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How to Create a Fantasy Photo Manipulation

Step 1
The first step is to choose the right pictures for your work. I chose just three stock images to keep it simple: Background, Tree, and you can look at through the following site for a suitable image of a Model.

Step 2
The second step is to create a proper background. Use your imagination; don’t just use the background picture ast is. Click on the background layer and then Command + J to duplicate it. Next flip the background you just duplicated Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal, and then overlap them covering just a bit of the picture with the other.

Step 3
Now Command-click on both layers and then press Command + E to merge them together. It looks strange, like in a mirror, but by using a brush and a clone stamp it will look quite natural. Select the Clone Stamp Tool

(S) and start cloning the trees and the grass until it looks natural. Then crop it so it won’t look symmetrical. also you need to make the clouds yellow. You will create these clouds using a cloud brush. . use the Brush Tool (B) and paint with black at the trees roots. Yellow and orange clouds look good in a fantasy picture. and here are some Free Cloud Brushes. Step 4 Next you need to add some clouds.

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. Again create the birds using brushes.Step 5 Next you need to add some birds on the sky.

.Step 6 For this step you will add a moon or maybe you will add two. after all this is a fantasy illustration.

We do this just to get rid of the symmetry. .Step 7 Last element you need to add is a tree in the right side of the composition. Look for a tree that matches your background.

Now you need to work on your model. then place it into a single layer called "model.Step 8 You have just finished with the background." . Use the Pen Tool (P) and cut out the model.

. right? Just use the Lasso Tool (L) and cut out her hair.Step 9 Every fairy has long hair. Make the selection and then press Command + J to copy it to another layer.

but we will go back to the hair later.Step 10 Next you need to move the part of the hair you just created lower then the "model" layer and using the Smudge Tool (R) and Transform Tool (T) you need to make the piece of hair look like it belongs there. . The final result might not look great.

This will help you build the effect gradually. Next. Make sure to use a 0% Hardness for the brush. Go to Create a new fill or adjustment layer and select Curves. Fill the layer mask with black. Use my settings or just make the skin look darker.Step 11 Now you need to create some shadows and lights on her skin. pick a basic brush and with white draw on the layer mask over all the darker areas of the models skin. also you can use a lower Opacity for the brush. .

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Step 12 Repeat Step 11. when you draw over the mask this time draw over the lighter parts on the model’s skin. Also. . but this time you need to use different settings for the curves.

. use a black color and start drawing just a bit above her eyes. Create a new layer. When you have finished set the Opacity to 60% or 70%. pick a basic brush with smooth edges. You just need to create a bit of makeup and make the fairy look better.Step 13 You are almost done with the model.

now move it into your document. . You have finished preparing the model.Step 14 So far so good.

The wings I used are free brushes you can find anywhere.Step 15 Next you need to add the wings. same as the sky and place them each in different layers to move them later if necessary. I will make the wings yellow. .

. strength to 100. use a basic brush with smooth edges and Diameter of 1px or 2px. Now start smudging the edges of her hair so the model will look like she belongs in the background. Chose the Smudge Tool (R) and set the Mode to normal.Step 16 Back to the hair.

The tree can be cut using the Pen Tool (P).Step 17 Next you need to bring in the tree. Finally. It does not have to be perfect. Before you do this you need to remove the background. but at some point you will need to use the Quick Selection Tool (W). move the tree on the document you are working. . When you are finished cutting you need to use the Smudge Tool (R) again and smudge the edges of the tree. for the moment we can use it as it is.

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Step 18 In this step we will create a flower in her hair. . Start drawing the flower like the one in the image. just like you did with her skin. The flower does not need to be perfect as it will not be very visible. Use these for the colors #989ba2 and #a58532 and then start adding some shadows and highlights. Make a new layer and chose the Brush Tool (B).

Also. . using the brush you need to make create some hair and place it over the flower.Step 19 Place the flower over her hair.

.Step 20 Next you need to use the Smudge Tool (R) on the grass. Now it is visible that the model has been cut and placed on this background so to hide this we need to create some grass over her dress.

chose Gradient Map and make the settings as in the image below. Go to Create New Adjustment Layers.Step 21 Now you need to change the colors a bit for the atmosphere. .

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pick a basic brush with Hardness set to 0.Step 22 Now set the Opacity to 60%. Go to the layer mask. The difference is not very visible but there is one. also make sure the Preserve Luminosity is checked. Step 23 Go to Create New Adjustment Layer again and chose Photo Filter. set the Opacity of the brush to 40%. pick the black color and paint all the grass. Chose #ec8a00 for the color and 25% for Density. . The result should look like the image below.

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so the curves won’t be visible in the middle. . make the settings as in the image. Then pick a brush with smooth edges and paint the layer mask as shown.Step 24 Next go to the Create new adjustment layer and chose Curves.

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Step 25 Go to Create New Adjustment Layer and pick Curves again. Now pick the same brush. . then make the settings as shown below. and paint with black on the mask. as you see in the small image. This will give a nice effect to the moon and it will look like it is shining on the girl.

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and set the Opacity of the layer to 30%. .Step 26 Apply another Photo Filter as you did in step 23. Step 27 Now apply another gradient map. Make the settings as shown.

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. then go to Edit > Copy Merged. Position the lens as I did. go to Edit > Paste. Step 29 With the new layer selected you need to go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare. This will paste the entire work you have done so far into a single layer with all the effects merged. It must look like the girl is looking at it. Now that you have made a copy. After you position it you must create a mask for the layer and try to mask the entire image except the middle part of the flare.Step 28 Next you need to press Command + A to select the entire work.

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and Blue at +94. set each as I did: Red at +7. Go to the adjustment layers and select Channel Mixer. . then set the Channel to Blue.Step 30 Now we’ll add a dreamy effect. Next. Green at -13.

Step 31 .

using a black to transparent Radial Gradient (G). Next. make a black spot in the middle of the layer mask. .Go to Create New Adjustment Layer and go to Hue/Saturation and set the Lightness to -22 and press OK.

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Conclusion In the end you can apply more blur and lights on the sky and girl. You can view the final image below. By Azmir Othman .