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advanced photoshop
Jan
5

How to blend 3D and stock imagery in Photoshop, part 2

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Tips & Tutorials, by The Advanced Photoshop Team

Continued… A tutorial on making a stunning, abstract composite using 3D elements and ordinary stock photos

How to blend 3D and stock imagery in Photoshop, part 2

Follow part 1 of this tutorial

Step 13

How to blend 3D and stock imagery in Photoshop, part 2

You now to need to use the three ‘CINEMA 4D Effects’ images from the resources. Copy them into the Explode layer, above the other stock, and switch them to Lighter Color blending mode. Using trial and error, move the stock images around until the best effect is found and use a layer mask to remove the rest, duplicating the layer to accentuate if needed.

Step 14

How to blend 3D and stock imagery in Photoshop, part 2

Open both ‘Coil 1.tif’ and ‘Coil 2.tif’ stock photos and use these to add some cable detailing across the ship, making sure that, for ease of blending, the layers are positioned between the existing Ship and Ship Rear groups that we made earlier. Use of Flip, Warp and Transform tools help to make sure they all look different and not repeated.

Step 15

How to blend 3D and stock imagery in Photoshop, part 2

Add a new layer set to Soft Light, 75% Opacity, to the top of the Ship group and start to paint with a small soft brush. Set Foreground colour to purest red and let the layer mode deal with blending. Sharp edges are best removed by running a small soft brush eraser near the edges of the painted area, but Dodge and Burn can also be useful.

Step 16

How to blend 3D and stock imagery in Photoshop, part 2

Duplicate the Ship group; merge all layers (Cmd/Ctrl+E) and Ctrl/right-click on the Layers preview panel. This selects the whole shape and we add a layer mask that matches it. Gaussian Blur the layer mask by 7 pixels to soften up the harsh edges. Some areas need to be tidied so zoom in and paint directly onto the layer mask.

Step 17

How to blend 3D and stock imagery in Photoshop, part 2

Open up the aircraft stock (SXC’s ‘511436’) and cut it out using the Polygonal Lasso tool. A good thing about the stock is that most of the lines are straight, so a close cut is possible first time and, as we are going to blur both our planes for the effect of speed, we don’t need to get in close and tidy up.

Step 18

How to blend 3D and stock imagery in Photoshop, part 2

Open one of the Effects stock images, cut out a flare shape then place it over a jet exhaust. Change the mode to Lighter Color and then use Transform and Warp to create a flame; for convenience, this can be copied to the other three exhausts. The missile smoke trail is also added and duplicated. A third smaller jet is painted as a silhouette.

Step 19

How to blend 3D and stock imagery in Photoshop, part 2

Once again using the Effects stock, cut out some lights and glows to decorate the ship. Be sure to feather your selections when copying from the stock. Use a combination of Lighter Color and Linear Dodge to create a large engine glow at the foot of the ship, erasing into the layer mask of the merged Ship group to accentuate this even more.

Step 20

How to blend 3D and stock imagery in Photoshop, part 2

The colours in the sky still don’t seem rich enough, so set up a new group called ‘Adjustments’ above all other layers. Duplicate the Photo Filter that was created earlier and move it to the new Adjustments group. Duplicate it one more time and erase the layer mask to emphasise a few key areas.

Step 21

How to blend 3D and stock imagery in Photoshop, part 2

Add a Brightness/Contrast layer and mask it to only show over the clouds, lowering the Contrast slider a little. Next add a Levels layer (again just over the clouds) and change the centre black level to 0.79. Add one more Levels layer with no mask and use it to raise the vividness of the blues and yellows.

Step 22

How to blend 3D and stock imagery in Photoshop, part 2

Apply image (Cmd/Ctrl+A, Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+C, Cmd/Ctrl+V) to give a single layer to which you can add a 3px Gaussian Blur and a Radial gradient layer mask around the base of the ship. Apply image again and finish up with an Unsharp Mask filter set to 40% to highlight the smaller areas of detail.