This is Part 2 of the tutorial. Part 1 went through the details of creating the background, the basic candle shape, the flames, and some basic lighting.
In this part, the cupcake will be added, with some more shading and lighting effects, and applying a simple action to the final result.
The Final Result:
* the software used in this tutorial is Adobe Photoshop CS6, but you can use CS3+ versions as well.
* you might want to check the Basix Page to see some useful topics on dealing with Photoshop basics, such as loading palettes and some shortcuts.
- Open the happy birthday cupcake image, then pick the Magnetic Lasso Tool. In the Options bar, set the Width to 10, the Contrast to 10%, and the Frequency to 57.
Click anywhere on the cupcake’s edge, then start dragging the selection, staying as close as possible to the shape you’re selecting. Also, make sure that the movement is not very fast, just slow enough for the points to be added precisely.
You can click once to add a point where needed if it wasn’t added automatically, then continue dragging.
You can as well press the Backspace key to get rid of any unwanted points, one at a time.
- Make sure to exclude the candle and the white parts. When you get back to the starting point, the tool will have a small circle next to it, indicating that if you click here, a selection will be created.
- Once you have the selection, go to Select -> Refine Edge.
- This will open up a small window, where you can enhance the selection. Choose the “On Black” View option. Change the Radius to 1.5, the Smooth to 5, and the Shift Edge to -50. Then click OK.
Go to Edit -> Copy, then open the Candles document.
- Go to Edit -> Paste, then place the cupcake image layer below the “Candles” group.
- Go to Edit -> Free Transform (Ctrl + T), then resize the cupcake down. You can press and hold the Shift key while resizing to constrain the proportions.
Stop whenever you like the cupcake’s size, then hit the Enter\Return key to accept the changes and get out of the Free Transform Mode.
- Next, we’re going to adjust the coloring of the cupcake. So go to Image -> Adjustments -> Selective Color.
From the Colors menu, choose Reds, then change the Black value to 5.
Do the same for the Neutrals.
And for the Blacks as well, then click OK.
- Go to Image -> Adjustments -> Color Balance. Make sure that the Midtones option is selected at the bottom, then change the Color Levels to 30, -6, and -20.
- Duplicate the cupcake layer then make it invisible by clicking the eye icon next to it. This will keep the original cupcake image available if needed anytime later on.
Pick the Blur Tool, choose a soft round brush, and set the Strength to 50% in the Options bar. Reduce the brush size to a value around 35 px, then blur the cupcake’s sides. Just the very edges where it seems to blend with the background.
- Duplicate the cupcake layer once more, then move the copy on top of the “Candles” group.
- Click the “Add layer mask” icon down the Layers panel to add a mask.
- Pick the Brush Tool, and choose a hard round brush. Set the Foreground color to Black, then start painting over the unwanted parts of the cupcake in order to delete them.
Make sure to follow the original image’s edges when deleting, so that the result doesn’t look unnatural.
To un-erase any parts, set the Foreground color to White, then paint them back in. This is where the layer mask comes in handy.
Just always make sure to click the layer mask before erasing or painting back any parts.
- Once you’re done erasing the unwanted parts, click the layer’s thumbnail. Then, pick the Dodge Tool, choose a 3 px round soft brush, set the Range to Shadows, and the Exposure to 100%.
Click and drag the Dodge Tool brush over the new edges to make them a bit brighter. Don’t go over the same part more than once, to avoid any extra bright or orangy results.
- Ctrl + Click the “Candle” layer’s thumbnail to create a selection.
- Pick the Gradient Tool, set the Foreground color to #f8e2c3, choose the Foreground to Transparent gradient, and click the Linear Gradient icon.
Create a new layer on top of the “Candle copy” layer and call it “Gradient Light”. Click and drag inside the selection, following the cupcake lighting diagonally from left to right, bottom to top.
- Change the “Gradient Light” layer’s Blend Mode to Overlay, and its Opacity to 65%. Then go to Select -> Deselect to get rid of the selection.
- Ctrl + Click the “Candle Extrusion” layer’s thumbnail to create a selection. Set the Foreground color to #998675. Create a new layer on top of the “White Dots” layer and call it “Grunge”, then change its Blend Mode to Multiply.
