Surreal Manipulation Tutorial – The Hedgehog
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In this surreal manipulation tutorial I will show you how to create a cute hedgehog made of a dandelion. We’ll use only two stock images which you can download below and layer masks to blend them. I’ll show you how cleverly use brushes for a better blending and how to create the final result using a few adjustment layers.
Stock images used
Manipulation we are going to create
Step 1 – Create the background
I created a blue background using a Gradient Fill layer but you can use any kind of background you want even another stock image. I added some texture to it using Camera RAW’s Grain effect but you can use the Noise filter with 2% and Monochrome and then blur it with a 0,5px Gaussian Blur filter.
Step 2 – Adding the hedgehog
Open the hedgehog photo and place it on in the middle of the gradient. To remove the background in photoshop, we will use the Multiply blending mode technique because the background of the stock image is white. The technique involves creating a copy of the hedgehog (Ctrl+J) and changing the the bottom layer’s is blend mode to Multiply and the top one we will leave it to Normal.
For the normal layer we have to create a layer mask and hide the entire body except the face of the hedgehog and its legs. For the multiply layer we have to do exactly the same. See image below.
Step 3 – Adding the dandelion
Add the dandelion photo on a new layer above all the other layers and change its blending mode to Multiply. Use a layer mask to remove unnecessary parts. To blend the edges and for the union to look more natural you can paint with a soft brush with white color with an opacity of 20-30% around the edges.
Step 4 – Finishing touches
Use the grass brush that comes with all versions of Photoshop or hair brushes if you have to recreate the hairs around the ears, nose and feet of the hedgehog. For more details check out the video version of how to do this surreal manipulation in Photoshop.
Step 5 – Final adjustments
Once the manipulation is finished, if the surreal effect looks ok to you, you can combine all layers into a new one with the Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E keys and then apply some adjustment layers . I used the Camera RAW filter to give more clarity and lower highlights because there were parts that were too bright.