Create a beautiful and stylish photo manipulation in an abstract style. This picture is a poster with a large number of interesting effects and creative solutions. In this tutorial I’ll show you new and interesting effects, talk about alternative ways of selection, retouching, working with a variety of filters, tools, and much more. We all create a beautiful effect grid of small dots, soft focus, and glow. Read this tutorial and improve your knowledge of Photoshop!

What you’ll be creating

To create this work, I needed only one resource – the model. In this artwork is that all the details and effects created in Cinema 4D and Photoshop by me. I start with the creation a photo manipulation from the background. We will add important background objects and work with blending modes. Next, I add the model and retouched it, add interesting texture to the dress and abstract render, a little effect and a grid of small dots effect for the background. Following I will add the abstract sphere on the foreground and flares. At the end of photo manipulation, I create lighting, soft focus and glow effects, color correction, and sharpening the image. You will need a good mood and be sure to have Photoshop CS at the minimum. In this tutorial will be presented pretty complex effects, so be careful and do not panic. I will write all very accessible and understandable.

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Open Photoshop and go on a fascinating journey! First at all create a new document (File > New or Cmd/Ctrl + N) with Width: 3000 pixels, Height: 4500 pixels, Resolution: 200 Pixels/Inch, Background color: #000000 (black).
step-001

Step 2

Add the main color spot and at the same time light source by using a gradient. I work nondestructive method so use Fill adjustment layer “Gradient Fill”. Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Gradient. In window that appears set Style to Radial, Angle to 90 degrees, Scale to 120% and set up gradient according to the following sequence – #000000 > #315a7a > #4e8eb2 > #92ccf0 > #ffffff. Click OK to apply the gradient. Set layer Fill to 30%.
step-002

Step 3

Next, I add wireframe texture to the background. Go to File > Place…/Place Embedded and open image “013” from “Atom Stock Pack”. In Free Transform mode (Cmd/Ctrl +T or Edit > Free Transform) increase the size quite a bit and rotate it to 156.75 degrees. Hit Enter/Return or press checkmark on settings bar to apply changes. Change layer Blending Mode to “Multiply” to hide the white background.
step-003

Step 4

Now some fractals. Fractals are very useful in the work because they create unique shapes and complementary space. They can be used as a flare or background depending on what you want. Go to File > Place…/Place Embedded and open image “005” from the fractal folder. In Free Transform mode resize the layer as shown in the image below. Use “Screen” Blending Mode to hide blacks and reduce Fill to 75%.
step-004

Step 5

Add another one fractal “004” and move it up on the canvas to continue the first fractal. Use “Screen” Blending Mode and reduce Fill to 70%. Group all layers via Cmd/Ctrl + G or go to Layer > Group Layers and name it “Background”. We will return to this group later. With the groups, it is very easy to work.
step-005

Step 6

And now some bubbles. I accidentally created this render when experimenting with materials. I liked it because (running a little ahead) can be used with different blending modes and they nicely complement the picture. Place Image “2” into working document (File > Place…/Place Embedded). In Free Transform mode reduce the size and rotate on -40.17 degrees. Set Blending Mode: “Screen”, Fill: 60%.

19 thoughts on “Create a 3D Abstract Photo Manipulation Style in Photoshop”

  1. kudos! I love your work, I’m new at this, your tutorial is very clear, I followed your guide and I made it,I hope you can make more tutorial like this, thank you very much.

  2. I’m at Step 44 and am stuck on this part: “Remember, we create a merged copy? Use it again (Cmd/Ctrl + Opt/Alt + Shift + E) and move this layer to top of layer stack.”

    First, I don’t remember creating a merged copy (that doesn’t mean I didn’t; I just don’t remember), and, secondly, I don’t know which layers you’re referring to that should be included in the merged copy, so, if you could please provide some clarification, I’d be very grateful.

    Thanks,
    Ray

    1. Hi Ray,
      Thank you very much for your letter!

      “Copy Merged Makes a merged copy of all the visible layers in the selected area”
      https://helpx.adobe.com/pdf/photoshop_reference.pdf

      This function is needed to obtain a copy of your work on a separate layer. You can merge all layers if you want, and then make a copy. But it will be wasted and you will not be able to go back to the layers. You must use the version of the image to which you want to apply effect (all layers in the Layers panel or the layers that you consider necessary use in your artwork). You just need a layer of your result on a separate layer, to apply effects. All the same as in Step 29. Or you can use the method that you prefer. Personally, I like to use this method because it is fast. I used all of the layers that have been in my work at this stage. You can see my layers sequence in the previous step (Step 43).

      Kind Regards,
      Maria.

  3. Your tutorials are very easy to follow and I appreciate that very much. I am just getting started and sometimes I am not even sure what photoshop can really do for me.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I am very glad that you liked my tutorial :). I deliberately tried to make my tutorials are accessible to people with various Photoshop knowledge. I believe that you will succeed! From my experience, the best option is a constant practice and personal experience to help you achieve good results!
      Good luck and new creative achievements to you!
      Maria.

  4. I’m enjoying this tutorial, but it would be even better if the reasoning behind what we’re doing was explained, e.g. Step 23 Replace layer mask from “Curves” model layer to Gradient Fill layer by holding Opt/Alt and drag and drop layer mask to gradient layer mask. I understand the basic concept behind layer masks, but I don’t understand why we’re copying a mask from one layer to another and the effect that has.

    If you could supply an explanation, that would be most appreciated.

    Thanks

    1. Thank you for your comment! I’m glad you liked my tutorial :)

      It is necessary to not doing the same action each time. Because otherwise, you need to create a selection of model and add a layer mask to the desired layer. So just a faster and more optimized work on photo manipulation.

      I would like to say that we need a layer mask on which the model (white color) is separated from the background (black) and remove some areas on it to to hide the effect of the adjustment layer, where it is not necessary.

      I hope I answered your question. If you still have questions do not hesitate to ask and I’m happy to answer you :)

      Maria.

  5. I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what we’re supposed to be doing in Step 21. You say “Use the average skin tones near the area being edited.” I have no idea what that means. I’m fairly new to Photoshop, so it could be my lack of experience, but if you could clarify this step and how exactly we’re supposed to go about it, that would be great.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Denny Tang

      I think the author meant to select the average skin tone color with the Eyedropper tool. You can set the “Sample Size” setting to 101×101 pixels in the options bar (below the menus after you have the Eyedropper tool selected).

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