Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation

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In this Photoshop tutorial I’ll show you how to create an emotional autumn scene. You’ll learn how to blend all stocks together to make a cohesive scene as well as retouch the model, create rain, work with groups and more.


Final Image

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Photoshop CS5 (CS3+ versions will work as well)
  • Estimated Completion Time: 90 minutes
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

Resources


Step 1

Create a new document at a size of 1200×1000 px and fill it with white (you can use your own size and color). Use the Move Tool (V) to drag the forest stock into your white canvas as shown below:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 1

Step 2

I used some adjustment layers to change the color of the forest. Go to Layer>New Adjustment layer>Color Balance:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 2
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 3

On the Color Balance layer mask, use a soft black brush with opacity from 40-90% to paint over the forest to reveal some parts of it. You can see how I did it on layer mask and the result on the picture:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 4
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 5

Step 3

I used a Photo Filter layer to add some light yellow to the picture:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 6

I applied brush masking on the Photo Filter layer mask on the foggy part:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 7
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 8

Step 4

To increase the contrast of the picture, I used a Curves layer:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 9

I used the brush to paint on the middle part of the forest:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 10
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 11

Step 5

Open the model stock. First use your familiar method to extract the model from the background (we’ll fix the hair later). Copy the extracted model onto a new layer (I called it “layer 1″). Create a new layer between this layer and the background (the layer that contains the original photo) and fill with a warm yellow color (just use any colors you like) (layer 2).

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 12

Step 6

In this step we’ll be removing the backdrop from the umbrella of the model.

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 13

To do this, choose Select>Color Range:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 14

We have a selection for bright parts of the picture:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 15

Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to copy the selection onto a new layer (layer 3). On layer 1, click the second button at the bottom of the Layers Palette to add a mask to this layer.

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 16

On the mask of layer 1, hold Cmd/Ctrl while clicking layer 3 thumbnail to load its selection (bright parts):

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 17

Use a black brush with opacity about 60-70% to paint inside this selection (umbrella only) to remove the background avoiding the hair part. You should have a similar result to mine:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 18

Step 7

Make a new layer on the top. Change brush size to 4 px and color to #221819. Press F5 to change the settings of this brush (remember these settings only work if you’re using a tablet pen):

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 19

Use this brush to draw tiny hair strands for the part near the face:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 20

On another layer select color #3d2827 to paint the lower hairs on the model’s back:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 21

If you don’t want to paint hair, you can use hair brushes instead.


Step 8

Turn off the background and layer 2. Make the top layer active, press Cmd/Ctrl+Option/Alt+Shift+E to merge all transparent layers (layer 1, layer 3 and hair ones).

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 22

Move the merged model into our main picture, place her on the road:


Step 9

Make a new layer under the model layer. Use a soft brush with color #dad6c6 to paint on the center section of the picture (foggy part) to create a stronger light effect for this. Change the mode to Hard Light 100% (I turned off the model layer to let you see more obviously):

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 23
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 24

Step 10

Restore visibility to the model layer. Make a new layer above the model layer and apply a Clipping Mask:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 25

Choose the Smudge Tool with Strength about 28% to brush along the face, shoulder, arms, back avoiding the contours.

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 26

Step 11

Create a new layer (Clipping Mask) and use a brush with color #d2ad9e, opacity and flow about 40% to brighten some unwanted dark parts on the model’s arms:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 27
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 28

Step 12

Use a Curves layer (Clipping Mask) to darken the model:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 29

Use a soft brush on the Curves layer mask to remove the dark effect around the model’s head and body:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 30
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 31

Step 13

Use Hue/Saturation and Photo Filter layers to reduce red and add some greenish/yellowish color to the model:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 32
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 33

Step 14

Use Selective Color to change the color of the umbrella a little:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 34

On the Selective Color layer mask use a brush with opacity about 30-40% to erase around the sides of the umbrella :

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 35
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 36

Step 15

To darken the dress more use a Levels layer:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 37

