Photo Manipulation of a Barbarian Warrior in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to create this photo manipulation of a Barbarian Warrior in Photoshop. We will mix rock and metal texture, as well as fire into a warrior photo. We will be practicing layer blending, image adjustments, free transform tool and a number of other manipulation techniques.

The PSD file of this tutorial is available to buy on PSD Vault Shop, or via the PSD Vault VIP members area.

This is an intermediate level difficulty tutorial and require prior knowledge of basic Photoshop commands, as well as using layer masks in Photoshop to complete.

Note: The Photoshop tutorial is done in Photoshop CC – 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)

dark-warrior-flatten

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OK Let’s get started!

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

Barbarian Warrior by mjranum-stock

Rock Texture

Metal Texture

Fire Texture

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1200px * 1303px with black background. Load the rock texture into Photoshop and select a portion of it:

1 sel

Copy and paste the selection to our document, drop its layer opacity to around 40%, and use the Perspective tool to adjust its shape:

1 persp

Use a soft eraser to fade its edge as shown below:

1 erase

Apply the following Levels adjustment to this ground layer:

1 lvs

Use a cloud brush, paint some subtle cloud effect over the background (opacity should be around 10-20%):

1 effect

Optional: Use a particle brush to add some particles on the ground, as shown below:

1 particle

Step 2

We will add some rock texture onto the background in this step. Select the following portion from the rock texture:

2 sel

Copy and paste the selection to our document, re-size it to fit the size of our canvas. Desaturate the layer afterward and turn it into black and white:

2 paste

Use a soft eraser tool, remove the centre and bottom parts of the texture as shown below:

2 erase

Step 3

Load the warrior stock into Photoshop and cut the warrior out, and paste it onto our document. Place the warrior at the centre of the canvas:

3 paste

Use a soft eraser to fade the edge of the warrior’s body, so that he blends with the background texture:

3 mask

Apply the following 3 adjustment layers as clipping masks to this warrior layer:

Levels

3 lvs

Layer mask on the levels adjustment layer:

3 lvs mask

Curves

3 curves

Color Balance

3 col bal

and here is the effect so far:

3 effect

Step 4

We will add some metals around the warrior to act as shattered Armour after a big battle. Load the metal texture into Photoshop and select a few pieces from it:

4 more sel

Copy and paste your selection to our warrior’s body, make sure you set those layers as clipping mask to the warrior layer:

4 paste

Change the layer blending mode of the above metal layers to “Color Burn”, this will create some scar/blood effect on the warrior’s body:

4 col burn

Keep adding more metal texture to our document – now use the “Pin Light” layer blend mode for those metal textures:

4 pin light

I attached the metal to the shoulder area of the warrior, and here is the effect so far:

4 effect

Step 5

We will be adding some fiery effect to our image in this step. Load the fire stock into Photoshop, select the tip of the fire as shown below:

5 fire

Copy and paste the selection to our document, use the “Screen” blend mode and reduce the size of the fire layer to roughly the width of our warrior:

5 screen

This is the fiery effect you will aim to achieve:

5 effect

Add some fire around the Axe as well:

5 fire on axe

Paint some dust effect on the feet:

5 smoke

Step 6

We’re almost done! For final touches, we can add the following adjustment layers on top:

Selective Color

6 sel red

6 sel neu

6 sel whites

Brightness/Contrast

6 brigh

And here is my final effect: (click to enlarge)

dark-warrior-flatten

That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy it and find it useful. Till next time, have a great day!

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  • My name is James and I have been using Photoshop since version 5.0 (long time ago!). PSD Vault is my spare time hobby and I write majority of the Photoshop tutorials and articles here. I hope you enjoy my blog, and feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.

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