In this short and quick Adobe Photoshop digital art tutorial, we are going to let somebody fall down inside a gloomy black & white scene. You will learn how to cut out body parts, add rain to a composition, use Gradient Map adjustment layers and other techniques that are useful in performing artistic photo manipulations. Note: This tutorial features a nude subject, and thus, this tutorial contains nudity for artistic purposes.

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Note: This tutorial features a nude subject, and thus, this tutorial contains nudity for artistic purposes.

Click on the image below to view its full size.

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Tutorial Resources

Step 1: Import the composition’s subject

Open model and model1 in Photoshop. Make a new document (Ctrl/Cmd + N) with Width at 3858px, Height at 2398px and 180 dpi.

Paste both images into this new document.

Select the first stock image in the Layers Panel and click on Edit > Transform > Rotate 90o CCW. Resize the image a little with the Free Transform command (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and place it right in the middle of the canvas with the Move Tool (V).

Now select the second image and choose Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.

Use the Eraser Tool (E) to erase everything roughly with a soft brush tip except the subject’s legs. Resize and place this over the body of the first image.

Take the Eraser Tool again and erase (with a soft brush) the hips of the second image to blend both images together.

The most important thing is that you don’t miss the proportions to make it look realistic.

Blending two images together

Next, render out the model with the Lasso Tool (L) or the Pen Tool (P). You don’t need to do this perfectly.

Step 2: Cut out several sections of the subject

Take the Lasso Tool (L), select an area of the model’s head and remove it (hit the Delete key).

Make a new layer behind this image, try to select the same shape with the Lasso Tool, pick a skin color of her face with the Eyedopper Tool (I) and fill the selection with your chosen color using the Paint Bucket Tool (G).

Make a new layer. Apply a clipping mask to this new layer (Ctrl/Cmd + Alt + G). Select a soft brush and brush with black on the inside of your shape.

Reduce the Opacity if needed, and if you want to, you can give the layer a Gaussian Blur filter to soften up rough edges.

Cutting out the face

Do the same thing with her arm, hand, and other body parts. You can use any shape and erase any part you want to. The exception here is that I didn’t erase parts of her hips: instead, I selected the lips with the Lasso Tool (L), right-clicked on the selection in the canvas and then chose Layer via Cut from the contextual menu. I then displaced it a little using the Move Tool (V).

Addtional cutting

Here’s our subject now.

Outcome

Step 3: Work on the subject’s background

Open the image of the stormy sea and place it into our canvas behind our subject.

Duplicate the stock image’s layer (Ctrl/Cmd + J) and flip it horizontally (Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal).

Take the Lasso Tool and select some parts of the sea, copy (Ctrl/Cmd + C) the selected regions, paste (Ctrl/Cmd + V) it, and move it around a bit so it doesn’t look too mirrored anymore.

Take the Eraser Tool with a soft brush and erase the edges of these parts to blend them together.

Inserting the sea

Step 4: Add clouds to the background

First make a new layer and fill it with black. Set the new layer’s Opacity to 50%.

Next, open the cloud image, duplicate and flip it horizontally just like we did in the previous step. You can copy and paste parts of the clouds here, too. Set the Blend Mode of the cloud layer to Overlay.

Insert the first and second space image and set the layer’s blend modes to Lighten. Erase the bits where the space images are too bright for your tastes.

Inserting the Cherry Tree

Step 5: Further adjustments on the body

First duplicate our subject on a new layer (Ctrl/Cmd + J).

Use the Liquify filter (Filter > Liquify or Shift + Ctrl/Cmd + X) and simply smudge around.

Again, duplicate that layer and give it a Motion Blur filter (Filter > Motion Blur) — set the Angle to about 53o and the Distance to about 500px.

Move that layer upwards in the Layers Panel so that the image with the Motion Blur is only above the body, making it look like our subject is falling into the sea.

Adjustments on the body

Tip: If you want, you can take a soft and small white brush and brush on the edges of parts of the body you edited in Step 2. Set the layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light and set the layer Opacity to around 50%. This looks especially better on brighter areas, giving the edges a slight bevel effect.

Optional Highlights

Step 6: Make it rain

Download and install the rain brushes and brush around the canvas until the whole scene is covered with rain. Reduce the Opacity of the layer if you want the rain to be more subtle — in my case, around 51% does the trick.

Adding rain

Step 7: Color adjustments and sharpening

Create three black and white gradient map adjustment layers by clicking on the Create a new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel. Leave the first one as it is (default setting), set the second one’s Blend Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 71% and set the third one’s Blend Mode to Luminosity.

Now would be a good time to save your work or create a layer comp. Merge all layers by right-clicking on any layer in the Layers Panel and choosing Flatten Image.

Finally, run the Sharpen filter by clicking on Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen and you are finished with the tutorial!

Color adjustments and sharpening

Tutorial Summary

In this digital art tutorial, you have learned how to create a realistic falling scene by merging images together, adding a motion blur and using rain that flows into the same direction. I hope you found this tutorial useful and look forward to your questions and comments.

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Author:

Michael Ostermann is a graphic designer and illustrator from Vienna, Austria. He enjoys creating photomanipulations, merchandise products and working for bands. You can follow him on Twitter, visit his Myspace and view his work on Flickr.