Step 13: Cleaning our project
We’re entering the final stage of our project now but our layers are sill a little messy, let’s try to clean them now.
Select the first Curves adjustment layer and the “Ropes in front” group and create a new group with them (Shortcut: Ctrl/Cmd+G). Name this new group “Ropes”.
Now select the second Curves adjustment layer and the “Ropes in the back” group and make a new group with them the same way we just did (Shortcut Ctrl/Cmd+G). Name this group “Ropes” again.
Again, select the last Curves Adjustment Layer and the “Ropes holding the cube” group and create a third group named “Ropes”. (Shortcut: Ctrl/Cmd+G)
Now select the Monk Shadow layer, the Cave Lighting, the Cave Walls group and the Cave layer and create another group with all of them. (Shortcut Ctrl/Cmd+G). Name this group “Cave/Monk Shadow”.
And as expected, our image should still be like this:
Step 14: Painting our scene
In this step we’re going to paint some parts of our scene to make our image more appealing. Hit the Create New Layer button on the layers panel (Shortcut Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+N) to create a new layer and place it between the first Ropes group and the Planet layer. Name this new layer Black. Change the mode of this layer to Color and reduce the opacity to 75%.
With the brush tool (Shortcut: B) selected, set the size of the brush to around 300px, the mode to Normal and reduce the opacity to something around 50%. Also, make sure you have black as your foreground color (Shortcut to reset the colors of your palete: D).
Now paint the area inside the cube, the spaces between the ropes holding the cube, and part of the cave in that space as well. Here’s how my layer looked like in normal view:
And here’s the result of it:
Now create a new layer the same way we did before, click on the Create New Layer button (Shortcut: Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+N), reduce the opacity to 8%, change the blending mode to Color, name it Purple, and place it right above the Black layer we just created.
Now, as you guessed, we’re going to use purple to paint our scene. I used #8400ff but you can use something similar if you want to.
Using the same brush settings as before, take a look at the image below and paint our cube with purple:
Here’s the result:
Step 15: Final Adjustments
Ok, this is the last step of our manipulation. We’ll add a bunch of adjustments to change the colors of our image and give it a dreamy look in the end.
First create a Black & White adjustment layer:
And on the properties panel, select the “High Contrast Red Filter” preset.
Then change the opacity of this layer to 27% and this should be the result:
Create a new layer by clicking on the Create New Layer button (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+N) and name this layer Gradient. Set the blending mode to Soft Light and the opacity to 35%.
Now get the Gradient Tool (Shortcut G) and go to the Gradient Editor.
On the Gradient Editor window, create a new gradient going from a blue color to a yellow color. Try to use colors that are similar to these:
With the gradient we just created, follow the image below to create a gradient in our image. Remember that you won’t see the gradient like in the image below, but I just wanted to show you what it looks like in Normal view.
This is the result of the gradient:
Now add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment above all the other layers and set the Brightness to 20.
This is the result:
Add a Selective Color adjustment layer so we can adjust all the colors of our image at once. On the properties panel, use the following settings in each of the Colors:
The result should be something like this:
Let’s create a new layer with all of our previous layers merged. To do that, hit Ctrl/Cmd+Alt/Opt+Shift+E. Set the blending mode of this layer to Screen, and reduce the opacity to 15%.
Now with this layer selected, go to Filter->Blur->Gaussian Blur and select a Radius of 80px.
The result should be this dreamy effect:
Duplicate the layer we just created by dragging it to the Create New Layer button or by pressing Ctrl/Cmd+J. Set the blending mode of this new layer to Soft Light and set the opacity to 25%.
Here’s the result:
Now create a new layer by pressing the Create New Layer button (or Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+N) and name it Vignette. Place it above all the other layers.
Press D to make sure that black is your foreground color, and then hit Alt/Opt+Del to fill your whole screen with black.
Get the Eraser Tool (Shortcut E), set the size to 2000px, and start erasing the center of our image to create a nice vignette effect to it.
Here’s how your layers should be looking like:
Create a new layer again (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+N), name it Lens Flare, set the blending mode to Screen and make sure that it is on the top of the layer stack.
Now go to Filter -> Render -> Lens Flare and try to create something like shown on the image below. Remember to select Movie Prime and set the Brightness to 100%.
This should be the result:
Now add a layer mask to that image and hide some of the Lens Flare using the Brush Tool (Shortcut B) with black.
This is the result:
Now for the textures, go to File -> Place and chose Texture 1. Set the blending mode to Overlay and the Opacity to 25%.
This is the result we get:
And for the second and final texture, go again to File -> Place and chose Texture 2. Rotate it (just like when using the Free Transform Tool) and resize it to fit our whole canvas.
Then change the blending mode of this layer to Soft Light and reduce the opacity to 20%.
And this is our final result, and the end of our image:
Remember to select all the adjustments we just added (holding Shift) and create a new group with them. Name this group “Final Adjustments” and we’re done!