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Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop CS 6

The new promotional images for Photoshop CS6 are really amazing, they were created by Alberto Seveso, an incredible digital artist from Italy. Seveso has been pushing the limits of creativity and the use of Photoshop for a long time and we are great admirer of his work. Intrigued with artworks we decided to create something inspired by his work. It's amazing to see that such amazing images are most of the times done by simple techniques. This tutorial will show you how to achieve similar effect using Photoshop with Masks and Layer Effects. It's an intermediate tutorial but I am sure you will have so much fun doing as we did. Step 1 Open Photoshop and create a new document. I am using 2880x1800 pixels for mine After that let's use a photo of a beautiful girl. The one I am using is from YuriyZhuravov and it's title Beautiful smiling woman portrait on white background. Courtesy of Shutterstock. Step 2 Now let's create some brushes to use for our masking exercise. The images I am using to create the brushes are also courtesy of Shutterstock and this first one is called "inks in water, colorful abstraction" by ADA_photo. Step 3 Copy some parts of the previous image and paste in a new document. After that go to Edit>Define Brush. Add a name to your new brush and create a few more. Step 4 Here's the second one, simply do the same thing as the previous step. Step 5 Now using a different image, this one from NatUlrich called Ink in water. Isolated on white background. Again copy a few parts to create different brushes. I created 4 brushes for my image. Step 6 Select the image layer and group it so the image will be in a folder. Duplicate this folder a few times because we will need it as we move forward. Hide all new folders and keep only one visible. Select the visible folder and go to Layer>Layer Mask>Hide All. The image will be completely hidden. After that select the Brush Tool (B) and one of the brushes you created from the stock photos. Using white for the color, paint on top of the layer mask to make part of the girl visible. Step 7 Let's add some layer styles. I am using Inner Shadow, Inner Glow and Drop Shadow to create some depth for the different layers. You can see the values below. Step 8 Select one of the hidden folders and make it visible. Apply the same process as we did in the previous steps to add another layer of our abstract collage. Step 9 Add a new layer inside the folder and group this new layer as well. Change the Blend Mode to Color Burn. Select the layer again and change the opacity to 30%. Using the Brush Tool (B) with black for the color and a very soft brush, start painting a sort of shadow on the overlaping areas. The idea here is to add more depth and separate the parts a little bit more. Step 10 Add more parts by repeating the same process. Every new part you should use a new folder with the image and the color burn folder. Step 11 Use different brushes and different sizes to make the image more dynamic. Step 12 Here is the final version of my layers. Notice that there's always a shadow between layers and the bottom one is different than the others. Try to vary as much as you can to make the effect more real. Step 13 Select all layers and duplicate them. After that merge all new layers into one. Go to Filter>Blur>Iris Blur. The Iris Blur is pretty cool because we have a real time preview. So move the blur around until you get something like the image below. The goal is to blur the edges a little bit. Conclusion Duplicate the layer and apply change the Blend Mode to Soft Light at 70% Opacity. Also duplicate it again and apply a Gaussian Blur with 10 pixels Radius. Change the Blend Mode to Screen at 40% Opacity. In the end you can apply a Photo Filter as well to make the colors match a little bit more. Now you can try with different images, brushes and colors. Remember, the tutorials are more to illustrate the process, try to come up with your own images. Download Photoshop File Click here to download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial

Visual Effects by Anselm von Seherr-Thoss

Truly an inspiration, Anselm von Seherr-Thoss is one of the top visual effects and 3D particle artists around. Not only has he spent years within his craft, he’s worked on favorites like James Cameron’s “Avatar” and “The A-Team”. Visual effects is quite the tough industry. Anselm has worked his way to the top, though his journey wasn’t easy. After working at Frantic Films, which eventually became Prime Focus, he broke off to form his own company, Incendii. Larger visual effects companies usually hire him to participate on large projects whether they’re movies that take 6-8 months on end, or television commercials that take about 2-3 months. No matter the project, visual effects and 3d design goes through a lot of stages in the process; changes are always made. An interview will be coming soon, here on Abduzeedo. Below is his 2010 personal film reel, enjoy! 3Delicious Film Reel 2010/3 (VFX Artist & TD) from Anselm von Seherr Thoss on Vimeo.

