Photoshop tutorials for professionals and beginners

Tribal Fighter – Manipulation Tutorial

Welcome to another manipulation tutorial. This is going to be an easy one, I’ll be using the techniques used on my other tutorials but will end up with a different result. Download the stock images and let’s get started.

Final result preview

Stock images needed

Step 1

Open the background image in photoshop. After that, create a new Gradient Map adjustment layer above the background layer and change it’s Blend Mode to Color Dodge. Use the colors shown in the image below on the Gradient Map.

PSD Box - manipulation tutorial

Step 2

Open the woman in Photoshop and use the pen tool to draw a Path around the edges of her body. I suggest you create a mask rather than deleting the background. When you get to the hair, you can use the Color Range. If you’re using CS5 you will have it easier with the new Mask Edge feature wich works great to select hair. When you have the woman isolated from the background, paste it on a new layer on your scene above the gradient map layer, scaling down as necessary.

Step 3

Now you have to blend the feet of the woman with the ground and the grass of the background layer. For that you will use a technique which I explained on another tutorial. (see video below at 7:29 min)

For this technique you need a grass brush (you can download tons of brushes from deviantART or brusheezy). Download a brush pack and read on.

Create a layer mask for the woman layer and use a soft edge brush first to mask the sharp edges like in the image below.

Now get your grass brush and using black paint on the same layer mask to create the effect the woman sits on tall grass. See image below.

Step 4

Add some inner shadow using a yellow color, Color Dodge blend mode and 75% opacity. That will create a highlights around the edges because the sun is behind. Once that’s done, right click the effect layer and choose Create Layer. That’s necessary because you only need the highlights on the back area and the hands and once you have the effect as layer, you can mask parts of it.

When you have the new layer created, add a layer mask to it and mask away the highlight on the front part of the body.

This is how the woman looks after applying the inner shadow:

Step 5

Now use some adjustment layers to adjust the colors of the woman’s body. I used Color Balance to increase Greens and Cyans.

Next I used Curves to increase the contrast. Both adjustments are used as clipping masks.

Step 6

Isolate the owl from it’s original background and paste it in your scene. I scaled it down to 17%. Duplicated the Color Balance you made for the woman layer and use it for the owl too as clipping mask. I used Curves in this case as well in order to increase contrast.

Step 7

Now comes and important yet quite easy step; Dodge & Burning. Create a new layer above all the other layers on yoru palette. Go to Edit>Fill and fill with 50% Gray. Change the blend mode of the layer to Overlay and name it dodge/burn. Now get the dodge tool and with about 10% exposure and Range on Midtones go over all lights of the scene. Do the same with the Burn tool but on the shadows. When you’re done, duplicate the layer for a stronger effect and play around with the opacity.

Step 8

In order to make this more interesting I added a lens flare. It spices up things. Create an empty layer above all the other layers and name it lens flare. Fill the layer with pure black and go to Filter>Render>Lens Flare. Add a lens flare more or less where on the position where the sunlight comes from on your scene. I turned the lens flare layer into a smart object before adding the flare so that I can later modify it’s position if I want to. I then changed the flare’s color using Hue/Saturation. Change the layer’s blend mode to Screen and reduce the opacity if you want to about 80% if the light is too strong. See image below.

Step 9

In order to compress everything and add an artistic look to the artwork I created a stamp and turned it into black and white and changed it’s blend mode to Soft Light. You can create a Stamp by selecting the top most layer on the palette and pressing Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E. That key shortcut will create a new layer with all the other layers merged. I turned the stamp into black and white from Image>Adjustments>Black&White because that feature gives more control over each color channel. I created a bright b&w version and then I changed the Blend Mode to Soft Light and reduced the Opacity to 45%.

Step 10

As a final step, I created another stamp and I used Shadows/Highlights to decrease shadows. The changes is minor so it’s up to you if you want to do this.

You reached the end of the tutorial. I hope you liked it. If you have any question I’ll gladly help you, just post a comment.

Final Result

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Andrei Oprinca

I've been creating Photoshop tutorials since 2009 for beginners and advanced users. I'm a self-taught Photoshop artist and like teaching other how to improve their skills. I love design and graphic communication.

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