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Full Moon in The Midnight Forest

Tips about how I made the Full Moon in The Midnight Forest wallpaper (see wallpaper).

Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 1

Here we go! Create new document, fill background layer with dark blue.


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 2

Open Layer Style -> Blending Options, select Gradient, change gradient blend mode to Overlay, and style to Radial. also scale up to 150%. (I also added black Inner Glow).


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 3

Create new layer, use selection tool or shape tool to create grey ellipse (this will be our earth). If you used shape, rasterize it.


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 4

Add some noise (menu Filter – Noise – Add Noise).



Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 5

Tricky part now – we are going to simulate macro photo where only part of a photo is focused, and the rest is blurred.
- switch to quick mask mode (Q)
- select gradient tool. make sure that foreground color is black, and background is white
- on top of window, switch gradient type to Reflected
- create gradient similar to show here. Since we are in qucik mask mode, you should see gradient in red.


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 6

return to normal mode from quick mask mode (hit Q again). Your gradient should become the selection. Apply Gaussian Blur to selected area (Filter – Blur – Gaussian blur), widh raduis about 4-6 pixels. Now, only part of our “earth” is focused, and the rest is blurred.

Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 7

change the layer’s blend mode to Overlay. Now the earth is almost ready, but how about some grass growing on it?
 


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 8

Create new layer, select Brush tool, open brush properties, and find the grass brush (scale it down as needed). make foreground black and background blue.

Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 9

fill all the earth with grass.


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 10

Use the same technique as above to blur top and bottom of grass area.


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 11

and lastly, change layer blend mode to overlay.


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 12

now let’s make some trees! Open ContextFree – this is cool fractal freeware available from http://www.contextfreeart.org/wiki – and choose Demo1 in Examples menu.


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 13

Manipulate the code on left column unless you are satisfied with the tree you get. I really did not want to learn the code, so I removed couple of lines, changed couple of digits, etc.


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 14

When the tree is rendered, save it as PNG and open this PNG in Photoshop.

Now we need to remove white, that is, make it transparent and keep only black tree. Here’s how:
- select all (Ctrl-A)
- copy (Ctrl-C)
- go to quick mask mode (Q)
- paste (Ctrl-V)
- turn off quick mask (Q)
- clear (Del)
- Deselect all (Ctrl-D)
- Turn all to black (Ctrl-U, Lightness = -100%)


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 15

Copy the result and paste into the wallpaper. Use shape tool to draw white eyes. Now that looks good already!


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 16

Go back to ContextFree, create new tree, repeat the steps above to put it into the wallpaper. To make it look far away, scale the tree down, and then apply Gaussian Blur.


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 17

..and again, and again, and again…. :-)


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 18

Now, the moon. Select the background layer, create new layer above it, and use shape tool, or white brush, to draw a white circle. Then, use layer effects to add uter glow with settings similar to shown here.


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 19

Since there is the light source (moon), all trees should have reflection. They are easy to do. Select a tree layer, duplicate it, (menu layer – duplicate), flip vertically (edit – transform – flip vertical).


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 20

turn all to black (Ctrl-U, Lightness = -100%), and then use Distort tool (edit – transform – distort) to make the shadow fall correclty from the moon.

Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 21

 

repeat for all trees :-)


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 22

The shadows are they are now are too much, of course. For each shadow layer (you did make them in separate layers, right?) change its opacity to 30%-40%.


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 23

The part where a shadow touches a tree did not look good to me, so I added more black using big black brush.

Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 24

The last thing to add are the clouds. They look like generated by Photoshop, but they are not! I found this photo at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/559389


Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of - Step 25

…and added into the wallpaper with layer blend mode set to Overlay, as always. That’s it! Hope it will be useful.

The Full Moon in The Midnight Forest wallpaper (see wallpaper).

Author: Vlad Gerasimov
URL:    http://www.vladstudio.com

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