Reader Tutorial: Planet X Matte Painting in Photoshop

In today's feature film industry, productions are in constant need of digital set extensions or matte painting, the correct term for this type of work. If you don't know exactly what it is, a matte painting is a painted representation of a landscape, set, or distant location that allows filmmakers to create the illusion of an environment that would otherwise be too expensive or impossible to build or visit. Historically, matte painters and film technicians have used various techniques to combine a matte-painted image with live-action footage. At its best, depending on the skill levels of the artists and technicians, the effect is "seamless" and creates environments that would otherwise be impossible to film. So in this tutorial I will show you how to create that using some photos, 3D rendered models in 3DS Max and Photoshop. Step 1 Make a rough sketch of the scene that we are going to create. Drawing the rough sketch makes the work easier in finding the appropriate images for the scene. The image used for this tutorial can be found here Step 2 Open a new canvas in Photoshop with 16:9 resolution(1280x720px) . Step 3 Import the image onto the canvas for which we are going to create the set-extension. Name the image as "base plate". Step 4 Now mask half the body of the model using the Pen Tool(P) , and separate the selection into a new layer. This layer will be helpful in the coming steps. Step 5 Select a center point in the image which represents the vanishing point to draw the perspective lines. Now by using the Line Tool(U) draw the perspective lines from the vanishing point. Drawing the perspective makes the work easier while arranging the images and the 3d models. Step 6 In this step we are going to create a city which is far beyond the hills. Naturally the city appears to be blurred and dim in color when it is seen very far away. The image here fits perfectly to the scene, you can download it at 1) Mask out the sky from the City image using the Magic Wand Tool(W) . 2) Now place the city layer on the right side of the image as shown in the image below and erase the unwanted part of the city using the Eraser Tool(E) . 3) color correct the 'City' layer using the Curves(Image>Adjustments>Curves) to blend with the main image. Step 7 1) To create the tall tower as drawn in the sketch, open the image of 'brudge khalifa' (…) and mask the shape of the building using the Pen Tool. 2) Now save the mask by right clicking on the mask and select 'Save Selection'.Then give a name to the mask and save it. Step 8 1) Create a new layer and open the saved mask from Select>Load Selection, and paint the selection with #909da1 color. 2) Now increase the Exposure value of the tower to +0.14. Step 9 Here we have the 3d 'dome' models same as designed in sketch, rendered out in occlusion and with texture using 3DS-max. You can download the 3D dome at 1) With the perspective layer on, arrange the occlusion rendered dome to the right as shown and name the layer as 'acl dome'.. 2) Now place the textured dome on the 'acl dome' and reduce it's Opacity to 61%. 3) According to the main image the sun light is coming from the right side, so duplicate the textured dome layer and color correct the layer using the Curves to get the sun light effect on dome.Name the layer as 'light'. 4) Now by using the Soft Eraser Tool(E) erase the left side of the light layer to give the dark shadow to the dome. Then select all the layers of dome and Merge them together and name it as 'dome 1'. Step 10 Since the dome is resting on soft sand, there must be some sand covering the bottom of the dome.In this step we will be digitally painting the sand at the bottom of the dome. 1) Make a new layer and paint the sand as shown using the Soft Round Brush(B) with #7d7466 color selected. 2) Now reduce the Opacity of the brush to 75% and paint on the previous paint using #64584b color. 3) Again repeat the previous step using #303028 color with the brush opacity set to 26%. Step 11 Now duplicate the 'dome 1' layer and name it as 'dome2' then flip it horizontally and place it on the left as shown. Step 12 1) Similarly as the previous step duplicate the dome2 layer and name it as dome3 then resize it using the Move Tool(V) as per the sketch. Place this layer under the model layer that we cut in the Step 4. 2) As the object goes further from the camera it gets blurred, so add Gaussian Blur(Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) of Radius 0.7px. Step 13 Repeat Step 12 to arrange dome 4 and dome group. After arranging the domes apply Gaussian Blur of Radius 1.4px to dome 4 and to 'dome group' add Gaussian Blur of radius 2.0px. Step 14 1) Now import the planet image (…) onto the canvas and change it's Blending Mode to Screen. 2) Repeat the previous step and resize the planet using the Move Tool to create a moon to the planet. Step 15 Since this is a desert scene there must be some sand flying with the wind. Using the 'Softly Whisper' brush (…) paint the sand flying with the color #e5d7c5. Step 16 Adding a Lens Flair to the scene makes it more natural. Go to Filter>Render>Lens Flair and choose 35mm Prime and increase it's brightness to 135%. Step 17 From this step we will be using Lightroom 3 for color correcting the image. Lightroom 3 is very easy to use and we can get an amazing result in a very short time. 1) Import the saved photoshop file into Lightroom and choose 'color Creative-Bleach Bypass' preset from Saved Presets list. 2) Now move to Develop and change the exposure to -0.99, Temp=+6, Fill Light=20. 3) Set the value of Lens Vignetting Amount to -70 to get the dark corners. Conclusion About the Author Santosh is a freelance graphic designer based in India. He recently completed his college courses majoring in 2D Animation, and has decided to continue on to Film Production. His weapon of choice: Photoshop. You can see more of Santosh's work via santosh' portfolio. Connect with him through Twitter.

