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Create a Surreal Fiery Burnt Wood Lady Figure with Vexel Hair in Photoshop

psdvault Special Effects Mar 18, 2011

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To complete this tutorial, you will need the following stock:

Model - by liam-stock

Wood Texture

Fire

Smoke Brushes

Grungy Brushes

Step 1

Create a new document sized 800px * 1050px with black background, create a new layer and paint some ground texture with a soft white brush: (don't set the brush flow and opacity to be too high)

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Load the model image into Photoshop, cut out the model and paste it onto the center of the canvas:

Hint: remove the rough edges with a soft eraser to make it blend into the background.

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We want to add some dark spots of the model. Use the Burn Tool (50% Exposure) to the following positions:

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and here is the effect so far:

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Step 2

We want to do a few simple retouch to this model in order to prepare for future manipulation. Let's add the following adjustment layers (all as clipping mask to the model layer):

Black and White

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Levels

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Mask on Levels adjustment layer

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Curves

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Create a new layer on top of those adjustment layers, as paint some dark red colour on it (set the flow and opacity of the brush to be around 20% to keep the colour subtle):

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Create a new layer and use a soft white brush to paint some highlights on the lady's hair: (set layer blending mode to "Soft Light" before you start painting)

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Create a layer below the model layer and paint some lights around the edge of the body:

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and here is the effect so far:

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Step 3

Load the wood texture into Photoshop, grab a piece of the wood as shown below:

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Paste the selection to our document on top of all previous layer. Then go back to the model layer and use quick selection tool to select the dress, hit Ctrl + Shift + I to inverse the selection, then go to Edit > Clear to the selection:

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Desaturate this wood texture, you will have the following effect:

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Set the blending mode of this wood layer to be "Overlay", you will have the following effect:

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Duplicate this wood layer a few times and move them to the rest of the body, make sure you remove any unnecessary wood edges using the selection method described above:

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Step 4

Load the fire image into Photoshop, selection a piece of the fire with a 30px feather Lasso Tool:

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Paste the selection onto the image on top of all previous layers, remove the edges with a soft brush, attach it to the lady's hand. Use the smoke brush to paint some smoke on the fire:

Hint: Use Warp Tool on the fire to create a curvy shape, and set the smoke brush flow and opacity to be both around 20% for better effect.

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Duplicate the fire layer a few times, set the blending mode to "Overlay", move them up to the lady's arm until it covers the whole:

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Paint some smoke around the arm as well:

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Step 5

Now we're onto the vexel hair part! I personally love vexel hair because it always give the person an artistic looking :)

To do this, create a work path as shown below:

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Right-click and choose "Stroke Path":

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Choose a dark hair colour (use Eyedropper Tool to extract from the lady's original hair), then stroke the path with a 3px soft round brush:

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and you will have the following effect:

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Repeat the above steps, this time choose a lighter hair color and stroke the path:

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Make several of those hair strokes, attach them to the outer area of this model's head:

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Keep adding more strokes, adjust their sizes and shapes as you go, eventually you will have the effect as shown below:

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Keep working on the hair on the right side, make sure you adjust the length of the hair using free transform tool to create a flying effect:

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Step 6

We're almost done! For some final touch-ups, we can flatten the image and duplicate the background layer once, and apply the following smart sharpen filter setting to it:

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I then duplicate this sharpened layer once, and add a Lens Flare effect to it: (you can choose a different one as the one I used, no need to use the same one)

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Use the Grungy brushes you downloaded at the beginning of this tutorial, paint some texture around canvas as shown below:

Hint: DO NOT use a big brush, try painting small bits and pieces around the canvas, and use eraser tool to modify its shapes.

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Optional Step: you can paint some feather texture using the brush you made from this tutorial (Step 7) for some more depth - make sure you adjust the brush size and opacity for the flying effect:

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Add the below Curves adjustment layer on top of all layers:

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and here is the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

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