Create an Alien Invasion Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

Creating a destruction scene is a very challenging part in any manipulation because it involves a lot of attention in details, perspective and proper use of images to achieve the best result. In this tutorial I will explain you how to create a destroying city manipulation by using some basic techniques like color correction, masking and brushes.

Preview of Final Results


Alien Invasion Photoshop Tutorial


Step 1

Create a new document of size 3000 x 2250 pixels and import “city.jpg” to the document. Size doesn’t matter, but I suggest you to always choose large size so that you can pay more attention to details.


Step 2

Before going ahead, I prefer to visualize the scene so that I can get a direction to start my work. For this, select pen tool and create the main object that is arm of octopus. Make sure to turn path layer on and save as this path to “arm1”, press Ctrl + Enter and fill layer with a bright color.


Step 3

Repeat the second step to create more arms of octopus and save all paths. Go to the path palette to access these paths, select one path, go to File > Export > Path to Illustrator and export this path to edit it in Illustrator. Similarly, export all paths to illustrator.


Step 4 – Creating divisions in arm

Now open the adobe illustrator and import all paths to one file and refine their edges and Curves to make it perfect. Next, we will create segments of arm to give it robotic look. For this, select line segment tool ( \ ) and create a vertical line of height 20 mm and weight 1 point. Select that line segment then go to brush palette and click on new brush icon to create new brush. Select pattern brush option and set spacing to 500%, this will repeat vertical lines uniformly to create divisions of arm.



Step 5

Select pen tool and create a base lining through the centre of arm, press “A” to select direct selection tool and edit this lining to make it perfect. Now go to brush palette and select the new brush which we just have created. You will see that several lines are aligned through the path and created the divisions for the arm.



Step 6

We have created the divisions in the arm, but you may have noticed that these divisions seem flat and gaping between them are larger at tip part then thick part. To give arm depth we will increase the divisions at tip and for this, just go to Object > Expand Appearance, ungroup them and manually repeat divisions by duplicating lines at tip.


Step 7

Next, select all divisions, group them and go to Object > Expand and expand all paths to object. Duplicate the arm, press Shift + Ctrl + F9 to access pathfinder window, select arm then select divisions and click on minus front icon to minus divisions on front. Make sure to keep an additional copy of arm. Repeat same procedure with all arms. We will call arm having division to “division” and arm without division to just “arm” to avoid confusion.


Step 8

Import arm and its division to Photoshop, fill them with color black, create a new layer and Ctrl + click division layer to get its selection. Hide the arm layer then add layer mask to the division layer, now select a soft brush of size 100px and color #434343 and paint through the one side of arm to make it shading, now unhide the arm layer.

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