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Feb 21

Create a Surreal Floating Stone Structure Scene

Tue, 02/21/2012 - 03:12 — julie

Create a Surreal Floating Stone Structure Scene

Final Image

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

Step 1

Create a new document (800X1000px).

Download your ‘starry sky’ photo from the resources section for this tutorial. Resize it and paste it into the top of your canvas:

Apply a hue/saturation and color balance adjustment layer to your starry sky layer.

With all adjustment layers in this tutorial, unless otherwise specified, you should apply a clipping mask. This way your adjustments only effect the underlying layer, not your entire canvas.

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: -100
Lightness: 0

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Highlights: -1 / 0 / -13
Midtones: +13 / -2 / -18
Shadows: 0 / 0 / -6

Step 2

Download the FanExtra raylight brush set from the resources section for this tutorial.

Create a new layer called ‘raylight’.

Apply some of the brushes from your raylight brush set using a white brush. Point the brushes upwards:

Change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’:

Now create a new layer called ‘raylight (yellow)’.

Apply several more of your raylight brushes, using a yellow (bea986) brush.

Reduce this layer’s opacity to 15%:

Step 3

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

Paste it into the bottom of your canvas:

Apply a layer mask to this layer, and use a soft black brush to mask off the sky in your lake image. The image below shows your masked area in red:

Apply a hue/saturation and then color balance adjustment layer:

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: -100
Lightness: 0

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Highlights: +16 / 0 / -18
Midtones: +5 / 0 / -11
Shadows: +11 / 0 / -12

Here is the result:

Step 4

Ensure that your starry sky layer and the relevant adjustment layers are all placed within a layer group (option+g to do this).

Duplicate this layer group, moving it to be the top most thing on your layer’s palette.

Then, with your layer group selected, go to edit>transform>flip vertical.

Then use your scaling box to reduce the height of your duplicate sky area:

Apply a layer mask to your duplicate starry sky layer.

Reduce this layer’s opacity to 0% so you can see the underlying rocks.

Use a soft black paintbrush to mask off your sky area where the rocks are positioned. This will allow your rocks to show through.

This shows our sky area after it has been correctly masked, letting the rocks show up. I’ve shown where the mask is in red:

This is the result:

Step 5

Download the ‘origami ball’ from the resources section for this tutorial.

Paste it into your original document, positioning it to float above your water:

Step 6

Download the ‘FanExtra Berock textures’ from the resources for this tutorial.

Paste one of the textures into your original document, positioning it over your origami ball:

Apply a clipping mask to this texture layer, and it should mold to the shape of your underlying origami ball:

Change this layer’s blend mode to ‘multiply’ and reduce it’s opacity to 70%:

Apply a color balance adjustment layer:

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Highlights: +13 / +9 / -18
Midtones: +13 / -6 / -19
Shadows: +4 / -2 / -6

Here’s the result:

Step 7

Place your origami ball layer and relevant adjustment layer in a layer group (option+g).

Duplicate this layer group. With your duplicate layer group selected, go to edit>transform>flip vertical.

Use your scale box to reduce the height of your duplicate stone ball:

Reduce this layer group’s opacity to 30%.

Then apply a layer mask to your layer group. (This works just like applying a mask to a regular layer, simply make sure that your layer group is selected, and then in your layer palette click the layer mask icon).

Use a soft black paintbrush to mask off the areas of your duplicate stone ball that overlap your rocks. You only want your stone ball to show up as a reflection in the water, not over the rocks:

Step 8

Now we want to create some light coming from our background and overlapping our main stone ball.

Create a new layer called ‘raylight over ball’.

Grab one of your raylight brushes and use a yellow brush to create a ray of light coming up from the horizon and overlapping your stone ball:

Reduce this layer’s opacity to 40% and then apply a layer mask. Mask off the sides of your rays of light, leaving only a central ray of light over your stone ball/sky:

Step 9

Repeat step 8, this time applying a ray of light over your water:

Reduce this layer’s opacity to 20%:

Step 10

Create a new layer called ‘white raylight’.

Apply one white raylight brush pointing upwards over your stone ball, and another pointing downwards over your water:

Change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’ and reduce it’s opacity to 10%.

This should create a subtle highlight:

Step 11

We’re going to create the effect of tiny slits in your stone ball that are leaking light.

Start by creating a new layer called ‘light area’.

Use your lasso tool and create shards of yellow over the top right of your stone ball:

Apply an outer glow blending option:

Outer Glow Blending Option:

Blend Mode: Screen
Opacity: 100%
Color: ffeebe
Spread: 10%
Size: 10px

This is the result, the appearance of light leaking out of your stone ball:

Step 12

Create a new layer called ‘explosion’.

Download the ‘FanExtra Explotion Brush Set’ from the resources section for this tutorial.

Apply a couple of the brushes using a white paintbrush:

Paste your Berock texture over your explosion shape and give this layer a clipping mask so that it fits to the shape of your explosion shards:

Apply a hue/saturation and then color balance adjustment layer to your explosion layer:

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: 0
Lightness: +40

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Highlight: +13 / +9 / -18
Midtones: +13 / -6 / +15
Shadows: +4 / -2 / -6

This is the result:

Step 13

Repeat step 12, applying another explosion brush to make the effect even more obvious:

Step 14

Create a new layer called ‘dodge/burn’.

Go to edit>fill and fill your canvas with 50% gray. Change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’ to hide the 50% gray fill. This will let you non-destructively dodge/burn your image.

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

Accentuate the highlights/shadows of your piece and try to identify a common light source.

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

Step 15

Create a new layer called ‘sharp edges’.

Use a 20% opacity, soft white paintbrush to paint a thin white edge along the top edges of your rocks. This acts as a sharp highlight cast from your main light source:

Step 16

Apply a final adjustment layer to give your impact more impact.

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

Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:

5 / 0.96 / 243

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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