MSI Tutorial: “Creative Brain” Composite

Are you a creative looking for a chance to showcase your talent on a global stage? Look no further. Enter the MSI Creator Awards 2023, a global competition hosted by MSI that welcomes entrants worldwide.

In line with the theme, here’s a Photoshop tutorial featuring a stunning composite showcasing the human creative spark. Check out the official details and enter the competition now!

MSI Creator awards!

Follow along to create this amazing composite!

Step 1: Mask out the Brain

Click the Remove Background button, and Photoshop will use artificial intelligence to analyze the image and remove the background.

Then, fix the edges of the mask by double-clicking on your Layer Mask.

Adjust the edges using the Select and Mask workspace. 

To smooth out the edges, drag the smooth slider to the right and increase the contrast to sharpen them.

Step 2: Blur the Edges

Go to the Blur Tool and blur the edges of the mask.

Step 3: Create the Illusion of Glowing Inner Parts

Go into the Channels Panel > RGB.

Click on the red, green, and blue channels to see which one has the most contrast between the inner and outer parts.

Select the red channel, duplicate it by dragging it to the New Channel icon, press CTRL I to invert.

Go to Image > Adjustment > Curves to make everything else dark.

Load these pixels as a Selection.

Create a new layer and fill it with any color you want.

Clip this layer to the layer below to get a glowing result.

Step 4: Selectively Apply Glowing Effects

Hold Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS), and click to create a black Layer Mask and clip it to the layer below.

This inverted Layer Mask will hide the layer’s contents, and you can selectively paint those in.

Create another glow by repeating the same process.

Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue and Saturation, and change the glow’s color to orange.

Fill a Layer Mask with black. Then, paint in the orange light on the inner parts of the brain.

Step 5: Add Highlights

Create one more layer, clip it to the layer below, and name this “white highlight”.

Change the foreground color to white and paint with white where you want that highlight to appear.

Change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge and uncheck “Transparency Shapes Layer” to get this result.

Step 6: Blend and Adjust the Layers

Add this image and use the Screen Blending mode to make the highlights appear.

Select the abstract highlights layer and go to Image > Adjustments > Curves and make an “S” curve to hide the black areas and bright areas are revealed.

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and adjust the blur radius until the highlights blend in with the brain.

Step 7: Add Depth

Duplicate the highlights layer. Transform the duplicated layer and scale it up.

Blur the duplicated layer with Gaussian Blur and adjust the opacity until it looks right.

Step 8: Add Paint Splatters

We’ll add a colorful splatter image to create the illusion that the brain is creating paint splatters.

Place the splatter layer below the brain layer and clip it to the brain layer.

Change the blending mode to Multiply to blend the splatters in with the background.

Step 9: Adding and Blending the Handwriting Layer

Duplicate the red channel, fill the background color with white, and Invert.

Load the text as a Selection.

Convert it into a Smart Object and use perspective, distort, and warp to make the writing appear out of the brain.

Create a layer mask, hide the pixels over the brain, and change the blending mode to either Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, or Vivid Light.

Reduce the Fill opacity for better results.

Duplicate the layer, flip it horizontally, and delete the layer mask to balance the image.

Step 10: Adding and Blending Music Notes and Formulas

This step is the same process as Step 9.

Open the image and adjust the curves to make the music notes more visible, using the Burn Tool to paint shadows.

Duplicate the layer, fill it with white, and position it to create the illusion of musical notes and math formulas coming out of the brain.

Change the blending mode to Vivid Light and adjust the fill opacity.

Duplicate the images and use Perspective Warp to create the illusion of perspective.

Change the blending mode to Color Dodge and adjust the layer mask if necessary.

Final Touches

Create a merged layer, apply effects using Camera Raw Filter, and make adjustments as needed, including reducing the strength of layers and copying and pasting the adjusted image into the Smart Object.

Final Result

Be sure to check out the official link to join the competition. Looking forward to your creations!

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