Make a Devil May Cry Insipred Dark Portal Scene in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the processses involved in transforming an average photo into a mysterious dark portal to the underworld scene, inspired by the famous Playstation hack-and-slash game Devil May Cry. The techniques used in this tutorial include layer blending styles, various image adjustment tools, filters and some basic selection techniques. The steps are very simple and straight-forward. Give it a go!

In this tutorial, I will show you the processses involved in transforming an average photo into a mysterious dark portal to the underworld scene, inspired by the famous Playstation hack-and-slash game Devil May Cry.

The techniques used in this tutorial include layer blending styles, various image adjustment tools, filters and some basic selection techniques. The steps are very simple and straight-forward. Give it a go!

Here is a before-and-after comparison:

Before

After

PSD File for this Tutorial

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Ok let’s get started!

Step 1

Download the above “Before” image and load it into Photoshop. On the background layer, use curve tool to adjust the lighting contrast a bit. See below for detailed settings:

Step 2

Duplicate the background layer once, then hit Ctrl+Alt+Shift+B to bring up the the Black and White image adjustment tool, apply the following settings on the duplicated layer:

After applying Black and White, right-click on the layer and choose “Blending Option”, change the layer blending option of the duplicated layer to “Saturation”.

So far the effect looks like:

Step 3

Now we add some glowing light on the stone pillars. Duplicate the Background layer once more, and the duplicated layer above the previous duplicated layer in Step 2. Apply the Black and White image adjustment on this layer, using the following setting:

After Black and White, go to filter > blur > Gaussian Blur and apply the following settings:

After applying gaussian blur, change the layer blending option to “Screen” and set the layer opacity to about 70%.

Optional: You may apply the Curve Tool (Ctrl + M) on this layer if you wouldl like to adjust the colour constrast.

The effect so far looks like this:

Step 4

Now we want to create some cloud/mist inside the archway so it looks like a portal to the underworld and add some extra CG effect.

Create a new layer named “cloud” on top of every other layer, use the Lasso Tool with a 15-20px feather, select the six archways respectively. (To do this, you need hold down the Shift key while selecting)

Fill the selection with Black and go to Filter > Render > Cloud and render some cloud:

You can repeatly hit Ctrl + F to re-render the cloud untill you’re happy with it.

After rendering cloud, hit Ctrl + L to bring up the Level Tool, apply the following settings:

Then hit Ctrl + M to bring up the Curve Tool, apply the following settings:

Optional: You may use the Clone Stamp Tool to clone some clouds and fill the empty gap.

Step 5

Now we can add some colour to the image. Create a new layer and set the layer blending option to overlay. Grab a big brush and change its setting as the following:

To make the Devil May Cry Theme, I Chose a Dark red colour and brush over the cloudy part of the image:

The effect so far looks like this:

Ok! That’s it for this tutorial. You may still want to adjust its Hue and Saturaton a bit more, or simply add some more lighting effects to it.

Here is my final image for this tutorial:

Hope you enjoy this tutorial and if you have any question, just drop me a comment below.

PS: I used a lot of Keyboard shortcuts in this tutorial. The reason is that I think it’s a good idea for a beginner to practice some shortcuts and later on you will form this habit and increase your work efficiency.

  1. This was really good, I used this for my graphic art 20 class [grade eleven] : ] This is brilliant. : D The only thing though is I had a little trouble doing step three, with the duplications, the wording was slightly confusing, other than that, thanks a bundle. Sincerely, Kirsten Noelle

  2. Hi Kirsten~ Glad to see you enjoy this tutorial!

    WIth step 3, simply duplicate the background layer, then put the duplicated layer above all other layers.

    Hope this helps :)

  3. i could never get the curves perfect and my clouds dont look very good. i did different feather settings on the lasso tool but nothing really worked. The begger areas of cloud still look like big plain clumps of cotton candy. I dont understand what i’m doing wrong. Could you please help me out?

  4. BRI, If you are not satisfied with the clouds, you could just apply the render clouds again until you achieve the desired effect.
    Thanks for posting another tutorial worth trying out!

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