Transform Usual into Magical

Kevin Roodhorst shows us through the process he adopted to transform a stock image of the Buddha and transform it into one that represents the mysticism and divinity the being represents.
Transform Usual Into Magical
Transform Usual Into Magical

Classic Image to Supernatural. The stock photos that were used were bought on shutterstock.com. Working step by step on the image, aspects of mystical dimensions were slowly developed by adding external elements, colour balance, textures and the likes, thereby providing a supernatural quality to the overall imagery of the enlightened being.

Transform Usual Into Magical - Step 01
Transform Usual Into Magical - Step 01
STEP 1

This was used as the input image for the project. The main idea was to bring forth the underlying aura or vibe of holiness and divinity to the otherwise straightforward imagery that can be seen over here.

Transform Usual Into Magical - Step 02
Transform Usual Into Magical - Step 02
STEP 1

Started with masking the Buddha statue with the brush tool in quick mask mode. Once masked, a hole was created in the middle of the concrete pieces that had to be placed on top. This served as a base for the process that was to follow.

Transform Usual Into Magical - Step 03
Transform Usual Into Magical - Step 03
STEP 3

Here, the concrete pieces were integrated together and some shade was added to it, as well. The shade was made with curves. In the same way, the colour of the concrete was also adjusted with the colour balance and curve layers.

Transform Usual Into Magical - Step 04
Transform Usual Into Magical - Step 04
STEP 4

On top, a nice water stock photo was placed with some rocks on the side. It was then adjusted to tone with a curve layer, further adjusting the colour with a colour balance layer. The layer itself was set to screen mode while, for the central portion, an underwater cave stock photo that had been set to screen mode was used.

Transform Usual Into Magical - Step 05
Transform Usual Into Magical - Step 05
STEP 5

A nice looking coral stock photo was further picked up. For the basic underwater look, a solid colour blue adjustment was used on soft- light. The same solid colour was used for integration of the diver’s layer on soft-light along with some curves for the highlights and shadows.

Transform Usual Into Magical - Step 06
Transform Usual Into Magical - Step 06
STEP 4

A boat and some fishes were also used around the coral. The most important part was to make it look underwater, which can only be done by making it hazy i.e. brushing soft paint strokes of blue around the Buddha and lowering the opacity by quite a bit. Also, the particles around the Buddha brought a lot of realism. These are just tiny white dots with a lowered opacity and some gaussian blur applied. To make the Buddha look old, a lot of textures was added on top of it. Used cracked ground stock photos, likewise, were set to multiply or darken.

Contributed by:

Transform Usual Into Magical
Kevin Roodhorst
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Creative Gaga
www.creativegaga.com