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Members Area Tutorial: Create the Fiery Photo Manipulation ‘Satan’s Judgement’

Final Image

Here is a preview of the image that we are going to be creating:

Step 1

Create a new document 1000px X 1000px.

Download and paste in your ‘Volcano Landscape’ photo from the resources sectino for this tutorial:

Apply a color balance adjustment layer.

IMPORTANT: With all adjustment layers in this tutorial (unless otherwise specified) you should apply a clipping mask. This will ensure that your adjustments only effect the underlying layer, and not your entire canvas.

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Highlight: +6 / -9 / -29
Midtones: -2 / -11 / -19
Shadows: +2 / 0 / -19

You can see the result of this below:

Step 2

Our background is looking a better color, but the volcanic eruption and lava pouring down the side of the volcano is too red.

We want to make this more yellow, but keep the colors in the rest of the image the same.

Luckily we can do this non-destructively using adjustment layers.

Apply a new color balance adjustment layer, and this time do NOT use a clipping mask:

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Highlights: 0 / 0 / -55
Midtones: 0 / 0 / -100
Shadows: 0 / 0 / -53

As you can see below, these adjustments have made our background image very yellow.

We actually want to keep the yellowness of the volcanic eruption and lava, but hide this adjustment for the rest of our background image.

To achieve this, apply a layer mask to your second color balance adjustment layer.

Mask off all parts of your yellow adjustment layer using a soft black paintbrush, apart from the areas over your volcanic eruption. The image below shows in red the areas that I masked off:

You can see the result of this second adjustment layer below. The volanic eruption is now a nicer yellow color, whilst the rest of the background image remains the same:

Step 3

Download your ‘sky photo’ from the resources section for this tutorial.

Select the top left area of sky and paste this into your original document, positioning it like so:

Apply a layer mask and use a large, soft black paintbrush to mask off the bottom/right of your sky image, blending it smoothly into your main background image:

Apply a color balance adjustment layer (remember to apply a clipping mask). These adjustments should blend the colors of your new sky better with your main background image.

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Highlights: +9 / 0 / 0
Midtones: +6 / 0 / -1
Shadows: +9 / 0 / -5

Step 4

Create a new layer called ‘volcano cracks’.

Download the ‘cracks brush set’ from the resources for this tutorial and install it.

Use several of the cracks brushes from this brush set to add cracks to the top of your volcano. Use an orange color sampled from the lava eruption (I used: d05d00).

Apply an outer glow blending option to your ‘volcano cracks’ layer.

Outer Glow Blending Option Settings:

Blend Mode: Screen
Opacity: 50%
Noise: 0%
Color: f94800
Spread: 0%
Size: 3px

You can see the result of this below:

Step 5

I’m not quite happy with how the main volcanic explosion is looking, so I want to add another explosion and manipulate this to look better.

Start by downloading the ‘volcanic explosion’ image from the resources for this tutorial.

Crop the image to just include your explosion, not the surrounding volcano.

Then go to select>color range. Use your eye dropper to sample a color from the explosion (aim for somewhere in the middle area of explosion, so not the lightest area, or the darkest, more of a mid tone. The idea is to sample as much of the explosion as you can using the color range method.

Increase the ‘fuzziness’ to 200.

You can see a preview of your selection below:

Hit ok, and you should have a selection something like the image below.

You can see that most of the explosion has been selected, and hardly any of your background has been selected:

You’ll notice that the most yellow part of the explosion wasn’t selected by the color range technique. As the surrounding explosion has been selected this is easy to fix. With your selection active simply use your marquee tool, and hold ‘shift’ to add to your existing selection. Drag over your yellow area holding shift and then release. You will have selected all of your explosion now!

Copy and paste this back into your original document, positioning it like this:

Step 6

Want want to create a nice sense of contours happening in our piece, so go to edit>transform>warp and warp your new volcanic explosion to look like the image below:

Apply a color balance and levels adjustment layer.

Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:

31 / 0.92 / 246

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Highlights: -9 / 0 / -26
Midtones: +9 / 0 / -21
Shadows: +11 / 0 / -8

Also apply a layer mask to your ‘volcanic explosion’ layer. Use a soft black paintbrush to mask off this top of this explosion.

