Photo Manipulation

How to Create a Surreal Scene Full of Life in Photoshop


Copy and paste it into our project and, as usual, resize it using the Free Transform Tool(Ctrl/Command+T).


Place the pigeon above the picture frame and make sure that its layer is above all the others.


Now we’re going to add the shadow of the pigeon on the picture frame.

Create a new layer by clicking in the ‘Create a new layer’ button (you can also press Ctrl/Command+Alt/Option+Shift+N to create a new layer). Then, rename it to ‘Shadow’ and place it behind the pigeon layer.



Now paint the shadow of the pigeon using the images below as reference:



Now your image should look something like this:


Step 9: Add the smoke coming out of the picture

Let’s add the smoke to our project now. Open the smoke stock in Photoshop and before we copy and paste it, we’re going to desaturate it. Press Ctrl/Command+Shift+U to desaturate it and then copy all the image into our project.


Now resize the smoke using the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl/Command+T) and place it near our picture (see image below for reference).



Now change the blend mode of this layer to Screen and you’re done! Remember that we’re trying to make it look like the smoke is coming out of the man’s mouth, so if yours doesn’t look like it, you can move it around (even resize it if you want) until you’re satisfied with the result.


With the smoke added, your image should look like this now:


Now we’re going to group all those things we just added into a new group. Select all of the layers we just created, press Ctrl/Command+G and rename the group to Picture.


Step 10: Add the “balloons girl”

Open the Girl 1 stock and select her using the Quick Selection Tool (W) or, if you prefer, the Pen Tool (P).


Now copy and paste the girl into our project and resize her using the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl/Command+T). After that, mirror the girl by going to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal and place her on the top of the turtle’s head.


Now let’s add her shadow in the turtle’s head. Create a new layer by clicking on ‘Create a new layer’ or by pressing Ctrl/Command+Alt/Option+Shift+N.

Rename the new layer to Shadow and place it behind the girl’s layer.



Now use a hard brush to paint the shadow of the girl, use the image below as reference:


We’re going to use the Gaussian Blur to make the shadow more realistic. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and use a Radius of 3.5px.



Now your image should be similar to this one:


Let’s change the hair of the girl a little bit. Select the Smudge Tool and start clicking and dragging her hair around (see image below for reference):


Yours probably won’t look exactly the same, but don’t worry about that. In my image her hair looks like this:


Your image should now be similar to this one:


Before moving on to the next step, group the girl and its shadow in a new group (Ctrl/Command+G) and name it Right Girl.


Step 11: Add the balloons

Let’s add the balloons to our scene. Open the three balloons and use the Quick Selection Tool (W) to select them. It’s the same process for the three of them, and after that you can copy and paste them into our project.




Resize the balloons using the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl/Command+T) and holding Shift while click and drag the corners, like usual. Place them above the right girl like shown in the image below:


Now we’re going to rotate the second and third balloon a little bit. Use the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl/Command+T) again and change the Rotate values like shown in the images below:

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