Sabtu, 30 April 2011

Tutorial Photoshop; Secret Place

Usually I get inspired from my own feelings, for example, my dreams, memories, or when I’m missing somebody. My favourite work, Secret Place, was one piece that came from my own experiences. I have spent a lot of time on swings with my best friend Rose and have been swinging on my own, lonely, since losing her. I decided to make a piece of art featuring swings with solitude as the theme, since that’s also my favourite subject. An important thing for me while I’m creating art is to show deep emotion and make the image realistic-looking. I must say, it’s hard to create a melancholic atmosphere. I find that atmosphere, well-shown feelings, and great colours are the most important things in art.

1.Choice of Stock
We have to look for stock that is easy to cut and manipulate with good contrast and lighting. I know it’s hard to find the perfect one but it’s also a funny process because some stocks can inspire you even further. Secret Place is about a lonely girl who is doing what she likes: swinging. To portray sadness, I was looking not for the swing, but for a model who had a sad face. It’s not hard to find perfect stock images when you know the exact type of stock you need. The girl for this piece had to be lonely, sad, and abandoned. To portray loneliness, I decided to look for a deep forest because forests have something magical about them and there’s a great sense of silence to them, so you can relax and think about several things while you’re alone. I thought that pairing the swing and the sad girl together with a forest would look wonderful. I’ve picked these images to use:

2.Making a New Document
I prefer to work on a 1300px x 2000 px canvas because when you finish your work and resize it to something smaller, your small mistakes will disappear because the image will lose some quality as it shrinks. After making new document and opening all the stock images you’ll need, move them to your canvas. To begin your first composition, lower the opacity level of your stock images and move them around and play with resizing options, rotation, and anything else you want to do. This process is something like sketching down our first ideas as we put together our concept. At first, change the opacity of the stock image featuring grass and flowers to about 30-40% and move it to the bottom of your layers panel. Now we have an idea of where we’re going, a bit of composition:

Manipulating and blending images together is the thing I like the most. Whenever I need to cut out and blend stock images, it’s a challenge for me. I get more experience whenever I blend. I always have to think about ways to cut the images or come up with ideas for how to blend or hide something.To blend images together, I usually use masks. I find masks to be very comfortable tools. It’s easy to edit our blending: we can change anything whenever we want. It’s not like the Eraser Tool when you want to change something after two hours of work; it’s almost impossible to do quickly.
Make a new mask with your grass stock. There’s a button at the bottom of the layer panel (You can also go to Layer>Enable Layer Mask. A small white rectangle will appear on your stock layer; press it.To blend large images, I usually pick a large soft brush (Hardness set to 0% and 300px) and set it to black. Next, paint over your grass stock. As you do, you should notice that the black brush is working as an eraser. If you would like to change something (For example, blending), change the colour to white.
Now, hide the unnecessary area of grass, like this:

Set the opacity of this layer to 40% and hide the grass from the girl’s body and the swing. Change your brush to about 15px and the hardness to about 75%. Zoom in at least 300% and start blending carefully. It can take some time, but the model need to be perfectly cut out. When you’re done, set the opacity back to 100% and look for mistakes, then fix them with the white colour.

4.Blending the Forest
Now it’s time to manipulate and blend our beautiful forest. At first, we have to move, transform, or resize the forest to see what will look best with the other stock images.
Open your forest image and move it onto the canvas. I resized and moved mine around until it was the way I wanted it. At this time, we must repeat Step 3. We must blend the forest and girl together. Create a layer mask and set the opacity to 40% on the forest layer. Start blending with the black brush (hardness: 75%). Do not blend the chain; we’ll do that later. Blending images together isn’t a very nice experience unless you know how to blend them well.When we are done, duplicate the layer to be safe and hide it (click on the eye next to your layer’s name.

Take a large soft brush (Hardness: 0%, 350px) and start blending the forest with the grass. The result must be soft. Here we can see that the image doesn’t look that good. We need do something with these areas: [Img9.jpg]. I think the best way to make it better is to use the Stamp Tool. I copied fragments of grass stock. Take the Stamp Tool and click on the grass layer, copy some grass, and fill in your holes until it looks something like this:

