Monday, March 21, 2011

Creating depth in a 2D image

Today I am going to show you how to create 3D depth in a 2D image. There are a couple of ways to accomplish this effect. To begin lets begin by creating a new composition.

There are a couple of assets to gather first:

Download this Photoshop brush and install it in your preset folder:

Step 1:

Create a new document 1200 px X 800 px at 300 dpi

Create a new layer above the background layer.

Grab the brush tool and click on brush 671 the sunburst.

The brush is preset offset a bit so to correct that goto the brush tab and rotate the brush to
-14 degrees so it's level. Increase the spacing so you can see how the rotate affect a single instance of the brush.

Increase the size of the brush to 900 px and create one instance of the brush just above the middle of the page.

Create a new layer between the background layer and the layer with the sunburst on it.
Change the brush to a round with about 80% hardness. Change the color to #fff49c and paint the some color for the sun

To create the rest of the horizon line, grab the rectangle marquee tool and grab a selection from the center of the sun.

Erase the little squiggles that are poking up and drag the line right or left, then duplicate for the other side.

To fill the background, change the background color to #7da8ff. Using the gradient tool draw a straight line from the top of the page to the bottom.

Merge all the layers but the background layer with the gradient. Use the magic wand tool to create a selection of the lower half of the page.

Create a new layer. Change the background color from blue to white, leaving the yellow foreground color the same and fill the selection using the gradient tool.

Step 2:

To create the road we'll use the pen tool to create a selection.

Goto the path's tab and click on the circle of dot in the bottom of the tab.

Fill this selection with #727272, then goto the filter and apply a Gaussian blur of 3px

To add the marking's on the road, use brush 133

Create a new layer and use the brush rotate tool to get the first instance looking right. Start at the end of the road and work your way back, duplicating the layer and increasing the size as you move closer.

To add a bit of character to the road, use the warp tool to add a bend in the road

Next lets add the street lights to the road. Use brush 207

Create a new layer and brush one instance onto the new layer

Create a new layer just below the lamp layer and using the pen tool create a selection like the following.

Feather the selection by 15px and select #fffbe3 as a foreground color and then select the gradient tool foreground to transparent and create a gradient from the light to the ground.

This should be subtle, too dark of a glow and it will become overpowering as we duplicate the lampt posts.

Merge the lamp post and the light together and then duplicate and resize them along the road to create some perspective.

Make sure to keep the lamps post organized, I separated them into to folders, one for the left and right sides of the road. Don't merge these together.

Step 3:

Create a new layer and select one of the building brushes.

Create a new layer beneath this layer and change the color to # dcdOab. Paint in the color for the building then change to a white and paint in the windows. Merge the two layers together.

Do this for a couple more building to fill out the scene.

Using the same process as with the building, use the brush set to add some more elements to the composition.

So here is what I have:

So now you have three options for creating the depth in Photoshop.
Below is links to each of the methods.

Select your method and away we go!

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