In this tutorial we will create a Steampunk-ish concept design, but with a slightly different approach. Instead of the rusty and old look, we will use cleaner and shinier elements. We will also make use of nature elements, vectors and some brushes.
Along with creating the image, you will learn how to:
– Extract an element from a picture
– Make effective use of tools
– Photo retouching
– Photo manipulation
– Creating scenarios
– Use adjustment layers effectively
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Completion time: 2 hours
– heart from Resurgere
– gears from Redheadstock
– camera from Neokeitaro
– Jack plug from sxc.hu
– drain from sxc.hu
– pipes from sxc.hu
– Spiral tubing from sxc.hu
– Black tubing from sxc.hu
– Cloud brushes by JavierZhX
– Dirt texture from sxc.hu
– Bonsai from Resurgere
– Spray Paint Brushes 1 from designious.com
Final image preview
Create a new document of 1680 x 1050 px in RGB color mode at 72 dpi.
Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid color. Set the color to #8e6535 (midtone brown).
Why use a Fill Layer instead of filling it with Paint Bucket (G) ? Well, if you move the layer around, it will still have the entire canvas covered.
Open the “dirt texture”. Select it (CTRL+A), copy it (CTRL+C) and paste it into our document. Resize it to fit our document by click-dragging the corners. Hold SHIFT key to preserve proportions. Go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate (CTRL+SHIFT+U).
In the Layers palette (F7), set Opacity to 10%. Then click the “Add Vector Mask” button. Then grab the Brush Tool (B), set Hardness to 0%, hit “3” to set its Opacity to 30%, hit D to set foreground color to pure black and paint over the center area and some random, more dark areas of the texture.
Go to Layer > Duplicate Layer (CTRL+J), then move it to the right. Duplicate this command and place the second copy to the left.
Select the layer mask of the first copy, grab the Brush Tool (B) and paint with black over the edges to blend them in. Do the same for the second copy. Then go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer and add the following: Brightness/Contrast, Gradient Map and Exposure. Use the settings below.
Open the “heart” image from the hearts pack. Now grab the Pen Tool (P), set in on Paths and trace the outline of the heart. Then right-click > Make Selection. Copy it (CTRL+C) and paste it (CTRL+V) into our document.
Go to Edit > Free Transform (CTRL+T). Make it smaller while preserving proportions, then right-click > Flip Horizontal and reduce its height a bit. Hit Enter.
Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance. Use settings like mine or similar. Make sure you check the box with “Use previous layer to create Clipping Mask”.
Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient map. Select the gradient Shown below, remove the shown colors from it and hit OK. In the Layers palette (F7), set Opacity to 30%.
Open the “black tubing” picture. Extract it like you did with the heart and paste it into our document. Hit CTRL+T to enter Free Transform mode, make it smaller and hit Enter. Use the Eraser Tool (E) to remove the extra areas.
Place it like below. Then grab the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M), select the area like below, then right-click > Layer Via Copy.
Go to Layer > Duplicate Layer (CTRL+J), hit CTRL+T, rotate it a bit, place it like below and hit Enter.
Repeat STEP 13 till you obtain something similar to below.
Select the layer with the plastic tubing, grab the Path Tool (P), set it on Shapes and draw a shape like below.
HINT: Here’s a nice way to quickly select layers: in the Selection Tool (V), check the “Auto Select” box and select “Layer” from the drop-down menu. To use it, simply click the image you want to work on.
In the Layers palette (F7), click the “fx” button and select Blending Options. Use the settings below.
Select all the layers that refer to this tubing and hit CTRL+G to place them in a group. Double-click this layer’s name and type “black tubing”. Then go to Layer > New > Layer (CTRL+SHIFT+N).
Create a new layer (CTRL+SHIFT+N), set the Blending Mode to Multiply. Then grab the Brush Tool (B), set Hardness to 0% and Opacity to 40% and paint the shadows of the tubing, like below.
Open the “pipes” picture, extract one pipe like you did with the heart. Place it like below.
Go to Layer > Duplicate Layer (CTRL+J). Place the second copy like below. Repeat this and place the third copy as shown.
In the Layers palette, click the “Add Vector Mask” button. Then grab the Brush Tool (B), set Hardness to 0%, Opacity to 100% (press “0”). Paint over the area where the pipes need to blend in. Do the same for the image below it.
Open the “spark plug” picture. Make a cutout as before, copy it and paste it into our document. Also resize it and place it like below.
In the Layers palette (F7), click the “Add Vector Mask” button. You can also do this by going to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All. Grab the Brush Tool (B), set Hardness to 100%, hit D and paint over the areas shown below.
Go to Layer > Duplicate Layer (CTRL+J). Hit CTRL+T to enter Free Transform mode, rotate it and place it like below.
