Seamlessly Combine Multiple Objects and Create Awesome Lighting Effect in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the methods I use to seamlessly combine multiple objects and create some truly awesome lighting effect for your image through the making of this “spiritually connected” abstract style design in Photoshop.

I have been asked many times in this past about making one of this type of tutorial that contains both of the above techniques so here it is :)

Along the way, we will be practicing a lot of Photoshop skills relevant to them, including selection, masking, and layer blending options. We will also be using a lot of layer adjustments and Photoshop Filters. Have a try!

Also I would love to know what other method you use to achieve the same effect, drop me a line below!

Here is a preview of my final image result for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

abstract-temple-photomani-final

Black and white version:

abstract-temple-photomani-final-bw

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Ok let’s get started!

To complete this tutorial, you will need the following stock images: (I’m non-religious, but I do love temples ^^)

Grungy Texture

Temple Stock 1

Temple Stock 2

Temple Stock 3

Cloud

Step 1

Let’s prepare some background to work on first. Load the “Grungy Texture” image into Photoshop, make a duplicate of the background layer. (Personally I think this is a good habit because in case you mess up something, you always revert back to the original image quickly.)

Set the blending mode of the duplicated layer to “Darken” and you will have the following image:

1-darken

Duplicate the background layer once more and drag the duplicated layer to the top, apply the following the following vector mask to the layer:

1-vector-mask1

Set the blending mode of this layer to “Overlay” and you will have the following effect:

1-effect1

Add a new Curves Adjustment Layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves) and apply the following settings:

1-curve

And you will have the following effect:

1-effect-2

Step 2

Now we have a very grungy-looking background to work on. We can now add our objects onto it.

Load the “Temple Stock 1” into Photoshop.  Use any selection tool you prefer to make a selection around the temple (I would recommand you have a practice with Pen Tool, it’s a good tool and in the future you may use it a lot for a variety of purpose ^^)

If you did use Pen Tool to draw the Path, make sure after you close the path, right-click and choose the option called “Make selection…” and set the feather radius to 0px.

Then hit ctrl+alt+R and apply the following Refine Edge settings:

2-refine-edge

You selection will look similar as shown below:

2-selection

Copy and paste the selection onto our document, resize (Ctrl + T) and position it as shown below:

2-position

Rename this layer as “Temple 1”. On top of this layer, create two adjustment layers as shown below and make both of them Clipping Mask to the “Temple 1” layer:

Curves

2-curve

Black and white

2-bw

Then set the “Temple 1” layer blending mode to “Multiply” and you will have the following effect:

2-effect1

Step 3

Load “Temple Texture 2” into Photoshop. Again we use any selection tool to make a selection around the temple building as shown below:

Hint: use the Refine Edge tool to further adjust the edges of the selection, the goal is to make the selection as smooth and seamless as possible, so it will be easier to blend it into our work later on.

3-selection

Copy and paste the selection onto our document, resize, rotate it and place it onto the position as shown below:

3-position

Name this layer as “Temple 2” and add a vector mask on it as shown below:

3-mask1

You will now see the bottom part of the “Temple 2” layer is not under the mask:

3-effect1

On top of the “Temple 2” layer, add two adjustment layers – curves and black and white and make both of them Clipping Mask to the “Temple 2” layer:

Curves

3-curve

Black and White

3-bw

Set the blending mode of this “Temple 2” layer to “Multiply” and you will have the following effect:

3-effect-2

Step 4

Load “Temple Stock 3” image into Photoshop. Again we extract the temple building out of the image by making the selection as shown below:

4-selection

Copy and paste the selection onto our document, resize, rotate it and place it onto the position as shown below:

4-copy-paste

Name this layer as “Temple 3” and add a vector mask on it as shown below:

4-mask

And you will see the bottom part of the building is now hidden:

4-after-mask

On top of the “Temple 3” layer, add two adjustment layers – curves and black and white and make both of them Clipping Mask to the “Temple 3” layer:

Curves

4-curves

Black and White

4-bw

And you will have the following effect:

4-effect1

Step 5

We can see the the centre of the canvas look a bi empty – why not add some cloud in there. (I personally love cloudy effect and I think it can be used in all sorts of occasions)

So load the “Cloud” texture into Photoshop. Copy and paste the entire image onto our document and place the newly-created layer below the “Temple 1” layer, resize and position it as shown below:

5-position

Rename this layer as “cloud” and add the following vector mask onto it:

5-mask

And you will have the following effect:

5-after-mask

Again on the “Cloud” layer, we add two more adjustment layers and make them both the clipping mask for “Cloud” layer:

