Combine stock images and use a combination of blending/lighting techniques to create this surreal flying brain in Photoshop! This tutorial will show you how to create your own background using multiple photos, blend images together, and apply a nondestructive dodging & burning to your image.
Preview of Final Results
Surreal Flying Brain Photo Manipulation TutorialFirst of all, this tutorial will be using a set of Hair Photoshop brushes by TrissteBrushes. You can find the download link to it in the tutorial resources below. You should install the brush before starting this tutorial. You will also notice that this tutorial starts off with Photoshop CS3 then switches to CS4. Well, I was using Photoshop CS3 but my computer had some problems so I had to borrow my husbands laptop which only had Photoshop CS4. Please excuse me for this.
Step 1Create a new file with a width and height of 4000 pixels.
Step 2Open the Sky image. Copy and paste it it to your main document. To do this, Go to Select > All, copy (Ctrl/Cmd+C), switch back to your main document and paste (Ctrl/Cmd+V). Delete your background layer.
Step 3Use the Free Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd+T or Edit > Free Transform)
Scale the image like shown below. Hold down the shift key so that the proportions are constrained while scaling.
Step 4Create a new layer above the sky layer (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+N or Layer > New > Layer).
Step 5First, set your foreground color to white and background to black – you can do this quickly by pressing D then X on your keyboard. Select the Brush tool (B). Using a large and soft brush (1100px, 0 hardness), paint a curve around the sky like shown in the image below.
Step 6Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a blur of 250 pixels.
Step 7Set the blending mode to Overlay. Duplicate the current layer (Ctrl/Cmd+J) then set the opacity of the new layer to 60%.
Step 8Select both layers then right-click and choose “Create Clipping Mask”.
Step 9Open the Sea image then copy and paste it to your main document. To do this, go to File > Open to open the sea image. Go to Select > All then Edit > Copy. Switch back to your main document and go to Edit > Paste. Position this layer as the top layer.
Step 10Use the Free Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd+T or Edit > Free Transform) to scale the image like shown in the image below.
Position the layer to the bottom of your document.
Step 11Now we’re going to create a selection of the sky. Select the Magic Wand tool (W) then set the tolerance to 50%. Click on the sky then press Delete on your keyboard to delete the selected area.