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Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

psdvault Special Effects Aug 13, 2012

In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning 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.

Along the way, we will practice mixing a series of photos and form a surreal, urban city scene with layer blending options and image adjustments, as well using various toolbox tools to adjust and fine-tune the image.

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

Version 1

poster montage flatten 492x700 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Version 2

poster montage flatten 2 492x700 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Step 1

Create a new document sized 900px * 1278px with a black background, create a new layer and use a grunge brushset (you should be able to find lots of those on the net) and paint a background:

Hint: set the brush opacity and flow to around 30% so we can have subtle painting effect, use a soft eraser along the way to remove the area we don't want.

1 paint 489x700 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Load the city image into Photoshop, select a piece as shown below:

1 sel 500x506 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Copy and paste the selection onto our document, resize and erase the edge as shown below:

1 erase 500x517 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

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

Black and white

1 bw Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Levels

1 lv Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

On this levels layer mask, I used the soft eraser tool to remove some part of it to reveal the lighting behind it"

1 lvl mask 486x700 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

and here is the effect so far:

1 effect 500x457 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Step 2

We will now add the face into the image. Load the model face into Photoshop and cut out the face, resize and position it into the centre of the image:

2 paste 500x627 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Erase the edge of the face with a soft erase:

2 erase 500x679 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Then attach the following 2 adjustment layers as clipping mask to this face layer:

Black and white

2 bw Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Levels

2 lv Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Optional: you can add a bit grungy brush paint effect on the face to as some roughness on the image:

2 paint splatter 500x477 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

and here is the effect so far:

2 effect 500x565 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Step 3

We will now add a triangle platform on the bottom of the image and add a standing man on top of it. So let's create a new layer and use the Pen Tool to draw a shape as below, and fill it with a light grey colour:

3 pen 500x289 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Apply the following Gradient Overlay blending option on this triangle layer:

3 grad 500x359 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Use a soft eraser to fade the bottom and the edge of this triangle to create some depth, also add some cloud around it:

3 cloud 500x344 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Load the "man in suit" image into Photoshop and paste it over the platform as shown below:

3 resize 500x406 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Use a soft eraser to darken the lower half of his body as shown below:

3 erase body Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Add the following 2 adjustment layers on this man standing layer:

Black and white

3 bw Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Levels

3 lv Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

and here is the effect so far:

3 effect 500x358 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Step 4

We can add some cloud on the top of the canvas as shown below, either with a cloud brush or the cloud filter:

4 sky 500x286 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Now we will create some abstract flying lines - we will create a new layer and paint an orange dot:

4 dot 500x241 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Paint a smaller yellow dot in the centre as shown below:

4 dot 2 500x263 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Then merge those two layers, duplicate it, and apply the liquify filter on it as shown below on the duplicated layer:

4 liq 500x294 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Then we adjust the shape of the original dot layer with the distort tool:

4 dot 3 500x286 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Once you're happy with the shape, merge those two layers again and use the free transform tool to adjust the shape:

4 distort 500x155 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Duplicate and scatter those lines around the image, rotate them and adjust the layer opacity as you see fit:

4 effect Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Step 5

Load the lightning image into Photoshop and select a portion of it with the Lasso Tool (30px feather):

5 sel 500x243 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Copy and paste the selection onto our document, and apply the black and white adjustment to this layer:

5 bw Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Set the blending mode of this layer to  "Screen", duplicate this layer once and move them to the top of the canvas:

5 dup 500x214 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

and you will have the following effect so far:

5 effect 484x700 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

We can add some colour effect to the image, and here is the final effect I have: (click to enlarge)

Version 1

poster montage flatten 492x700 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

Version 2

poster montage flatten 2 492x700 Create a Surreal Urban City Montage with Lightning Effect in Photoshop

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