Duplicate the background layer and name the new layer "cabin edited" or whatever else you want to call it. This is the layer in which we will be doing all of the editing for the cabin itself. Since the house will be on stilts over water, the storm windows will look out of place resting against the front of the house. Go ahead and clone them out at this time, but don't worry about removing them below the bottom of the siding because that area will be covered up later. Trees are naturally a part of a swamp so leave the trees intact. Also don't be too concerned if the lines you cloned back into the siding are a little crooked, we will fix that later with heavy shadows.
Lighting up the interior of the cabin. Use the polygon lasso tool to select each pane of glass in the windows and the screen on the door. Don't forget the parts of the screen
showing under the handrail. With all of the glass and screen selected, set the feather to 0.2 pixels. Hit the delete to remove all of the glass and screen. You may have to turn off
the background to see that anything happened, as the background will be showing through the cutouts and will look the same. Without deselecting anything, open a new blank
layer and name it "interior illumination." Set the layer mode to color dodge and layer opacity to 82%. Fill the selection with white at 100% opacity. In my illustration I painted in a
green background so that the white filled areas would show up in the tutorial.
On the cabin edited layer, draw a selection around the front wall and steps and set the feather to 1. Open up the render lighting effects filter and set to floodlight. Move the
floodlight around until the top of the elipse converges on the porchlight. Set the intensity to 26 and the focus to 69. Set all of the other properties to zero, except for ambience,
which needs to be set to positive eight. Go ahead and hit ok and your image should now look like this.
Now invert the selection and open up the lighting effects editor again. Use all of the same settings but just move the light off the page somewhere so that it casts no light on the scene, but rather allows the rest of the scene to turn into nighttime. Your image should now look like the one below. Everything looks a little bright for a nighttime pic, so go ahead and tweek the levels a bit. Move the shadows slider and the midtones slider each a bit to the right until you get something you like.
The light on the front of the house must be coming from somewhere, so lets make it look like it's coming from the porchlight. Open a new blank layer above the current layer and name it porch light and set the blend mode to luminosity. Use a very soft airbrush about size 75 with a pressure of 6% using a slightly offwhite color with a tint of yellow. Apply a very faint glow with the top of the brush just touching the light fixture, but covering the bulb. Change to the next brush size smaller and again apply a faint glow with the top of the brush just touching the light fixture. Repeat with progressively smaller brushes until you get to a brush that's the same size as the bulb. This will give the appearance that the light is emanating from the bulb rather than being cast on the building from elsewhere. The light is still not perfect though, so set the paint color to pure white, and select a brush that is just smaller than the lightbulb. Now apply a really bright spot directly over the lightbulb. Your results should look similar to the illustration below.
The lighting is still "not right" on the front of the house so we shall add some shadows to make it a bit more realistic. Open a new blank layer just above the cabin edited layer and set the blend mode to luminosity and the opacity to 84%, and name it building shadows. Use the polygon lasso tool to select areas where you want shadows and fill with a dark color borrowed from the front of the house. Be sure to pay attention to where the light is coming from and use forground color to transparent gradient fills where needed, like on the handrail. Also make sure you black out the foundation entirely as this house is supposed to be on stilts above the water (Note: we wont' be adding in the stilts because they would not be visible due to heavy shadow). Use the line tool to create the shadow lines in the siding, making sure to gradually make the lines thicker as you go down the wall. Now that all the shadows have been created, run a gaussian blur of 0.6 pixels over this layer to soften up the shadows. Your building shadows layer should now look something like the illustration below when viewed by itself.
This old swamp house needs a swamp dweller to call it home. Lets add an old guy on the porch. I wasn't able to find a complete image that I liked so I manipulated and merged
two different images as shown below. I'm not going into detail about how to do that here, IronKite goes into great detail about how to merge images and match colors in his
href="http://www.worth1000.com/tutorial.asp?sid=160992"> Archaeological Dig tutorial . I will add a note about
resizing layers though. Be sure to hold down the shift key to constrain the proportions or your guy will either look squashed or stretched too much.
Now bringing you back...
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