Finally, reduce this layer’s opacity to 50%:

Step 7

Download the ‘planet 2′ image from the resource section for this tutorial.

Isolate it from it’s background using your preferrred extraction method, then paste it into your original document:

Apply an inner shadow blending option to this layer to give a highlight from our left-side light source.

Inner Shadow Blending Option Settings:

Blend Mode: Overlay
Color: ffffff
Opacity: 100%
Angle: 138 degrees
Distance: 3px
Choke: 0%
Size: 5px

Apply a levels and color balance adjustment layer to your planet layer.

Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:

23 / 0.92 / 241

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Highlights: +12 / 0 / -18
Midtones: -5 / 0 / +11
Shadows: +11 / 0 / -19

The result of this is shown below:

Step 8

Download the ‘fire explosion isolated’ image from the resources for this tutorial.

Position it over your planet layer:

Change this layer’s blend mode to ‘screen’. This will hide the black background behind the flames, allowing only your flames to show through:

Now apply a layer mask and use a soft black paintbrush to mask off the bottom area of flames, giving the impression that the top of the planet only is on fire:

Use this same technique to add a further layer of flames beneath your planet layer:

Step 9

We want to make this planet look even more ominous. To do this, download the ‘FanExtra clouds brush set’ from the resources section for this tutorial.

Create a new layer called ‘clouds behind planet’ beneatah your planet/fire layers.

Use a black paintbrush to apply some of the clouds behind your planet:

Reduce your ‘clouds behind planet’ layer’s opacity to 30%:

Step 10

Download the ‘machu picchu’ image from the resources section for this tutorial.

Paste it into the bottom left of your canvas, and resize it to look like the image below. Call this layer ‘city’:

Apply a layer mask and use a soft black paintbrush to mask off the edges of your city, trying to blend it more smoothly into your main background:

Now apply a hue/saturation, levels and color balance adjustment layer (in that order).

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: -100
Lightness: -64

Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:

23 / 1.10 / 199

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Highlights: +25 / +2 / -11
Midtones: +55 / 0 / -25
Shadows: +11 / 0 / -9

Step 11

Download the ‘jumping man’ image from the resources section for this tutorial.

Extract the man from his plain white background using the magic wand tool (or your preferred quick extraction method).

Paste him into your original document, positioning him as shown in the image below:

You’ll see that whilst our quick extraction was pretty good, there are a few bad edges there, with remains of the original white background.

To fix this, option+click on your jumping man layer in your layers palette. This will create an active selection around him. Then, ensuring that your marquee selection tool is active, click on ‘refine edge’. This should appear in your toolbar when your selection is active and your selection tool is selected. It is a newer feature in Photoshop CS5, so if you have an older version I recommend using layer masking to fix your edges non-destructively.

Apply the refine edge settings below:

Refine Edge Settings:

Edge Detection:

Smart Radius: (ticket box)
Radius: 1.5px

Adjust Edge:

Smooth: 0
Feather: 0.0px
Contrast: 0%
Shift Edge: -15%

Output:

Decontaminate Colors: (tick box)
Amount: 50%
Output To: New Layer with Layer Mask

(tick: Remember settings)

You can see the result of refining the edge below. The best thing about this technique is that the man with refined edge will be copied to a new layer with a layer mask.

Refining your edge this way should be fairly flawless in terms of results. If you need to repair certain areas of your image then simply use a white paintbrush on your layer mask to unmask that area.

Apply a levels and color balance adjustment layer settings:

Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:

22 / 0.88 / 255

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Highlights: +9 / +4 / +1
Midtones: +21 / +4 / -5
Shadows: +23 / -4 / +4

You can see the result of this below:

Step 12

It’s looking a little strange having this man wearing regular trousers, as we want him to be more of a hellish creature.

Download the ‘fur texture’ from the resources for this tutorial. Position it over your man’s legs:

Go to edit>transform>warp and warp your fur texture until it looks like the image below:

Now apply a layer mask to this fur texture layer. In your layer’s palette option+click on your ‘jumping man’ layer to select around the shape of your man.

Go to select>inverse to invert your selection, so that you’re selecting all parts of your canvas apart from your jumping man.

Then select the layer mask for your fur texture. With your selection active use a black paintbrush to mask off all areas of your fur texture within this selection.