Beautiful HDR Pictures - Part 4

Who doesn't love to see some HDR photos, this effect that brings such a new life into a photo, continuing with this beautiful series I bring another set of great HDR photos to satisfy your needs of inspiration.

Great Beach HDR Pictures

Summertime is long gone here in Brazil, and most of us are sick by this time of the year. It's a hard life living in south Brazil, where beaches are terrible. So I was just taking a look at some beach pictures, to remind me that in about 5 months it will be summer once more. :) So I ran into these cool HDR pictures... they remind a lot of how good summer is. Oh boy. I'm feeling sad right now. =p

20 Beautiful HDR Pictures - Part 2

We all love an eye candy... and when it comes to HDR, it works pretty well to me! Just get your tripod, your camera and search for that one scene that will look incredible once shot. And it's just incredible how some people make fantastic photography out there... so here are the pics of this amazing dude, Donald Fregede... don't forget to visit his photostream at Flickr!

Breaking Apart tutorial request

Firstly I’d like to thank you all for the emails, I really appreciated them. Besides that, I’ve received some requests from readers, what is awesome because sometimes I don’t have much time to think on ideas for tutorials. The best thing about this requests is that I can learn new techniques and explore Photoshop in a new way. This new tutorial I’m writing is an example. Some users sent me emails asking how to create explosions, like breaking apart some objects in images. So yesterday I took some time and did my first image, you can see it below.UPDATE: THE TUTORIAL IS AVAILABLE AT PSDTUTS:… I have to say, the breaking apart effect was easier than I thought, at least for this image. I will try new ways to achieve explosion effects as well. And please, keep sending requests.

