Magic Forest Photoshop Tutorial

Here’s a great Photoshop tutorial if you are interested to learn Digital Image compositing. A fantasy theme is always appealing with its mystical charm.

A beautiful lady, a lone white wolf and dancing fireflies in a magical forest. So many fascinating stories to be told!

It gets a DO-DID-DONE Top recommendation for its great learning & entertainment value.

You will like:

  1. The great fantasy theme as mentioned
  2. Clear instructions in text. No voice but it has a nice background music.
  3. The good steady pace which makes it is easy to follow
  4. The many techniques & tricks to learn, especially to blend everything together in a realistic scene & environment
  5. It is not too lengthy (18m 27s) for a tutorial that covers so much
  6. The stock images used are provided (Hint: the link is in the video description)
  7. You can do magic and the final result is a work of art
  8. A fun project for your artistic creations

No surprise that it ranks among my favourite tutorials.

Let’s create some magic!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Skill level: Intermediate

Tools: Pen, Smudge tool, Eraser, Lasso, Brush, Transform, Filter (Distort / Twirl)

Techniques: Layer Grouping, Gradient Map, Layer FX, Clipping Mask

Summarised for the busy person

  1. Extract the model from the background with the Pen Tool. You can use any selection tool that you are comfortable with. The Pen is chosen for its accuracy though it will need more work. If you are already a Pro, skip to 4:15.
  2. Tidy up the hair with the Eraser using a soft Brush.
  3. Create  a flowing  hair effect with the Smudge tool (Brush 13px, Strength about 75%)
  4. Drag the model onto the forest background (6:53). Resize & Position.
  5. Add some leaves in front of model for some realism. Select & copy from the foreground. Resize, Rotate & Position as necessary. Use the Eraser tool to blend in the leaves. Top Tip: Use a Group named leaves to manage other copies in subsequent steps as we progress.
  6.  Create a Gradient map (10:03) to create the Global lighting effect. Choose Black to White gradient. First color Purple 7e00ff, second color Dark grey 1e1e1e. Change Blending mode to Soft light, 70% opacity.
  7. Create the fireflies in a layer named Sparks above the model (10:53). You will use a Brush which is part of the download.
    1. Reset the brush colors.
    2. The larger the brush size, the better.
    3. After applying, head to FX / Blending options (Outer Glow, +Opacity to 90%, Change color to Orange ff6c00, +Elements Size: 28px )
  8. Add a tombstone to the background – Drag, Drop, Transform, Position (12:20). Move it below Sparks layer. Top Tips: Ctrl+T shortcut to Transform & Shift + Alt while dragging corners to resize from center.
  9. Add moss to the tombstone (12:43). Same steps as step 8 with the moss above tombstone layer. Match the tombstone with Transform by  Ctrl + dragging a corner to angle it (12:58). Create a Clipping mask & change the Blending mode to Soft Light. Next, add a layer mask and go around the edges of the moss with a black soft brush.
  10. Add leaves. Opacity 80%  & use Eraser for any touch-ups
  11. Add an Old Lantern on the tombstone – Drag, Drop, Transform, Position (14:53).
  12. Add the Lantern light. Create a new layer above the lantern.Change Foreground color to Orange FFae00. With a soft edge brush, paint the light. Change the layer Blending mode to Screen, Opacity 85%. Set Brush opacity to 25% & paint around the tombstone to add some light.
  13. Add a wolf – Drag, Drop, Transform, Position (16:09). Add leaves. Eraser for touchups.
  14. Select Sparks layer, re: Step 7 (17:35). Apply Filter / Distort / Twirl, Angle 50.
  15. Zoom out & enjoy!

As always, if you find this tip useful & helpful, do click Like and let me have your feedback in the comments.

Feel free to share if it will help others. Sharing is caring. 😉

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