Learn how to create this windy photo manipulation of a woman leaning on columns with deteriorated flags. You’ll learn how to combine images, manipulate them to fir the windy scene, and work with lighting and shadows.

Preview of Final Results

Tutorial Resources

Step 1 – File

Go File > New and create a new 2000x2000px document.
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Step 2 – Neutral Base

You can use something like this to have a base for the image.
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Step 3 – Model

Go to File > Place. This will show you a new window and you can choose the image of the model.
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Step 4 – Select

To select the model, you can use the Pen tool or Lasso tool.
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Step 5 – Add layer mask

Go the bottom of the layer’s menu and choose the option to add a layer mask.
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If you apply the layer mask correctly you will have something like this:
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Step 6 – Sky

Place the image of the sky.
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Change the color of the layer pressing Ctrl/Cmd+U. Reduce the saturation to -50 and lightness to -25.
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Step 7 –Layer Mode

Change the layer setting from normal to overlay and set the opacity to 60%.
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Step 8 – Mountain

Place the mountains.
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Step 9- Gaussian Blur

Go to the menu filter and choose the option Blur and then Gaussian Blur. Use 5px of radius.
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Step 10 – Layer mode

Set layer mode to overlay and use the opacity in 65%.
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Step 11 – Orange

Create a new layer (Ctrl+Shift+N)and set it in soft light mode, then pick a soft round brush with warm tones, (brownish) and paint over the layer. Also remember to configure the brush to pen pressure. You have to paint with a lighter in the middle and then becoming darker in the borders. Remember where is the light coming from, the layer in the image above is set to normal.
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Layer in soft light mode
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Here is the color palette you can use.
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Step 12 – Rock

Place the image of the rock and resize it to fit the model.
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Step 13 – Selection

Like before select the rock with the lasso tool and add a layer mask to hide the undesired parts
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Step 14 – Color layer

Place a layer of a sky
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Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply 90px of radius to the image.
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Step 15- Soft Light

Change layer mode to soft light
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Step 16 – Orange

Now like before in a new layer paint with a soft round brush over the image, this time with orange and yellow tones. Layer in normal mode
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Layer in soft light mode
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Step 17 – LIght

With some brushes, you can create the light coming from the sky
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Change layer to soft ligth
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Step 18 – Ruins

Place the image of the ruins.
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Then as before select the columns and add a layer mask to hide the rest
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Step 19 – Model

Change the model position, to do this, press ctrl+T the free transform option to make the model smaller and make her fit with the image.
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Step 20 – Details

Go to the layer mask from the model and erase some parts.
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Step 21 – Skin

Select model’s skin with the lasso tool and duplicate the layer pressin ctrl+j

14 thoughts on “How to Create a Breathtaking Medieval Manipulation with Realistic Deteriorated Flags”

  1. As the model in the stock being used, and having seen several versions other artists have created using this tutorial, it would be honestly very nice if artists trying to recreate the styling and theme would see if they can do the same thing using alternative stock – of which there are thousands available. The point of tutorials is to make suggestions and provide tips to artists looking to improve their techniques or learn new ones, not to make identical and in some cases poor reproductions of the work used in the tutorial. Change it up people!! :)

  2. An outstanding design sharing that’s very helpful for me. As a graphics designer I have just learned some new technique today from this blog. Thanks and appreciate it.

  3. This is really cool. I really like the idea; erasing a flag to make it look worn out.

    This makes me wonder if you can do it to clothes too. I never even think about making fabric look worn out, I just find worn out stocks which is hard to come by.

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