Ok. As I had told you, here’s a brief step-by-step guide for my typical workflow in Photoshop. It’s a nice composition with striking colours and glamour lights and a really hot/sexy model by Blueberries at istockphoto.com. It’s not a tutorial in depth but you can get the idea of how I work using Photoshop.
By the way, this process is also available in the Grafistas+web design magazine (in greek only) along with other tutorials of mine. Check here for more details: http://www.grafistas.gr/
I will add more tutorials soon!
Hope this helps :)
The main elements in this composition are the girl along with some typography, enhanced by various shapes in fresh urban and music style. First of all, I created a new document with black colour background and I applied a couple of radial gradients in purple and blue shades (fading to transparent). So now I have set the overall mood.
To create a more interesting background, I created some smooth light beams directing from a canvas’s corner. I made the beams using the Rectangle Tool in white colour, checking Fill Pixels option is selected in Properties Bar. All beams were in one layer only.
By holding Ctrl I clicked on beams’ layer I created a selection from the layer’s pixels. Having this selection active, I applied a Gaussian Blur (from menu Filter/Blur/Gaussian Blur) set at a small amount trying to have the best “smooth” result.
Now it’s time to use the Distort option and I did so from the menu Edit/Transform/Distort. A frame with active four points was shown, which I moved in order to give the desired shape.
Then, I reduced the layer’s opacity around to 15-20% and changed the blending mode to Linear Light. This way, the beams blended more nice with black background. In addition, I applied the Hue/Saturation option (colorize option checked) and changed the colour to some purple/pink shades.
I will not show the different ways you can have so you can cut out the girl from the photo’s background. I just used the pen tool and dragged the girl to my first composition.
As this is a speed tutorial showing the overall workflow, I did some colour corrections and enhanced girl’s body by duplicating the girl’s layer and changing the copies’ blending modes and opacity as well. You can experiment to have the best results. Finally I merged all the girl’s layers down, so I had a single layer.
More lights were added over the girl by applying radial gradients (always fading to transparency) in pink/blue shades in different layers. Then I changed the blending modes usually to Lighten & Linear Dodge.
For the distinctive colour beams I created an active selection by using the Marquee tool and applied a linear gradient (fading to transparent). With Ctrl+T (Free Transform) I rotated the final shape. Then I made some copies of this layer and changed their colour by using Hue/Saturation.
For the various light sparkles flowing from the beams, I created a new brush with following settings: Hardness 0%, Scattering & Spacing set at high amount. If you have a Wacom tablet, check Shape Dynamics for better results. Having these settings, I spread some rough brush strokes at various sizes in a new layer, set in Color Dodge blending mode.
The Pen Tool is the best and more flexible tool for designing shapes in Photoshop. Using the pen, I designed some curved strokes with nice flow. Then I set the foreground colour to white and right-clicked the paths. From this context menu I chose Stroke Path (if you have a wacom tablet check Simulate Pressure) and I selected the Brush Tool. By using this option the stroke weight will be as wide as the brush size. I have used a small size here around 9-15.
More paths were added and then I used an outer glow layer style in yellowish/white shades in Screen Mode with small settings.
Once again, the pen tool is the best way to design some nice colour drops. This time I chose (by right clicking the path) the Fill Path and filled with vivid colours in the usual shades. To change the colour in some shapes, I just checked the Lock Transparent Pixels option in Layers Panel and used a brush to paint.
Time for some typography. For this, I used the Type tool (changing the size of the words) to add text, which I then rasterized by right-clicking and choosing Rasterize Layer. By rasterizing text, letters are becoming usual pixels ready to be edited the way you like. But before do so, it is wise to make a copy of the original text, make it non-visible, so you can have it in case you want to refer or change later.
Textures are good for making designs more appealing for a nice style. You can find ready textures from the net or scan your own material. Here I used a usual paper bag, which I put in a separate layer over the text. From the menu Layer/Create Clipping Mask, the texture is clipped to the text’s shape. You can even do the same process by clicking between the two layers holding Alt (a two-intersecting circles sign is shown up).
I used pen gain to create the shape behind the text, while drips were made by using the Rounded Rectangle Tool. Then I filled with the colour I liked.
The same applies for the stars, while I applied also a small gradient to the shape behind the text in order to make it solid.
Finally, the paper texture was added in a new layer behind the girl’s photo. I changed its blending mode to Soft Light giving a nice touch to the overall composition.Following the same techniques I added some new shapes like light bolts and cityscape. Usually the final touching is to add some adjustment layers at the top like Levels & Color Balance to modify the composition’s colour and light.