Welcome To Ghost Town – Manipulation Tutorial

In this beginers to intermediate tutorial we’ll learn how to create a ghostly town in just a few easy steps.We’ll use selective desaturation,play with opacity and combine a few layers to match a scene and create a hdr effect.So let’s begin.

Final Result


Stock used

Step 1

For this first step we’ll create a new document. I chose this for helping me to lay the two basic stocks i chose as background. Because the stocks are quite high resolution i chose a 4000×4000 pixels image with white background.


Step 2

For this step we bring our ground layer.


Step 3

Now it’s time for the sky to get in the picture. I chose to be quite at the horizon line so can give a natural look.


Step 4

Here we crop both images so we can have equal sides.Using a soft brush we erase the midle of the image where the horizon meets the sea so this will give it a natural look.


Step 5

Selecting the sky layer we chose to desaturate it a little bit. Go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation (Ctrl+U) and chose the right value you think it fits best.



Step 6

Here we bring our lighthouse and with this layer selected we change a little the saturation,hue and lightness.


Step 7

It’s time to put the road. After we put the layer using a soft brush we erase the parts we don’t want in the picture.


Step 8

For this step we bring the same picture of the road again but now we flip it to make another part of the road. After you flip it erase again the parts you don’t need.


Step 9-14

It’s time for some abandoned buildings and cars in our manipulation. Using the settings in the picture we play again with the hue,lighting and saturation. I chose to desaturate them separately because it has different saturations and lightness. I also erased the lower parts of the buildings and cars with a soft brush.

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Step 15

Here i used the Quick Selection Tool (W) on the grass to reduce the lightness and the Burn tool (O).


Step 16

Now it’s time for our ghost to get in the picture. I chose to lower the opacity to give the ghostly look on our girl.

Step 17

Here we put the road sign and we put the birds in the sky using the birds brushes.

Step 18

For this final step i wanted to add a HDR effect so i chose the values bellow for this look but you can play with the adjustments you like best. Go to Image>Adjustments>HDR Toning for this.


Final Result



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