Incredible Fried Chicken Rocket Launch Effect Photoshop CC Tutorial

Learn to convert a place of delicious fried chicken to a fiery space shuttle launch with a few layer effects!

We’ll learn about color, dodge and burn, masking, adjustment layers, and creating cool unexpected effects for photo manipulation.

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Tutorial Recording Notes:

Disclaimer: these are the actual notes I used to record this video and are written in a language you may or may not understand. Hopefully, you find them useful or cool.

Moon Photoshop Brushes: https://www.brusheezy.com/brushes/59191-26-moon-phases-ps-brushes-abr-vol-5

Smoke Photoshop Brushes: https://www.brusheezy.com/brushes/58781-free-smoke-photoshop-brushes-16

Moon Sky Landscape: https://unsplash.com/photos/HAAq_zesf-Y

Chicken Stock Photo: https://stock.adobe.com/images/chicken-wings-in-breading/200769675?prev_url=detail

Shuttle Stock Photo: https://stock.adobe.com/images/space-shuttle-launch-in-the-clouds/114089895

  1. Grab the resources
  2. Note that I patched over the moon and repainted it in the top corner with the Brush tool + moon brushes
  3. Cut out the chicken using Select Subject and Select and Mask
  4. Bring the chicken into the landscape photo and mask to the horizon using the Quick Selection tool to select the foreground sand and mask
  5. Use a Smoke brush (200px or so) and roughen up the bottom edge of the chicken where it meets the horizon
  6. Invert Adjustment Layer and clip it to the chicken
  7. Gradient Map with fire gradient and clip to the chicken (share hex codes)
  8. Curves adjustment layer: flatten contrast three blocks for both white/black points, one cyan block into the black point of Red channel, half block of green into white point, two blocks yellow to white point and one block blue to black point
  9. LUT, Bleach Bypass set to Soft Light
  10. Cut out the shuttle using the Pen Tool, or Poly Lasso, or manual masking, etc…
  11. Resize the shuttle to about 700px tall for this image
  12. Place above the “fire”
  13. Clip a Curves adjustment layer to this shuttle and reduce the contrast by one block on both white and black points
  14. Create the rocket trails by perspective transforming white rectangles and paint texture into the edges using the Smoke brushes
  15. Mask away the trails that already exist behind the shuttle to match up with the new rocket trails
  16. Add an outer glow to each of these: peach/yellow color, 25px size, Overlay
  17. Group the rocket trails together and use a larger smoke brush to mask these trails into the explosion
  18. Create new layer above everything and add a 1000px, soft dab of white and set to Linear Dodge (Add) and tick off Transparency Shapes Layer and reduce Fill Opacity to 15%
  19. Duplicate that layer, set to Screen, and set Fill Opacity back to 100%
  20. Hue/Sat this layer, tick on Colorize, H:30, S:70, B:-60 and then drag this layer below the white layer and move it downward in the image to cast an orange light on the ground
  21. Roughly paint the front side of the ridges with black and set blend mode to Soft Light and blur a bunch to create a shadow.
  22. Duplicate this layer and blur more.
  23. Add additional layers to build out a multi-layered shadow (I used 3x)
  24. Add Masks to these layers and use smoke brushes to give the edges a more organic look
  25. Create 50% gray layer and set to Overlay and dodge/burn to build out the shadows of the bottom of the explosion
  26. Add Curves adjustment layer and pull down on the center to darken it up, set the layer to Multiply and reduce the opacity to 50%
  27. Fill the mask with black and then use white smoke brushes to dust in more shadows along the horizon and bottom side of the flames
  28. Add a Gradient Map adjustment #0d051f to #e53a27 and set to Soft Light
  29. Add another Curves layer and reduce contrast two blocks on white/black points and mask into just the flames area
  30. New layer, add big white blob and Hue/Sat: H:+30, S:+80, B:-40 and then blur this shape 175px and set to Linear Dodge (Add) and tick off “Transparency Shapes Layer” and reduce Fill Opacity to 50%