CREATE A SURREAL SECRET MISSION SCEAN

Okay, let’s start with the tutorial: create a new document and add the image of port, containers and city, change the sky. All this mixed together and add a few more main details. Then go to soldiers and military equipment. The next stage of work on realistic lighting and color mood of the picture. Completing the special effects photo manipulation and sharpening. Whatever version of Photoshop you are using, you will be able to follow this tutorial along.


final-results

Step 1

First I opened up a new document named “Loading Bay”. Size was 1920×1080, Resolution 200 Pixels/Inch. Go to File > Place Embedded, and open “Container Vessel” image.
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Resize it (Cmd/Ctrl + T or go to Edit > Free Transform) as shown in image below, and then tap the Return key to accept the changes.
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Step 2

Placed image of the sky under the layer with the ship and transformed it to fit my picture properly.
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I changed the color of the sky, so that the image more suited to the picture. Create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation or use “Create new fill or adjustment layer” icon at the bottom of the Layers panel). Change the Hue: +23, Saturation to -29, Lightness: -3. Click the “Clip adjustment to layer” icon at the bottom of the Properties panel.
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Step 3

Go back to ship’s layer. Now I used Magic Wand Tool (W) with Tolerance: 10 and “Add to selection” option. Start to select a sky. Try to capture every possible fragment of the sky, but do not pay attention to the remaining small pieces, then we will remove it. Also, try to not got into the selection a ship fragments. Hold Opt/Alt (to inverse a layer mask) and click on “Add Layer Mask” icon to remove a sky.
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Double click on a layer mask and you go to Mask Properties. Click on “Mask Edge” button. In window “Refine Mask” set view “On Black”, checkbox on “Smart Radius”, Radius: 4.0px, Shift Edge: -33. Use brush in this window to remove the remaining pieces of the sky throughout the image. Voila, now all unwanted pieces gone and the open horizon of opportunities.
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Step 4

Place “Containers” image (File > Place Embedded). Resize the image is not necessary, only Rotate it on -1.35 degrees, tap the Return key to accept the changes. Position the image to part of the containers with the first plan was hidden beyond the boundaries of the work area and containers conform to distance of whole image. In such a way, with Magic Wand Tool (W) select a sky and holding Opt/Alt, click on “Add Layer Mask” icon to remove a sky. Do not touch the asphalt in this image, it is still useful to us.
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Create a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N or use “Create New Layer” icon) set default colors (D), switch them (X) and use Cmd/Ctrl + Del to fill layer. On Layer panel set Fill around 20% and clip this layer to containers (hold Opt/Alt + click between layers). This removes excess brightness from containers.
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Step 5

Let us place “New York City” image in the background (above the layer with the sky). Slightly reduce the size of the image and flip it horizontally (right click in Transform Mode > Flip Horizontal).
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Now I used Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to make selection of the sky on the picture. Holding Opt/Alt, click on “Add Layer Mask” icon to remove a sky. To clear the rays from the background, use “Refine Mask” command with the settings as in image below.
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Duplicate this layer (Cmd/Ctrl + J or Layer > Duplicate Layer…) and slightly reducing its size (about half) place the city the far side of the port to close the absence of background. It has become enough layers to join them into one group. Select all layers and click on “Create New Group” button or use Cmd/Ctrl + G.
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Step 6

Now that the main line of the horizon is done, you can add a little depth. To create the effect of distance, I used Brush Tool (B) with Soft Round brush, Size: 300px, Opacity around 20% and Color: #e1e1e1 to create a simulation of fog. Create a new layer above city layers and draw on bottom part of the city. Do not add a fog too much, otherwise you are lost realism. All in one pass.
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I have done the same thing with the city on the left side of the image and in the center, near the house on the crane (here I reduced layer Fill to 71%). So, we got misty city that blends well with the port and the sky. According to the idea my picture to be severe weather to transfer the tension and danger of the situation.
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Step 7

To variety of cover elements and complement the landscape by using the boxes. Place “Boxes” image, resize and flip it horizontally. With Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) select only do not cut boxes and with layer mask separate boxes from the background.
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Now there’s a logical question about the correctness of inscriptions. Not long thinking, I took Clone Stamp Tool (S) and set following settings for this tool – Size: 35px, Opacity: 100%, Soft round brush, checkbox on “Aligned” and Sample: All Layers. On a new layer paint on the all the inscriptions. Try to vary the texture on the boxes to create a realism (use as a donor other boxes) and try to use a stamp in accordance with the location of cracks and edges of the box, do not take away them with this tool. Clip this layer to boxes (Opt/Alt + click between layers).
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Create a new black fill layer (set background color to black + Cmd/Ctrl + Del) and clip it to boxes layer. Set Fill around 40%. Select boxes by holding Cmd/Ctrl and click on layer mask thumbnail. Create a new layer, use using soft round black brush (Size around 100px) I brushed these parts with lower opacity (around 30%) to make a small shadow at the bottom of boxes. Use only the edge of the brush to shade was not strongly hard.
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Step 8

