In this comprehensive tutorial, I’ll show you how you can convert an ordinary forest into your own fantasy one. You’ll also learn how to achieve realistic light effects using basic to advanced lighting techniques. Moreover, this tutorial has an extensive use of blend modes, layer masks, adjustments layers and many more essential techniques in a great way. Read this tutorial and find out how easy it is!!

What you’ll be creating

In this tutorial, we’ll start up by turning an ordinary forest into the fantasy one. Then the addition of model take place and you’ll learn how you can blend the model to your desired scene using blending techniques. We’ll also learn how to fix hair as well as taking care of minor details. After that we’ll add lamp to the scene and you’ll learn how to achieve realistic light effect using basic to advanced lighting techniques. Finally, we’ll add more lighting effect and adjust the color of whole scene. You’ll need Photoshop CS3 or newer to follow this tutorial. final-results

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Start by creating a new document by selecting File > New and then set the setting as shown in the image below or you can go for higher setting if you want. step-001

Step 2

Now, place the forest image by selecting File > Place then select the forest image. step-002

Step 3

Now, add a layer mask to the forest layer by clicking Add Layer Mask button (See the image below) in the layer panel at bottom right corner. Activate the Gradient Tool by pressing (B) on the keyboard and choose a black to white linear gradient then holding the shift apply it vertically from top to bottom on the layer mask of forest. You can see the overall result as well as on layer mask. step-003

Step 4

Now, place the nebula image below the forest layer as shown in the image below and here are the results. step-004

Step 5

Now, add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer by clicking on New Adjustment Layer button in layer pallete (See the image below) and the set the setting as shown in the image to reduce the saturation of nebula image. step-005

Step 6

Now, back to the forest layer and start colouring it with Photo Filter and Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Set the values as shown in the image below and don’t forget to clip it using clipping mask (see the image below). step-006 Here are the results. step-006a

Step 7

On the Brightness/Contrast Adjustment layer mask I hided the selected part as shown in the image. You can see the overall as well as layer mask result. step-007 Here are the results so far. step-007a

Step 8

Continue colouring the forest layer with Color Balance Adjustment layer. Set the values as shown in the image below and I also changed the tone of shadow for Cyan/Red to 1 not too much just a bit. step-008 Here are the results. step-008a

Step 9

Now, add Gradient Map and Exposure Adjustment layer to the forest. Set the values as shown in the image below. step-009 On the layer mask of Exposure Adjustment layer I hided the selected part to darken the bottom right part (see the image) and I also changed the blend mode of Gradient Map Adjustment layer to color dodge. step-009a Here are the result so far. step-009b

Step 10

Let’s create some Fog. To do this, create a new layer by pressing (Shift + Ctrl + N) on keyboard and name it ‘Fog’. Grab the brush tool by pressing (B) on the keyboard and change your foreground color to #a5a7a8. Then paint it with 30% opacity as well as flow. Here are the results. step-010

Step 11

Add a layer mask to fog layer while selecting layer mask goto Filter > Render > Clouds. Apply the cloud filter once (Don’t hesitate to do it more than one time to get better results). Here you can see the results. step-011

Step 12

Add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer to the ‘Fog’ layer to properly blend it to the scene. Set the setting as shown in the image below. step-012 Here are the results. step-012a

Step 13

To light up the scene I created a new layer. Choose a soft round brush tool with opacity and flow to 30% then change your foreground color to #304653 and paint as shown in the image below. step-013 Now the change the blend mode to Color Dodge and reduce the opacity to 37%. Reducing the opacity is depend on how brighter is your color. Here are the results. step-013a

Step 14

Now, Extract the model with your favourite selection tool and place it to the main document as shown in the image below. You can see that I have kept some parts around the hair. I have also kept the leaves part of model because we’ll match it with forest parts and it will help us to blend the model properly to the scene without a single fuss. step-014

