In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a perspective 3D scene and the illusion of depth with Photoshop’s basic features like transform tools, masking, blending, adjustment layers, and more. I will try to explain it in a very easy way so the beginners can follow along.

What you’ll be creating

We will start this tutorial by creating perspective background, then adding shadows and some elements, such as chains, pipe and wires. Finally, we will finish it up by adding some nice textures to it. You will need Photoshop CS5 or newer to follow this tutorial.

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Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Let’s start by open the image of Man. First thing we need to do is to extract the Man from the background. Before we start anything, double click the Background layer in the Layers panel to unlock it, then select the Magic Wand Tool (W) from the Tool panel. Magic Wand Tool is a great way to select this kind of images – that have areas of similar tone and color. In the Option bar, Set the Tolerance to 25 and simply click on the background area.
You’ll see that the selection isn’t perfect, but we can always fix it in Quick Mask Mode by pressing the (Q) key on the keybord. Now grab the Brush Tool (B) in the Tools panel and start painting with a hard-edged brush preset. The red overlay indicates areas that are not selected. Keep painting until you have a smooth line that you are happy with.
Once you’ve done with Quick Mask Mode, press the (Q) again to go back to the Normal Mode, then press Delete to remove the background.

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Step 2

Now Go to Image > Canvas Size, uncheck the Relative option and change the dimensions to 3362 x 3719 pixels. An alert box will pop up telling you that clipping will occur. Just click Proceed and we are good to go. Move the Man down slightly so we can see the part of his head, then add the new layer below the currently selected layer by hold down the Ctrl key and click on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Go to > Edit > Fill and select Black from the Contents drop down menu.

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Step 3

What we are going to do next is create a perspective guide for the background. This guide will help us develop perspective view to build 3D scene for the background. Create a new layer below the Man layer, draw a rectangle with Retangular Marquee Tool (M) in the middle of the canvas, something around 1952 x 2432 pixels. With the selection still active, again Go to > Edit > Fill, but this time choose 50% Grey.

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Step 4

Open the Vault image. Press the Ctrl+A from the keyboard to select the entire image, then Go to > Edit > Copy, and Paste (Ctrl+V) it to our canvas. Drag the layer beneath the Man layer in the Layers panel. Press the Ctrl+T and scale the image as big as perspective guide we created earlier. As you can see, the Vault is leaning a bit so we want to turn it to look a little bit more symmetrical. To do that, press Ctrl+T again, right click on the bounding box around the object, choose Warp, and start to pull the the Vault into a better alignment.