Everything is looking really good so far. Now Go to > File > Place, and select Sci-Fi Prop image to import the image to our canvas as a Smart Object. Make sure the layer is below the Man layer. Scale the image down, rotate, and flip it horizontally. Press down the Alt key and select Level via adjustment layer on the Layers panel. Check the Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask box, and set the settings as indicated in the image below.
Now we need to set its color and tone to match with our scene. Add another adjustment layer. This time choose Hue/Saturation and reduce the Saturation to -51. Also change the tone a bit by adding a Color Overlay via layer style. Set the color to #ffde00, Blend Mode to Color, and Opacity down to 3%.
Duplicate the Sci-Fi Prop layer and the the adjustments by dragging and droping it into the new layer icon of the Layers panel. Press Ctrl+T once again to rotate, flip, and scale the image. We should add some shadows to make it look more realistic. Just duplicate the layer again, change its Blending Mode to Multiply, and lower the Opacity down to 76%.
Add a layer mask and using the black soft brush, start erasing the parts of the shadows we donâ€™t need. As I mentioned before, our light comes from front, this means the front area will receive the most light, and the further the object is from the light, the darker it will be. See the image below. Red arrows indicate where to put a strong shading and green ones – where to put softer shading. Change the brush size or opacity of your brush while you paint.
Tips: Going back and forth to the Brush tools Options bar to change the brush size or opacity of your brush while you paint will waste a lot of time. Here are some tips to minimize that.
Opacity: You can change it in 10 percent increments with a keyboard command. As you paint, press 1 to set the brush to an opacity level of 10%, press 2 to set it at 20%, and so on. If you want a more specific opacity level, press 4 and then press 3 immediately after to achieve 43% opacity.
Brush size: Use the bracket keys to change the diameter of your brush. Press ] to increase the brush size, and press [ to decrease.
Hardness: If you want to change the hardness of a brush, press Shift+[ to increase the hardness and press Shift+] to decrease.
Open the Steam stock image. We are going to use the part of this image to create pipe behind the Man’s shoulder. Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to cut out the chimney part, then copy and paste it to our canvas. Rename this layer as “Pipe”. Copy the layer and flip it vertically to extend the pipe.
Use the same technique as the previous step to create depth and shadow to it. First, Go to > Image > Adjustment > Desaturate to eliminate the color. Then press Ctrl+L to call up the Levels window and set the settings as below.
In the Layers panel, right click the Sci-Fi Prop layer and select Copy Layer Style. Then right click the Pipe layer and select Paste Layer Style. This should apply the same Prop’s Color Overlay effect to the Pipe layer. Next, copy the layer and set the Blending Mode to Multiply. Leave the darken area and erase the midtones and highlights.