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Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

psdvault Photo Editing Jul 25, 2012

In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to create this Dark  Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop. This is an intermediate level Photoshop tutorial so some steps can be a bit tricky, but why not have a try!

Note: The Photoshop tutorial is done in CS6 - therefore some screenshot may have slighting different layout as in the earlier version.

Here is a preview of the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

super natural scene flatten1 500x270 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1400px * 800px with black background. Load the model image into Photoshop, select the model and the skull on the ground, cut them out and paste onto our document, resize and position the selection to the centre:

1 paste1 500x280 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Use an soft eraser to erase the edges and fade it into the background, we will also want to completely erase the raising left arm as well for attaching the fire texture later on:

1 erase1 500x518 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Add the following 3 adjustment layers as clipping mask to this model layer:

Black and White

1 bw2 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Levels

1 lvs Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Curves

1 curves1 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

and this is the effect so far:

1 effect2 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Step 2

We will be adding some textures over the model. Load the Fire 1 Texture into Photoshop and use a quick selection tool to select a portion of it:

2 sel1 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Copy and paste the selection onto our document, then Ctrl + Left click on the thumbnail image on the layer palette to select this layer, and press Ctrl + Alt + R to bring up the Refine Edge tool, apply the following settings:

2 refine Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Then press Ctrl + L to bring up the levels adjustment tool, apply the following settings:

2 levels Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

You will have this similar effect for the fire texture:

2 effect3 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Then we can apply some warp effect with the free transform tool warp option:

2 warp 500x475 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

We can then duplicate this fire texture layer a few times, rotate and attach them to different parts of the body as shown below: (set the layer blending mode according to the screenshot below)

2 attach Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

2 attach 2 500x186 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

We can also put some fire texture under the body by having some duplicated fire texture layers beneath the model layer:

2 fire behind 500x608 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Step 3

We can add a fire pattern under the model by drawing a polygon shape with the polygon tool:

3 cos1 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Set the side number to "5" from the tool options bar, draw a shape and use the free transform to distort/perspective it on the ground:

3 ground draw 500x227 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Then we use the line tool link each point as shown below to form a star shape:

3 join 500x210 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Load the "Fire 2" image and select a portion of the fire as shown below:

3 sel 500x239 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Copy and paste the selection onto our document, use the free transform tool to align it to the lines we drew before:

3 attach Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Repeat this process above and cover all lines with fire texture, then merge the fire line layers together, use the free transform too to  perspective it as shown below:

3 full fire 500x166 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Use a soft brush to paint some ground texture, again we can use the free transform tool and a soft eraser to achieve the desire effect:

3 ground texture 500x190 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Step 4

We can load the nebula texture into Photoshop and select a piece with the Lasso Tool, copy and paste it onto our document above, and place it above all previous layers:

4 nebula 500x287 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Use the Explosion brushset as and eraser, remove some parts of the nebula with it - this will add some cloudy effect onto the texture:

4 erase 500x309 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Apply the following image adjustment to this nebula layer:

Hue/Saturation

4 hue Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Levels

4 lv2 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

and you will have the following effect:

4 effect1 500x423 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Duplicate this nebula layer and warp it with the free transform tool:

4 warp1 500x320 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

and you will have the following effect so far:

4 effect 2 500x382 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Step 5

We will add some aura effect to the image - firstly either paint or render some cloud on the image:

5 cloud1 500x506 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Go to Filter > Distort > Spherize to this cloud layer:

5 sp Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Repeat this filter around 10 times by pressing Ctrl + F, then free transform this layer:

5 hit 10 500x300 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Use a soft eraser to remove the edges, and here is the effect you will have:

5 erase 500x330 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

We will add a colour balance adjustment on top of all previous layers:

6 col bal Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

and you will have the following effect so far:

5 effect1 500x361 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Step 6

In the final step, we can flatten the image and duplicate the background layer, and apply some "Accented Edges" filter settings to the duplicate layer:

6 accented 500x345 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Add some layer mask effect so hide some parts of this layer, and here is the overall effect: (click to enlarge)

super natural scene flatten1 500x270 Design a Dark Magical Scene with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

That's it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy it and find it useful! Till next time, have a great day!

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