This tutorial uses a variety of different methods and filters that will be useful to any future photomanipulations you may create. Hope you enjoy it and good luck!
Firstly as a point of reference, shown here is a selection of the source images used to create the final composition
Starting with the original photo, available at http://www.photostogo.com, the initial task is to cut the woman from the background in the image.
Once the woman has been isolated from the background of the original photo, the next step is to prepare her for the composition which is to be created. Firstly, she is resized using the Free Transform tool (apple + T / ctrl + T) and then moved to a more central location on the page. As the concept of the final composition is ‘Statuesque’, the body and forearms need to be masked to create a more typical statue-like feel. Selecting the same mask as before, use the hard brush to create curved ends to both arms, taking into account the correct angles depending on which direction the arms are pointing.
To improve the flow of the torso crop, I’ve added multiple fabric elements on separate layers to create a more balanced feel. There’s some great material textures for use at http://www.cgtextures.com, which is where the fabrics in this composition are from. The best way for adjusting the material to create the flow you are after is to use the Puppet Warp tool (Edit – Puppet Warp). Experiment until you are happy with the shapes, then mask the layers and use a soft brush at 100% opacity to blend them onto the existing torso material. Additionally, if you are using a coloured material, you may need to add Channel Mixer and Hue/Saturation adjustment layers to tie the colours together between your added fabric and the torso material.
The next step is to create the base of the statue. Find a good base image to use here, maybe from a statue or column. I’ve used a marble chess piece image from http://www.photoxpress.com. Import your photo into photoshop and ensure that this layer sits below all the statue torso and material layers. Once placed, resize and rotate if necessary to find the right angle and position for the composition.
Find an image or texture that you would like to use on the floor and wall. In this composition I’ve chosen a tiled image and a cracked concrete image, both from http://www.cgtextures.com. I want to combine the two for both the floor and wall in this composition, so first import the tiled image in front of the background gradients and duplicate it, transforming and warping both layers individually until you are left with a wall and floor that are angled in the way you want. Change the layer modes on both the tiled image layers to Overlay. Repeat this process with the cracked concrete images on top of the tiled images and set their layer modes to Soft Light. If necessary, add layer masks and brush the edges to blend the wall and floor to a black vanishing point.
In this step, mist/fog will be introduced to subtly add to the atmosphere within the piece. Start by adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer below the statue base layers but above the chest and fallen statue layers. Set the Saturation to -100 and the Lightness to +100. Press D to set the foreground and background colours to default white and black, then select the adjustment layer mask and using the foreground to background linear gradient click and drag from the bottom of the composition to the top.
Now that the floor of the composition is starting to take shape, it needs to be balanced by incorporating some depth to the wall behind the statue. For this, I used a frame image from http://www.photoxpress.com, imported and placed behind all the statue layers in the layer palette. Play around with the rotation and scale of the frame using the Free Transform tool (apple + t / ctrl + t).
Now that all the elements of the composition are in place, it’s time to adjust and regulate the colouration and tones. Above all the layers, add a Hue/Saturation and Photo Filter adjustment layer. On the Hue/Saturation layer, slide the saturation value to -50. On the Photo Filter layer, select a green filter and adjust the Density to 10% ensuring that the ‘Preserve Luminosity’ checkbox is ticked.
To add some graininess and texture to the composition, add a new layer above the two High Pass layers. Fill the entire layer with solid black, then add noise to the black (Filter – Noise – Add Noise). In the dialog window, select how much noise you’d like to use, I’ve chosen 20% with Gaussian Distribution and ticked the ‘Monochromatic’ checkbox. Press ‘OK’ to apply the noise, then adjust the levels so the noise becomes a subtle grey (apple + L / ctrl + L).
Adding a subtle vignette will help to gradually blend through the tones in the composition. Start by adding a new layer and choose a foreground colour of white and background colour of mid-grey. Select a ‘Foreground to Background’ radial gradient and click and drag from the centre of the layer outwards to the edge.
As a final step to enclose the composition as a whole, add a black border. Above all other layers, add one final layer and fill with solid black. Select the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) and click and drag so there is a thin border outside the marquee. Invert the selection (shift + apple + I / shift + ctrl + I) and then add a layer mask in the layer palette.
You should now have a completed photomanipulation that looks something like this!