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In this tutorial, I will show you the process of I used to create this “Ascending Spirit” Photo Manipulation in Photoshop. Along the way, you will practice a number of photo manipulation techniques such as image adjustment, layer blending, texturing, as well as some brush painting skills.

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

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OK Let’s get started!

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


Model – by mjranum-stock


Step 1

Create a new document sized 800px * 1132px with black background. Load the Rock image into Photoshop and select a piece of the rock, copy and paste to our document:

Use a soft eraser to remove/fade the following parts of the rock texture:

Add the following image adjustment layer on top of the rock texture:

Black and White


and here is the effect so far:

Step 2

Load the model image into Photoshop.  Cut out the model and paste it onto our document. I would like to extend the hair a little down to the left side, so I use the clone stamp tool to clone some of the hair, as shown below:

and here is the clone effect:

Use a soft eraser, remove the bottom part of the model as shown below:

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

Black and White

On the black and white adjustment layer, erase the following parts to reveal the layer below:



Layer mask on the curves adjustment layer:

and here is the effect so far:

Step 3

Now we can add the fire texture to the image. Load the fire image into Photoshop and select the fire:

Copy and paste the selection onto the left arm of the model:

Hit Ctrl + U and apply the following Hue/Saturation settings as shown below:

Then change the layer blending mode to “Screen”:

Set this fire layer as a clipping mask to the model layer (put it above all previous adjustment layers):

and you will have the following effect:

Step 4

We will be adding more fire textures onto our image. Repeat the above step and paste another fire texture onto our document, grab the liquify tool:

And use the liquify tool to warp the fire texture as shown below:

Then resize this warped fire layer to a small strip, and attach it to the right arm, as shown below:

Copy and paste more fire texture and add it to the right side of the image, use the Warp option from the free transform tool to adjust its shape:

We can add some more fire particles onto the image, by selecting the smaller bits from the fire stock image:

You can also use the blur tool to blur some of the fire particle to add some motion:

and here is the effect so far:

Step 5

We can now add some cloud effect down the bottom of the model, either with a cloud brush, or cloud filter:

Use a soft white brush, paint some highlight dots above the cloud:

Use the perspective option to adjust the highlight if necessary:

We can also add some fire patterns over the background as shown below, with a hard, red colour brush:

Make sure you set this layer blending mode to “Vivid Light”:

and here is the effect so far:

Step 6

Ok we’re almost done! We will be adding some final touches to the image in this step.

If you have Photoshop CS6, you can flatten the image, duplicate the background layer and apply the Oil Paint filter to the duplicated layer:

The Oil Paint Settings:

This will add some paint effect to the image, but we don’t want the image to look like paining. So apply the following layer mask to the oil paint layer:

and here is the effect so far:

I further added some colour with the colour balance adjustment tool, and here is my final result: (click to enlarge)

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!

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