Hey everyone, it’s time for a new photoshop large piece tutorial. We’re going to create this wallpaper called Ideas of the Retro Mind, using some old retro pictures of newspapers, people, and so forth. We will be using some techniques like layer masks, pen tooling and layer adjustments. The Original piece can be found here, including links to all of the retro stock images. Enjoy this tutorial, you can download the large piece PSD files in the premium section.
Outcome of the large piece tutorial:
Create a new file (File > New), and select your favourite settings. We’ve picked 800 pixels by 447 pixels:
Add a background texture, we’ve picked this photo of a stoney and grassy texture (Try This DeviantArt for stock photos for large pieces):
Reduce the fill of this texture to 17%, you do this by setting it down on your layer panel which is in the bottom right corner of your screen by default:
By reducing the fill a lot, your background should be similar to this:
We’re going to use a picture of this old newspaper. We’re going to resize it, and flip it over vertically. First, grab an old retro picture (Download one of these retro stock papers), and paste it on your canvas:
Then, select Edit > Transform > 90 degrees ClockWise or CounterClockWise:
Now Flip it vertically, by selecting Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical:
We’re going to chop a part out of the newspaper, make a selection with the rectangular marquee tool and press delete:
Change the layers blending mode to Multiply in the layer panel, and reduce the fill a little bit:
This is what our current large piece looks like:
Now find a good looking render that you’d like to use, we’ve used the skeleton model that is going to be the center piece of our artwork. You can find skeleton stock pieces here, or elsewhere on deviantart. Place it into your large piece, and resize it properly. You can do this by pressing CTRL + T.
We’re going to put three skeletons on top of eachother, and change the color of each skeleton with the use of Color Overlay. First, select Layer > Duplicate Layer:
Then, select Color Overlay by pressing the fx button on your layer panel, or by going Layer > Layer Style > Color Overlay:
The following settings were used to give the skeleton a white color:
Outcome of the skeleton:
Duplicate this white skeleton layer:
Go back to the color overlay, and change the white color to another bright color, we’ve used a greenish blue:
Now with the blue skeleton layer selected, tap the arrow keys on your keyboard. It’s up to you to pick a direction, we’ve set it 2 pixels down, and 2 pixels to the left:
Place the original skeleton model on top (like shown below in the picture), and with the arrow keys once again move it a little to the same direction that you moved the blue skeleton to:
This is what the three skeleton layers now look like:
Duplicate the original skeleton layer (Layer > Duplicate Layer):
Then Press CTRL + T (or select Edit > Free Transform) to change its size, and rotate it forward a little bit:
This is the outcome after rotating the skeleton:
We’re going to repeat the previous process, except we’re going to put the blue one at the bottom this time. Duplicate the skeletons, use the Color Overlay function, and nudge them a few pixels to the right and bottom:
White color overlay settings:
This is what your result should look like in the following order;
Blue Color Overlay:
White Color Overlay:
Outcome after putting the third skeleton back on top without a color overlay:
Repeat this same process with a third model, rotated and decreased in size once again, placed a little more to the right overlapping the second skeleton like shown in the large piece below:
We’re going to use a picture of this old television to cover up their heads, and to give it an awesome retro look. We will then cut out the screen, and put an old image on top. You can copy this image, or use a model of your own. Remember, you’re not limited to a television, you can use basicly anything. A fish bowl perhaps, or the face of some celebrity. Be creative!
Try being creative with the objects you’re using. Ours was placed as followed:
We’re going to use a retro picture to fill up the television screen. Find a nice picture, this 50′s stock images pack has a nice compilation of retro images. Place it on top of the television screen. By using layer masks, we will carefully place the retro poster inside in the next few steps:
Select Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All:
Now grab the pen tool, and select the following settings:
Create anchor points, and create a section that covers the television screen. however, using the pen tool may require some practise, don’t give up if you don’t get it the first time.
We’re going to create a selection from the anchor points we created with the pen tool. We can do this by going to Paths on the layer window, and creating a selection from the work path. Select Paths, then right click the Work Path and press Make Selection:
We have to fill the selection with white, it will turn our selected area in our layer mask visible again. Select the Paint Bucket Tool, and fill the selection with White:
This is what it should look like on your layer window:
This is what our result looks like. If you dont like the position, you can select the layer and move it around underneath the layer mask.
Now Select your television layer, and duplicate it. We’re going to cover the other skeletons with television screens as well, duplicate the previous steps, and use the Free Transform tool (by pressing CTRL + T or by going to Edit > Transform> Free Transform):
Our result after duplicating the television:
By clicking on the layer next to the layer mask on the layer window, we can move the retro picture on the television to show the different characters:
Duplicate the proces on the other skeleton until you are satisfied, try to variate the sizes, angles and maybe even use different images instead of the television, be creative.
Cut out with the pen tool, create a selection in the Paths window again, and place your character inside the screen.
We’re nearly done with the large piece, all that’s left now is adjusting levels and textures and add finishing touches. If you’ve created your own artwork with different retro pictures, the following layer adjustment settings might not work out. You should use settings that will make your images blend in together a little. To create a Levels Adjustment layer, you can click the little black and white circle on the layer panel and pick Levels, or select Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels.
Here’s an animation showing our settings of the Levels adjustment layer.
This is the result of the adjustment layer. As you can see, the retro pictures now blend in together properly. Don’t be afraid to use multiple adjustment layers to make the images blend.
To create final texture, we add a starry space stock image on top of the picture. You can find plenty of nice sky imagery on DeviantArt stock pages, here’s a stock image of a sky space you can use. Place it on top of your image, and use the eraser tool to remove some parts that are too bright or detailed. Our outcome:
Now set this layer to lighten on the layer panel. If this setting doesn’t look good on your piece, experiment with the layer settings:
Our outcome after setting the layer to Lighten:
We’re going to finish the piece by adding details and extra imagery on the large piece, try to make it look good. We’ve made it appear as if the birds were flying out of his hands. The birds were made by the use of bird brushes, but anything works:
We’re adding a light bulb stock inside his hand, and with the use of the Free Transform tool (Edit > Transform > Free Transform or CTRL + T) we can rotate and change the size to match the size of the hand.
We’re going to use a soft brush to create a light spot on top of the light bulb. Select a light yellowish color (We picked #FFFDC6), and tap once on top of the light bulb. This is the brush shown on a black background:
If you want a more transparant lightbulb you can experiment with the layer style, set it to Lighten perhaps. This is our result, with the layer style kept on normal:
We need some more detail in the light grey area, and are going to fill this up with a fractal render. Find a good fractal render (Try these, however make sure you have the right to use them), and place it on top of the picture. Resize it, and place it somewhere nice.
Now set the fractals layer style to exclusion. If this doesn’t look good on your large piece, experiment with the settings.
our result after placing the fractal:
The right side is still a bit empty, so we’re going to duplicate the fractal and put it on the right side:
Set to exclusion again:
We’re adding another render effect on top of the lightbulb to enhance the lighting effect. Use your eraser tool properly, and change the layer styles to whatever looks best. Ours was set to Lighten:
This brings us to our final result, we’ve sharpened some areas. This is easily done by applying the image on a new layer (Image > Apply Image), then using the sharpen tool. Alternately, you could just select Filter > Sharpen, however this will sharpen the entire large piece and might not be the best option. Our outcome:
We hope you enjoyed this tutorial. You can download the PSD File, and much more in our Premium section!