Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in Photoshop

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In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to Create a Horror Cracked Human Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in Photoshop. The primary goal of this tutorial is to show you how you can blend textures together with layer mask, and how to achieve the best end result possible.
We will also go through other skills such as image adjustments, layer blending, selection tools and some simple photo retouches.
This is an intermediate level Photoshop tutorial so some steps can be tricky.
Note: The Photoshop tutorial is done in CS6 – therefore some screenshot may have slighting different layout as in the earlier version.
Here is a preview of the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)
crack model flatten 2 500x618 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked 
Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in Photoshop

Step 1

Load the Metal background image into Photoshop – we will use it as our canvas. Duplicate the background layer and apply the following unsharp mask filter to it in order to bring out a bit more details:
1 
unsharp 500x353 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer 
Masking Techniques in Photoshop
Add the following 2 image adjustment layers to this background layer:
Levels
1 prop Create a
 Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in 
Photoshop
Layer mask on the levels adjustment layer:
1 mask
 500x620 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking 
Techniques in Photoshop
Curves
1 curves1 
Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in
 Photoshop
and here is the effect so far:
1 
effect1 500x620 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer 
Masking Techniques in Photoshop

Step 2

Load the model image into Photoshop and cut of the model from its background, paste it onto our document. Resize and position it to the centre of the canvas:
2 
paste1 500x540 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer 
Masking Techniques in Photoshop
Then use the spot healing tool to clean out some dark spots as shown below:
2 spot healing Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer 
Masking Techniques in Photoshop
2 spot
 500x355 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking 
Techniques in Photoshop
2 
spot 2 500x266 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer 
Masking Techniques in Photoshop
Use a soft erase tool to fade the edges of the model so it blends into the background:
2 fade
 500x477 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking 
Techniques in Photoshop

Step 3

We can add the following 2 image adjustment layers this model layer as clipping mask:
Levels
3 levels 
Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in
 Photoshop
Curves
3 curves 
Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in
 Photoshop
and here is the effect so far:
3 
effect1 500x635 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer 
Masking Techniques in Photoshop

Step 4

We can now add the crack texture onto the model – load the crack image into Photoshop and use the Lasso Tool to select a portion of texture:
4 
lasso 500x429 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking
 Techniques in Photoshop
Copy and paste the selection onto our document and set it as a clipping mask to the layer below, use a soft eraser  (set flow and opacity to around 60%) to remove some parts of the texture as shown below:
Hint: this effect can be a bit tricky achieve, you should try adjust the flow and opacity of the eraser tool as you see it, until parts of the body is reveal and not covered by cracks.
4 
erase 500x545 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking
 Techniques in Photoshop
Again we add the following 2 adjustment layer as clipping mask for this cracked texture layer:
Black and White
4 bw1 Create a 
Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in 
Photoshop
Levels
4 lvs Create a 
Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in 
Photoshop
and you will have the following effect so far:
4 
effect1 471x700 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer 
Masking Techniques in Photoshop

Step 5

We will add some further crack texture around the model, so go back to the cracked image and select another piece of it, copy and paste the selection over onto our document, de-saturate its colour:
5 
paste 500x580 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking
 Techniques in Photoshop
I applied the following layer mask to this new cracked texture layer to hide some of it:
5 mask
 500x568 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking 
Techniques in Photoshop
Add the following 2 adjustment layers to this new crack layer as clipping mask:
Levels
5 lvs Create a 
Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in 
Photoshop
Curves
5 curves 
Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in
 Photoshop
and you will have the following effect so far:
5 
effect1 500x589 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer 
Masking Techniques in Photoshop
Reduce the layer opacity of the new cracked texture slightly down to around 90% for a subtle effect:
5 
effect 2 500x670 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer 
Masking Techniques in Photoshop

Step 6

I decided to add something under the model for some extra effect. So I loaded the tree root image into Photoshop and select a piece of the roots with the quick selection tool:
6 roots 
Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in
 Photoshop
Copy and paste the selection onto our document, resize and place it under the body, add the following layer mask to it to soften its edges:
6 mask Create a
 Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in 
Photoshop
Add the following 2 adjustment layers as clipping mask to this root layer:
Black and white
6 bw Create a 
Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in 
Photoshop
Levels
6 lvs Create a 
Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in 
Photoshop
and you will have the following effect so far:
6 
effect 500x273 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer 
Masking Techniques in Photoshop

Step 7

We’re almost done! For some final touches, I rendered some cloud down the bottom of the canvas:
7 
cloud 500x282 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer Masking
 Techniques in Photoshop
I also used the brush created in Step 5 of this tutorial to added a few leaves around the model:
7 
leaves 500x541 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer 
Masking Techniques in Photoshop
I also used a 2px hard brush to paint some lines around the model for some dramatised tangling effect:
7 
effect 500x622 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked Figure with Layer 
Masking Techniques in Photoshop
I further added some colour adjustments over the image, and you will have the following final effect: (click to enlarge)
crack model flatten 2 500x618 Create a Tangled, Horror Cracked 
Figure with Layer Masking Techniques in Photoshop
That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy it and find it useful! Till next time, have a great day!

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