photoshop creative
Mar
23

Get creative with layers and masks

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
March 23, 2016

Create a dramatic composition using simple adjustment layers and mask techniques, and combine two generations

final

1. Prepare the stage

step1

Hit Cmd/Ctrl+N and name the file ‘Ageing person’. Set Width to 230mm, Height to 310mm, Resolution to 300 pixels/ inch and hit OK. Now grab the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) and draw a small selection. Go to Filter>Render>Cloud. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+T and scale the image.

2. Place the first image

step2

Place your image of the child. On the tool option bar, set Horizontal/ Vertical scale to 110%, and hit Return/Enter. Now go to Layer>Rasterize>Smart Object. Add a layer mask. Go to Layer>Layer Mask> Reveal All. Grab the Brush tool (B). Set the Foreground colour to black and start painting around the hair.

3. Insert guides

step3

Go to View>Ruler. Grab the Move tool (V). Drag a guide from the vertical ruler to the centre of the nose. Repeat to place a guide to the centre of the eyes. Place a horizontal guide running across both eyes and also under the nose.

4. Place your elderly woman

step4

Go to File>Place ‘Elderly.jpg’. Hold Shift and drag the corner handles to scale the image and hit Return/Enter (use the guides to match the proportions). Grab the Lasso tool (L), set the Feather to 1 pixel, and draw a selection around the hair.

5. Use Refine Edge

step5

On the tool option bar click Refine Edge. Check the Smart Radius box, set the Radius to 2 pixels. Grab the Refine Radius tool (E) and brush over the hair to add fine details and then hit OK.

6. Create a transition

step6

Hit Cmd/Ctrl+H to hide the guides. Grab a large soft tip brush (B), make sure the Foreground colour is set to black, and gently start painting over the mask to hide the bottom part of the image, creating a seamless transition between the layers.

7. Add an adjustment layer

step7

Now duplicate the Child layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J). Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Set Radius to 5 pixels and hit OK. Add an adjustment layer. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels. Check ‘Use previous layer to create a clipping mask’ and hit OK. Set Input Levels to 0, 0.58, 255.

8. Make more adjustments

step8

Now click on the Elderly layer. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer> Vibrance, and set Vibrance to +35 and Saturation to -20. Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment, Brightness: 14 and Contrast: 6. Add a Photo Filter adjustment, choose Filter: Cyan, Density: 25%.

9. Use the Gradient tool

step9

Create a new layer. Grab the Rectangular Marquee tool and draw a selection on the bottom half. Grab the Gradient tool (G). Open the Gradient Editor and set the colours to #31EAFF and #00435C. Change to Radial and fill the selection. Set the blending mode to Multiply, Opacity to 75%.

10. Add splashes

step10

Insert an image of the edge of some water. Grab the Magic Wand tool (W). Set Tolerance to 50, check Contiguous and select the white area. Hit Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the selection and then go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. Hit Cmd/ Ctrl+U and set the Saturation to -30.

11. Place the bubbles

step11

Place some bubbles. Change the blend mode to Screen. Go to Filter>Blur>GaussianBlur. Set Radius to 5 pixels and hit OK. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Set Hue: 195, Saturation: 50 and Lightness: -40. Add a layer mask and hide unwanted parts.

12. Hide the underwater area

step12

Let’s add another adjustment layer on the top of the layer stack. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Color Lookup. Check 3DLUT File and choose HorrorBlue.3DL. Set the Fill to 30%. Grab the Brush tool (B) and paint over the mask to hide the underwater area.

13. Add shadows and highlights

step13

Create a new layer, name it Shadows and Highlights. Change the blend mode to Soft Light. Set the default Foreground/Background colour (hit ‘D’). Grab a soft Brush (B) and start enhancing the shadows using black and highlights using white. Focus around the hair and the eyes.

14. Sharpen

step15

Let’s sharpen the image. First create a snapshot. Click Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+E. Now duplicate the ‘snapshot’ layer and change the blending mode to Overlay. Go to Filter>Other>High Pass. Set Radius to 5 pixels and then click OK. Create a layer mask and hide the area underwater to keep it out of focus.