In this tutorial, I will show you the processes I used to transform a daylight city image into a epic warzone scene in Photoshop. The inspiration of this tutorial came from a random war image I came across while reading a magazine.
Together, we will explore a variety of Photoshop techniques such as image adjustment option, a number of filter effect and some basic selection skills. This is an intermediate tutorial and some steps could be a bit tricky, but why not just have a go? ;)
Meanwhile, I would like to take this opportunity to raise the attention to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, as you may have already known. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so throught the Australian Redcross Website.
Here is a preview of before and after images:
After (Click to enlarge)
Ok let’s get started!
Download a copy of this city image from stockvault.net and load it into Photoshop. Once loaded, duplicate the background layer once and name the duplicated layer as “Black and White”.
On the “Background Copy” layer, hit Ctrl + Alt + Shift + B and bring up the Black and White image adjustment tool (If you’re using an earlier version than CS3, you can use Channel Mixer instead, just make sure you tick the “monochrome” option down the bottom).
Apply the following Black and White image adjustments:
Change the layer blending option of this duplicated layer to “Multiply” and you will have the following effect:
Duplicate the “Black and White” layer once and name the duplicated layer “Curves”, hit Ctrl + M and bring up the Curves Image Adjustments, apply the following image adjustments:
Keep the blending option of this layer as “Multiply” and you will see the image darkens further:
Now let’s add some particles on the image. Duplicate the “Curves” layer three times. On the “Curves Copy” layer, go to Filter > Distort > Glass and apply the following settings:
Change the layer blending option to “Screen” and reduce the layer opacity to 70% and you will have the following effect:
Then on “Curves Copy 2” layer, go to Filter > Brush Strokes > Spatter and apply the following settings:
Change the blending option of this layer to “Screen” and you will have the following effect:
Grab the Lasso Tool and set its feather to 40px. Make a selection on the Sky area and the high rises as shown below:
While maintaining the selection, hit Ctrl + J and make a layer via copy. Name this newly created layer as “Smoke” and go to Filter > Render > Cloud and render some cloud:
Duplicate the “Somke” layer once. On the duplicated layer, go to Filter > Render > Difference Cloud. Apply this filter a few times and change the layer blending option of this layer to “color burn”.
You will see an effect similar to the following image:
On the the duplicated “Smoke” layer, hit Ctrl + B and apply the following Colour Balance:
To reduct the noise a bit on the smoke, we can apply the following medium (Filter > Noise > Medium) settings:
You can see the noise has been reduced:
Now we can add some fire effect to the image. Download a copy of this fire image from cgtexture.com and load it into Photoshop.
Drag the entire image on our document and name newly-created layer “fire”. Set the layer blending option to “Screen”.
Grab the Eraser Tool (E) with a big brush, erase the black part of the fire image and leave just the fire:
Then use the Clone Stamp Tool (S) with different size of brushes, flow and opacity, clone this fire until it reaches desired burning effect:
To add a bit more dynamics to the image, I duplicate the background layer once more and put it just below the “Curves” layer in Step 2, then apply the following Radial Blur Settings:
Desaturate the layer and change its blending option to “Screen” and you will have the following effect:
Ok that’s it for this tutorial! You can of course continue enhancing the image by adding some more effects, such as filter, texture or just have a play with its hue and saturation!
Below is my final image for this tutorial: (Click to enlarge, I added a planet of the sky, adjusting the hue and saturation of image)
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!