Photoshop Mask Create montage art

the city

The Powerful Photoshop Mask

Download the files for this tutorial

1:

Getting started

Open the ‘jump3.jpg‘ file in Photoshop.
From the tool bar, grab the ‘Crop’ tool and drag around the man as shown on the screen and double-click to crop.
Open the ‘Channels’ palette, as this will be used to extract the image from the background.

Getting started
Getting started

2:

High Pass

Select the blue channel and drag it down to the ‘New channel’ icon to copy the channel.
With the copied channel selected, we need to define the edges clearly, so go to the ‘Filter’ menu and use ‘Other’ and then ‘High Pass’.
Set the ‘Radius’ to around ’20 pixels’ and then click ‘OK’ to apply.

High Pass
High Pass

3:

Adjust the levels

The levels will need to be enhanced to define the edges even more.
Go to ‘Image’, ‘Adjustments’ and ‘Levels’ menu and, in the pop-up window, drag the black and white sliders on the input levels in from either side so that the image looks like this one.
Click ‘OK’ to apply.

Adjust the levels
Adjust the levels

4:

Select the edges

Zoom in on the image to ‘100%’ and select the ‘Polygon lasso’ tool and ‘move click’ around the edge of the image on the inside of the black part to select all of the man.
The left hand arm is a bit tricky as the black is quite faint, so make sure you select inside the arm.

the-city-step-04
Select the edges

5:

Paint it black

It will probably take you a while to go around the edge of the image, but it’s worth doing carefully.
Once you’ve got it selected choose a large brush, make sure your foreground colour is black and then paint in the centre so it is completely black with no shades of grey.

Paint it black
Paint it black

6:

Select the white area

In the same way that you selected the black area, go around the edge with the ‘Polygon lasso’ and choose the white area.
When you have finished, choose ‘Select Inverse’ from the ‘Select’ menu and make sure white is your background colour.
Press ‘Delete’ to remove the outer noise.

Select the white area
Select the white area

7:

Paint in the detail

Click on the ‘Eye’ icon by the RGB image to turn the image on and your blue copy channel will turn red.
Use a brush with black as the foreground colour to paint in any odd details that you might have missed.
This is useful for painting in the arm edge that wasn’t very easy when first selecting the black.

Paint in the detail
Paint in the detail

8:

Select and drag

In the ‘Channel’ palette, COMMAND/CTRL click on the icon to load the channel as a selection and now choose ‘Select Inverse’ from the ‘Select’ menu.
Open ‘thecity.jpg‘ from the download, drag across the man to the image using the ‘Move’ tool.
The man will appear as a new layer.

Select and drag
Select and drag

9:

Colour correction

The man is a little over-saturated for the background image, so choose ‘Image’, ‘Adjustments’ and ‘Selective Colour’.
Under the red menu, change ‘Cyan’ to ‘+85’, ‘Magenta’ to ‘-25’ and ‘Yellow’ to ‘-57’.
Now change the ‘Drop’ menu to ‘yellow’ and change ‘Magenta to ‘-43’ and ‘Yellow’ to ‘-88’.

Colour correction
Colour correction

10:

Copy the layer

Drag ‘layer l’ to the ‘New layer’ icon to copy the layer, and go to the ‘Filter’ menu and choose ‘Blur’, ‘Radial blur’.
In the popup window change the ‘Blur’ to ‘Zoom’ and change the amount to ’40’.
Click in the ‘Blur Center’ window, drag the centre down to be in line with the road and click ‘OK’.

Copy the layer
Copy the layer

11:

All in the blend

Change the layer ‘Blending’ mode to ‘Hard tight’ and reduce the ‘Opacity’ down to ‘50%’.
Copy the layer and drag it behind the original man.
From the ‘Edit’ menu, choose ‘Transform and Scale’ and then ‘Shift-click’ the corner to scale up so that your image is like the one shown above.

 All in the blend
All in the blend

12:

Add some sky

The problem with the image is that the sky looks wrong, so let’s add a slightly more impressive skyline.
Open ‘sky.psd‘ and drag across into your composition.
Choose ‘Transform and scale’ from the ‘Edit’ menu and scale up holding ‘Shift’ to keep the proportions.

Add some sky
Add some sky

13:

Change the order

Drag the sky layer so that it is just above the background and turn off the visibility of every layer except the background by clicking the ‘Eye’ icon in the ‘Layer’ palette.
From the ‘Select’ menu, choose ‘Colour Range’ and in the pop-up menu, click in the sky and change ‘Fuzziness’ to ’74’ and select ‘Quickmask’ from the drop menu.

Change the order
Change the order

14:

Copy and paste

Click ‘OK’ to create a selection and turn the visibility of the sky layer back on.
Press ‘Ctrl+C’ to copy the sky selection and then ‘Ctrl+V’ to paste to a new layer and discard the old sky layer.
You can turn the visibility of your other layers back on again to see the man.

Copy and paste
Copy and paste

15:

Erase and desaturate

Use the ‘Eraser’ tool to erase the sky in the streaks of light and street lights in the lower half of the image.
It’s effective to leave it on the windows because it looks like a reflection.
Once the excess sky has been erased, change the ‘Blending’ mode to ‘Hard light’ and reduce the ‘Opacity’ to ‘50%’.

Erase and desaturate
Erase and desaturate

16:

Zoom the background

Copy, the background layer and go to the ‘Filter’ menu, Choosing ‘Blur’ and ‘Radial Blur’.
Change the ‘Zoom blur’ radius to around ’78’ and click ‘OK’.
When the blur has been applied, ‘reduce the ‘Opacity’ of this layer down to ‘60%’, which allows detail from the original layer to be seen.

Zoom the background
Zoom the background

17:

Add some tubes

Open the file ‘tubes.tif
Choose the ‘Select’ menu and ‘Load Selection’ and now choose the ‘Alpha’ channel to load.
Click ‘OK’. With the ‘Move’ tool, move the tubes to the composition image and scale up proportionally to fit as you did with the sky layer.

Add some tubes
Add some tubes

18:

Blend the layer

Change the ‘Blending’ mode of the tubes layer to ‘Hard light’ and reduce the opacity to ‘80%’.
Make sure that this layer is directly above the zoom blurred background.
Now we’re going to add a few finishing touches to the image, so go to the ‘File’ menu and choose ‘place’.

Blend the layer
Blend the layer

19:

Place the circle

Select ‘circle2.eps‘ and scale up the image by holding ‘Shift’ and dragging the corner handles.
When it’s the right size, double-click to import at that size.
Change the ‘Blending’ mode to ‘Screen’ and reduce the ‘Opacity’ right down to just ‘15%’ to make it more subtle.

Place the circle
Place the circle

20:

Place another circle

Choose ‘place’ from the ‘File’ menu, but this time choose ‘circle1.eps‘ .
Once again, scale up the image proportionally before double-clicking to place at that size.
Change the ‘Blending’ mode to ‘Screen’ and the ‘Opacity’ to ‘80%’, positioning it as shown.

Place another circle
Place another circle

21:

Save the image

Your finished image can now be saved.
If you are going to print it, you will need to flatten the image, convert it to CMYK and save it as a TIFF.
It’s always wise to save a layered version as well as a flattened version, just in case you want to alter any of the layers again later.

Save the image
Save the image

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