Set the blend mode of this group to Linear Dodge (Add) and the opacity to 90%. Then create a new layer inside this group and use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to create a white shape like I did. Continue to create as many shapes as you want, each one in a new layer. Convert each layer into a smart object (right-click on the layer and select Convert to Smart Object) and set the opacity of each layer to 10-20%.

Step 66

Add a Gaussian Blur filter (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur) to each of the layers inside the “light” group. Use different values for this filter.

Step 67 – Adding feathers

Now we are going to add some feathers around the island. Create a new group outside of the “island” group and name it “feathers.” The download this photo, open it in Photoshop and remove the black background. Move the feather into your document using the Move Tool (V), right-click on the layer, select Convert to Smart Object and then name it “feather.” Go to Edit > Free Transform, hold down the Shift key, scale this layer down and then rotate it.

Duplicate this layer a few times and change the size and the position of each feather. Then add a Gaussian Blur filter (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur) to each of these layers using different values.

Step 68

Download these brushes, install them, set the foreground color to white and use them to create more feathers. Use a new layer for each feather.

As usual, before going to Edit > Free Transform (Ctrl+T) to modify the feathers, convert each layer into a smart object. Then add a Gaussian Blur filter (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur) to each of these layers using different values.

Step 69 – Creating stars

Create a new group and name it “stars.” Create a new layer inside this group and name this one “stars” too. Fill the “stars” layer with black, then right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and use the settings from the following image.

Add a mask to the “stars” layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All), select a big black soft brush and paint with it over the clouds and the island. We don’t want stars above those areas. You can also use this brush to mask some areas of the stars from the sky. Then set the blend mode of the “stars” layer to Screen.

Step 70

Now we are going to make the stars to look like some real stars. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels, check the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and use the settings from the following image.

Step 71 – Adding a subtle glow to the stars

Duplicate the “stars” group (right-click on it and select Duplicate Group). Then right-click on the new group and select Convert to Smart Object. Set the blend mode of this layer to Screen, and then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, use a value of 1px and click OK.

We don’t want all the stars to glow, so, add a mask to this layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All), select a black soft brush and paint with it over some areas of the stars.

Step 72 – Adding rays

Create a new group and name it “rays.” Create a new layer inside this group and name it “rays” too. Then download these brushes, install them, set the foreground color to white and use those brushes to create rays. Right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Then set the blend mode of this layer to Overlay.

Step 73

Duplicate the “rays” layer, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and use a value of 20px. Then set the opacity of this layer to 60%.

Step 74 – Creating mist

Create a new layer, set the foreground color to white and use the same brushes you used at the beginning of this tutorial (at the third step) to create mist. Set the opacity of this layer to 70% and name it “mist.” As you can see in the following image I have also used a mask. It’s up to you whether you want to use one or not.

Step 75 – Adding a quote

Select the Type Tool (T) and write a quote or anything else you want using a proper font (I used Trajan Pro). Set the opacity of this text layer to 90%.

Step 76 – Final color adjustments

Now we are going to use a technique to make the whole image more vivid. Create a new layer above all the other ones, go to Image > Apply Image and click OK. Then right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Go to Filter > Blur > Guassian Blur and use the value 6.6px. Set the blend mode of this layer to Color and the opacity to 60%.

Duplicate this layer (Ctrl+J) and then set the blend mode of the duplicated layer to Screen and the opacity to10%.

Duplicate this layer one more time and set the blend mode of this new layer to Soft Light and the opacity to 55%.

Final Result & Conclusion

Well, here we have it. Our own piece of Heaven created in Photoshop. I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial as much as I had writing it. You can see the final result bellow. Also, you can check out the larger version here.

About the Author

Ionut Ciursa is a freelance designer based in Romania. Photoshop is one of his passions and he has been using this wonderful program for about four years. He loves to share his knowledge with others through his tutorials. He is also the founder of PSDBurn where he writes Photoshop tutorials.

The 100 Most Popular Photoshop Tutorials 2009

The 100 Most Popular Photoshop Tutorials 2009

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