Now it’s time to stamp! Now that all the key elements of the composition in place, you can begin to work on the details. Create a new layer under boxes layer, take a Clone Stamp Tool (S) (Size: 50 – 100px, Opacity: 60 – 100%, checkbox on “Aligned”, Sample: All Layers). Next to “Mode” list there is thumbnail folder icon with a stamp, by clicking on it will take you to “Clone Source” tab. Set Scale to 120%. Stamped all empty spaces continuation of the road. Use different pieces of asphalt to a variety of textures. To boxes do not interfere with the process, hide them by clicking on the eye icon, and do not forget to return them when you are finished stamping.
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Return “Scale” to 100%, hide a sky and background layer and prolong the cropped part of the crane. At now work with a stamp is completed. Perhaps you have noticed a red construct on the right side of the image. I did not sketch it because it kind of does not prevent the whole picture, but if you wish, and you can restore it.
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Step 9

Add shadows to objects. Select boxes again (Cmd/Ctrl + click on layer thumbnail), create a new layer above stamp layer and fill selection with black color ( press D, X and Cmd/Ctrl + Del). To deselect use Cmd/Ctrl + D. Flip a shadow vertically (Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical) and add a filter “Gaussian Blur” (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur…). Set Radius around 5.0 pixels and apply filter by clicking OK. Set layer Opacity to 25%.
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Duplicate this layer (Cmd/Ctrl + J). Now transform both layers with Distort Tool (Edit > Transform > Distort), first shadow should be a little closer to the box, and the other to go beyond the image (sure to keep in mind that the shade should be a slight tilt). Merge these two layers (Cmd/Ctrl + E) and on this layer brushed between boxes and asphalt (Size: 150px, Opacity: 20%). On this layer, draw a shadow near the ship and containers.

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Step 10

Now create a basic color scheme for picture. Create a new adjustment layer “Brightness/Contrast” over the group “Port” (click on “Create new fill or adjustment layer” icon “Brightness/Contrast”). Change Brightness to -40, Contrast to -5.
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Add another adjustment layer – “Color Lookup”. Set checkbox on “3DLUT file” and in list, select “NightFromDay.CUBE”. Set for layer Blending Mode “Hard Light” and Fill to 40%. Basis for the night is created, we can continue a photomontage.
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Step 11

Create a new group (icon on the bottom of Layer panel), name it “Assault”. Place “Soldier 1″ image and resize it so that would be a soldier was not a big than box (his helmet should be higher than the box). Use Pen Tool (P) to create a flat path of soldier. When you are finished add a vector mask by using “Mask” button in the upper settings panel. Repeat the same with the second soldier and helicopter.
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Second “Soldier” image place a little closer and make it a little bigger (to create the dynamics of movement). Also flip the image horizontally. Now the helicopter. Place it as shown in the figure below. After removal background, convert this layer to Smart Object (right click on layer > Convert to Smart Object. It is necessary to blur filter is not spoiled a mask), then add a filter “Motion Blur” (Filter > Blur > Motion Blur…). Change Angle to 40 degrees and Distance to 16 pixels. To give realism, remove with Brush Tool (B) on the filter mask effect with the front of the helicopter.
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Use Step 9 to create a shadows from soldiers (the principle remains the same). The main thing is not to overdo it and do not shade too bright and hard.
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Step 12

Once we have a night scene, it would be very good to create lighting. Create a new group and layer into it. Each lamp consists of three phase of light – major source (Size: 20px, Opacity: 100%), glow (Size: 50px, Opacity: 30%), diffused light (Size: 100px, Opacity: 30%, drawn brush edge from the center of light source). With Brush Tool (B) (soft round brush, color: #ffffff) draw light on the previously described scheme. Reduce the size of the brush to distant lights. You can also make the signal lights on the ship reds (#ff0000).
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Take a Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) and on a new layer make a selection in the shape of an elongated triangle from the helicopter. Fill it with white color (D to set default colors then Cmd/Ctrl + Del), use Cmd/Ctrl + D to deselect. Blur this layer to get a soft diffused light. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur… and change Radius to 30 pixels. As a result, we get a good flow of light. You can boost the light source using Brush Tool (B).
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Repeat the same process to create light from the lantern on the house at the top of the image. Since at this point we had smoke background, it is necessary to reduce Fill to 52% for this layer.
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Step 13