Use one of the “Rust ‘n Grunge” pack brushes to add a subtle grungy effect near the candles’ base.
- This will cover the base with very subtle chocolate traces.
- Create one more layer below the “Light 1″ layer, call it “Gradient Shadow”, and change its Blend Mode to Multiply.
Keep the Gradient Tool’s previous settings, but change the Foreground color to #c8bbac. Then click and drag from the bottom to a point slightly below the top of the selection.
- This will add even more shadow. Go to Select -> Deselect to remove the selection.
Double click the original cupcake layer to apply the following simple Layer Style:
- Inner Shadow: Change the color to #5e2811, the Opacity to 100%, and the Distance to 0.
- Gradient Overlay: Change the Mode to Multiply, choose the Black to White gradient, and change the Scale to 150%.
- Right click the original cupcake layer, choose Copy Layer Style, then right click the cupcake copy layer, and choose Paste Layer Style.
This will darken the cupcake gradually from top to bottom.
Create a new layer on top of the cupcake copy layer, call it “Cupcake Shadow”, and change its Blend Mode to Multiply. Pick the Brush Tool and set the Foreground color to #a1a1a1.
- Go to Layer -> Create Clipping Mask, so that the changes affect the cupcake only. Then, using a soft round, quite big, brush, click once to darken the cupcake’s sides some more.
- This should emphasize the center of the cupcake and the candles.
- Click the “Create new fill or adjustment layer” icon down the layers panel, and choose Color Balance.
- Choose Midtones from the Tone drop down menu, and set the values to 20, -6, -15. Then choose Highlights, and change the last value to -6.
- Pick a big soft round brush, set the Foreground color to #fff7e5, Create a new layer on top of all layers, call it “Highlight”, change its Blend Mode to Overlay, then add some light spots where needed.
- Double click the cupcake copy layer, then change the Inner Shadow Opacity to 60%, or any other value you think suits the scene at this stage.
- This will make the cupcake a bit brighter. Continue adding any finishing touches where necessary. And that should be it for the cupcake part.
- Create a new layer on top of all layers and call it “Radial Gradient”. Set the Foreground color to #a67c52, pick the Gradient Tool, choose the Foreground color to Transparent fill, click the Radial Gradient icon, and check the Reverse box in the Options bar.
- Click and drag from the center of the canvas to one of the corners.
- This will be used to darken the corners.
- Change the “Radial Gradient” layer’s Blend Mode to Multiply, and its Opacity to 60%.
- Select all the layers except for the “Radial Gradient” layer (Click the Background layer, then press the Shift key, and click the “Highlight” layer). Duplicate the selected layers, then go to Layer -> Merge Layers.
With the merged layer still selected, go to Filter -> Convert for Smart Filters, and click OK.
- Go to Filter -> Render -> Lighting Effects. Choose the Point Light from the drop down menu, and place the center of the light between the flames near the top of the candles (by clicking and dragging the point in the center).
Then, change the other values as below. You can also go ahead and try your own values if you like.
- Scale the light down by clicking and dragging the circle’s perimeter inwards. (Place the mouse over the perimeter, and when it turns yellow, click and drag).
- Click OK to check out the result.
- Because of the “Convert for Smart Filters” step, you can expand the filters list (by clicking the arrow to the right of the layer), then double click the filter’s name to modify its settings if you want to.
- Go to Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise, and use the settings below:
- Create a new 500 x 500 px document, and load the “JJ’s Holiday Special Gift Actions by jaejunggim.atn” file from the “JJ’s Holiday Special Gift 2011 by jaejunggim” pack.
Open the Actions panel (Window -> Actions), then click the “Precious Memories by jaejunggim” action’s name, and click the “Play selection” icon down the panel.
- This will apply the action, and put all of its layers in a group.
- Select the group, then go to Layer -> Duplicate Group, and choose the name of the original candles document from the Document drop down menu, then click OK.
- Go back to the original candles document, and make sure that the action’s group is on top of all layers.
- Change the group’s Opacity to 45%.
- You can then add some text of your choice below the gradient layer. The “Happy Birthday” text here is created using the font Yellowtail, the font size 9 pt, and the color #c57c55.
And your Birthday number candles card is ready! Hope you enjoyed the tutorial as much as I enjoyed writing it, and hope you found it helpful as well.