photoshop creative

How I Made: Mount Zhongnan

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How I Made, by Mark White
September 19, 2016

Explore how Edmond Yang pieced this photomanipulation together


1. Model shoot


The model was photographed at my studio. Using the Pen tool, brushwork and colour correction, I prepped her for the artwork. I also took fabric shots using a studio fan, to achieve dynamic shapes.

2. Composing the landscape


I had an idea of how I wanted the scene to look, so I applied a selection of images loosely to match this and to establish the correct composition. This was very much a process of trial and error.

3. Blending and merging


Layer masks were applied too, merging everything together. I then matched the colours easily with Curves layers. A custom tree brush was made to help blend the gaps and edges.

4. Adding depth


Several cloud image layers were blended to create a dramatic sky, which was important for establishing mood. Using a soft white brush, I then painted fog into the mountains, creating depth of field.

5. The pavilion


I found a very suitable Chinese pavilion image, masked it out and adjusted the perspective with Transform>Distort. The walls beneath then needed to be built, so I transformed a masonry texture into place.

6. Compositing fabric


I used the Warp tool to composite and distort additional fabric, from my earlier photoshoot, around the model. Using an ellipse-shaped soft brush, I then painted shadows onto her and her clothing.

7. Detailing


The sun was added next. I used two different Curves layers and painted on the attached layer masks, creating shadows and highlights. I used After Effects to create the leaves blowing past her.

8. Scrutinise effects


I usually zoom in and inspect the image, looking for mistakes or masking errors, before running the Exposure 4 plug-in. This helps to set the final mood and texture, bringing all of the effects together.