The giant panda’s distinct black-and-white markings have two functions: camouflage and communication.  Most of the panda – its face, neck, belly, rump – is white to help it hide in snowy habitats. The arms and legs are black, helping it to hide in shade. In this Photoshop tutorial, we learn how to create a photo manipulation scene of a panda while making it look real. We use a lot of Adjustment Layer like Gradient Map and Curves, combine several stock images, and finally use Camera Raw Filter.

Preview of Final Image

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Now, let’s start by creating a new image file, go to the Menu bar and click File > New, and then input the following values on their respective fields
  • Preset: Custom
  • Width: 3580px
  • Height: 4475px
  • Resolution: 300px
  • Color Mode: RGB Color 8 bit
  • Background Contents: Transparent

Step 2

Next, go to open Background photo. Go to File > Open and select Background. After you open the image, use Rectangular Marquee Tool(M).
After the selection area has been created, simply copy (Ctrl / Cmd + C) and Paste (Ctrl / Cmd + V) it to our work canvas. Then position the image with the transform tool (Ctrl / Cmd + T). Hold Alt + Shift and rasterize like the image below. In Photoshop CC only hold Alt to rasterize all sides together. Right-click and select “Convert to Smart Object”.
Then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set Radius to 13.9px.

Step 3

Add Adjustment Layer “Levels”

Step 4

Add Adjustment Layer “Curves” and press Ctrl/Cmd + I to invert. Then use Brush Tool(B) Soft Round with foreground color white and paint on Highlight parts.

Step 5

Add Adjustment Layer “Curves” and press Ctrl/Cmd + I to invert. Then use Brush Tool(B) Soft Round with foreground color white and paint on Dark parts.

Step 6

Next we will open Panda. After you open the image, use Quick Selection Tool(W) and start selecting the animal. After the selection area has been created, simply copy (Ctrl / Cmd + C) and Paste (Ctrl / Cmd + V)  it to our work canvas. Then position the image with the transform tool (Ctrl / Cmd + T). Hold Alt + Shift and resterize like image below. In Photoshop CC only hold Alt to resterize al sides together.

Step 7

Add Adjustment Layer “Levels”

Step 8

Add Adjustment Layer “Curves” and press Ctrl/Cmd + I to invert and use Brush Tool(B) Soft Round with foreground color white and paint the dark parts on Panda.

Step 9

Add Adjustment Layer “Curves” and press Ctrl/Cmd + I to invert and use Brush Tool(B) Soft Round with foreground color white and paint the highlights parts on Panda.

Step 10

Add Adjustment Layer “Color Balance”

Step 11

Next, start creating a new layer and use Brush Tool(B) Soft Round with foreground color Gray #808080 and start painting the eyes. Blend mode change to Color Dodge.

Step 12

Next we will open Bamboo. After you open the image, use Quick Selection Tool(W) and start selecting. After the selection area has been created, simply copy (Ctrl / Cmd + C) and Paste (Ctrl / Cmd + V)  it to our work canvas. Then position the image with the transform tool (Ctrl / Cmd + T). Hold Alt + Shift and resterize like image below. In Photoshop CC only hold Alt to resterize al sides together. Then convert it to “Smart Object” and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set radius to 62px.

Step 13

Add Adjustment Layer “Hue/Saturation”

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