This should leave your fur only being visible within the bounds of your jumping man figure, not leaking out over the background:

Use your layer mask to mask off the parts of fur overlapping the man’s body/arms, keeping it within the bounds of his thighs/waist.

Also reduce this layer’s opacity to 80%:

Apply a hue/saturation and color balance adjustment layer to your fur texture layer:

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: -100
Lightness: -70

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Highlights: +45 / 0 / -18
Midtones: +22 / 0 / -21
Shadows: +12 / 0 / -11

This is the result:

Step 13

If you look right now, the texture on the man’s legs is looking better, but there is still a very harsh edge where his trousers formerly ended:

To fix this, all we need to do is reveal some of our fur texture along this harsh edge, using a white paintbrush on our layer mask.

However, we don’t want to use a regular round brush as this would look too uniform!

Download the ‘FanExtra fur brush set’ from the resources section for this tutorial.

Set the paintbrush to white and use it to reveal areas of your masked off fur texture around the edges of your man’s waistline. Do the same at the bottom of the fur area:

To help give more definition to his legs and stop them looking too flat, we’re going to dodge/burn the fur textured area.

Create a new layer called ‘dodge/burn legs’.

Go to edit>fill and fill your canvas with 50% gray. Change your layer blend mode to ‘overlay’. This will hide your 50% gray, but allow you to paint black/white over your image in order to non-destructively dodge/burn it!

Use a 10% opacity, soft black paintbrush to burn your image and enhance it’s shadows, and a 10% opacity, soft white paintbrush to dodge it, enhancing the highlights.

The images below show your dodge/burn layer at ‘normal’ blend mode, and then ‘overlay’ blend mode:

Step 14

Apply some flames over your man’s hands and feet.

Use the same technique that you used to apply flames to your planet area. Simply paste in the ‘fire explosion isolated’ image, and change it’s blend mode to ‘screen’.

You shouldn’t need to manipulate this fire further as it’s already got great shape/color:

Step 15

Download the ‘curly horned ram’ photo from the resources section for this tutorial.

Paste the image into your original document:

Cut out the curly horn, and resize, rotate and position it to fit over the man’s head.

Apply a levels and color balance adjustment layer:

Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:

28 / 0.86 / 255

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Highlights: +6 / 0 / 0
Midtones: +36 / -6 / -4
Shadows: +12 / -2 / 0

I also used a layer mask to mask the edge of the horn, blending it more smoothly into the man’s head:

Step 16

Download the ‘sparkler’ image from the resources section for this tutorial.

Paste it into your original document:

Change this layer’s blend mode to ‘screen’. This will hide the black background, only letting the sparkler light show through. Also reduce it’s opacity to 80%.

Resize the sparkler, and go to edit>transform>warp. Warp the light to fit to the curve of the man’s body:

Duplicate this sparkler layer several times, and warp each duplicate to fit along the edge of the man’s body until you have a result like this:

Use layer masks where applicable to crop areas of the sparklers to fit:

Step 17

Create a new layer called ‘clouds’.

Select a brush from the ‘FanExtra clouds brush set’ you downloaded earlier.

Sample a brown color from part of your background (I used: 824e35).

Apply several clouds across the bottom left area of your canvas:

Step 18

Using the ‘screen’ technique that you used to apply your other areas of fire, apply some flames to the bottom right of your canvas:

Apply some more flames using the same technique:

Now apply even more flames using the ‘isolated flames’ image from the resources section for this tutorial. Make these flames actually cover your man:

We want this final area of flame to be visible around the man’s head and float upwards towards the planet. However, we don’t want it to overlap the body like it is right now.

Apply a layer mask and use a large soft black paintbrush to mask off the areas of flame overlapping the man’s body, just leaving some of the flames by his head and the planet in the sky.

You can see below highlighted in red where I have masked off this final area of flame:

And here’s the result:

Step 19

Create a new layer called ‘light effects’.

Download the ‘light beams’ brush set from the resources section for this tutorial. Apply a couple of the light beam brushes using a white brush, pointing them downwards at your man:

Change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’ and reduce it’s opacity to 85%. This shouldm ake the effect more subtle:

Duplicate this layer, changing it’s blend mode to ‘normal’ and reduce it’s opacity to 10%:

Create a new layer called ‘raylight man’. Download the ‘FanExtra raylight brush set’ from the resources section for this tutorial.