On the Levels layer mask erase the model’s head, her upper body and the contour of the dress as they should not be too dark:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 38
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 39

Step 16

Make a new layer (Clipping Mask), change the mode to Overlay 100% and fill with 50% gray:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 40

Use the Dodge and Burn Tool (O) with Midtones Range and Exposure about 15-20% to create more details for the model’s skin, brighten eyelids and dress. You can see how I applied this tool in Normal mode and result in Overlay mode:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 41
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 42

Step 17

To make more light for the model, create a new layer (Clipping Mask), use a brush with color #ded7cd, opacity and flow about 25% to paint along the model’s contour (which is illuminated from the background):

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 43

Step 18

Make a Gradient Map layer on the top:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 44

Lower the opacity of this Gradient Map layer to 20%:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 45

Step 19

Use a Color Balance layer to change the color of the whole picture:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 46
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 47

Step 20

Add a Vibrance layer above all the layers:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 48

On this Vibrance layer mask use a brush to erase the dress part:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 49
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 50

Step 21

The model’s lips don’t look good so we can fix that. Make a new layer and use a brush with color #978678 to paint on this part.

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 51

Step 22

Open the leaves pack. Choose some parts and separate leaves to put around the model and on the road, use transform tools (Cmd/Ctrl+T, Skew, Warp…) and layer mask if needed to achieve a random effect. I used 35 layers for this effect. Place some bigger leaves near the foreground:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 52

Step 23

With the bigger leaves apply a Gaussian Blur to them to create some depth for the picture. On those layers, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and choose a radius of 3 px:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 53
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 54

Step 24

Apply a Gaussian Blur of 0.5 px to some of the other leaves if they look too sharp (we’re in a foggy scene!).

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 55

Step 25

To make a shadow for the leaves on the model’s arm, we will use a Drop Shadow effect. Double click these layers, choose Blending Options:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 56
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 57

Step 26

To change the color of all the leaves together, select all of these layers then hit Cmd/Ctrl+G to create a group for them. I named them from 1 to 35. Change the mode of this group from Pass Through (default group mode) to Normal 100%. On layer 35, go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 58
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 59

Step 27

Use Curves to darken the leaves:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 60
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 61

On the Curves layer mask use a brush to erase some leaves as they look too dark after this step:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 62
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 63

Step 28

Right click the leaves group, choose Duplicate Group. Then right click again, choose Merge Group. Now we have a leaves selection that will be useful in next steps (remember to turn off the visibility of this layer).

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 64

Step 29

Make a new layer on the top and fill it with black (Shift+F5). Right click it and choose Convert to Smart Object. Go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 65

Filter>Blur?Motion Blur:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 66

Filter>Blur>Gassian Blur:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 67

Change the mode to Screen 100%:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 68

Use a layer mask to reduce the rain intensity on some parts as shown below:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 69
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 70

Step 30

Duplicate this layer and apply a layer mask again:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 71
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 72

Step 31

Make a group for the rain layers and change the mode of this group to Screen 100% (it’s very important to keep the effect the same as before grouping). Use a Levels layer within this group to enhance the rain effect:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 73
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 74

Step 32

In this step we’ll be adding a dreamy effect to the foreground. Make a new layer on the top. Change the foreground and background colors to #cfd8d1 and #3d262a. Go to Filter>Render>Clouds:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 75

Lower the opacity to 50% and use a layer mask to remove and reduce the mist intensity as shown below:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 76
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 77

Step 33

Make another layer on the top. Use a brush with color #cedfdb, opacity and flow 16-20% to paint on the model’s face and arm to create some light for these areas:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 78

Step 34

Create a new layer again, load the leaves selection (leaves copy layer). Look at step 6 if you forget how to do it and use the same brush to blend the leaves (they need light from the background). You should vary the brush opacity to get a more natural result:

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 79
Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation 80

And We’re Done!

I hope that you enjoyed the tutorial.

Create an Emotional Autumn Scene Photo Manipulation
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2 Responses

  1. alex says:

    just amazing!

  2. Susanne says:

    Super! Congrats!