Com­pos­ite a sur­real lounge scene

Have a stag party with lay­ers, masks & for­est-themed stock pho­tos

Photoshop Creative - - CONTENTS -

Let your in­te­rior de­signer run wild in our sur­real tu­to­rial. Warn­ing: con­tains deer

What makes a pic­ture sur­real is sim­ple. Sur­real com­po­si­tions are ones that place some­thing some­where that it doesn’t be­long; this could be quite a sim­ple premise or you can take it to ridicu­lous ex­tremes. For this im­age, we’re go­ing to go with some­thing quite silly, but it’s not some­thing so sur­real that you can’t cre­ate with some of your own im­ages.

Bring­ing the wild in­doors is quite a sim­ple idea but for this, we’re go­ing to need ex­actly the right blend of rocks, branches and moss to mask into the photo. El­e­ments and Pho­to­shop are both great for mask­ing tasks, and per­haps the eas­i­est way to com­plete these are by us­ing brushes. Soft brushes are good for rel­a­tively soft edges such as wa­ter, and harder brushes can be used for more de­fined ob­jects like rocks. The key is in the blend, and that can be made with ad­just­ment lay­ers, and more brush­ing.

The best way to make an im­age feel re­al­is­tic – well, as re­al­is­tic as a deer in your liv­ing room can be – is to pay at­ten­tion to the de­tails. Be sure to zoom in, mask around in­di­vid­ual rocks, and if some­thing you’re try­ing com­pos­ite doesn’t work, don’t force it to. The best com­po­si­tions are sim­ple in many ways; some­times all you need is a good idea and a lot of time and ef­fort to bring it to life.

Place your back­ground

Cre­ate a new doc­u­ment (Cmd/ctrl+n). Start off by in­sert­ing the sup­plied file of the liv­ing room – or your own cho­sen liv­ing room if you’d rather! Hit Trans­form (Cmd/ctrl+t) and re­size the back­ground im­age as you wish.

Blend in some rocks

Now you can insert some rocks, and with the help of the hid­den layer you’ve just cre­ated, mask out the so­fas. With a soft brush, just mask so that it looks like the room’s floor is cov­ered with rocky de­bris.

Layer up the en­vi­ron­ment

Add an­other of the sup­plied rock im­ages and use the same tech­niques to insert this tex­ture across the floor of the im­age. Trace around the edge of the rocks to mask them into the im­age, and hide them be­hind the ta­ble for re­al­ism.

Mask the so­fas

Grab the Quick Se­lec­tion (W). We’re go­ing to se­lect around the out­side of the so­fas and fill with white on a new layer, so that when we need to mask around the sofa, we can just Cmd/ctrl+click this layer pre­view to se­lect quickly. Hide this layer once you’re done.

Re­fine the mask

Re­duce the size of your brush, zoom in and touch around the out­side of in­di­vid­ual rocks so that the im­age feels a lit­tle more real. Vary the hard­ness of the brush if you need to and al­ter the opac­ity if it helps.

Har­monise the colour

Group the rock lay­ers to­gether. Du­pli­cate the back­ground layer of the liv­ing room and move it above the group, then Alt/opt+click to clip it. Set to Soft Light, go to Fil­ter> Blur> Gaus­sian Blur and set to 20px. Hit OK.

Place your deer

Add your deer to the im­age and place him on top of the ta­ble. Use a black brush on a mask to erase the back­ground around him and nudge the layer so that it’s well-placed on the ta­ble.

In­tro­duce more el­e­ments

Add the mossy branch to the im­age, mask­ing it out and then add a shadow on the layer below; add an­other branch com­ing out of the sofa, and you could also insert some toad­stools to the im­age to give the scene even more of a for­est feel.

Make the ta­ble mossy

Add some more moss, this time to the ta­ble. Place it over the hooves of the deer and around the ta­ble to con­tinue the for­est theme, us­ing dif­fer­ent opac­i­ties and hard­nesses of brush to get a re­al­is­tic ef­fect.

Add em­bel­lish­ments

Place the trunk with the vine wrapped around onto the wall and set to Soft Light. Du­pli­cate the layer, set to Nor­mal and just mask the leaves onto the im­age to make them stand out a lit­tle more.

Start im­age

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