Step 15

Now, we’ll fix the hair. There are lot of techniques for fixing the hair around the Internet like painting the hair with Tablet, using the already painted hair and many more. To be honest, I really don’t know how to paint hair and I don’t have any tablet either. But I have developed a little trick to fix hair and I use this techniques almost in my every manipulation. So, let’s fix it. In previous you have seen that I didn’t mask the parts around the hair. Because I am gonna extract it using the Refine Edge Tool. So, Right click on the model layer and choose Refine Mask. You’ll see a refine mask edge dialog box appeared on you screen as shown in the image below. Choose the refine radius tool as shown in the image below then set the size as you needed. Then simply paint around the model hair as shown in the image below to extract the hair. step-015a Here are the result and pretty much decent result we have got but it is still not looking good and we don’t want that. Don’t worry about that we’ll fix it in next couples of steps. Meanwhile, Start blending the model to the scene in next step. step-015b

Step 16

Let’s start blending the model to the scene. So, apply an Exposure and Photo Filter Adjustment layer to the model. Set the values as shown in the image below. step-016 Here are the results. step-016a

Step 17

Continue blending the model to the scene using Color Balance Adjustment layer as shown in the image below. step-017 Here are the results. step-017a

Step 18

I have darken the model litte bit using Curves Adjustment layer. step-018 Here are the results. step-018a

Step 19

Now, we’ll fix the hair properly. Open the hair psd file in Photoshop and choose the bottom brown hair. Now, place it as shown in the image below. step-019 Add a layer mask to hair layer and then using soft round black brush hide the unwanted shown in the image below. step-019a

Step 20

I added a Gaussian blur fiter to the hair. To do this, right click on hair layer and choose convert to Smart Object. Then goto Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the radius to 0.5 and here are the results. step-020

Step 21

Now add a Brightness/Contrast and Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to the hair. Set the setting as shown in the image below. step-021 Here are the results. step-021a

Step 22

Now, place the brown (Top) hair to model and then use a layer mask to blend it to model hair like we have done in previous steps. I have also used Gaussian Blur filter about 0.5 for this Hair. Here are the results. step-022

Step 23

Add a Color Balance Adjustment layer to the hair. Here are the values. Reduce the opacity of Color Balance to 75%. step-023 Here are the results. step-023a

Step 24

Now, duplicate the brown layer and move it to the left then blend it using a layer mask. Here are the results. step-024

Step 25

Now add a Brightness/Contrast and Color Balance Adjusment layer to the hair. Set the values as shown in the image below. I have also selected the shadow tone in Color Balance and only changed the cyan/red tone to +7. Reduce the opacity of Color Balance to 60%. step-025 Here are the results. So, we have fixed the hair. That’s my technique for fixing the hair by combining refine mask and already painted hairs. step-025a

Step 26

Now, place the nebula 1 image to the main document. Use free transform tool by pressing (Ctrl + T or Edit > Transform > Free Transform) to resize the image as shown in the image below so it can cover the entire scene. step-026 Now, change the blend mode to overlay and reduce the opacity to 60%. Here are the results. step-026a

Step 27

Add a layer mask to the nebula 1 and hide the selected center part. You can also see the result below. step-027 Add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer to the nebula 1 image. Set setting as shown in the image below. step-027a Here are the results. step-027b

Step 28

Extract the Lamp using your favourite selection tool and place it to canvas. step-028 Create a new layer below the lamp layer. Use basic soft round black brush with opacity and flow to 30% to paint some shadows for the lamp. You can see the results below. step-028a

Step 29

Add a Brightness/Contrast and Photo Filter adjustment layer to the lamp. Set the values as shown in the image below. step-029 Here are the results. step-029a

Step 30

Let’s make a glow on the lamp. Create a new layer and choose the soft round brush tool with opacity and flow to 30% then change your foreground color to #583f1f and size to 300 pixels. Make a stroke on lamp and then change the blend mode to Linear Dodge. Here are the results. step-030 Create a new layer again. Choose same setting for brush tool in previous step and use the same color to paint some more light on ground, model hair, arms, hands, legs wherever the light reflected by the lamp. step-030a I painted some more light on lamp. You can see the image below. So, we have achieved a basic light effect but it doesn’t looks realistic but looks better. Here comes the advanced lighting techniques and we’ll make it more realistic using nebula 2 image in next couple of steps. step-030b

Step 31

Now, place the Nebula 2 on the main document. Change the blend mode to soft light. Here are the results. step-031

