My son asked me to do tutorial with “Godzilla”, so here it is
For this Tutorial, we will use several images to achieve the final result. We used 2 different images of the ocean (one with a city in the back to use as the main background and the other with a wave breaking on the front). We also used an outlined image of “Godzilla” and one of its “Atomic Breath”, a stormy sky, and a couple of “Rain Overlays” from Designbundles.net to finish the look (https://designbundles.net/free-design-resources/other/rain-overlays).
1 - In Photoshop, open the image you chose as “Background”.
2 - In our case, we need to add more space to the top of the document to allow more “Sky”. To do this, go to image > Canvas Size, place the “Anchor” on the bottom-center and add some room on top (we increased the “Height” from 23.77 to 30 cm).
3 - Open the other sea image (the one with the wave”) and drag it onto the document. Resize it if needed with “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T). Click on the small checkmark or hit “Enter” to “Commit Changes”.
4 - Position the wave near the bottom of the document. You can lower the “Opacity” of the layer to get a better view of the placement.
5 - Now, open the image of the stormy sky and drag it onto the document. Resize and/or Rotate it if needed with “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T). Click on the small checkmark or hit “Enter” to “Commit Changes”.
6 - Hide the “Sky” layer for now, by clicking on the small eye icon on the left side of its thumbnail. Select the “Wave” layer and add a “Layer Mask” to it by clicking on the small button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel”. Make sure that the “Mask” is selected and that Black is your “Foreground” color. Then, use the “Gradient Tool” (G) with a “Foreground” to “Transparent” gradient to click and drag from top to center to “Hide” the portion of the image that you don’t want to be visible. Repeat as many times as needed.
7 - Remember that you can use the “Brush Tool” (B) and “Swap Foreground and Background” colors to “Unhide” some portions or use it with the Black to refine the look.
8 - Double-Click on the “Background” layer to unlock it (Click “OK” on the “Pop-Up”).
9 - Then, go Image > Adjustments > Curves (Command/Control + M). Use one of the presets or adjust the curve manually to get more contrast and make the image a bit darker (we used the “Strong Contrast RGB” preset).
10 - Use the “Magic Wand Tool” (W) with the “Add to Selection” option enabled and click on the “Sky” many times to select as much as possible. The idea is to outline the city and replace the “Background”. Use the “Polygonal lasso Tool” (L) with the “Add” and/or “Subtract from Selection” to fix the outline.
11 - Go to Select > Inverse (Shift + Command/Control + I) then, click on the “Add Mask” button at the bottom of the panel. In the “Properties Panel” add a bit of “Feather” to the selection (we used 0.05 px) then, move the layers so the Sky is on the bottom. You can “Un-Hide” the layer now.
12 - Select the layer with the outlined city and head to Image > Adjustments > Match Color. Use your current document as “Source” and the “Sky” layer as “Layer”. Move the levers in the “Image Options” tab to adjust the results (Your setting may vary depending on your images). The idea is to unify all them so they have the same color scheme.
13 - Repeat the “Match Color” step with the “Wave” layer using the same “Source” and “Layer” settings but adjust the “Image Options” values to create a more cohesive look.
14 - Open the “Godzilla” image and drag it onto the document. Place it between the “City” and “Wave” layers. Resize and/or Rotate it if needed with “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T). In our case we needed to “Flip” it to achieve a better composition (Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal). Click on the small checkmark or hit “Enter” to “Commit Changes”.
15 - You may need to clean up some of the “Mask” in the “Wave” layer. Select the “Mask” thumbnail and use the “Brush Tool” (B) with a large-soft brush (200 px and 0%, “Hardness”). Making sure that Black is the “Foreground” color, fix the image so it seems that “Godzilla” is coming out of the water. Repeat the “Match Color” step with the “Godzilla” layer using the same “Source” and “Layer” settings but adjust the “Image Options” values to create a more cohesive look.
16 - Now, open the outlined image of the “Atomic Breath” and drag it onto the document. Place it under the “Godzilla” layer and resize and/or Rotate it if needed with “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T). Click on the small checkmark or hit “Enter” to “Commit Changes”. Add the “Rain Overlays” too and place them on top of everything. Change the “Blending Mode” to “Soft Light” and reduce the “Opacity” (we used 2 overlays, one with 30% and the other with 68% “Opacity”).
17 - Select the “Atomic Breath” layer and double-click on its thumbnail to apply the following “Layers Styles”:
Inner Glow: (#03c9fa, Contour: Cone)
Outer Glow: (#59d5e7)
We need to fix the direction of the beam using “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T) to rotate it a bit.
18 - Create a “New Color Lookup Adjustment Layer” on top of everything”. Choose a preset from the “Properties Panel” (we used “TealOrangePlusContrast.3DLUT).
19 - Create a “New Layer” on top of the “Godzilla” Right-Click on top of the “Atomic Breath” layer thumbnail and choose “Copy Layer Style”, then “Paste Layer Style” on the new layer. Set the “Foreground” color to a blue shade (#59d5e7) and use the “Brush Tool” (B) with a small-soft brush (20 px and 0%, “Hardness”) to paint some “Atomic Glow” on “Scales” in the back of “Godzilla”. Change the “Blending Mode” of the layer to “Linear Light” and lower the “Opacity” to 50%.
20 - Check it out!