Potion Bottles Photoshop walkthrough

Hopefully you'll have already read the Simple Glass Still Life post on the blog. If you haven't, you might want to, or this one will make very little sense. Following that post there were several requests for a more detailed step-by-step description of the Photoshop process used to create the digitally manipulated images, so that's what this is. Don't say we never listen!

Details of how the original image was created are in the initial blog post so won't be repeated here. Also bear in mind that this walkthrough describes how I created the final image - you may choose to vary elements of the process to better suit your own image and tastes. All digital manipulation was carried out using Adobe Photoshop Elements. Click on any of the images/screenshots in this walkthrough for a larger view.

Be warned, though, this one's a long'un...

Original image

Potion bottle

Step 1

Step 2

Click Image (Alt+I), Resize (Alt+R) and Canvas Size...

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Fit canvas to screen (Ctrl+0).

Step 6

Create new layer from background (Alt+L, Alt+N, Alt+B).

Step 7

Duplicate layer (Ctrl+J).

Step 8

Repeat duplicate layer (Ctrl+J).

Step 9

Click Image (Alt+I), Resize (Alt+R) and Canvas Size...

Step 10

Step 11

Step 12

Bring up the Hue/Saturation window (Ctrl+U). Set Hue to -120 and click OK.

Step 13

Step 14

Bring up the Hue/Saturation window (Ctrl+U). Set Hue to 120 and click OK.

Step 15

Open green smoke image. Tile windows to view both images (Alt+W, Alt+I, Alt+T).

Step 16

Step 17

Change layer blending mode to Screen (or press Shift and + or - keys to cycle through modes).

Step 18

Step 19

Zoom in (Ctrl++) and user Eraser (E) with a mid-size soft brush to edit smoke around bottle.

Step 20

Fit canvas to screen (Ctrl+0).

Step 21

Open red smoke image. Tile windows to view both images (Alt+W, Alt+I, Alt+T).

Step 22

Step 23

Change layer blending mode to Screen (or press Shift and + or - keys to cycle through modes).

Step 24

Step 25

Zoom in (Ctrl++) and user Eraser (E) with a mid-size soft brush to edit smoke around bottle.

Step 26

Fit canvas to screen (Ctrl+0).

Step 27

Open blue smoke image. Tile windows to view both images (Alt+W, Alt+I, Alt+T).

Step 28

Step 29

Change layer blending mode to Screen (or press Shift and + or - keys to cycle through modes).

Step 30

Step 31

Zoom in (Ctrl++) and user Eraser (E) with a mid-size soft brush to edit smoke around bottle.

Step 32

Fit canvas to screen (Ctrl+0).

Step 33

Step 34

Merge blue smoke and bottle layers (Ctrl+E).

Step 35

Step 36

Merge green smoke and bottle layers (Ctrl+E).

Step 37

Step 38

Merge red smoke and bottle layers (Ctrl+E).

Step 39

[caption id="attachment_9497" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="Click on green bottle and smoke layer and bring to front of layers (Shift+Ctrl+])."][/caption]

Step 40

Change layer blending mode to Screen (or press Shift and + or - keys to cycle through modes).

Step 41

Step 42

Step 43

[caption id="attachment_9520" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="Click on blue bottle and smoke layer. Reduce size to 85%."][/caption]

Step 44

Step 45

Merge the layers together (Shift+Ctrl+E).

Step 46

Create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N).

Step 47

Step 48

[caption id="attachment_9536" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="Send new black layer to back (Shift+Ctrl+[)."][/caption]

Step 49

Step 50

Fit canvas to screen (Ctrl+0). Flatten layers (Alt+L, Alt+F) and save image (Ctrl+S).

Final image

Smoking Potion Bottles