This is page 5 of 7. "Nighttime Scene" begins here.
Many times Photoshop will do something unexpected when you are using the move tool. It will turn the subject, change the proportions as you move the mouse or any one of a number of things.
It does this because the little arrows change as you move the mouse around the subject. When you click your mouse, whichever arrow is showing at that time is what Photoshop will do. You may not notice that the arrow icon changed; you have to watch closely. If it does something you don’t want, click Control z and do it over.
Now click anywhere outside the picture and the dotted box will disappear. Or you can just click on another tool. Now the moon is set.
Next we’ll create the moon glow from the picture of the clouds. If you loaded a cloud picture that you will be using, skip the next few paragraphs and go to “Return to the Elliptical Marque Tool.”
To create the clouds using Photoshop Effects, click; File, New, Blank file.
In the resultant box I set my size to 4,000X3,000 pixels and 300 Pixels per inch w/White Background Contents. That is a large file for a large picture and good quality. It can be cropped or sized down from there if necessary, but once it is created the size cannot be increased while maintaining quality.
Go to the lower left corner of your screen. You’ll see this.
Click on it and these are the settings I chose for my clouds.
Click OK. Now create clouds in the new layer.
1) Take note; my default setting for “Artwork and Effects” area is the “Apply Effects, Filters and Layer Styles” and in the box on the left, “All.” This results in many choices in the Palette Bin. And it is something you need to know in order to follow my instructions. If your screen differs, following my instructions will be difficult or impossible.
2) Find the “Clouds” effect. Take note where my slide is. The easiest way to find the clouds is to run your slide about that far down and begin to look for other effects you see here.
3) Click Apply.
They will look about like this
Return to the Elliptical Marque Tool and the same settings as with the moon. This time the size and placement of the circle is not too important.
Right click and “Feather” 10-15 pixels. Then right click and “Layer via Copy.” Turn off the background layer and this should be your result.
You’ve become pretty proficient at all this mouse clicking and usage of Photoshop tools. That’s a good thing.
Return to your nighttime scene [click on it in the Photo Bin] and drag and drop your moon glow onto it.
In the Layers Bin the moon glow you just dropped will be the top layer. Now inside the Layers Bin, drag and drop the moon glow layer below the moon layer. They will switch places in the Layers Bin and now it will be behind the moon in your picture.
Size and place it the same way you did the moon. That’s using the “Move Tool.” Center it behind the moon and make it slightly larger. Set the Opacity to about 10%. To set the opacity, click on the arrow at the right. You’ll see this dropdown box. Now click and slide to the left.
See if you like it or if it is too dark. Make it lighter than what you think it should be. It will appear darker in the finished picture than it does now and it should ultimately be barely visible.
Remember to save the picture often. This is a good time to save it and see what you think of the moon glow.
Also, save this as a PSD and as a .jpg with the name “Moon Glow.” Now you will have it for future use. I have a folder dedicated to PSDs. I have folders within the folder in order to keep track of them all.
Now we’ll make some fog and clouds. The first time you can use the same picture that you used for the moon glow or you can choose a different one. The second time and thereafter you will have two separate pictures that you load; one for the moon glow and another for the clouds.
After you gain some experience you may choose to have an entire array of cloud pictures. You will use different parts from them for different areas of any given nighttime scene.
You’ve saved the PSD for the moon glow, as well as having saved a jpg, and named them “Moon Glow.” That means you will not lose your moon glow when you go back to that picture in your photo bin and then simultaneously click “Control” and “z” returning to a full picture of clouds.
You still have the moon glow in PSD form. If you need it for anything else you can simply reload it into Photoshop. It will be a different picture than this one.
Return to the nighttime scene; now click and drag the clouds onto the screen like you did with the moon and moon glow. As you load it make sure the clouds come into the picture as the top layer. They should automatically.
The clouds will also obscure everything else in the picture. Don’t worry; your picture is fine. The clouds are just covering it like a zero visibility day. :)
It’s like having a stack of papers on your desk. You can change the order of the layers by dragging and dropping any layer up and down in the Layers bin. The highest layer in the bin is the front layer in the picture.
Go to the “Move Tool” and resize the clouds so they cover at least to all 4 edges of the picture. It is fine for them to extend beyond the edges.
Set the opacity to about 10% again. It will look like the clouds disappear, but depending on how dark a nighttime you created, they will show quite nicely in the finished shot.
I use the eraser tool to erase the clouds that cover the boat. I generally keep the boat nice and clear. On the top tool bar you’ll see the typical settings. They include size, softness and opacity.
Zoom in and experiment to see what you feel looks best. For effect, sometimes I will partially obscure the boat like this one.
You will find that you end up making several layers just for the cloud covering and fog. Each one will be set at varying opacities and feathering. They will also overlap and have sections erased; other sections cloned. It gets pretty creative.
For example, the picture above has 6 cloud and fog layers. The one I have been using for this tutorial I have only a couple of cloud/fog layers total.
There are even different directions of photographed clouds that work better for different applications. For example, the fog in the above picture is taken looking almost straight up into the sky. The clouds in this picture have to be taken almost level in order to show the diminishing distance.
These are some of the reasons to have a collection of cloud photos.
Save your scene and look at the result.