Open the “camera” picture and cut out its lens. Copy it, paste it into our document and place it as shown below. Also go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate (CTRL+SHIFT+U), then hit CTRL+T, right-click > Flip Horizontal. Hit Enter.
Grab the Selection Tool (V), go to Layer > Duplicate Layer (CTRL+J), then press “down” and “right” arrows to nudge it a bit. Repeat this until you obtain a nice thickness for the objective.
Select all these layers except the on from the top and go to Layer > Merge Layer (CTRL+E). Then go to Layer > New > Layer (CTRL+SHIFT+N) and place it below the current one. Set Blending mode to Multiply.
Grab the Brush Tool (B), set Hardness to 0%, Opacity to 40% (hit “4”), hit D and paint a shadow like below. Make the brush smaller to create a more intense shadow near the objective.
Using the technique learn so far, import more objects in the document: the spiral tubing, the jack plug, the gearwheels and the drain.
Open the “bonsai” picture from Resurgere. In the Layers palette, double-click the “lock” near the layer’s thumbnail. Hit OK.
Grab the Crop Tool (C) and crop the image to only see the tree.
Go to the Channels window (Window > Channels) and click-drag the “Blue” channel on the “Create New Channel” button.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Curves (CTRL+M) and adjust the graph like below.
Grab the Burn Tool (O) and paint over the gray areas inside the tree. Repeat until all the leaves are black.
Grab the Brush Tool (B), hit D, then X and paint over the roots of the tree. Make sure Hardness is set to 100%.
In the Layers palette, CTRL+click the “Blue copy” channel thumbnail. This will make a selection of the body.
Turn on the “RGB” channel’s visibility and turn off the “Blue copy” ‘s.
Go to the Layers palette (F7) and hit Delete. Then go to Select > Deselect (CTRL+D).
Click-drag this layer into our document, press CTRL+[ to set it below the previous layer. Press multiple times until it’s placed behind the heart layer. Then press CTRL+J to duplicate it. Resize it, rotate it and place the copies to create a nice background for the heart.
Notice that i decided to light the camera lens? To do this, create a new layer above it, grab the Brush Tool (B), hit 5, select a light yellow color and click multiple times. Resize the brush progressively using “[“ and “]”.
Select the layer with the texture, then go to Layer > New > Layer. Now grab the Brush Tool (B), set Hardness to 0%, set foreground to a bright yellow color, hit “4” then draw two strokes like below. Set Blending mode to Linear Dodge (Add) and Opacity to 20%.
Create a new layer (CTRL+SHIFT+N), go to the Layers palette (F7) and set blending mode to Multiply. Repeat the step above, but use black instead of yellow and paint it below the heart. This will be the shadow.
Create another layer (CTRL+SHIFT+N), open the “cloud brushes” (just double-click them, they will load automatically), grab the Brush Tool (B), hit D, then X, select a brush and paint some clouds. Hit “4” to make some faded clouds also.
Create multiple layers like this in different layers in-between other elements and with different opacities.
Open the “ravens” vector pack from designious.com. Grab the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M), select one of the birds, copy it (CTRL+C) and paste it into our document. Resize it to fit the scenario.
Create a new layer (CTRL+SHIFT+N), then grab the Path Tool (P), set it to Paths, then draw a path like below. Grab the Brush Tool (B), set it to 3 px and a dark color (black will do just fine), switch back to Path Tool (P) and right-click > Stroke Path. Select Brush from the drop-down menu, check the “Simulate Pressure” box. Hit OK.
In the Layers palette (F7), click the “Add Vector Mask” button. Grab the Brush Tool (B), set foreground color to black (hit D) and paint over the area shown below.
Repeat STEPS 42-44 to add multiple ravens.
For those of you who own a tablet, create a new layer, grab the Brush Tool (B), set it to 1 px, pick some bright colors and paint random hatches and lines. With a mouse, you can use STEP 43 to create those.
Go to the “spark plug” image and copy again the selection. Paste it into our document, resize it and place it like below. Duplicate it (CTRL+J), hit CTRL+T, then right-click > Flip Horizontal and place it on the opposite side. Place these layers behind the heart.
Create a new layer and draw a 2 px line like below, using the Brush Tool (B). In the Layers palette (F7), click the “fx” button and select Blending Options. Use the settings below.
Grab the Ellipse Tool (U) and draw two circles on top of the spark plugs. Then, in the Layers palette (F7) set Fill to 0%. In the Blending Options, use the settings below.
Open the Spray Paint 1 brush pack from designious.com, select a brush, resize it using “[“ key, hold ALT key to pick a dark red color from the heart, hit CTRL+SHIFT+N to create a new layer and click on the canvas. Make it look like below.
You can download the source file from the link below:
Heart tutorial (21.8 MiB, 1,042 hits)
Heart tutorial (21.8 MiB, 1,042 hits)