Curves

5-curves

Black and White

5-bw

Set the blending mode of the “cloud” layer to “Multiply” and you will have the following effect:

5-effect1

Step 6

Create a new layer called “Radial Blur”, fill the layer with Black and go to Filter > Render > Cloud and render some cloud (set foreground colour to white, background colour to black)

6-cloud

Go to Filter > Blur > Radial Blur and apply the following settings:

radial-blur

Set the blending mode to “overlay” and you will have the following effect:

6-blend

Duplicate the “cloud” once and set the duplicated layer blending mode to “soft light”, you will have the following effect:

6-effect1

Duplicate the “Cloud” layer once more, on the duplicate layer add a vector mask as shown below:

6-mask

Change the blending mode of this duplicated layer to “colour dodge”, you will see we now have a centre area of the canvas highlighted and more lighting depth is created:

6-effect-21

Step 7

Create a new layer called “fiber” on top of all previous layers, fill it with black and go to Filter > Render > Fiber and apply the following settings:

fiber

Set the blending mode of this layer to “soft light” and drop the opacity of around 80%:

7-effect

Step 8

If you’re happy about the colour/contrast of the image so far, this step will become optional for you.

To further adjust the overall colour balance and contrast of the image, we can add the following two adjustment layers on top of all other layers:

Hue/Saturation

8-hue

Colour Balance

8-col-mid

And you will have the following result image:

8-effect1

Ok that’s it for this tutorial! You can of course add some of your own texture or filter effect and see what the end results are!

Here is my final image for this tutorial: (I slightly adjusted the colour balance and add some gaussian blur overlay to make the image shining) – Click to enlarge:

abstract-temple-photomani-final

Black and white version:

abstract-temple-photomani-final-bw

Hope you enjoy this tutorial, drop me a comment if you have any question, I will try my best to help you out.

Cheers and have a nice day!

Tags:

  • 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.

  • Show Comments

  • ricardoFx

    great dude!

  • admin

    @ricardo: thank you!

  • photolover

    That has to be your best tut thus far! Great job!!

  • heyki

    great!!!!

  • admin

    @photolover: Thank you! glad you like it!

  • hay…amazing tutorial and perfect photo manipulation
    added to my blog

  • I really love the effect you did on the grungy textured background. The techniques you used are not too complicated and are easy to follow. Excellent tutorial as always! Kudos!

  • clipping path

    Excellent tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

  • CgBaran Tuts

    Great work thanks

  • This is beautiful! Great work James ;)

  • admin

    Thank you everyone! Glad you all enjoy it!

  • Summer

    Great tutorial! Kinda sux that I’ve been coming up with similar effects with 2-3 times the effort. Now I’ll be faster and look smarter at the same time. THANKS!!

    p.s. you explain well, with enough detail to get your point across w/o boring me to death. I’ll be back to your site quite often.

  • Wow amazingly good! great tutorial!

  • photo retouching

    A really interesting piece of photo retouching

  • Faheem Baig

    A really good tutorials & also you gave us professional tip of the tutorials.

    01. pen tool tip

    Ilke this tutorial man keep it up. You are Really Professional. & also your tips help me alot

    Thanks

  • Casper

    it’s very cool, but i can’t start because i don’t know the first staps can anyone help me???

  • Dirt

    Hi

    Sorry to seem daft

    im missing some basic points here

    not only do i not know how to create a vector mask

    for the life of me how do i create one that looks

    specifically like your es ?

    Also ( im using cs4 ) my cs4 curves adjust dont match youres , i also have no rgb channel there

    from this point my grunge paper is much lighter

    after rename to temple 1 what are your steps to create an

    adjustment layer ?

    clipping mask ?

    i also have to choose one of many types of adjustment layer not
    shown in your tutorial

    ie brightness/contrast-levels-curves etc

    Tho i missed all this i have learned some new things regardless

    Such as how nice pen tool is , and refining as well

    Thanks

  • Jeffrey H.

    Awesome tutorial! Love it. What TYPE did you use? It looks great, really work with the whole theme of the phone.

  • I liked this tutorial and I tried something similar

    Thanks for inspiration

    http://tonela.deviantart.com/art/Old-world-151128142

  • Yah,
    It’s really great……..
    Looking fantasy………

  • 2food4kids

    This is great lesson for me 

  • Upputuribrothers

    nice

  • Bdlas321

    amazing work and creativity..

  • sapi

    It’s really great……..
    Thanks for inspiration

  • sparo

    Thanks that was awesome, have learnt alot

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