Stormy Man

This tutorial will show you how to blend and unwanted object in an image, and merge a man with an eerie setting.

Cutting Out The Man

I have this picture of this man here, but don’t want him sitting in grass.

So, we’re going to cut him out… and since I don’t want him holding a computer either, I’m going to show you how to blend the computer in with him like it never existed.

Using the Magic Wand, I select the area around the man.

Using the Pen Tool, I draw around his legs and where his feet would be since we can’t automatically cut him out of the grass with the Magic Wand.

Make the shape into a selection by holding CTRL down and clicking on the image of the shape you just drew in the Layers window. This will select around the outside of that shape. Make the shape layer invisible in the Layers window, or delete it at this point. Click on the layer with the man in it that we’re cutting out and then hit the Delete key on the keyboard (you need that selection shape that we made for this to work).

Now We’re Going To Make The Computer Disappear

Select a color from his coat with the Eyedropper tool and use either the Paint Brush tool with a Hard Round brush, or draw a couple shapes, however you’d like to do it. ***If the shapes are different parts of his jacket, put them on separate layers so you can edit them independently.

You want the shapes to at least slightly resemble shapes of what would be there if the computer was not.

There are essentially three panels to this man’s jacket. We have the jacket itself, and the vest beneath his jacket. So, at least three layers with three different shapes.

Darken the vest shape using the Burn tool and a mixture of a Hard Round and a Soft Round brush. While darkening, you may need to use the selection tool to indicate where the edge of the vest is.

If you have reshaped the jacket with your shapes, you may want to readjust the man’s silhouette (like under his arm on the left side where the computer jets out a little).

Begin to pull other darker colors and lighter colors if needed to start to blend the colors of the jacket. It still won’t match because the texture is different, but we’re just trying to get it took similar at this point.

Add some buttons. Make a new layer and draw a circle with the Elliptical Marquee tool using the preexisting partial button as reference for size.

Smooth out the button and give it a little dimension to its shape. When you’re satisfied with the button, duplicate its layer however many times you need buttons.

So they don’t all look identical, rotate each button slightly using the Transform option CTRL+T. Use the Burn and Erase tool to darken and alter the buttons so they again do not look identical.

Merge all of these layers together in your Layers window. Add a Grain filter. Filter>Texture>Grain…

Adding the grain made it multicolored, and his jacket is pretty close to being monochromatic (one color in different shades). So, we’re going to Colorize this layer. CTRL+U will open the Hue/Saturation window. Click the box that says “Colorize” and adjust the sliders to make it match as closely as possible.

Add a new layer over the grainy jacket layer we just made. Using the Soft Round Paint Brush with various colors pulled from the jacket, and an Opacity less than 100% so it’s not such a harsh transition.

You may need to use the Burn tool a little more here and there too to make it a smoother transition.

Bringing The Man Into a New Dark World

Merge all of the pieces of the man together and copy and paste him into our eerie ocean setting.

He obviously doesn’t match the black and white background, so we will make him black and white as well. CTRL+SHIFT+U will desaturate him and eliminate all of the colors from him. He may look a little flat or dull compared to the background, so let’s adjust his brightness and darkness with levels. CTRL+L will bring up the window. Select the left-land eyedropper tool. This eyedropper controls which is the darkest (blackest) shade in the image. Click in the darkest spot on the man and it will adjust all of the other shades accordingly.

You can move the sliders around a little to see what it does, but he really doesn’t need much assistance at this point.

CTRL+T and scale him down, and rotate him slightly to match the horizon line in the background image.

You can still see the grass at his feet from the previous image, so we’re going to remedy that.

Use the Lasso Tool and draw around a large shape of the water in front of the man. Be sure you’re on the background’s layer when you copy it. Paste it on two separate layers above the man’s layer. Make lower water layer invisible.

There will be a watery blob at his feet. Use the eraser tool with a Soft Round brush and maybe around 50% opacity and erase along the top of this new water layer to make the transition into the man more smooth.

He still looks off, like we just placed him into a water picture. Even though we did, we don’t want him to look like it.

Change the Blending option for this layer to Pin Light.

Make the invisible water layer visible.

Erase some of it until it blends better, making it look more like the man is sitting in the water.

Splashing in the Water

We’re going to make it look like this man is controlling the weather somehow, so we want to make him more dramatic while he peacefully sits in the water.

Find a water-splashing image, cut it out and paste it into a new layer in our developing setting.

Make it black and white CTRL+SHIFT+U.

Adjust the levels like we did with the man, selecting the darkest spot in the image using the eyedropper in the Levels window CTRL+L. Scale it down so it’s a more appropriate size.

Use the Eraser, still with a Soft Round brush and erase the unneeded darker parts that don’t look like splashed water. Move this layer down in the Layers window below the man’s layer. You may need to slide it around a little bit once you’ve adjusted the layer, so the water layers we made earlier don’t overlap the splash in an obscure way.

Duplicate the splash layer a couple times and erase each one a little differently.

Move them below the man in the Layers window like we did with the other one.

Now to add some lightning to the scene.

Copy and paste the awesome lightning into our project, making sure it is only in front of the background layer (so it’s probably the second layer from the bottom). Adjust the levels like we did the other ones, making the background black and the lightning pop.

Change the Blending option to Linear Dodge.

Now take another set of dark ominous clouds and paste them in between the lightning and the background.

Position them and adjust the levels as needed. Change its Blending option to Overlay. This will make it a nice blend of the two backgrounds, giving it even more depth.

And We’re Done!

By Kirin Knapp

Kirin Knapp is a graphic designer for the iEntry Network, publishing company of FlashNewz. A flash animator and illustrator, she is the creator of her home site,

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