Create This Incredible Surreal Photo Manipulation of a Dancer in Photoshop

Create This Incredible Surreal Photo Manipulation of a Dancer in Photoshop
Create This Incredible Surreal Photo Manipulation of a Dancer in Photoshop

image020 Dancer photo from Shutterstock

On the Dancer layer, add a Gradient Overlay layer style (Layer > Layer Style > Gradient Overlay. Set the gradient to a black to transparent gradient like shown below. It will make the bottom of the Dancer layer a bit darker.

Step 5 - Roots

I'll start now add roots, but first, I'll explain how I created them. As you can see on the picture I prepared different shapes, they were cut out of the pictures of rocks. I did it with Lasso Tool (L). You can use any photo with interesting shapes like mountains, tree bark, rocks etc.
  • Under you see screen of the ROCKS.psd
  • Folder ROCKS / ROCKS.psd
I did not use them all, but maybe you will. To make them easier to find inside PSD I gave them the numbers.
Now I will explain how I transformed them. I will use Liquify (Filter/Liquify). I have to say that this is one of my favorite tools. On the next screen I showed in steps how I used this tool, as you can see it is really easy!

Step 6 - Adding roots

Now I will start build roots.
More roots!
More roots!
Part in the red circle I want to put under the arm. I added a layer mask on root layer, then I selected Dancer layer. There are two ways to make such a selection:
  1. Right click on Dancer layer and chose Select Pixels
  2. OR Press Ctrl + click Dancer layer
Now go to root layer select Layer Mask then use Brush Tool (B) and paint with black #000000 part which you don't want.
Now I will show which photo I used for roots marked in red.
The transformation was made of course with Liquify. Quick steps:
At this point all roots are in two folders
  1. ROOTS_01

Step 7 - How to make image darker

This is good time make image darker, and of course add first lights. Between groups CLOUDS and ROCKS_BACKGROUND I created a new group called LIGHT (Layer > New > Group). Create a new layer (Layer > New > Layer or Shift+Ctrl+N). Set the blending mode to Color Burn and opacity to 100%. For the first layer I will use Gradient Tool (G) filled with black color #000000
Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer or Shift+Ctrl+N). Paint with black (#000000), use soft brush, opacity between 30-50%. Set the layer blending mode to Normal and opacity to 100%.
Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer or Shift+Ctrl+N). and paind with white #ffffff, use soft brush, opacity between 30-50%. Set the layers blending mode to Normal and opacity to 100%.
Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer or Shift+Ctrl+N). and paind with  #d8d2cc, use soft brush, opacity between 30-50%. Set the layers blending mode to Normal and opacity to 100%.
At this point I have to say few words about colors, to be honest you can use only black and white, with diferent opacity, but I'm always try to experiment and this is why I used those strange colors. Also different colors will give you different strenght of light. Just give it a try please! OK let's see what we have right now, I don't like left part of the image, I mean there is not enough clouds, let's add some.
  • CLOUD 5513
  • Folder CLOUDS / IMG_5513
  • Set the blending mode to Overlay Opacity 100%
Press (Ctrl+U) and set Saturation to -100
Add new layer and fill with black color #000000. Set the blending mode to Soft Light and opacity 70%. Add layer mask, and use the Gradient Tool (G) on it. Set the gradient color black to white.

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26 comments on “Create This Incredible Surreal Photo Manipulation of a Dancer in Photoshop”

    1. It's in the "Tutorial Resources" zip file (BRICKS / MAIN_BRICK.psd)

  1. Why would you use a shutterstock copyrighted image that has to purchased? We cant use this dancers image at a deent size/resolution without purchasing it. Makes this tutorial kind of a fail :(

  2. All my eyes go to is that black shape on the right side of his right arm other then that this is a sweet tutorial thank you for sharing your mad skills

  3. awesome....... but have doubts... if you could provide a video tutorial it would be worth watching and learning....... :)

  4. Undoubtedly the tutorials you in handling fotografais are the best of the website would love to if I baber podeira copies some tutorials to put on my website sintando the source

  5. Panie Darku super robota. Jedyne 'ale' to latajace korzenie , cegly itp. Ogolnie bardzo fajnie i "czysto" wytlumaczone kroki. Jesli to mozliwe, w przyszlosci c hetnie skorzystam z Pana wiedzy. prosze o kontakt. pozdrawiam

  6. The overall picture looks good and you obviously spent much effort on it, thank you :). But some highlights and shadows of dancer, parts of ground, roots, and flying bricks are wrong :).

  7. This looks good but is so badly explained. You have steps that are lacking info and steps with unnecessary info. You don't need to tell us to "change the blending mode to normal and opacity to 100%" because that's done by default. Some instructions don't even say anything... It just says what image and blending mode but goes into no detail what was done. Good picture but sorry the tut is bad

    1. I think you are being too picky. Obviously this is not intended for beginners.

      But I agree with you on the excessive info. You don't need to tell people to set opacity to 100% when it's already 100% by default. It's annoying to read.

    2. And kudos to the author for offering to fix steps. Most people would get angry but you stayed cool

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