Would be more interesting to add rain and puddles to enhance the mood of the picture. Let’s start with puddles. With soft round brush (Size: 35-80px, Opacity: 30%, Roundness: 13% (F5 to change it in brush settings), color: #ffffff), draw in places where you want to see the puddles. Try to make abstract forms in different places, change the brush size to make small puddles and in some places, apply the colors more vivid to create depth for puddles.
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Go to Layer Palette and select all groups except light group and adjustment layers. Use Cmd/Ctrl +J then Cmd/Ctrl + E to duplicate and merged of whole picture, flip it vertically (Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical) move it above puddles layer and clip it (hold Opt/Alt + click between layers). With Move Tool (V) move this image to find a suitable reflection. Remains one problem – how to make a reflection of boxes because no matter how you move the image, any variant lacking the necessary details. Duplicate this layer (Cmd/Ctrl + J) and clip it again. Move the image to find reflection form boxes. then add a layer mask and with black soft brush remove all except reflection.
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Step 14

Then I added the rain itself. The principle is the same as with the creation of the snow. So we need a new group “Rain” above lighting group and new black fill layer (background color to black > Cmd/Ctrl + Del). Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise… Set Amount to 30% then add another one filter “Motion Blur” (Filter > Blur > Motion Blur…). Change Angle to -75 degrees and Distance to 15 pixels. Set layer Blending Mode to “Screen”.
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One layer is not enough to make realistic rain, so duplicate this layer (Cmd/Ctrl + J), Set Fill to 50%. Try to mentally divide the image into 4 equal parts, use Free Transform Tool (Cmd/Ctrl + T) with pressed Shift key and reduce size to fit one of the four parts. Take Move Tool (V) and with pressed Opt/Alt key drag and drop this layer to make remaining three copies in its place.
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Change Blending Mode of whole group to “Screen”. After adding more layers with rain the entire image with a gray haze, to clean it, use an adjustment layer “Levels” (“Create new fill or adjustment layer” icon at the bottom of the Layers panel > “Levels”). Set for black slider value 45, for gray slider 1.08 and for white slider 145. This layer has increased the amount of black, which helped to remove haze and make more visible drops.
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Step 15

Create a more realistic light for our picture. Hold Opt/Alt and click on “create new layer” button. Create a new layer with a Blending Mode “Overlay”, check box on “Fill with Overlay-neutral color (50% gray)”. Now, use Dodge Tool (O) and hold Opt/Alt to switch to Burn Tool (O) with the settings for both tools – Range: Midtones/Shadows, Exposure: 5 – 10%. Optionally, you can use Brush Tool (B) with black/white color and low values of Opacity. To create light and shadow for specific objects, simply select them by holding Cmd/Ctrl and click on a layer thumbnail.
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Add adjustment layer “Color Lookup” above adjustment layers from Step 10. Set checkbox on “3DLUT file” and in list, select “”Candlelight.CUBE”. Set for layer Blending Mode “Overlay” and Opacity to 35%. This layer is to enhance the colors that add dramatic effect. To mitigate the effects on the adjustment layer mask, remove part of the effect, using black brush with low Opacity.
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Step 16

To make the light from the lanterns realistic, I added a few flares. In the folder with the flares of huge set, and you can choose any you like. Create a new group “Flaers” and place images here. For lamps I used the image “OpticalFlare29″, change Blending Mode to “Screen”, reduce it’s size and place them on the closest lamps. To make it faster, use Move Tool (V) and Opt/Alt key. To remove overexposed flare edges on image, just add a layer mask to the group and with black brush, remove it.
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For the signal lights on the helicopter and ship, I used “15” image but first create a new group in this group, place flares to the desired location within the new group and then add an adjustment layer “Hue/Saturation” with Hue around +108 (you can change the values to get more saturated color). And don’t forget click the “Clip adjustment to layer” icon at the bottom of the Properties panel.
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Step 17

This is optional step. The picture is ready, but I decided to add more contrast to make night was very dark. It’s simple use Cmd/Ctrl + Opt/Alt + Shift + E to create a duplicate of the entire image and change a Blending Mode to “Soft Light” and Opacity to 25%.
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Step 18

And this step, I recommend you do. This layer is to increase the clarity of all the details. Again duplicate the entire image (Cmd/Ctrl + Opt/Alt + Shift + E) then go to Filter > Other > High Pass… and set Radius: 0.7px. Set Blending Mode of this layer to “Overlay”. You can use larger values, but then you have to change layer Opacity to a harmonious look of this effect.
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Final Results

That is it! Not so hard right? Tell me what you think about the effect using the Comment-section below!
final-results

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