We will create an easy conceptual manipulation in Photoshop CC 2017 using free stock photos. An easy step-by-step video tutorial creating an abstract manipulation in Photoshop CC.
Final result of the conceptual manipulation tutorial
How to create an easy conceptual manipulation in Photoshop
When creating an easy conceptual manipulation like this in Photoshop I like to use unsaturated tones and little contrast for more impact but that’s really up to you and your style. For this manipulation I used to different background images. I wanted to create an upside down world. I think it’s pretty easy to create this in Photoshop so let’s see the most important steps. For more details watch the video at the end of the article.
Step 1 – Create an abstract background in Photoshop
Open the background 1 photo and remove the top right part of it using a layer mask as shown on the image below. Add the image background 2, flip it upside down and place it under the first image creating an abstract image as shown below.
Step 2 – Adding the character
Luckily the man is already extracted from the background so all you need to do is to put it on your canvas. I used stock images to create some smoke coming out of the breathing tube and the oxygen container the man is holding.
You can add whatever you want instead of smoke: insects, fire, liquids, etc. Remember this is a conceptual manipulation so be creative.
Step 3 – Character details
I created a broken glass effect for the mask lens using a stock photo on Screen. I also created the shadows of the shattered glass using the same image inverted on Multiply and blurred. (watch video for more details).
The blood was added using another stock image and using the Screen blend mode.
Step 4 – The flying bird
Another detail of this conceptual artwork is this flying bird I added. It makes sense or not…who knows? XDD I deleted the background of this photo using the Magic Wand Tool with a Tolerance of 26 and 1 point Sample using the Contiguous option.
Mask the background and make the bird smaller. When you have the correct size you might see a dark border around the feathers. To eliminate that you can use the Refine Mask or Select and Mask, how it’s now called in Photoshop CC a check the option Decontaminate colors and the black border should go away.
Step 5 – The street lamp
I used a 3D object from pixel squid to create the street light, which you can download using the links above. The objective is to create something weird and a distorted perspective without any apparent sense.
I created the glow of light on a new layer using the Screen blend mode and a reversed technique. I started creating the big glow and then I made the brush smaller and painted a brighter light as I made the brush smaller and smaller. That way the center of the glow becomes very bright.
Step 6 – Color adjustments
When creating this sort of conceptual manipulations or abstract artworks you can create very weird things. I placed some bones and a road sign but which I will skip but you can add any object you like.
I created the final adjustments using Adjustment Layers. If you’re using a Photoshop version previous to CS6 you will not be able to add the Color Lookup because it was introduced in CS6.