Photo Manipulation

Street Dance Illustration

Apply effects to photos and create a contemporary pattern using a brush. In this Photoshop tutorial, you will practice several techniques to create this Photoshop illustration. This tutorial is recommended for experienced Photoshop users because it uses a wide variety of filters and tools.


Street Dance Illustration Photoshop Tutorial


Preview of final results


Stock images used in this tutorial

These are the stock photos that were used in this Photoshop tutorial. You can purchase the same stock photos used in this tutorial or use your own photos. All you need is a photo of a skyline, old paper texture, and a dancer showing his best move.


Step 1 – Open the city skyline photo

Start by opening the photo with the city skyline.


Step 2 – Create a photocopy effect with the threshold tool

Choose Image > Adjustments > Threshold and adjust the setting to get a clean

Use the brush tool to erase the clouds so that the sky is all white.

Finally, choose Image > Adjustments > Invert to invert the layer.


Step 3 – Create a water reflection

Press Ctrl+J or choose Layer > Duplicate to duplicate the layer.

First, activate the transform tool by pressing Ctrl+T or choosing Edit > Free Transform. Then, choose Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical. Press enter to exit out of the transform tool. If you don’t activate the transform tool before you flip the image, it’ll flip all the layers instead of just the layer that you are working on.

Select the rectangular marquee tool and create a selection from the top to the horizon of the city skyline.

Press delete or choose Edit > Clear to clear the selected. Press Ctrl+D or choose Select > Deselect to deselect the selection.

Select the move tool then click and drag on the document window to move the upside down skyline below the horizon.


Step 4 – Apply effect to the water reflection

Press Ctrl+J or select Layer > Duplicate Layer to duplicate the current layer. This layer will be used to create the distorted water reflection effect.

Choose Filter > Distort > Glass. Adjust the settings so that you get a ripple effect like the image below.

Choose Filter > Blur > Motion Blur. Set the angle to 90º and adjust the distance setting to get a blur like the image below.


Step 5 – Mask the distorted reflection effect

Select the gradient tool and apply these settings:

  • Gradient: Black, white (with reverse setting enabled)
  • Style: Linear
  • Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Reverse: Enabled
  • Dither: Enabled

Make sure that you have the layer mask selected. It should have a white border in the layers palette like the image below. Draw a gradient by dragging a line from the horizon to about 25% from the bottom.


Step 6 – Place the old paper texture

Currently you have the layer mask selected. Before you can use the place command, you’ll need to deselect the layer mask. Simply click on the thumbnail of top layer (not its layer mask) to deselect the layer mask.

Choose File > Place, browse for the image file of the old paper texture, then click OK. Scale the image so that it covers the entire image then click enter to apply the changes.


Step 7 – Blend the paper texture

Set the opacity of the current layer to 50%.

Choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation to add a new hue/saturation adjustment layer. It should appear as the top layer. Adjust the color and saturation to your likings.

Here’s what the image looks like so far:


Step 8 – Place the photo of the dancer

Choose File > Place then browse for the image file and click OK. Resize the image if necessary then press enter on your keyboard to apply the changes.

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