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Adobe Photoshop CC: Create a Photo Manipulation

This software is available free for use at Idea Exchange, Old Post Office, Creative Studios.Photoshoped image

Adobe Photoshop is an incredible tool that can do a wide range of things. On a basic level, you can use it to edit photographs, but it can also be used to create digital paintings, photo manipulations and so much more.

Are you wondering what a “Photo Manipulation” is?

Simply put, a photo manipulation is an image comprised of multiple images that are manipulated to create a single piece. Photo manipulations are used in many ways, from advertising to art!

This tutorial showcases how to create an awesome photo manipulation that can be completed in under an hour!

How to Guide

1.  Create a new project in “Adobe Photoshop”. Import your photographs using the drag and drop method,  or by selecting File – Open. Then select your layers (indicated below) using ctrl + shift. Right click and select “Rasterize”. Now your layers are ready to manipulate!

creating layers in Photoshop

2.  Click on the “eye” next to the layers to hide them. Do this to every layer except the girl. We want to delete her background and hair. To do that we will select the “Auto Select” tool on your tool bar to the left. Click on the areas you want to select and click “Ctrl + X” to remove them.

deleting background layers

3.  The edges around your shape might be a little choppy. Use the “Smudge Tool” from your tool bar on the left to soften them. Then, brighten the image and increase the contrast by selecting Image – Adjustments – Brightness/Contrast from the menu. Now your image should look a little something like this!

softening edges and brightening image

4.  Create a “New Layer” by clicking the layer button (indicated below). Unhide your  “Feather #1” layer. Use the “Auto Select” tool to select a portion of the feathers. Copy and paste that selection into your new layer (and hide the original Feather layer again). Use the “Transform Tool” (Ctrl + t) to resize, move and rotate your feathers. Position as shown.

adding the Feather #1 layer

5.  Use the “Clone Tool” to expand upon the wings. To use the tool, place your mouse over the existing feathers and press Alt + Click. Then draw freely. Your brush strokes will create new feathers! Use the “Eraser Tool” to reveal the eye. Use the “Smudge Tool” to blend it into the nose.

expanding and blending the feathers over the eye

6.  Right click on the active layer and select “Duplicate Layer”. Then click “Ctrl + T” to activate the transform tool. Flip the image by dragging the right side of the image over the left. Place over left eye. To change colour, click on Image – Adjustments – Hue/Saturation in the menu. Slide the Hue bar to modify the colour.

duplicating and transforming feathers onto other eye

7.  Adjust the layer properties to blend the two layers in further. Select the “Hard Light” option to achieve this look (but feel free to check out all the options using the drop down tab). Make sure you have the correct layer selected to see the effects.

blending layers

8.  Now we are going to tint her lips and eyes. Create a New Layer and select the “Brush Tool”. Use the Color Wheel to select your desired colours. Paint over the lips and eyes. Adjust the Layer Properties (as shown in step 7) to further blend.

tinting lips and eyes

9.  To paint her skin, we need to create another New Layer. Use the Brush Tool and the Colour Wheel to paint over her face. Keep it messy and use lots of different colours! Use the Eraser Tool to keep the eyes clear.

painting skin with a new layer

10. Select the Smudge Tool and set the brush type to any of the “Wet Brushes”. Set the size to be at least 200. Smudge the colour until blended. Adjust the Layer Properties to blend further (we suggest “Screen” or “Overlay”).

blending the new layer

11. Unhide your “Flower #1” layer. Select the flower using the Auto Select tool. Copy and paste your selection into a New Layer. Hide the original “Flower #1” layer once more.

adding the flower #1 layer

12. Select the Clone Tool. Set the brush size large enough that it covers the entire flower. Use the Clone Tool to duplicate the flower around the crown of the head.  Adjust the Layer Properties ( we suggest “Hard Light” or “Multiply”)

using the clone tool to duplicate the flower around the crown of the head

13. Repeat steps 11 – 12 with the “Flower #2” layer.  

steps 11 and 12 repeated with the Flower #2 layer

14. Unhide your “Feathers #2” layer. Select a circular portion of the feathers using the Auto Select tool. Copy and paste your selection into a New Layer. Hide the original “Feathers #2” layer once more.

selecting a portion of the Feathers #2 layer

15. Use the Move Tool to make sure the feathers are covering the lips. Use the Eraser Tool to clear up selection (but not too much! Keep the feathers looking natural!). Adjust the Layer Properties to blend.

adding feathers to the lips

16. Select the Brush Tool. In a new layer, add some foliage to the flower crown using the “Foliage Brush”. Set the brush size between 300 and 400. Make sure your colour selection is set to green.

adding foliage to flower crown

17. Adjust the Layer Properties to blend the layer. We suggest “Color Burn”

blending the layer

18. Use the Brush Tool to add some colourful dots around the eyes. Use the corresponding eye “wing” color to choose your colour (ex: blue dots around the blue eye).

adding colourful dots around the eyes

19. Create a New Layer on top of all existing layers. Choose two colours on the colour grid on the tool bar. One should be white. The other can be any colour you like (we chose pink).  Select the Gradient Tool and draw a diagonal line across the image. It should look like this:

adding a final layer with the gradient tool

20. Last step! Adjust the Layer Properties to achieve your final look. Here are a few looks you could achieve with this technique:

examples of final looking using Layer Properties. Includes Vivid Light, Divide, Hue, and Overlay

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