Sunday, February 13, 2011

PSE Tutorial – Adding wings & clouds

This is my sweet poodle, Chili, she went over the bridge last April, 2010. She was only 7 and was suffering from severe autoimmune diseases. As all pet lovers know, it is really hard to lose a beloved pet, and doubly so when it is before their natural time to go. She was such a pretty girl and I often think of her at the Rainbow Bridge as an angel so I think it’s only fitting to give her some pretty wings!



You will need to acquire wing brushes. I think there are a lot out there. I downloaded mine from Obsidian Dawn.  There are instructions there for downloading the brushes, unzipping the file and installing the brushes as well as a “Random Brushes Tip” that tells you how to add the wing brush to your image. The instructions are easy to follow so I’m not going to repeat them. Instead I’m going to add in some other information that I hope will help you achieve the look you want.

I didn’t like the background in my picture so I decided to replace it with clouds.


Clouds - Steps for this:

1. Create a background copy and make sure that you have this layer selected in the layers box.  Do this by selection Layer, Dupicate Layer in the menu at the top.


2. I don’t want the clouds to cover the dog so I am going to use the Quick Selection tool to select all parts of the image except for the dog. See my tutorial on the Quick Selection Tool if you don’t know how to do this. I actually selected the dog and then I went to Select, Inverse. That has the effect of inverting my selection so now everything but the dog is selected.

3. Select colors in the foreground and background colors that will look like clouds. I used a white foreground and light blue background. To change the color just click on the foreground and background color boxes and select your color.



4. After picking your cloud colors, go to Filter, Render, Clouds. This should give you clouds over the entire part of the photo that you selected.

5. I wanted to reveal some grass so I used the eraser tool to erase part of the clouds from the bottom part of the image.

Wing Color
You can make the wings any color you want and before you apply the wing brush to your photo, you need to select your wing color. Use the Foreground Color box to select wing color. I chose white for mine. The Foreground and Background color boxes are the bottom tool in the picture below. Click on the foreground colorbox and click inside the color box to pick your color.

Brushes Tools
In the brushes tool bar is an Opacity setting. Manipulate this until your wings look natural. Then go to Image, Transform, Free transform to manipulate the placement of the wing to a natural appearance.   I think of wings as being somewhat transparent so you should be able to see somewhat through them. 

Next I used the eraser tool to erase the portion of the wing that was in front of her face. After selecting the eraser tool, you will need to set the brush back to default otherwise your eraser “head” will be wing shaped.

I then added a 2nd layer to place my 2nd wing and repeated the above steps.





And here is my completed project - already for scrapping now!  She is pretty angel!  One thing I learned while doing this project, you should save your projects as PSD files so that you can go back and edit your layers at a later date if you want to.  I always save my images as jpg's and now I know why I should not!!  I am going to add a rainbow to this photo but I really need to have the layers separated to do so.  Soooo, I have to do this whole thing over again in order to get the rainbow in and make it look right....sigh....we live and we learn.....



This is Fifi and she was the flower girl in a wedding.  Isn't she beautiful?!!  I thought she, too, needed fairy wings.  The little fairy at the top is an image I pasted onto this picture.  The colors of the background, pink and blue, I achieved by using the selection tool to select the background and then  manipulate the background colors hue and saturation.  This was a little trickier when I was erasing the wings because the wings had to show somewhat through the tulle netting on her hat.  I set the opacity of the eraser tool at about 50% so that the wings would show through.

I hope this tutorial helps you on your way to your own wings!   I am still learning, it does not happen overnight.  I have spent the entire day today writing this.  But, I have learned alot and that is my objective.  If you have any questions, please post them here and I will try to help you.







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