Create a Surreal Arctic Scene in Photoshop

Create a Surreal Arctic Scene in Photoshop

Step 23

Name this layer stars and change it's blend mode to screen. Now black disappears and only white stars are visible. Add a layer mask and select a brush with these settings:
  • Size: 100 px
  • Hardness: 0%
Set the brush opacity to 100% and make sure the stars layer mask is selected. Brush gently and mask the stars in places where they overlap the moon or the clouds. You can use a 50% opacity brush in places where the clouds are barely visible.

Step 24

Change the brush settings to the following:
  • Size: 6 px
  • Hardness: 100%
Click several times randomly on the stars layer to place a few bigger stars. Increase brush size by 2 px and click again few times randomly across the stars layer.

Step 25

Now we will create an aurora borealis. Using Edit > Preset Manager load aurora borealis brushes. Make a new layer and name it "Aurora". Place him above the group Sky. Choose brush 4 and increase size to 1000 px. Choose color #da9c1c as foreground color and click once to make an aurora.

Step 26

Double click layer Aurora to enter advanced blending mode. Use settings like shown in the image below. Notice the blend if sliders. By dragging those little triangles from underlying layer to the left we force white colors from the layer below us to "pop" in our current layer. We will make the white of the clouds to show through aurora, a task difficult to accomplish using basic selection and masking tools.­To split the triangles hold Alt key then drag them.

Step 27

Open photo "Oso Polar 1". Make a selection of the polar bear using your favourite selection tool. I used quick selection tool. Don't worry about the rough edges as we will address this issue later.

Step 28

Press ctrl+C to copy the selection then go to our open document and press ctrl+V to paste it. Place this layer on top of the layers and name it Polar Bear.

Step 29

Ctrl+click layer Polar Bear to select it then press Ctrl+R to open refine edge window. You can use whatever settings make your bear look more realistic or you can use settings shown below.

Step 30

Delete the old layer bear and rename the new one Polar Bear. Add a clipped color balance adjustment layer and use settings like shown below. Change the color balance blending mode to color and lower the opacity to 70%.

Step 31

Select Polar Bear layer. Press Ctrl+T to enter free transform. Hold shift and drag one of the corner points towards center to resize the layer proportionally. While in Free Transform mode right click and choose Flip Horizontal. Place the bear like shown below.

Step 32

We will make the shadow of the bear so he doesn't look fake. Select layer Polar Bear and press ctrl+J to make a duplicate. Rename this layer shadow and move it below Polar Bear layer. Our color balance layer it's not clipping our layer Polar Bear anymore so hold alt and click between the Color Balance layer and Polar Bear layer. Press D to set default colors . Now press alt+shift+Backspace to fill opaque pixels with black. You probably won't see any change because the shadow layer is below our polar bear layer. Press ctrl + T to free transform our shadow layer. Drag the center point to lower left corner point. Transform the shadow like shown below.

Step 33

Apply Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur to our shadow. Then choose a brush with following settings:

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