In this tutorial we'll fuse an image of a Muscle Car and an image of a Hot Chick into one cool retro postcard design. Learn some brush, texture, and layer techniques to create a classic image everyone wants to get ahold of.

Step 1

We need to gather the assets for this tutorial. They are all available from istockphoto: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6. Go ahead and download these files. Let's get started by removing our model from her background.

Step 2

Next create our working document. Make it about the size of a Postcard. Then place our Muscle Car Image. Then place our cut out model on top of the hood of the car. Do some Free Transforming to scale the model down to fit and rotate her a little counter clock wise.

Step 3

First Draw a dark green to bright yellow gradient over our images. Then set the layer to Multiply. And then set it to 30 Percent Transparency.

Step 4

Import our Paper Texture. Scale it down until it looks right. Then set the layer to Multiply and give it a Transparency of 90 Percent.

Step 5

Import our Stars and Stripes Background to the top layer and set it to Hard Light. The grab the Eraser Tool with a Maser Diameter: 300 and a Hardness of 0 Percent. Now Erase the Background in the places where it overlaps the car and the model. This will allow the background to move to the back and fade the background around the edges of the model and car.

Step 6

Import our Clouds and place them behind the Muscle Car. Then set the Muscle Car to Multiply. Use a large Eraser with a Hardness of 0 Percent and remove some of the clouds until your results match the image below.

Step 7

The first image below is just to show you what we are accomplishing on the Paper Background. Grab a large Eraser, set the Brush Hardness to 0 Percent, and erase on the Paper Background layer right where the models head would be. Make sure your settings for the layer are the same as before. The second image shows the change to our image. Her face and torso stand out more now.

Step 8

Let's make our ground stand out more. Import another copy of Stars and Stripes Background. Drop it just above our cloud layer and use a similar Eraser Brush as the last step and erase the top of this layer until your results match the image below.

Step 9

The little details can make a big difference. Draw a selection around the models yellow bracelet. Create a new layer and color the selection orange. Then set the layer to Multiply. Next create a new layer below the model. Grab a small Brush and draw a shadow under the model. Then set the Layer Opacity to 50 Percent.

Step 10

Type in the text ANYWHERE USA and place it at the bottom. I used Arial Black set at 54pt. Use the settings below to give our text a layer style.

Step 12

Now let's add some brush work to give the design an old worn feel to it. In the first image you can see the Brush Tool chosen. On a new layer residing at the top of our document use a dark blue to brush the edges. View the effect in the last image of setting the layer style to Overlay.

Step 13

Use the same kind of Brush as above and create Multiple Brush layers with different colors and opacities. Place all these at the top of our design. Work with it until your happy with your results. My results are shown below. I really like the brushes that started to glow when working with this. Look at the yellow brushes over the text for example. Those are set to Hard Light with an Opacity of 60 Percent.

Step 14

Create a new layer right above our Muscle Car image. Grab another large Brush of the same style we have been using and give it a color of red. Set the layer style to Color Dodge and now wherever you brush it will glow a little bit. I mostly brushed around the Models head to get that to stand out a bit more. But I brushed a little in the bottom corners as well.

Step 15

Now lets add some fingerprints so that it looks like this photo has been handled over the years. First lets cut out each fingerprint from our Fingerprint image. Then paste each one individually onto its own layer. Use the Free Transform tool to move them around until your happy. Keep in mind that the corners are where the most handling usually occurs in a Photograph. I also Erased a little bit of one of the prints as you can see below.

Step 16

Now give your fingerprints varying levels of Opacity and Layer Styles. I used Darken on some and Multiply on the others. I used varying Opacities set between 40 percent and 100 percent. The last thing I did was go over the top Stars and Stripes background with the eraser a bit more so we can see the clouds break through next to the model. The results of our final image is shown below.

Conclusion

Fusing photos into a composition is fun. Textures, brushes, and grunge elements are a great way to pull these images together. And above all else never forget that muscle cars and hot chicks are a cool and classic design combo.

Download the PSD

Click here to download the Photoshop file.

About the author

This tutorial was written by Sean Hodge.

Hi All! Tutorials are awesome. I'm really into writing them on my Illustrator and Vector Graphics blog AiBURN. I'm from the US, but living on the beach in Venezuela. My studio is Connection Cube. That's where I get to create graphics, design websites, and write for some great companies! I love working on creative projects!

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