Photoshop Tutorial: Create an Amazing Card Photo Manipulation

Don't play poker with this guy! In this tutorial we're going to manipulate some cards and have the symbols blown away! This image finished second in the mixed manipulations 2 contest here on pxleyes. To see an animated progress of this tutorial, check out the SBS guide of this entry.

The card image can be found HERE.

Let's get started.

End result:
Create an Amazing Card Photo Manipulation Final Image

avatar r1k3r

Views: 37917
Score: 9.54 / 10
Author earned: $30
Practice tutorial


Step 1

Open the card source image into photoshop. ( The card image can be found HERE. )


Then browse to where you have stored it on your pc.

Step 2

The first thing we want to do is create a copy of the source image. Do this by left clicking on the layer that says "Background" and dragging onto the "New layer" icon at the bottom of the layers palette. It's the one next to the icon that looks like a dustbin.

Step 3

Now we want to separate the symbols from the cards. Make sure you have the copied layer active (it will be blue if it is) The goto SELECT>COLOR RANGE
Left click on any RED symbol and you will see the marching ants around all the red parts of the cards.

Step 4

This is what you should see. The color range pop up menu. The fuzziness slider tells PS how accurate to select the color you have chosen.

Step 5

Okay so now you have the red selected. Go to LAYER>LAYER VIA COPY
This will now copy the red symbols onto their very own layer.

Step 6

Selecting the black symbols will not be so easy, as the image sits in a black background. So first we have to remove the cards from the BG. Do this by clicking on the rectangular marque tool (Left tool bar, at the top) It looks like a square. Then drag a selection around the cards, staying inside the playing cards.

Step 7

Again we go LAYER>LAYER VIA COPY. To copy the cards onto their own layer.

Step 8

The we go SELECT>COLOR RANGE and click on anyone of the black symbols on the cards you have just cut out.

Step 9

This is what your selection should like.

Step 10

Then we go LAYER>LAYER VIA COPY. This will make a copy of the black symbols onto their own layer.

Step 11

Add a new blank layer just above the copy of the original image. Do this by clicking on the copy of the original image to activate it then clicking on the new layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette. When you have the blank layer, go across to the left tool bar and click on the paint bucket tool. Make sure the foreground color is set to white. You can do this by clicking on the FG color and choosing white from the colors palette. When you have the paint bucket tool, and the FG color set to white, click on the image anywhere, making sure you selected the blank layer, and it is active first. You will now have to turn off every layer except the white layer and the RED and BLACK symbols layers. What you will see is some debris left from the selection. Chances are this is from the BLACK selection. Click on your black symbols layer so it is active, then go across to the left tool bar and select the eraser. Simply erase any parts that shouldn't be there. Like the the lines left in this image.

Step 12

When you have done that you should be left with a clean white BG and all the symbols nice and tidy with no debris.

Step 13

Now go to the red symbols layer and make it active by clicking on it, then select the symbols on that layer by holding CTRL and left clicking on the layer thumbnail. This will put marching ants around the red symbols. You will have to fill these with RED paint because of the way COLOR RANGE selection works it will leave holes in your symbols. So with these selected, make your FG color RED and then go to EDIT>FILL. Make sure you have the drop down box set to Foreground color" then click okay. It will fill these symbols with red paint and make then nice and crisp again.

Step 14

Turn of the red symbols layer by left clicking on the little eyeball at the left of the layer. Then activate the black symbols layer. You will see that there is some debris left over. Select the eraser tool and simply rub these out.

Step 15

This is what you should be left with.

Step 16

Turn ALL the layers off by left clicking on their respective eyeballs. Then turn on the Copy of the original image. Make sure the layer is active, then select the clone stamp tool from the left hand tool bar.

Step 17

You want to clone out the symbols from the card with the white from the card. To do this move your mouse over a white part of the card then hold ALT and left click, this means the stamp will clone from that area of the card(Hopefully white if you got it right) Go over the symbols and left click on them. They should disappear under white. You may have to keep ALT+left clicking to reset your target area to always keep it white.

Step 18

Now we want to get rid of the reflection of the cards. Simply drag out a selection with the rectangular marquee tool and then fill the selection with black paint.

Step 19

Step 20

Now we want to create our own reflections of the cards so go to SELECT>COLOR RANGE. And click on the white cards. Make sure you have the fuzziness slider all the way to the right. We want to keep the shadows in between the cards!

Step 21

Step 22

Make a copy of the cards you have just selected by going LAYER>LAYER VIA COPY, or the shortcut keys CTRL+J

Step 23

Flip the cards vertically by going EDIT>TRANSFORM>FLIP VERTICALLY. The reflections need to be upside down, even though they are just white.

Step 24

Hold shift down and with the move tool (Shortcut key V) move the cards down till they look like this.

Step 25

Add a layer mask to the reflections layer by clicking the "NEW LAYER MASK" icon at the bottom of the layers palette. It looks like a little camera. (Strange, but true!)

Step 26

with the layer mask active, (click on it) select the gradient tool. If you can't see the gradient tool in the left tool bar, click and hold on the paint bucket symbol a little fly-out menu will appear. just select the gradient tool from that. Then go to your image and holding down the SHFT key. left click at the bottom of the image and drag the gradient up to around the middle of the cards that are not the reflections, and let go. You should see this when you've done.

