Ever wanted to turn one of your friends into an action hero? Yes! Well, Let me show you how I turned my buddy Graham into a man of action haha.First you need a cool looking outfit fit for an action star. I have a few s.w.a.t items of clothing I’ve used in various shoots so naturally, these would work for the image I’m going for. We got Graham into his gear and off to war we went.
Once the images were in Photoshop, I selected my favorite pose and then decided to use some moody clouds as a background.
I cut out my model using the pen tool and pulled him into the layers palette.
I then created a curves adjustment layer pulling up the highlights. I wanted a little more rim light around the model. I added a layer mask, inverted it and then with a brush painted in some more rim around the model.
I decided I would like to see a little more detail in the costume, so with a curves adjustment layer, I pulled up the lights, then again with an inverted layer mask painted in where I wanted the detail to show.
You cant have a cool looking action hero without a swarm of debris flying in the air behind them…..just check out the gazillion movie posters that confirm this. To create this effect, find an image with various debris, and with the pen tool and start randomly cutting bits from around the image. Once you have cut out a good mixture bring them into the image behind the model. All you have to do then is give them some motion blur so it looks like they are flying into the shot.
Next up its time for my favourite technique, dodge and burn! I basically dodged and burned the facial features and the details of the outfit. The more you dodge and burn, the more painterly the image will feel.
Looking at the image I thought for depth and reality it would be good to get some debris in the foreground too. Basically, all I did was duplicate the background debris and bring about my model layer which brought it to the foreground. I then moved it around to a different position and resized it.
Colour wise the image needed to have a gritty feel so I thought adding some blues in with a gradient map would do the trick. And also give the image a bit of a desaturated feel.
There’s no point having flying debris without having an explosion. Also, the orange of an explosion would add a nice touch of complementary colour with the blues. To create the explosion I found a stock image on Pixabay of an exploding can with a black background. I basically brought it into PS and switched it on to a screen blend mode, which blended the brights of the explosion in nicely with the image.
All that was left now was a few finishing touches. I painted in some light leaks around the model with a brush, set to white on a linear dodge blend mode. I then created a new layer set to soft light and with an orange brush added a colour cast to the right side of the image.
Finally with a vignette to focus the viewers’ eyes, our action hero is born!!!