Feb 23

Create an Awesome Space Age Composition

Wed, 02/23/2011 - 22:25 — julie

Create an Awesome Space Age Composition

Final Image

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

Step 1

Create a new document (1000X650px) and create a new layer called ‘background color’.

Fill your canvas with a linear gradient ranging from 110b64 to 5a2391.

Step 2

Create a new layer called ‘stars’. Fill your entire canvas with black.

Then go to filter>noise>add noise. Apply noise at 12% strength, gaussian, monochromatic.

Now change this layer’s blend mode to ‘screen’. This will hide the black, leaving only your noise showing over the main colored background. Then to make your noise more star like go to image>adjustments>brightness/contrast. Reduce your brightness to -30 and increase your contrast to +100.

Step 3

Now download your space brushes brush set from the resources folder.

Apply the brushes all over your canvas, using your judgement to see what looks good. Call this layer ‘stars 2′.

Step 4

Create a new layer called ‘highlight’. Drag out a white to transparent radial gradient in the bottom center of your canvas.

Then change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’ to create the basis for a nice background lighting effect:

Step 5

Now create a new layer called ‘highlights 2′. Drag out a couple of radial gradients ranging from a754fd to transparent. Keep this layer’s blend mode at ‘normal’.

Then create a new layer called ‘highlights 3′. Drag out a couple of radial gradients ranging from 55defe to transparent. Reduce this layer’s opacity to 65% and change it’s blend mode to ‘overlay’.

The idea in this step is to build up various colors/lighting to add more depth and make your image more interesting.

Step 6

Create a new layer called ‘highlight 4′. Drag out various white to transparent radial gradients over parts of your image that you wish to highlight.

Then reduce this layer’s opacity to 30% and change it’s blend mode to ‘overlay’.

Step 7

Now we’re going to learn how to create an awesome lit up space-age grid to form the main part of our background.

Start by creating a new document (100X100px). For the purpose of this tutorial I’ve filled my canvas background with black, as we’re going to be creating a white pattern in this document, and it shows up better against a black background.

Use your marquee tool to fill a 1px selection down the left of your canvas with white. Then fill 1px at the top of your canvas with white also. Then finally fill each corner with a small, soft white paintbrush, creating a kind of glow effect in your corners.

You can see a zoomed in version of this image below.

Then hide your black background layer, and go to edit>define pattern. Choose a name like ‘grid’ as your pattern name, then click ‘OK’.

Step 8

Now create a new document (2000X2000px) and go to edit>fill. Fill your canvas with 50% gray. Then go to blending options for this layer and select a pattern overlay. Choose your grid pattern.

Step 9

Now create a layer beneath your pattern overlay layer. Select your pattern overlay layer and right click on it in your layers palette. Select ‘merge down’. Now you have your grid pattern as an image, rather than simply a blending option. This means you can manipulate it!

Go to edit>transform>perspective, and pull the top corners of your grid inwards. Click ‘apply transformation’.

Then use your bounding box to make your grid much less tall, which will help create the illusion of perspective.

Step 10

Now paste your grid back into your original document.

Then change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’. This will hide the 50% gray, leaving only your awesome grid effect!

Step 11

Now go to layer>layer mask>reveal all. Use a large, soft black paintbrush (40% opacity) to mask off certain areas of your grid (particularly the end of it, so it appears to fade into space).

Then if you want to make the grid more obvious, duplicate this layer, and reduce your duplicate layer’s opacity to 30%.

Step 12

Now create a new layer called ‘clouds’.

Go to filter>render>clouds. Then change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’. Finally, go to layer>layer mask>reveal all, and use a large, soft black paintbrush to mask off large areas of your clouds, leaving them most prominent around the center of your canvas:

Step 13

Now paste in the photo of your woman wearing glasses.

There are various ways to isolate the woman in this picture, but I simply applied a layer mask, then carefully masked off the edges of the picture. Use a smaller brush for the fiddly edges, and if you make a mistake, simply switch your masking brush to ‘white’ and repair and errors.

Step 14

I wasn’t entirely happy with the girl’s hairline, so I used the hair repair brushes from the resources section to extend her hair in some areas:

Step 15

Now apply a levels, hue/saturation and color balance adjustment layer (settings below).

With each adjustment layer go to layer>apply clipping mask so that they only effect your woman, not your entire canvas:

Step 16

If you look closely you’ll see that your woman’s glasses aren’t complete on the edge (they’re like this in the original photo).

So create a new layer called ‘glasses complete’. Use your lasso tool and paintbucket tool to create an artificial edge:

Step 17

Now create a new layer called ‘stars in glasses’.

Use your star brushes to create some subtle stars in your woman’s glasses. If needed reduce your layer opacity to make the effect more subtle:

Step 18

Create a new layer called ‘vignette’. Use a large, soft black paintbrush (30% opacity) to paint shadows around the edges and corners of your canvas. This should be a subtle way to focus your viewers eye towards the center of your canvas:

Step 19

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

Use a soft black paintbrush to paint in shadows, and a soft white paintbrush to paint in highlights. Do this until you’re happy with the result.

Step 20

Now apply a curves, gradient map and vibrance adjustment layer (settings below):

Step 21

Now apply some text to the top-center of your canvas:

Step 22

Create new layer called ‘lens flare’. Fill your canvas with black. Go to filter>render>lens flare. Render a 100mm lens flare just over the right side of your woman.

Then change this layer’s blend mode to ‘screen’ and reduce it’s opacity to 50%.

Step 23

Apply a final lens flare over your woman’s glasses. Reduce this layer’s opacity to 80%, and change it’s blend mode to ‘screen’ also.

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.

Download Source File for this Tutorial

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