In this Photoshop tutorial, I will show you the methods I used to create unique abstract photo manipulation by mixing rock and city stock images in Photoshop. We will combine 3 objects: human, rock and city into one manipulation and form a unique looking digital art. We will primarily use the adjustment layers tool, layer blending modes and various filter to achieve this manipulation.

This is an immediate level tutorial and some steps can be a little tricky, have a try!

Note: The Photoshop tutorial is done in CS6 – therefore some screenshot may have slighting different layout as in the earlier version. Some brushes are exclusive to Photoshop CS6.

Here is a preview of the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

dream flatten 546x700 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

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vip sign up 250 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

OK Let’s get started!

To complete this tutorial, you will need the following stocks:

Model – by Anikathropoloustock

Rock

City

Grunge Brush Set (Pick a few from the list)

Debris Brush Set

Step 1

Create a new document sized 780px * 1000px with white background. Grab the Gradient Fill tool to fill the background with the following gradients: (Set the Gradient Fill tool to use Radial Fill)

1 fill1 545x700 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Load the model image into Photoshop and cut out the model, paste it to the position as shown below: (Use the Free Transform tool to resize this layer to a smaller scale)

1 model 547x700 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Grab the eraser tool to tidy up the edges of the model:

1 erase1 550x422 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Add the following 3 adjustment layers as clipping masks to this model layer:

Black and White

1 bw2 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

On this black and white adjustment layer, use a soft eraser tool on its layer mask to reveal some colors on the model the facial area:

1 bw mask 550x329 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Levels

1 lvs1 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Curves

1 curves1 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

and here is the effect so far:

1 effect2 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Use a grunge brush set, paint some grunge texture below the model layer:

1 ground 550x393 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Step 2

We will work on the rock texture in this step. Load the rock image into Photoshop and select the following piece from the image:

2 sel1 550x540 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Copy and paste the selection over to our image and place the layer below the model layer, in the position shown below:

2 paste1 550x618 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Use the chalk brush as eraser, remove the following portions from the rock layer and tidy up the edge:

2 eraser 550x326 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

2 erase1 550x422 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Add the following 3 adjustment layer as clipping masks to this rock layer:

Black and White

2 bw2 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Levels

2 lvs1 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Curves

2 curves1 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

and you will have the following effect so far:

2 effect2 550x473 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Use the debris brush you downloaded to paint some small particles into the space we removed in the previous step:

2 particle 550x302 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Put all these rock related layers into a layer group, duplicate this group a few times and move them to different positions as shown below: (Rotate and resize the duplicated groups as you see fit)

2 repeat 550x544 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Step 3

We will work on the city building part of the manipulation in this step. Load the city image into Photoshop and select the following area:

3 sel1 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Copy and paste the selection over to our document and place it into the position shown below: (resize the layer to a small scale to fit the size of the rock texture)

3 paste 550x373 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Use the chalk brush as eraser to blend the city edges into the rock texture:

3 erase1 550x343 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Add the following 3 adjustment layers as clipping masks to this city layer:

Black and White

3 bw Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Levels

3 lvs1 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Curves

3 curves Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

and here is the effect so far:

3 effect1 550x337 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Repeat the steps described above to add another lot of buildings to the top left position as shown below:

3 dup 550x319 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Paint some particles on top of the city building with the debris brushes for extra effect:

3 particle 550x391 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Step 4

We’re almost done. We will work on some final touches in this step. Add some cloud round the rock with a cloud brush or cloud filter, use the Warp tool to warp the cloud so it forms a circular shape:

4 cloud1 550x334 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Flatten the image, duplicate the background layer and apply the following Crystalize filter to the duplicated layer:

4 crystallize Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

4 cry set 550x439 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

and you will have the following effect:

4 pixel 550x615 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Of course we don’t want to the whole image to be pixelated, so let’s apply the following layer mask on this crystallized layer:

4 mask 550x625 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

Use a soft brush to paint some highlights on the model’s forehead:

4 highlight 550x284 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

I further adjusted the colour balance of the image with the colour balance adjustment layer, and here is my final effect: (click to enlarge)

dream flatten 546x700 Create Unique Abstract Photo Manipulation in Photoshop with Human, Rock and City Stocks

That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy going through it and find it useful. Drop me a comment below if you have any question.

Till next time, have a great day!