Step 12
Using the Gradient tool at 10% opacity, and with the blending mode set to Lighten, create a small lighting effect, to give more depth to the piece. Though this isn’t strictly necessary to the effect, it will enhance the atmosphere and make the image more dynamic.

Step 13
Your image is near completion. For the next step, open up the supplied file suppliedrender.png from the CD, and move the render to the piece. This can be done by selecting the entire canvas, copying it, and pasting the render onto a new layer on the current piece.

Step 14
Make the layer with the render on it invisible (click the eye symbol next to the render’s layer); you’ll still be able to see the outlines of the render. Return to the ‘Background 2’ layer, and use the selection to create another displacement. This should add more curves and variety within your shapes, which, up to this point, have been mostly very angular shapes.

Step 15
With all the elements in place, use the Burn tool to darken shadows around the displaced shapes. You might want to darken the parts underneath the render displacements more than the others; play around and see what works. The image won’t need very much in the way of post effects, although you can continue adding particles, burn effects and displacement sections until you’re happy with the result.

Who: Photoshop artist Eric Sin creates works for the DepthCORE Collective ( and works for Liferay Inc; he’s also available for freelance assignments.
Software: Adobe Photoshop
Time to complete: 20-30 minutes
Download: All files for this tutorial can be downloaded here.