Adobe Photoshop CS2
Time to Burn

With a photo collage that’s preplanned, you have the ability to set things up and shoot the images so that your Photoshop collage work will be easier than if you were starting with photos that were taken at different times or different locations. In the example for this tutorial, we’ll be using three photos of a stove taken using a tripod so that they all align perfectly. The first shot is a clock on top of the burner. Next, the clock was removed and the burner was turned on to record it red hot. Finally, the lights in the kitchen were turned off to capture the intense heat glow from the burner. Along the way we’ll cover several useful masking and collage techniques, as well as explore some methods for adding burn damage and creating smoke. [If you’d like to download the images used in this tutorial to practice these techniques, visit]

Creating the Collage


Combine Source Files as Layers Stove-Burner-1, releasing the mouse button before the Shift key. It’s important to release the mouse before the Shift key in order for the images to be properly aligned. Repeat that process with the Stove-withClock file. Double-click directly on each layer’s name and give them descriptive names.



Lock Layer Position; Add a Layer Mask the middle layer (burner on) to make it active, and then click on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. This will add a white layer mask to the middle layer. White in a mask shows everything on that layer.

The first step is to bring the three source images together into one file as separate layers. We’ll use the Stove-Burner-1 image (the one with the glowing burner) as the base image. Make the Stove-Burner-2 file active, select the Move tool (V), hold down the Shift key, and drag that image on top of

The first collage task will be to combine the two glowing burner images. To prevent the layers from accidentally moving, make each one active and click the Lock Position icon at the top of the Layers palette. Next, click on the Eye icon for the top layer (clock on stove) to turn it off. Click on







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L A Y E R S M A G A Z I N E . select the Brush tool. You can do this either by using the Elliptical Marquee tool with a feather of 0 to select the curved side of the clock. or use the Pen tool (P) for the greatest accuracy and flexibility. and drag the layer mask up to the clock on stove layer. Double-click the layer name and rename it to “Clock. and set the Opacity to 50% and the Flow to 100%. STEP 6 Copy the Clock to a New Layer have also filled the selection with white on the layer mask of the clock on stove layer). we’ll fix that shortly. hold down Option (PC: Alt). In the Options Bar. choose a soft-edged brush of about 100 pixels. Press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to create a copy of the clock on a new layer. This fixes the problem of the clock edge being obscured by the stove burner (you could W W W . Click on STEP 5 Select the Clock create a path of the clock. click on the tab for the Paths palette and Command-click (PC: Ctrlclick) on the Clock path. Click on the thumbnail for the layer mask to be sure it’s We can use most of the stove burner layer mask on the top layer that contains the clock. C O M 49 . To speed things up. We chose the latter method to With the clock selection active. In the Toolbox. click on the layer thumbnail for the top layer to make the actual clock photo the active element.” and click the Lock Position icon for this layer so it stays aligned in the correct position. To load it as a selection. Part of the clock will be obscured. To copy the layer mask. Next. STEP 4 Copy the Stove Burner Layer Mask the copied layer mask. Carefully paint over the areas where you want to show the glowing qualities of the layer below: the burner. Use the Brush tool to paint with black at 100% Opacity over the burner area to let all of the information from the underlying layers show through. the reflected glow on the tea kettle. a selection of the clock is needed to fix the part where the clock overlaps the burner. click on it to make it active. Press D then X to set the Foreground/Background colors to black and white. and the indicator light on the front of the stove. and make the stove and clock layer visible.PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALS STEP 3 Modify the Layer Mask with the Brush Tool active. I’ve included this saved path for you. the side and front edge of the stove top.

Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key and click the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to add a black layer mask that completely hides the texture layer. sample some of the reddish color under the burner coils. With the Lasso tool set to the same settings as the previous step. Click the Create New Adjustment Layer icon Now we get to play around and imagine what might be happening to the clock if it really were resting on a hot burner. lower the Opacity to 75%. Press D on the keyboard to set white as the Foreground color. Click back on the Clock layer. drag slightly up on the Red channel curve. the Scaling to 195%. the Relief to 10. choose Texture>Texturizer. Set the Texture to Sandstone. Add a black layer mask as in the previous step and paint with white at lower opacities to customize the glow effect.” From the Filter menu. create a loose selection of the left side of the clock. Select the Brush tool in the Toolbox. set the Opacity to 100%. Press STEP 9 Mask the Heat Blistering Layer the Opacity to 30%. 52 50 L A Y E R S M A G A Z I N E J A N / F E B 2 0 0 7 . Draw a loose selection around the burner. Select the Lasso tool (L) and in the Options Bar enter a Feather value of 15 pixels. name it “red glow. and click OK. and in the Options Bar set continued on p. With the Eyedropper tool (I). and drag slightly down on the Blue channel curve (which adds yellow). and paint on the empty layer on the side of the clock near the burner coils.” select Color in the Mode pop-up menu. STEP 10 Add a Reddish Glow Choose Layer>New>Layer to add an empty layer to the top of the layer stack. Now let’s “turn up the heat” a bit on the stove. Gradually brush in the blistered texture on the side of the clock. Lock the layer’s position and rename it “heat blistering.PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALS Scorching the Clock STEP 7 Add a Curves Adjustment Layer for the Burner at the bottom of the Layers palette and choose Curves. and the Light to Top Left. In the New Layer dialog. The area closest to the edge of the burner should show the most blistering with it gradually becoming less toward the top edge of the clock. In the Curves dialog. Click on the bottom layer (the glowing burner) to make it active. STEP 8 Add “Heat Blistering” to the Clock Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy this up to a new layer. Click OK. drag down substantially on the RGB curve. Select the Brush tool.

I selected the smoke. STEP 14 Position. Click OK. Create tonal separation between the center black “smoke trail” and the rest of the channel by modifying the curve as shown. Choose Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and add a 60-pixel blur. Shear. From the Filter menu. STEP 12 Create Alpha Channel.blogs. and added a Curves adjustment layer to create a shadow for the smoke. choose New Channel to create a new alpha channel. and then a point to the upper part and raise it slightly (refer to the illustration). As a final touch. Hold down the Command key (PC: Ctrl key) and click on the layer mask for the red glow layer to add it as a selection. choose Distort>Shear. 52 L A Y E R S M A G A Z I N E J A N / F E B 2 0 0 7 Seán Duggan is the co-author of Real World Digital Photography. Output: 0). Fill.PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALS Creating the Smoke After Shear and Blur After Difference Clouds STEP 11 Refine the Glow and Add Scorch Marks Now we’ll refine the red-hot glow effect. Blur. as well as painting in the layer mask. For the Undefined Areas. Adjust the layer Opacity. Choose Select>Deselect. Click OK. From the Filter menu. 2nd Edition (Peachpit Press) and Photoshop Artistry (New Riders). leaving only the center black smoke trail. then Command-click (PC: Ctrl-click) the alpha channel to load the white areas as a selection. Check out his websites at soft-edged brush and www. Click OK in the Color Picker. Press D to set white as the Foreground color. to modify the translucence and appearance of the smoke as needed. Click OK. He teaches regular workshops on Photoshop and digital photography. Choose the Brush tool with a large. distorted the selection. click inside the selection and drag it into a logical position for the smoke. choose Repeat Edge Pixels. and Adjust Opacity In the Layers palette. Press Command-I (PC: Ctrl-I) to invert the channel.f1point4. Choose Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color. Move the lower-left corner black point over to the middle of the curve grid (Input: 128. choose Render>Difference Clouds.seanduggan. . After brush touch-up After invert After Curves STEP 13 Refine Smoke Trail Choose Image>Adjustments> Curves. With a selection tool. click on the top layer to view the color image. Click on the Create New Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and choose Curves. Add a point to the lower part of the curve and pull down slightly. and Render Clouds From the flyout menu in the Channels palette. Manipulate the vertical line in the grid to create a gentle vertical curve as shown above. then Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill the selection with white. Press D to set black as the Foreground color. Click OK. Paint with white at 100% Opacity to remove any remaining gray areas. Use the Rectangular Marquee tool to select the left half of the channel.

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