Step 27

So now come the REALLY TEDIOUS part. You have to make individual copies of ALL the symbols. For this reason I'm only going to show you this procedure on the first ace. Got to your black symbols layer and make it active. Make sure you can see it to by left clicking on the eyeball and opening it. Now zoom in so you can see the symbols quite close. (CTRL+ CTRL-, zoom in, zoom out) Hold the space bar down and left click on the screen, drag it around until you can see the symbols you want to copy. Select the rectangular marque tool and drag a selection around the symbol you want. The press CTRL+J. You will see a new layer appear in your layers palette rename it with something that you can remember (lots of layers coming up) Create a new group in the layers palette. Do this by going to the bottom of the palette and clicking on the folder icon. You will see a new group layer appear at the top of the layers palette. Rename it (Symbols, or whatever is easiest to remember) Click and drag the symbols you have just copied ontop of the new group layer and let go, that layer will now be in that group, and will help keep your workspace tidy.

Step 28

Step 29

Okay, so you have separated ALL of your symbols and they are sat nicely in their own groups. Go to the BLACK group you created wher you put all your individual black symbols and select the main Symbol, the fancy scrolly thing on the main ace of spades. The goto EDIT>TRANSFORM>WARP

Step 30

you will find that clicking anywhere in the wirebox that appears over your symbol, and dragging, the symbol will start to "warp" well, you want a blown appearance so practice and see what you like. When you're satisfied, hit the ENTER key, or the green tick on the main toolbar above the layers palette.

Step 31

To make the shadows for each symbol, you will have to make a copy of each symbol! (I know, more tedious copying lol) I suggest that you do this as soon as you have warped the symbol you are working on. (You might forget and there will LOTS of layers) So make the copy of the symbol CTRL+J and move it slightly to the left, or right of the original symbol. The at the top of the layers palette, turn the opacity down. Remember the closer to the cards the shadow will be darker(Never fully black!!!) The further away you want the symbols to appear from the cards the lighter(Less opacity) The shadows will have. Then when your happy with how your shadow looks at a bit of blur. Just to soften the edges slightly (The further away you want the symbol from the card, the more blur you should add) FILTER>GAUSSIAN BLUR
I used between 1.0 and 3.6 pixels worth of blur on my symbols. Play around see what you find best. When you're happy just click on OKAY to apply the blur to the shadows.

Step 32

Here you can see the card that I have completed. Study the shadows and see how their position, opacity and blur, all effect how far from the card the symbol appears. You need to repeat this procedure for ALL the symbols (Except the reflections)

Step 33

Make a copy of the GROUP with the black symbols in (Only when you have finished warping, positioning, and shadowing them) DO this by dragging the group layer (The one with the folder on) to the "Make new layer" Icon at the bottom of the layers palette. This will create a duplicate of that group. Right click on that duplicate group and select "Merge group" This will put all the symbols on to a separate layer for you to create the reflections. When you've done that, do this. EDIT>TRANSFORM>FLIP VERTICALLY
This will flip the merged symbols upside down. The holding the SHFT key drag the layer down so it sits just under normal cards.

Step 34

So now you have the reflections. We need to put a gradient on them. So add a layer mask to the layer then select the gradient tool. holding SHFT drag the gradient tool upto the middle of the normal cards. Now you will have a nice reflection of the card and symbols above. This image is about repetition and layers. Think the image through logically. Have fun trying this, I enjoyed making it. :-)

Step 35

Finished image

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no avatar
[banned] says:

Hey the manipulations are awesome. I really liked the way the tutorial is presented along with the contents.
Thanks a lot for sharing this useful article.

(5 years and 546 days ago)
avatar hereisanoop

Fantastic work author...,

(5 years and 545 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

very gooooooooooooooooood

(5 years and 545 days ago)
avatar CorneliaMladenova

Thank you very much for this so well explained tut. The result is great Just tweeted it

(5 years and 545 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Thank you for this great tutorial.. Amazing.!

(5 years and 545 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

very fine.............

(5 years and 545 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

lovely tutorial.... helped me a lot ... thanx

(5 years and 544 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

i don't understand how to get the card image on step one.

(5 years and 542 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Awesome technique

(5 years and 542 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Card image can be found here:

(5 years and 541 days ago)
avatar solkee
solkee says:

Top tutorial. A great image and well explained.

(5 years and 541 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

very good

(5 years and 540 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Very nice tutorail! nice edit too!

(5 years and 527 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

love the final image. i made this but i thought it finished abit blunt as it doesn't show you how to do the background or the guys face, xx

(5 years and 469 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

This is a really cool tutorial! Thank you.

(5 years and 458 days ago)
no avatar
john [banned] says:

I tried .. and worked !!! it was a class project... thanks.. I am sure it will get me a "A" in grade... it was easy to follow unlike many other tutorials onlist... well explained... Thanks

(4 years and 100 days ago)
no avatar
john [banned] says:

Thank you for sharing this.. it is wonderful..did this for my class project.. Expecting a "A" .. thanks again.. it was really easy and even a beginner can follow the steps if pay a little attention.. well explained.. gud job

(4 years and 100 days ago)

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