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
- Grab the resources
- Note that I patched over the moon and repainted it in the top corner with the Brush tool + moon brushes
- Cut out the chicken using Select Subject and Select and Mask
- Bring the chicken into the landscape photo and mask to the horizon using the Quick Selection tool to select the foreground sand and mask
- Use a Smoke brush (200px or so) and roughen up the bottom edge of the chicken where it meets the horizon
- Invert Adjustment Layer and clip it to the chicken
- Gradient Map with fire gradient and clip to the chicken (share hex codes)
- 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
- LUT, Bleach Bypass set to Soft Light
- Cut out the shuttle using the Pen Tool, or Poly Lasso, or manual masking, etc…
- Resize the shuttle to about 700px tall for this image
- Place above the “fire”
- Clip a Curves adjustment layer to this shuttle and reduce the contrast by one block on both white and black points
- Create the rocket trails by perspective transforming white rectangles and paint texture into the edges using the Smoke brushes
- Mask away the trails that already exist behind the shuttle to match up with the new rocket trails
- Add an outer glow to each of these: peach/yellow color, 25px size, Overlay
- Group the rocket trails together and use a larger smoke brush to mask these trails into the explosion
- 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%
- Duplicate that layer, set to Screen, and set Fill Opacity back to 100%
- 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
- 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.
- Duplicate this layer and blur more.
- Add additional layers to build out a multi-layered shadow (I used 3x)
- Add Masks to these layers and use smoke brushes to give the edges a more organic look
- Create 50% gray layer and set to Overlay and dodge/burn to build out the shadows of the bottom of the explosion
- 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%
- 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
- Add a Gradient Map adjustment #0d051f to #e53a27 and set to Soft Light
- Add another Curves layer and reduce contrast two blocks on white/black points and mask into just the flames area
- 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%
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