Sparkling Hot Girl in Photoshop

I’ve seen some very nice images mixing photos with light effects and sparks. If you go to flickr in those Photoshop and Graphic Design groups you will see images with this effect. There’s a designer, I think he's Brazilian, who has some amazing designs using this style, his name is Leandro Demetrius and it’s really worth checking his work out. Anyway, in this tutorial I will show you how to create an image using this technique. It basically mixes some techniques from tutorials like Magic Lighting Effect, Amazing Photoshop light effect in 10 Steps, and the latest Create the MSNBC header effect. Step 1 Create a new document, mine is 800x600 pixels. After that double click on the background layer to open the Layer Style dialog box and add a Gradient Overaly. Select Radial for the Style and use a dark red to black for the colors Step 2 Select a nice photo, in my case an amazingly hot girl from the 30 Color and Pattern Inspiration Bikinis post. Select the Pen Tool (P) and start creating a path with the shape of the woman. Later we will convert this path to selection to mask the girl. Step 3 After you create a path with the shape of the woman, go to the Path palette, right next to the Layer Palette. You will see the path with the girl’s shape. Click on the dotted circle icon at the bottom of the box to create a selection from the path. Step 4 Back to the Layer Palette, select the girl’s layer and then go to Selection>Refine Edge. This command will allow us to adjust the selection in real time with some nice settings like feather, smooth, contras, and others. Make some tests with a black background. When you have a good selection click ok. After that go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. Step 5 Lets increase the contrast of our girl, go to Image>Settings>Brightness/Contrast. After that reduce the layer like the image below. Then add a bit of noise. Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Step 6 Group the girl layer so it will be inside a folder on the Layer Palette. Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M), set the feather option to 30px and create a elliptical selection like the image below. Now select the Folder instead of the girl’s layer and after that go again to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. We will add the mask to the folder and everything inside the folder. Step 7 Double click on the girl’s layer to open the Layer Style box. Select Outer Glow. For the Blend Mode use Color Dodge and for the size set 35px. After that Duplicate this layer and go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. Use 43º for the Angle and 155 for distance. Make sure that the blurry layer is behind the normal layer. Step 8 Create a layer, not inside the folder anymore. This layer has to be behind the girl. Then go to Filter>Render>Clouds. Change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge. Step 9 Create another layer, behind the clouds’ layer. Now go to Filter>Render>Fibers... Use 13 for the variance and 4 for the Strength. After lets add another filter, this time Motion Blur, go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. The angle will 90º and for the distance use more than 300px like the image below. Step 10 First rotate the layer. Then select Lasso Tool (L) set 30px for the feather and create a selection like I did. Then one more time go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. After that double click the layer to open the Layer Style box. In the Layer Style’s first screen set the Fill Opacity to 60%, then add a Gradient Overlay, use the rainbow colors. Step 11 Here it’s all about brushes. But first create a new Folder in the Layer Palette and set the Blend Mode to Color Dodge. After that create the layers you want to be light inside of this folder and using white color. You can even add some different shapes and apply gaussian blur to create those rays of light. Conclusion This is one of those designs that looks a bit complicated when we see it at first. But when you start working on it, it turns out to be much easier than we thought. You can add different light colors, more or less sparks, or even explode some parts of her body. Well that’s another tutorial I will write about. Download the PSD file Click here to download the PSD file.

20 Beautiful HDR Pictures

There are some photography techniques that really give me the goose bumps, but the good ones. HDR is one of those techniques... and you'll probably love these as much as I do. "In computer graphics and photography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI) is a set of techniques that allows a greater dynamic range of exposures (the range of values between light and dark areas) than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention of HDRI is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes ranging from direct sunlight to shadows." - From Wikipedia. What I've read on some foruns is that a program called Photomatix does the job... Does anybody have already used it? I'm looking forward to it. Well... either way, if I don't get to use it, I'll probably find out how to simulate that effect on Photoshop. All this pictures are from a Flickr HDR Group. Don't forget the visit 20 Beautiful HDR Pcitures - Part 2 and the new Outstanding HDR Night Pictures!! ;) Learn how to create HDR images We have a tutorial showing how to create HDR Photos, click on the link below to check it out How to create HDR Photos - HDR/Photomatix tutorial

