So here we find ourselves with the subject all shaped out with with each shape in its own layer. Now we can group all the layers and groups for the subject into one group, I called mine “HummingBird”. Now what we’re going to do is apply an overall style to the subject as a whole by right clicking on your main group and clicking on Blending Options. Any styles we put in here will effect the group as if it was all one object rather than individual layers, very useful for giving the whole thing a drop shadow and the orange around the edge. Below you’ll find all the settings I used, play with them a little bit and see what you can come up with!
Now it may not look like much right now but its getting there! This next step will really pull it together and you’ll get an idea of how its coming together! We’re going to select any of the individual shape layers and apply the following settings in blending options. I usually go with the biggest shape so I can see how my settings look clearly as I apply them. When you’re happy with your results we’re going to apply it to the rest of your shape layers by right clicking on the layer you’ve applyed the style too and clicking COPY STYLE. Then we can right click on our shape layers and PASTE STYLE. Make this quicker by highlighting multipe layers at a time and pasting. (The pattern overlay here is entirely optional if your comfortable making your own patterns and bringing them into photoshop, a quick google search will show you how to do this)
Now that we have the Blending Options all set on each of our shape layers things are starting to look a lot like the final result! But there are still a few things we can do to really make this shine! First we’ll add the metal texture to each layer using clipping masks. There are a few ways to do this, including the Pattern Overlay option in our blending options but I like clipping masks personally because of the level of control. To do this place the texture youd like to use in a layer over the layer or group you’d like it too effect as shown below. Right click on it selecting Create Clipping Mask. This will make it so that it only shows up on the layer below it, clipping masks can be stacked so they all effect the one at the bottom. Position and rotate your texture for each group or layer to give a unique look to each one, this will add a sense of depth and help differentiate one layer from another. Change the Blending Mode to SOFT LIGHT and adjust your Opacity to your liking though I kept mine at 100% so
Getting close to the end! Now we’re going to bring in that smoke texture, I got mine from a stock I purchased for another project but many can be found on sites like Deviantart and Free Stock Exchange. Bring it in on a layer above your background group but below the main subjects group, for smoke on a black background set the blending mode to screen, this will show only the whitest parts and make the blacker areas opaque, a very useful blending mode for things like dust, fire, smoke, even water splashes. If the smoke is too transparent try duplicating the layer on top of itself and using the same blending mode.We’ll also be using a layer mask to mask it out around the edges of the subject or however you’d like to give it a bit of variation from from the stiffness of our main subject (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All) Using layer masks can be very usful and is covered in a lot of tutorials but for those that don’t know it allows you to paint layers transparancy on using a black or white paintbrush (Black being fully transparent and white being fully opaque.) without deleting the image like the eraser tool does.