In this Photoshop Tutorial I'll show you how to create a dark fantasy forest fire scene. You'll learn how to create a dark dreamy background, work with lighting and make fire effect. Resources needed: ModelLINK ForestLINK HairLINK FireLINK    

By pureromance88, on December 07, 2012, under Photoshop Tutorials

Final Result Preview


Step 1

Open forest stock. Active Crop Tool (C) and take the part below:

Hit Enter to complete this action.

Step 2

Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate this forest background. Then go to Filter-Blur-Gassian Blur and choose radius as 3 px:


Add layer mask for this layer and use soft black brush with big size ( 300-400 px, it depends on your picture size) and clear blur effect on foreground:


This step is to add depth to our picture.


Step 3

I use an adjustment layer to change color of forest. Go to New Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Hue/Saturation:


Step 4

To darken background also create main light source (on the top middle), I make a new layer and use soft brush with color #4b5e6e to paint on the sides of it avoiding some tree trunks (as they're dark already). Change the mode to Multipy 100%:


Step 5

I choose this pose from model pack and extract her, then place her at the middle section of our main picture:


Make a new layer under model one. Use soft black brush very small size (12-15 px), opacity about 50% to paint under model feet, dress bottom to create a shadow for her. This shadow should not very intense as she is standing on a dark ground and main light source is not very strong.


Step 6

You can see that light on model does not fit background. To fix it, I use some layers with Clipping Mask for her. On model layer, press Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N to make a new layer:


Change brush color to #887255 and use this brush to paint on the left of model (which is brighter than the right). Change the mode to Multipy 60%:


Step 7

Make a new layer, change the mode to Overlay and fill with 50% gray:


Take Burn Tool with Midtones Ranges and Exposure about 35-40% to darken the left of model, dress. You can see how I applied this tool with Normal mode:


Overlay mode:


Step 8

As main light source comes from top middle, I add more reflected light to model by Inner Shadow effect. Double click model layer, choose Blending Options:


Step 9

Open hair stock. I choose this one to work with:



Use Lasso Tool (L) to make selection around this strand and place it at the left of model head after resizing and transforming it (Cmd/Ctrl+T):


Use layer mask to hide this part:


Duplicate, move it to the right and flip it horizontally (Edit-Transform-Flip Horizontal), make it a bit shorter (as model is bending her head to the left -from viewers eyes- so the right hair should be shorter, the left one should be longer):


Step 10

Make group for hair layers (make these layers selected, press Cmd/Ctrl+G -I name them as "hair 1", "hair 2"). Change the mode of the group from Pass Through (default group mode) to Normal 100%.

To change hair color to fit model, on hair 2 layer, go to New Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Hue/Saturation:


Because the mode changed to Normal 100% (no Pass Through) so this Hue/Saturation layer only affects the layers inside this group (hair ones).