How to Create Dramatic Sci-Fi Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

How to Create Dramatic Sci-Fi Photo Manipulation in Photoshop
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Grab the Brush Tool (B), select some soft round brush and lower its Opacity on about 30%. Pick black color and paint over the areas of sky you want to make invisible. To get the inspiration where to paint you can take a look at the following image. Areas which should be hidden are red highlighted.
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Note to how layer masks work: If you want to hide something paint over it with black. If you want to make it visible again paint with white. E.g. 50% grey color makes the picture 50% invisible etc..

Step 5 - Making Sky More Dramatic

I don't know how you but I really like drama in my pictures and drama often means high contrast. That's why you'll increase contrast of sky in this step. Add new adjustment layer (same as in step 1) Levels above SKY and set the Input Levels on 37; 0,68; 218.
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You want to adjust only the sky and not the rest of the image. To achieve that you'll create clipping mask from this adjustment layers. Right click on the Levels adjustment menu and choose the option Create Clipping Mask. On the following picture you can see the order of the layers so far.
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And there is how your image should look like so far.
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Step 6 - Details in Sky

Left side of the sky is kind of boring right now. It's just big grey area without any details. You'll make it more interesting in this step. Download the picture of cloud and drag it into your photo manipulation. Place it on the top of all layers and name it CLOUDS. To blend it properly with the rest of the sky you need to do two things - first change the Blending Mode and second make soft transition with use of layer mask. Let's start with changing the Blending Mode. Change it from Normal to Luminosity and lower its Opacity on 75%.
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Now add layer mask to this layer. Grab the Brush Tool (B), select some soft round brush and lower its Opacity on 30%. Pick black color and paint around the edges of the layer to create nice, soft transition. On the following picture you can get inspiration where to paint. It's highlighted with red again.
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Step 7 - Adding Flames

If you look at the preview picture you see that the whole city is in fire. You'll burn it in this and some of the following steps. Download some picture of the flames listed in the beginning of the tutorial and drag it into your photo manipulation. Place it on the top of all layers. You need to blend it and change its size to fit to the rest of the image. It would be really hard and time consuming to blend the flames with using of layer mask and the Brush Tool (B). Luckily there is really quick and effective way. Because flames have black background you can blend it easily by changing its Blending Mode from Normal to Screen. Black becomes invisible. To resize the picture go to Edit > Free Transform or press Ctrl + T. By dragging some of the small squares in the corners resize it on the size you want. Press Shift while resizing to remain constant proportions.
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In preview picture there are several elements which direction is affected by the direction of wind - smoke, woman's coat and hair and also flames. To make the scene realistic all these elements should have the same direction as wind.

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5 comments on “How to Create Dramatic Sci-Fi Photo Manipulation in Photoshop”

  1. Amazing photo manipulation tutorial in Photoshop. Local adjustment, global adjustment, fire and light effects are raeally art work.

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