Think outside the box

Download files for this project [outside-the-box.zip 239 kb]

In this simple tutorial we’ll not just learn how to make this amazing image, but also help you develop a set of new skills!
We will cover a few blend mode tricks, composition techniques and other advise

01. Document setup / Black figure position

Document setup
Document setup

We are going to start with the document where we will do the artwork.
Open up Photoshop > File > Click “Presets” > Select International Paper > Size A4/ Width 210mm + Height 297mm > OK.
Now lets bring in our black figure. Doesn’t it look fantastic?

02. Chest Cut Out

Chest cut out
Chest cut out

Now let’s focus on that open cut on the chest. Duplicate the Black Figure’s Layer.
Hide the original layer.
Now use the Pen Tool.
Make a cut-like shape.
Head to the “Paths” Tab.
Command (Mac) or CTRL (Win) + Click on the “Shape Vector Mask Layer”.
Now you should see the selection on the chest.
Head back to ‘layers” Tab.
Select the duplicated layer of the black figure and hit Delete.
Now you should see a cut through the chest.

Now with that shape you created with the pen tool, open the blending options by double clicking on top of that layer.
Tick Inner Shadow = Angle 120, Distance: 21px, Choke 0px, Size, 21px.
Tick Colour Overlay and choose a dark or black colour [Colour Code: #1716161] Now with that Shape layer, place it under the black figure, Now that should get this dark-like shape.

03. Cut lip

cut lip
cut lip

Now for the lip part, which kind of sticks out.
Make a crescent shape with the pen tool.
Open Blending Options.
Tick Inner Shadow = Angle: 120, Distance: 21px, Choke 0px, Size; 21px.
Tick Bevel and Emboss = Depth: 100%, Size: 21px, Soften = 0px, Angle: 120 / Altitude: 30.
Tick Gradient overlay.
Choose a dark grey on one side and light grey on the other > now place this cut lip under the black figure layer.

Now you should have both shape layers under the black figure layer like in the example.

04. Vector shapes coming out

Vector shapes
Vector shapes

Use Illustrator to make the following shapes.
How to make a cube: Make a dark grey square, head to Effect > 3D > Extrude.
Now use any perspective you prefer Click OK.
After making all the shapes that are needed, bring them into Photoshop.
Simply put them in place.
You can also make circles and add radial blending gradients (Blending Options > Gradient Overlay).
Be creative! As long as it’s diagonally heading out in one direction, then you have done it!

05. Feather explosion

Feather explosion
Feather explosion

Use the Creative Splash and Feather stock images. Simply open the creative splash image in Photoshop Desaturate it (Image > Adjustments > Desaturate).
Open Levels (Image > Adjustments > Levels)
Set your midtone slider: 0.24 and your highlight slider: 241.
It should give you that black splash you need.
Now get rid of the white background by using the Magic Wand Tool and pressing delete.

Now take this image into the composition.
Place it in position and blend the shoulder part and splash end together by using a brush; you may need to adjust the levels of the splash if needed.
Use a dark shade or block to blend, Once you have done that, place the feathers at different points of the splash as if it’s writing with the ink.
Make it look like the feathers are coming out like an explosion.

06. Head shatter effect

Head shatter
Head shatter

This is a simple step as the vector object is already made as you see.
Download the vector stock image and simply take that object into Photoshop > use the Marquee Tool to cut a jagged like edge on the right of the person’s head. Simply place the sector object underneath the black figure layer.

07. Bottom liquid

Bottom liquid
Bottom liquid

Using the same technique as you did with the creative splash, step 6, use it to the splashes recommended to download.
Once you have completed the levels technique, take it into Photoshop and blend it by using a black brush.
There is no need for me to further explain how this goes.
Please see step 6 for in-depth steps

08. Finishing touches

Finishing touches
Finishing touches

Now it’s time to add the background.
Simply take the background image in (File > Place > Image > OK).
Resize it to your personal preference and add a radial gradient (black to transparent) for that finished look.
Feel free in any of the steps to add your own twist and spin.

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