Amazing Photoshop light effect in 10 Steps

Last year I had written a tutorial showing how to create some lighting effects in Photoshop, it was called Magic Lighting Effects. A lot of people liked it, but some people still have some questions on how to achieve that effect. When I added a “buy me a coffee” featured on my blog I decided to use an image I had done when I was showing my cousin how to do the Magic effect. Instead of using a hat I used a coffee cup and the process is basically the same, however this time I will explain it in more details. Step 1 Create a new document, apply a Layer Style on the background layer. Add a Gradient Overlay and a Pattern Overlay. Step 2 Here I've used an icon I found on a cool site, but you can use whatever you want. Step 3 Select the Ellipse Tool (U) and create a shape like I did. After that apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) with radius of 30px. Step 4 Create a new Folder name it “Light Effects”. Change its blend mode to Color Dodge, and move the ellipse you created to this folder. Step 5 In order to create the sparks we will use the amazing brush engine. Add a new layer, inside the “Light Effects” layer, set white for the color and follow the images below. Step 6 Using the Layer Styles add a Outer Glow to the sparks Step 7 Lets add some smoke. Create a new Layer, call it “Smoke”. Change its blend mode to Color Dodge and select the Lasso Tool. Set 40px for Feather and create a selection like I did below. After that make sure that the foreground is white and the background is black and apply a Filter>Render>Clouds. Tip: Continue applying the filter until you get the best clouds. Step 8 Add some text and using the Layer Styles again lets create a nice effect. Step 9 Place your logo and you can even add more effects like I did on the Magic Lighting Effect, but then you will have to follow that tutorial ;). Conclusion I have to say, if you know a bit of Layer Styles and the Brush engine in Photoshop you will be able to create amazing effects. It will depend exclusively on your imagination and playing with the tool. Sometimes just changing a some settings and you get a totally different effect. The PSD file used in this tutorial can be downloaded here.

Stylish Clouds in Photoshop

Back from the New Year’s eve, I bit of hangover, I’d like to wish you all an excellent 2008. And celebrating the new year I created this new image that I will write a tutorial showing how to create clouds in Photoshop. They are not simply clouds, they are more a cartoon clouds, very colorful and stylish. The same I saw on another fantastic Nik Ainley’s work he did to Adobe and it’s on his website. You can get the wallpapers below. Desktop Version iPhone Version

Wet floor effect maker

This is a very handy site I found at called Reflection Maker, it basically creates that wet floor effect, very common in this web 2.0 era, for you. You just select an image or use an image’s URL, set the reflection size, the background color, press the Generate button and that’s it, your image with the reflections will be created. The term wet floor was apparently coined by Nathan Steiner for Twinsparc in October 2005.[citation needed] Initially popularised by Apple Computer in the early 2000s, the style is popular on sites which appeal to a modern young-adult culture such as Flickr and Digg. Wikipedia Reflection Maker is really nice and if you want to create the wet floor effect without even opening your Photoshop, this site is totally worth checking it out. The sites'interface

Displace filter with vector effects

After one month traveling I’m back and trying to get back to my routine. First of all, I’d like to thank all comments and emails about the blog and the tutorials. Now talking about Photoshop, I started using the new CS3 programs on my mac and I have to say, they are really faster, and I can finally use the Illustrator more often. On this article I created a design inspired by the work of Nik Ainley. He’s one of my favorite Photoshop Masters and his work is really impressive. For this design I used the Displace filter in Photoshop, I think it’s one of the most obscure filters because most the majority of users don’t know how to use it, and that includes me, lol. The vectors were created in Illustrator with, again the blend tool. 1 - Create a new document and in the layer style create a gradient. 2 - Select a person to use: I used a nice photo taken by John Arlington for the Udox website. The new select features in Photoshop are amazingly cool, it’s pretty easy to cut a person off the picture with the Quick Selection Tool and the Refine Edge options. 3 - Add a Diffuse Glow: Go to Filters>Distort>Diffuse Glow 4 - Exploding the guy: Use the displace filter to explode the guy. I used a crazy image as a displacement map, though you can use any image. 5 - Refining everything: Apply a mask in the layer of the displace and in the guy’s. Start erasing the displace layer, after that use the Smudge tool to blend them together. 6 - Giving a blur: Duplicate the guy’s layer, apply the filter Pixelate>Mezzoting and choose the type as Medium Lines. After that apply a motion blur. 7- Creating the vector lines: That is pretty simple in Illustrator, just create some lines with the pen tool and use the blend tool. Repeat it as many times you think it’s ok. 8 - Using the vectors: In Photoshop again, paste the vectors there as Smart Objects, and apply a Layer Style. In that case I added a glow and a color overlay. Try different colors and glows to the different vectors. 9 - The final result: I played with the graphics a bit more like adding new elements and filters such as the noise filter in the background. I have to say that I’ve learned a lot creating this image. It took me some time to create everything, the displace filter and the vector lines that we see a lot out there. I want to say thanks to a visitor of my blog who sent me an email asking how to do an image similar to this one. That was my motivation to create this article. Download the Photoshop File You can download all the files used here.