Apply several of the raylight brushes using a white paintbrush, giving the impression of light exploding out from the man:

Reduce this layer’s opacity to 20%.

Duplicate it and change the duplicate layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’, increasing this layer’s opacity to 40%:

Step 20

Now we’re going to create the hand of god reaching down to this firey soul.

Download the ‘reaching hands’ image from the resources section for this tutorial.

Cut out the adult hand/arm, and paste it into your original document, positioning it like this:

Apply a levels and color balance adjustment layer:

Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:

34 / 0.82 / 240

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Highlights: +9 / 0 / -15
Midtones: +12 / 0 / -16
Shadows: +8 / 0 / -5

This is the result:

Step 21

Duplicate one of your ‘sparkler’ layers, and warp/position it so that it appears to be coming from the pointing finger, into the stomach of the floating man:

We want to give a sense of even more light coming from this electricity between the two beings.

Create a new layer called ‘light from finger’. Use a soft, white paintbrush to paint over the end of the pointing hand, and sparkler connection:

Change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’ and reduce it’s opacity to 20%.

Also create a new layer and apply a further light beam brush pointing down and your floating man. Change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’ and reduce it’s opactiy to 70%. Also mask off the area of light beam that goes over your floating man, we only want this light beam to overlap the arm of God, to give it an extra highlight:

Step 22

Download the ‘ribbon decoration’ image from the resources section for this tutorial. Paste it into your original document:

Select various parts of your ribbon and copy/paste them to construct a loop around the wrist of God’s arm, also hanging downwards:

Merge your ribbon layers into a single layer, and then apply a hue/saturation adjustment layer to alter the color:

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: +49
Saturation: +24
Lightness: +1

Using the same ‘screen’ technique used on your other ares of fire, apply a small flame to the base of your hanging ribbon:

Step 23

We want to apply a lens flare effect to the area between the hand of god and the floating firey figure.

Using smart filters we can do this non-destructively!

Create a new layer called ‘lens flare’. Fill your canvas with black and then change this layer’s blend mode to ‘screen’.

This will hide your black fill, but allow you to apply filters, as there is now data on this layer.

Go to filter>convert for smart filters. This will convert your layer to smart object, allowing you to apply filters non-destructively.

Now go to filter>render>lens flare.

Apply a 50-300mm Zoom lens flare, at 100% Brightness. You can see this below:

Step 24

Create a new layer called ‘dodge/burn’.

We’re going to dodge/burn our image non-destructively.

Go to edit>fill and fill your canvas with 50% gray. Then change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’. This will hide your gray fill, but let you dodge/burn your image.

Use a soft black paintbrush (10% opacity) to burn your image, and a soft white paintbrush (10% opacity) to dodge it.

The images below show this layer at ‘normal’ blend mode and then ‘overlay’ blend mode:

Step 25

Apply a gradient map adjustment layer.

IMPORTANT: For this adjustment layer DO NOT apply a clipping mask, as you want your adjustments to effect your entire canvas.

Gradient Map Adjustment Layer Settings:

Gradient: Purple to Orange (default gradient)
Layer blend mode: Overlay
Opacity: 12%

Step 26

To finish our piece, we want it to look just a little sharper, to really bring out all the great details.

This too can be done fairly non-destructively.

Go to layer>flatten image. Then select your entire canvas (option+a) and hit ‘copy’.

In your history palette undo the image flattening step, so you get all your layers back.

Then paste your copied, flattened image onto a new top layer.

Go to filter>convert for smart filters.

Then go to filter>sharpen>unsharp mask. Apply the settings below to really bring out the details of your piece:

Unsharp Mask Filter Settings:

Amount: 200%
Radius: 0.5 pixels
Threshold: 0 levels

And We’re Done!

You can view the final outcome below. I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and would love to hear your feedback on the techniques and outcome.

Member File Download

Download the original .psd file for this tutorial here:

DOWNLOAD .PSD FILE

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1 Comment:

  1. Juditha says:

    Wow! Love this! It is certainly on my to do list.

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