Step 12
Now let’s add a retro feel to the piece. Create a new folder and name it ‘Colour Adjustment’. In this folder, create three new solid-fill layers (Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color). Make one orange layer (R = 236; G = 167; B = 0), one blue layer (R = 0; G = 30; B = 255) and one green layer (R = 0; G = 176; B = 58). Set all blending modes to Color and bring the opacity down to 24% for the orange layer, 16% for the blue layer, and 11% for the green layer. This gives the image a warm feel. Use the layer mask to eliminate parts of the colour over the obelisk.

Step 13
Next, we’ll dirty things up by adding some dust and other specks. Open the two paper layers from the project files (paper1.jpg and paper2.jpg). Desaturate paper1.jpg (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + U) then invert it (Cmd/Ctrl + I). Set the blending mode to Screen. Set the blending mode for paper2.jpg to Multiply. Adjust the levels and opacity for both layers, depending on how dirty and dusty you want the piece to look.

Step 14
Make some final minor tweaks, such as adjusting the levels. For dramatic effect I finished off the piece by adding an ape (which I downloaded from here: holding a sharp rock. For an extra sci-fi feel, I also added lens flare coming from behind the obelisk. Flatten the image (Layer > Flatten Image) and sharpen it up using the High Pass technique (see Tip Box, right), and we’re done.

Who: Freelance illustrator and VJ Sakke Soini hails from Helsinki, Finland. He works under both his own name and the alias Alienkiller. At the moment his main inspiration is the brightness of Japanese pop culture, the retro feel of the 1960s to 1980s, and Europe’s vibrant electronic music scene.
Software: Adobe Photoshop
Time to complete: 2-3 hours

Project files

Sakke's files for this tutorial can be downloaded here.