5.Setting the Colour of the Forest
It’s hard to chose the correct colour for your artwork because there are so many sets of colours. I wanted to make this scene magical and was wondering whether to use blue, orange, or green. Finally, I decided to pick a sharp, warm shade of green, which, I think, turned out to be a good idea. The green colour is nice on the eyes and can help the viewer relax. As you know, we can change our image colour in different ways depending on what result we want to achieve. Doing this piece,
I used several Variations because this tool is easy to use and you can see the final effect immediately. Before each step, I usually duplicate the layer and hide it so I can go back to it later. By doing this, whenever you want to go back to your original image/layer, you’ll always be able to. To use Variations, go to Image>Adjustments>Variations. In these small thumbnails, you can see your layer in
various different colours. Now, click on the yellow colour three times.
Go back to your Blend Modes and choose Gradient. I pick out a warm yellow (#e6cb6c). Set your gradient to Line, scale it to about 108% with a 90° angle. Set this layer to Blend Mode>Colour and change the opacity to 50%. As you can see, the forest and the grass have the same tones now. Setting the same colours and tones to your images is another form of blending.
6.Blending the Chain
I think this is the hardest step of all. You need a lot of time and patience to blend this chain well. Of course, you can also download chain brushes from somewhere or stamp in parts of the chain. I like experimenting and getting more experience, so I did it manually, without using brushes or the Stamp Tool. It took a long time, but now it looks great. Turn on your forest layer, set the opacity to 40%, and click on mask. Choose a black brush with a hardness of about 80%, sized at 4-5px. Now you have to be careful. Start blending the chain; if you have a tablet, the process will be faster. I know it’s hard, boring, precise work, but by doing it this way, the final effect will look more natural than, for example, using a chain brush. When finished, zoom in about 200% and look for mistakes, then zoom out to 100% and see if it looks good. If so, move on to the next step.

7.Lights and Shadows
Well-done lights and shadows are the most important things in art. If you want to make artwork look realistic, you have to set these correctly. Light should be in the middle of the work so our eye will keep looking at the piece longer because it will be more interesting. Look at the forest stock. There’s really strong light already. Let’s use that light and make it more powerful. Everything I do goes onto a new, titled layer. I like having everything in order.
Set your brush colour to white and load some light/rays brushes from the stock pack. Look for one good brush. I used this one, but light from the top of forest should have a different angle.
Go to Edit>Transform>Horizontal and resize its height. Some of this ray should be on the head of the girl as well. After that, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set the radius to about 3px (Before, it was too strong and sharp). Now, go back to your swing and model layerand duplicate it [Ctrl]+[J], then choose the Dodge Tool. Set the Dodge Tool to fight shadows and exposure at about 20-30% and start making model lighter, such as I did on image below.
Set the burn tool exposure to 20% and make little shadows on her stomach, near her knees, and onher face. With lights and shadows, this image looks much better.

8.Making the Model Better
I was thinking about what I should change with my model. I thought that longer hair would look better; personally, I like long, dark hair. Next, I wondered
how to add some hair: Should I should paint the strands or use brushes? I decided to look for a good pack of hair brushes. It wasn’t hard to find; there are so many types of brushes to choose from. Now that we have our brushes, make a new layer titled Hair and load the hair brushes from our stock pack. Set theforeground colour of your brush to light brown and the background to dark brown, then brush some
hair onto your layer and switch colours, making something like layers. By doing it this way, our hair will look more natural because it’s normal to have highlights. When you’re done, take a soft eraser and delete some parts of hair to create a soft blend between her original hair and the brushes. Set the opacity to 50% and delete the hair from her face, then go back to 100% opacity.
Now you can see that her face and the top of her head are a little grey/white. Make a new layer, then choose a soft brush and warm brown colour. Personally I used #866b3b. Brush her face, then go to Blend Mode and set the layer to Soft Light. Next, make another new layer and pick #583e10, then paint the top of her head, set the layer’s Blend Mode to Multiply, and give it an opacity of about 40-50%, whatever you like.

Information and Credits for stock used:
  • Swing & Model by dazzle-stock
  • Forest by umbradenoapte-stock
  • Nature Pack by resurgere
  • Hair Brushes by falln-stock
  • Light Brushes by redheadstock

9.Final Colours and Editing
Finally we have a perfect scene. Everything is blended correctly, so we are almost done. Let’s make our image more colorful. Colour is the second-most important thing when we are creating art because we have to decide which one and what tone, then choose blending options, etc. As I said before, I decided to make this piece a lively green. It should make our work seem magical and mysterious. Go to Blending Options and click Color Overlay. Look for a warm yellow color again (#d8c43a), then press ok. Set the Blend Mode to Soft Light and the opacity to 50%. Now our picture is warm and easy on the eyes. We can see that the forest is more yellow and the grass is greener. To fix this, go to Blending Mode again and choose Gradient. Using the same colour, set the Blend Mode to colour and the opacity to about 50%. Go again to Blending Mode and choose Selective Colour.
At the top, you can see the names of various colours such as green, yellow, white, etc. We want our picture to be more yellow and less green. Click Green and make it more Yellow (65%), then set the Cyan to 55%. I won’t detail all the settings I used; you have to try them out on your own. Choose the colours you like the best, be a little self-dependent. Do several experiments with this tool because Selective Colour is a really interesting and helpful tool whenever you need to change your colours.
Finally, one thing I don’t like is this strong light, so let’s change it. Make a new layer and take a hard brush and. Copy the color from the top of your forest and paint something like this:

Next, go to Blur Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to about 95px. Set your opacity to 45-50%. I think it looks better now. If you want, you can crop this image and make it smaller. Personally, I usually crop and resize to reduce the size of my artwork once I’m finished everything else.

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