Magic lighting effect in Photoshop

Since my last article on how to create smoke generated lots of traffic, I decided to write another one on some of the photoshop effects. Although I use Photoshop on a daily basis, I am by no means a photoshop expert. Well what I want to show here is how to create a nice light and magic effect. 1 - Create a radial gradient, in this case from a purple to a really dark purple 2 - Here I added a really cool Icon of a magic hat from the Crystal Clear Collection by Everaldo 3 - Add some text, I used the source code of a site to get the text and apply the Distort >Wave filter Create two stripes of text 4 - Rotate and place the text 5 - Add some light using glow : Use different values for each line of text, the secret here is the blending option COLOR DODGE.. Change the values of Spread, Size and Range 6 - Group the 2 lines of texts and with one apply a mask to make the stripes disappear at their ends. 7 - With the other group of text apply a gaussian blur, after that delete some parts to show the non-blury text. This will add a movement feel to the text, like they are really being magically created. 8 - Create a new layer below the text and with a regular big brush like 100px add a spot of light in white. The layer must be below the text, otherwise the glow will not affect the white spot 9 - Make some smoke again, I used the eraser, I could've used the liquify as well 10 - Create a cloud: to do that make use a marquee with feather set to a value bigger than 20 and apply the render>clouds holding the command key(mac), ctrl key(win). The same as the previous post, and the most important thing apply the COLOR DODGE blending options on it 11 - Sparks: For the sparks create a brush, play with the shape dynamics, scattering, and other dynamics. After that, apply a Outer Glow and Inner Glow to create the magic effect. End - The result is really simple but at the same time it looks beautiful. The whole process took me about 35 minutes, one thing I think is really cool is to apply the color dodge blending option to folder, and put blurred elements inside of it. Using it you can create some really amazing light effects. The PSD files can be downloaded. Click here to Download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial

Creating Smoke

Some time ago I had posted an article showing how to create a smoke effect in photoshop, and to achieve that I used a photo of smoke and some photoshop filters. However, some people had said at the time that I should have done the smoke as well and it´s exactly what I will show on this post right now. I had previously thought about what would be the best way to create smoke in photoshop, and I’ve read some tutorials online and watched some episodes of the amazing pixelPerfect podcast, to find a good and easy solution for the matter at hand. Actually it was easier than I had expected. 1 - Create some Shapes: I created some random shapes. 2 - Apply a Gaussian blur on each shape 3 - Using the liquify filter 4 - Positioning the shapes 5 - Adding some colors Add a background color on the layer of the shape, otherwise the Hue/Saturation won't work 6 - Creating a cloud behind the smoke Set a feather with a high value, like 40 to 80, and after that apply the hue/saturation on the cloud too 7 - Adding a gradient to create an atmosphere The gradient will give a atmosphere and more depth to the image Final Result The whole process took me about 30 to 40 minutes tops, it’s pretty simple, although it can be quite hard to create a natural smoke with the liquify filter, the best thing to do is to play with the brushes and with the tools to achieve the desired effect.