In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create an antique chest with a magical glow inside using various collage techniques in Adobe Photoshop.
First we will create a background using three stock photos. After that, add the chest and combine it with the background. Then create some adjustment layers to refine the lighting and perform color correction. In the end, add a crow and draw a magic light.
Note: The author used paid materials. In the archive you will find an alternative image for the lesson.
Create a new document (Ctrl + N) with a size of 2200 x 1500 pixels with the following settings:
We open a snowy landscape. Using the Move Tool (V) (Move), drag the photo onto the main working document. Using a free transform (Ctrl + T), rotate it slightly.
We need to reduce the contrast of the lighting in the background and the particles in the air. To do this, go to Layer - New Fill Layer - Solid Color (Layer - New fill layer - Color) and select the color of the sky in the photo. Move the fill layer under the landscape layer. For convenience, you can turn off the visibility of the layer with the landscape (click on the eye icon opposite the name of the layer).
Select the layer with the landscape, turn on its visibility and at the bottom of the layers panel click on the Add layer mask button . Activate the Brush Tool (B) (Brush) and select a soft round brush of black color with low opacity (about 70-80%). Then we paint over the sky and the sun.
Create a new layer and take the Clone Stamp Tool (S) (Stamp). Delete the traffic sign on the right.
Open the image of Horus 1, place it on a working document and rotate so that the slope matches the first photo. After that, add a mask to this layer and use a soft black brush (B) to remove the earth and the mountain on the right, and make the left part smoothly passing into the sky.
In the same way, insert Mountain 2 and delete everything except the mountain itself on the left. Before applying the mask, we reflect the photo horizontally Edit - Transform - Flip Horizontal(Editing - Transformation - Flip Horizontal).
Open the image with the chest. Due to the transparent background, we do not need to perform additional manipulations with cutting. Therefore, simply using the Move Tool (V) (Move), drag the picture onto the working document. Place it in the foreground and slightly deform (Ctrl + T), as shown below:
Add a mask to the layer with the chest and a black brush of medium hardness (B), edit the lower part so that it looks immersed in snow.
Since there will be a bright source of light in the chest, a shadow on the snow should fall from it. Under the chest layer, create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N), using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) (Rectangular Lasso) create a quadrangular selection in the snow and fill it with color # 010101.
Reduce the opacity of the shadow layer to 30% and apply the Filter - Blur - Gaussian Blur filter to it ( Filter - Blur - Gaussian Blur ) with Radius (Radius) of 10 pixels.
The edges of the shadow should be softer, so with the help of the mask we blend them.
Now draw a shadow from the lid of the chest. First, create a new layer, using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) (Rectangular Lasso) select the cover and fill the selection with color # 010101.
Reduce the layer opacity to 30%, activate the free transformation (Ctrl + T) and deform the shadow so that its shape matches the perspective of the earth.
Apply a Gaussian Blur filter with a radius of 10 pixels to the shadow and use the mask to blend the upper border.
Above the chest, add the adjustment layer Layer - New Adjustment Layer - Hue / Saturation( Layer - New Adjustment Layer - Hue / Saturation ) and convert it to a clipping mask by pressing Ctrl + Alt + G. Then reduce Saturation to -72:
Add the Curves adjustment layer and decrease the brightness. Edit the mask of the adjustment layer to remove the effect on the inner parts of the lid and the ends of the chest.
Continue to shade the box and add another Curves adjustment layer . The screenshot below highlights the places where we remove the effect of the adjustment layer.
Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N), in the window that appears, switch the blend mode to Overlay with 100% opacity and tick off the fill with 50% gray.
We activate the Dodge (Clarifier) and the Burn Tool (O) (Dimmer), on the top panel we set the Range to Midtones , Exposure - about 15-40% and modify the chiaroscuro. The result is shown below in the blending mode Normal (left) and Overlay (right).
Above all the previous layers, add the Gradient Map adjustment layer ( Gradient map) and select the colors # 0d0501 and # 0a437b for it.
Add the Curves adjustment layer and increase the brightness. Using a soft black brush (B) we edit the mask of the adjustment layer, leaving the effect only in the center of the canvas.
Create another Gradient Map layer and select colors # 750909 and # 00601b for it. Reduce the opacity of this layer to 20% and remove the effect of the adjustment layer on the chest and around it.
Add the adjustment layer Color Lookup ( Color Search) and in the settings panel 3 DLUT File(3DLUT-file) set to Bleach Bypass.look. Reduce the opacity of the layer to 70%.
We cut out the crow and paste it on the right above the chest. Place the layer under the base adjustment layers.
Add a Curves adjustment layer to lighten the crow slightly. Edit the layer mask and remove the effect in the shaded areas of the bird.
Create a new layer and with a small brush of medium hardness (color # 1a1a19) paint over the bright details on the wings of the raven.
Create a new layer, switch its blending mode to Overlay with 100% opacity and fill it with 50% gray. Using the Dodge Tool (O) ( Dodge ), draw glare on the wings, and using the Burn Tool (O) (Dimmer), increase the saturation of the shadows.
In this section, we will begin to create a magical glow in the chest. Create a new layer and use a soft brush (B) with the color # 152c3c to draw inside the chest. Switch the layer blending mode to Linear Dodge ( Linear Dodge ) with an opacity of 100%.
Create another new layer, change the brush color to # 85aacb and again draw inside the chest. Switch the layer blending mode to Overlay with an opacity of 100%.
Create a new layer in the Overlay blending mode , select a lighter shade (# b4d4f1) and continue painting over the inside of the chest.
Choose a different color (# c6d7e6) and paint over the inside of the chest again. Switch the layer blending mode to Soft Light with an opacity of 100%.
Create a new layer and add highlights on the outline of the raven and in front of the eyes from the side of the light source. Switch the layer blending mode to Overlay with an opacity of 100%.
Open the picture with smoke and paste it on the working document. Switch the layer blending mode to Linear Dodge ( Linear Dodge ) with an opacity of 100%.
Go to Filter - Blur - Motion Blur (Filter - Blur - Motion Blur) and enter the following settings:
We activate the free transformation and stretch the upper side to deform the rays in perspective, as if they were coming from a chest.
Duplicate (Ctrl + J) the layer several times and distribute the copies along the inside of the chest. If necessary, use the mask to remove the excess.
Select all the layers with the rays and group them by pressing Ctrl + G. Switch the blending mode of the group to Linear Dodge ( Linear Dodge ) with an opacity of 100%. Then create an adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and slightly reduce the saturation of the rays.
Add the Levels adjustment layer and increase the brightness of the effect.
Create a new layer and set the foreground color to # b6d4df. Press F5 to adjust the brush:
Using a tuned brush, we draw particles flying out of the chest in the direction of the rays of light.
Group (Ctrl + G) the layers with particles and switch the blend mode of the group to Color Dodge . Now the effect looks much better!
Congratulations, we're done!