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Photoshop Design - September 15, 2010

Advanced Photoshop Techniques

Creating a work of art out of any ordinary photo isn’t as difficult as you may think. The below graphic only requires a total of ten layers and a small handful of filters. If you’d like to follow along using the original artwork file I created, scroll to the bottom of this tutorial and download the PSD file. You may also prefer to follow along with an image of your choosing that you would like to experiment with using the same techniques I’m about to cover.

Here’s the final piece of work we’ll be creating in this tutorial:
NightFlower1 Advanced Photoshop Techniques

Lets get started with the original photograph you’re planning on working with. I chose a flower with an bee sitting on top to add a little more life into the scene. Feel free to go with any image of your choosing.

flower2 199x300 Advanced Photoshop Techniques

The first step will be to get rid of the color and add a blue tint to the flower. We’ll do this by selecting a hex similar to #002E95 as your foreground color, then going to your top menu bar and selecting Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation then select Colorize on the Hue/Saturation panel. You should now have something similar to the following image.

flower3 199x300 Advanced Photoshop Techniques

Next we’ll have to create the inner glow coming from the center of the flower which will later on radiate light around it. To do this create an oval about the same size as the one below using the Elliptical Marque Tool in the top left of the tools panel and fill it with white, make sure not to deselect the oval and go to the top menu bar and choose Select > Inverse then go back to Select and choose Feather. You’ll want to choose about 15 pixels or so depending on how big your oval is to feather it by, once you have that set click OK then press Backspace 3 to 4 times or until you can’t see the outer edge of the oval anymore.

You should have now achieved the following image by now:

flower4 Advanced Photoshop Techniques

Now we’ll have to create 2 different types of radial light rays to bring out the center of the flower. The first we’ll create by adding a new layer in the layers palette on top of our current layers, then make sure you have black and white as your foreground and background colors in the tools panel. Fill the entire layer with black using the paint bucket then go Filter > Render > Difference Clouds. One you have this set we’ll need to add a radial blur effect, do this by going Filter > Blur > Radial Blur, make sure Blur Method is Zoom. You’ll now need to drag the radial blur to the center of the flower where we’d like the light to originate from.

Once complete you should have something similar to the folling:

radialblur Advanced Photoshop Techniques

Now go to your layers palette effects drop down menu and select Overlay, you should see an increase in dark and light areas with a slight radial effect. The next set of rays we’ll be adding are rays with more apparent lines in them which have a little more thickness as well.

In order to create these rays you can refer to the Retro Sun Ray Effect and follow steps 3 and 4. Once you have the rays drag them on to a new layer on top of all of your current layers and apply a gaussian blur of about 3.5 by going to the top menu and selecting Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Once this is done set the opacity of that layer to about 14%, then duplicate the layer so it’s a little brighter. You may also want to rotate the duplicated layer to add a few more rays to your design.

The current stage of your design should be looking more like this:

flower5 199x300 Advanced Photoshop Techniques

We’ll now add some blue flames coming out of the center of the flower. I searched for “blue flames” on dreamstime.com and found the image below. It was originally on a black background so after placing the flames on the top layer of my artwork I went to the layers palette effect drop down menu and selected Lighten. This removes the black from the background and only shows the blue flames on top of the flower.

Try to position the flames so their similar to the below graphic:

blueflames Advanced Photoshop Techniques

The last item we have to work with is the bee, currently with all of the layers we’ve placed on top of the bee it’s lost it’s life like appearance. To bring this back you’ll simply need to go back to the original image, use the polygon lasso tool in the top left of the tools panel, and cut out the bee. Once you have him cut out create a new layer on the top of your current layers and position him in the same location as he is currently. Once this is done double click on the bee layer in the layers palette and click Drop Shadow, set an opacity of 50%, distance of 9, spread of 0 and size of 0. This brings the bee off the canvas and puts a little more life into the design.

bee Advanced Photoshop Techniques

If you have any questions about this tutorial feel free to comment on it below. Also be sure to download the PSD to get a better look at all of the layers involved.

Moonlight Flower (Download PSD)

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