Keep up-to-date with Free tutorials!!


Sign up to our twice-monthly newsletter today for the latest tutorials, interviews and product information.

Sign me up to receive third-party emails from 3dtotal's partners, too!

- Latest news
- Exclusive Shop Offers
- Preview early content
- Plus much more


Not Ready to take that step? OK, Why not just Subscribe to the RSS Feed

submit tutorial
1 | 2
Blending tutorial

| Your Rating:
rating star fullrating star fullrating star halfrating star nonerating star none
(Score 2.33 out of 5 after 3 Votes)
| Comments 0
Date Added: 12th April 2007
Software used:

4. Shading

Before starting this level, you will have to choose your background. Shading your character based on the background helps a lot because you will know where to place the stronger and more subtle shadows. All you need here is the "Burn Tool"

To add a background you can use the (File / Import) option or simply drag with your mouse any image and place it in your work window. You can select copy / paste too. Once you have the BG layer on your layers tab, place it under the normal layer to have the BG behind the girl.

As you can see, in the picture the shadows in the sky and girl are not matching, it looks fake, out of place. In order to make it look more realistic, you will have to use the Burn Tool as indicated below.

Select the Burn Tool and then a medium size soft brush with low to medium strength, depending on the zone you are going to work on.

You will have to pass the brush several times in the darker zones to see the difference. In this case I applied the Burn Tool on her right arm, right side of her face and the inner side of her left arm as indicated in the pictures with the yellow arrows.

The light comes from the upper right corner, knowing where the light comes from you can have a clear idea of which parts you need to shade.

Note: you can use different brush sizes, shapes and strength levels to make more elaborated shadows. This time I only used the basic round soft brush at 35% of strength.

5. Colour M

Colour Matching by Zone is simple. For example in this case her right side has a pink tone and the right side of the sky has a yellow tone, it is not matching. I will have to adjust the Colour Balance but only in her left side and then make both sides blend softly.

Using the Polygonal Lasso Tool select her right side only, you don't need to select it by the border, now you are working with layers and you will only select the contents of the layer you are working on, It doesn't matter if you follow the line or not.

Ok, now that you have your selection go to Layer Menu / New... / Layer via Copy. That will give you the layer 3, with this layer selected go to Image Menu / Adjustments / Colour Balance and adjust the tones to match the background colour.


Both sides match with the background colour's but there is a ugly line in the middle, between yellow and red tones. To make both layers blend softly in the middle I will just use the Eraser Tool with a big soft brush as shown on the left.

You can repeat this process in different areas, for example I increased the red tones in the upper left corner of the background to make it blend with her face, her lips has a red tone, so it is a good idea to increase the red tone in that zone of the background.

At the end you should get something like the pic on the right, the basic blending process is almost finished.

Note: I have applied a little shadow under her left arm to make it match the dark bottom right corner of the background.

6. Others

In this section I wanted to include a very important detail, the hair, there are several ways to manipulate hair. Here I am going to explain a very very simple one. You will only need the Smudge Tool and some different brushes.


Select the Smudge Tool and then choose this brush on the left, you can change the brush size depending on the shape and size of the objects you are working on.

Based on the yellow arrows directions I have modified her hair shape. With just a few strokes you can modify the image, but you will have to use your imagination here. I decided to give her a more retro looking, nothing fancy, something very simple.

Use your own ideas and work on different layers to get more elaborated results, also you can change the strength of the brush from 20% (to give more softness to the hair) to 80% (to modify its shape and texture). Using brushes at high strengths you can make her hair look longer or shorter, change the whole style.

It is a good idea to move the hair to a different layer, so you can modify only that part without messing the whole rest. Hopefully I will be working in some In-depth tutorials based on these steps in the next months. Check the next image to see the results, thanks for reading.

Note: I had some other ideas for this section, but hair is a very important part of the design, though this is not an In-depth tutorial, there are many other hair tutorials in-depth at deviantart, check those out. This is the difference between an image over a background, and blending the image with the background. If your photo manipulation is looking fake or out of place follow the steps of this tutorial from the start.


Thanks a lot to Auralis from for her pic and many thanks to Wroth from too, for the background pics.

Thanks to all the people who voted in the Tutorial Poll, I tried to answer all your questions here, I am sorry if I forgot something.

I want to thank again all the people for supporting my work. Special thanks to you for downloading and reading this Tutorial. Learn and share, Adios!

< previous page

1 | 2
Related Tutorials

Portrait painting

by Alexander Guillen Brox
published on 2017-07-12

Keywords: Alexander Guillen Brox, photoshop, portrait

rating star nonerating star nonerating star nonerating star nonerating star none (0)
Comments 0 Views 2163

Learn to paint heroes and villains

by Richard Tilbury
published on 2016-03-03

Keywords: Richard Tilbury, tutorial, photoshop, hero, villain

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star nonerating star none (4)
Comments 0 Views 7167

Speed Sketching in Photoshop

by Ahmed Aldoori
published on 2012-04-05

Keywords: speed, sketching, photoshop,

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full (5)
Comments 0 Views 24310

Cartoon robot

by Aekkarat Sumutchaya
published on 2016-08-09

Keywords: Aekkarat Sumutchaya, photoshop, cartoon, robot

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star nonerating star none (2)
Comments 0 Views 5739
Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
no comments!
No comments yet. Be the first to comment!
Add Your Comment..