Step 32

As you can see that placing the Nebula 2 image our top right and left corner are become more darker. This because our first nebula layer which is below the forest layer. To get rid of this select the nebula layer which is below the forest layer and then using soft round basic brush hide the nebula layer part as shown in the image below. step-032 After hiding the nebula layer parts we have more decent results. step-032a

Step 33

Back to Nebula 2 layer, add a layer mask to it. Using soft round basic brush hide the selected part because we don’t want the Nebula 2 to affect especially to lamp and it’s reflected lights. step-033

Step 34

Now, place again Nebula 2 with soft light mode and this time reduce the opacity to 85%. Add a layer mask to and hide all parts except this part (see the image below). step-034 Now, add Hue/Saturation to the Nebula 2 layer. Set the values as shown in the image below. As a Hue/Saturation results, it has given a realistic light glow on model body. This what we needed and we’ll enhance in next couple of steps. You can see the results below. step-034a

Step 35

Now create a new layer and using a soft round basic brush with color #463213 and with opacity to 30% as well as flow. Paint some light one more time. If you are satisfied with results then you can continue if not you can also paint on duplicated nebula 2 texture to get more results which satisfied your needs. step-035

Step 36

Change the blend mode to Color Dodge. Here are the results. step-036

Step 37

Again create a new layer and paint some more lights as shown in the image below with same setting in previous step. step-037 This time change the blend mode to Linear dodge and reduce the opacity to 20%. Here are the results. step-037a

Step 38

I painted some lights on model with same brush setting but changed the color to #132f46. step-038 Now change the blend mode to linear dodge. Here are the results. step-038a

Step 39

Create a new layer to add our little friend of this lost lady which is Dragonfly. So, load the Dragonfly brushes and paint it as shown in the image (Feel free to use it anywhere). step-039

Step 40

Add a Blending Options effect to the Dragonfly. To do this right click on dragonfly layer and choose Blending Options. Here are the values for Blending Options. step-040 Here are the results. step-040a

Step 41

Add many different dragonfly and choose different outer glow color to make them glow with different colors. I have used 10 layers to arrange them. Here are the results. step-041

Step 42

Let’s add some more Fog to the scene. To do this create a new layer, use a soft round basic brush then change your foreground color to #b4b4b4. Here are the results. step-042

Step 43

Add a layer mask to the fog layer then goto Filter > Render > Clouds. Apply it once and here are the results. step-043

Step 44

Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to fog. Here are the results. step-044

Step 45

Open the Starry Texture package and choose Starry 1. Place it to the main document then set the blend mode of Starry 1 to screen. Here are the results. step-045

Step 46

Add Level Adjustments layer to Starry 1. It’s a good working or manipulations (In Photoshop) practices to keep all the layer well arranged using Groups. Here are the results and you can see how well arranged my Layer Panel in the image below. step-046 Here are the overall results so far. step-046a

Step 47

Create a new layer use the basic soft round basic brush then change your foreground color to #0b2a4d. Then change the brush size to around 800 pixel and paint a big dot as shown in the image below. step-047 Change the Blend Mode of this layer to Linear Dodge and reduce the opacity to 50%. Here are the results. step-047a

Step 48

We are almost done but still short of Final Adjustments. So, add a Brightness/Contrast and Curves adjustment layer. See the image below for values then reduce the opacity of Brightness/Contrast to 60%. step-048 Here are the results. step-048a

Step 49

Add Brightness/Contrast adjustments layer. step-049 Here are the results. step-049a

Step 50

Add a Color Balance Adjustments layer. Set the setting as shown in the image below. step-050 Here are the results. step-050a

Step 51

Add a Color Lookup Adjustment and set values as shown in the image below. Change the blend mode of Color Lookup to Color and then reduce the opacity to 30%. step-051 Here are the results. step-051a

Final Results

final-results

Download the PSD

Download

Colorful Forest.zip | 104 MB

Tutorial by Bunty Pundir

profileThank you for following the tutorial. Hope you like it and learned something new today. I am an artist from New Delhi, India. You can can follow me on Facebook, Behance andDeviantart for my artworks as well as for tutorials. Always remember three Magical Words “Never Give Up”. Have a Great Photoshopping Day. – Bunny