Create a Adam and Eve scene (Part 1)

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In this tutorial (Part 1 of 2) we will create an Adam and Eve scene with warm colors and rays of light. We learn some advanced masking techniques so get your selections tools ready. Let’s get started then.


Final Image Preview

Create a Adam and Eve scene

Resources


Step 1

Open file “Field” and make a selection of the sky using the Quick Selection Tool (Q). Press Ctrl + Shift + I to invert the selection and Ctrl + J to make anew layer from the selection. Now we have the ground on a new layer so we can turn off the background layer.

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Step 2

Open file “Sky” and press Ctrl + A to select all then Ctrl + C to copy. Paste into our document (Ctrl + V) and Free Transform (Ctrl + T) like shown below. Place this layer behind the ground layer. The horizon line looks very unrealistic because it is so well defined. We will have to blur it a little to make more genuine. To do this first add a layer mask to the “Ground” layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All).

Now Ctrl-click the ground layer to make a selection of the current pixels and with the layer mask selected (simply click on it once) press D to set default colors and Alt + Backspace to fill the selection with white. To blur the horizon press Ctrl + D to deselect all and apply a 8px Gaussian Blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur).

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Step 3

Add a Color Balance adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance) and use the following settings. This will unify the colors of the sky and ground and will increase the saturation thus making the colors more vibrant.

To make the composition more interesting let’s add a bit of hue variation. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation) and drag the hue slider a little to the left. Select the Linear Gradient tool and in the layer mask drag from the right upper corner towards the left lower corner. Release when you are in the middle.

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Step 4

Select all the layers (Ctrl-click on each of them) and press Ctrl + G to group them. Name this group “Background”.

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Step 5

Open file “Man” and using the Quick Selection tool make a selection of the white background. It should be very easy because it is a uniform white. Press Ctrl + Shift + I to invert the selection and thus select the man and copy selection (Ctrl + C). Paste it into our document and Free Transform as shown below.

Ctrl-click this layer to load it as a selection and press Ctrl + Alt + R to open the Refine Selection window. Use the settings shown below and after you press OK delete the unselected layer and name the new layer “Man”.

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Step 6

We know in advance that the light will be coming from above his right shoulder so let’s add a couple of curves layer to set up the proper lighting.

First add a Curves Adjustment Layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves) and drag the curve downards to darken the scene. Clip this layer to the man layer (to clip an upper layer to a lower layer Alt-click in between the 2 layerl) and fill the layer mask with black (with black as foreground color press Alt + Backspace). Select a round soft brush and set it’s opacity to 50%. Carefully paint the right side of the man (imagine how the shadows would be if the light is coming from the upper right).

Add yet another Curves Adjustment Layer and clip it to the below curves layer (and consequentally to the man layer) but this time drag the curve upwards to lighten. Fill the layer mask with black and paint with the same round soft brush at 80% paint the right side of the man carefully.

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Step 7

Time to add the light. In this step I will teach you a little trick to make a lens flare and move it freely on the screen. Make a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N) and fill it with black (press Shift + F5 and select black from the drop down menu). Choose Filter > Render > Lens Flare and use the settings shown below.

Change the screen mode to Screen and voila, the black disappears, leaving you with a movable lens flare. Place the render flare just above the man’s right shoulder (from the viewer perspective).

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Step 8

Notice how our man doesn’t seem to integrate into the scene, he seems like he’s floating above the ground. Let’s add some shadow to correct that.

Make a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N) and move it below the “Man” layer. Ctrl-click the man layer to load it as a selection and in the newly created layer press Alt + Backspace to fill the selection with black (make sure you have black as foreground color). Press Ctrl + T and transform the selection like in the image below. Right click on the shadow an select Warp. Adjust it like shown below to place the shadow properly on the ground and press Enter.

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Step 9

With the shadow layer selected choose Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur to blur the shadow a little. When working with shadow layers always choose the Multiply blending mode to make the shadow integrate better into the environment. Let’s do that here. Change the blend mode to Multiply and lower the opacity to 60%. Now add a layer mask (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveall All) and with a round black soft brush erase the shadow behind the legs and reduce the amount of shadow below the shoes.

Make a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N) and set it’s blend mode to Multiply with a 60% opacity (the same as the shadow layer). Move this layer below the shadow layer and name it “Shadow2”. With a black round soft brush at 100% paint carefuly below the shoes. Lower the opacity to 50% an increase the size to 300. Dab once on the ground, below the man.

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Step 10

We are almost done with the shadow but still have to add a little detail. Shadows usually fade away as they are further from the subject. To accomplish this effect here first group the two shadow layers (Ctrl-click on each then Ctrl + G) and name this group “Shadow”.

Add a layer mask (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveall All) and select the Linear Gradient tool. With white as foreground color and black as background color drag from below the image until the middle of the shadow and release.

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Step 11

Take a close look at the shoes and notice how the shouse stand just above and not in the grass. We have to put some blades of grass in front of his shoes to achieve this effect. The trick I am going to show you works pretty well for all kinds of objects so you can use it in your further compositions.

First add a layer mask to the “Man” layer. With a round soft black brush paint closely around his shoes but do not overlap them. Select the Smudge tool and set it’s strength to 90%. In the layer mask drag from the black outline you just made towards his shoes. This is simpler to do than say so give it a shot, you’ll know what I mean.

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Step 12

To integrate the man with the surrounding environment choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Photo Filter and select a cooling filter. Select all the layers and groups above the “Background” group and group them (Ctrl + G). Name this group “Man”.

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Step 13

Open file “Woman” and select the background with the Quick Selection tool. Press Ctrl + Shift + I to invert the selection and Copy (Ctrl + C). Paste into our document (Ctrl + V) then position and resize the woman like in the image below. Ctrl-click on it to select the visible pixels. Press Ctrl + Alt + R to open the Refine Edge window and tweak the sliders until the visible edges dissappear. Delete the layer that is not visible and name this layer “Woman”.

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Step 14

Add a layer mask (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All) and with a 10% round soft black brush paint over the semi-transparent part of her dress. Then repeat the trick we used at step 11 to add blades of grass (by drawing a black line around the edges and smudge).

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Step 15

In the next steps we will be adding clipped layers to the layer “Woman” and I won’t repeat at each step. To clip a top layer to a bottom layer simply Alt-click in between the two layers.

Add a Curves Adjustment Layer and in the Blue Channel drag the curve upwards to increase the blues in the light areas. Add another Curves Adjustment Layer but this time drag the RGB curve downards and fill the layer mask with black (if you don’t know how to fill a layer mask with black reffer to step 6). Because the light is coming from the left of the woman (we are using the viewer perspective) brush with a round soft white brush at 80% the right side.

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Step 16

Make a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N) and with a round soft white brush at 10 opacity gently brush the left side of the hair (remember, the light is coming from the left). Add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation) and drag the hue slider to the right to increase the redness.

In the layer mask use a soft round black brush to mask away the effect in her face. After that make a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N) and and change the blend mode to Soft Light and with a round soft black brush at 20% Opacity paint the right side of the girl.

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Step 17

Let’s add some shadow. Make a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N) and move it below the “Woman” layer. Lower the opacity of the layer to 60% and change the blend mode to Multiply. With a round soft black brush paint some shadow (look at the image below for inspiration).

Add a layer mask and drag with the Linear Gradient tool to partially mask the further edge of the shadow. Group all the woman related layers and name the group “Woman”.

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Part 2

That’s it for the Part 1 of Create a Adam and Eve scene tutorial. Click here to read Part 2.

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