Hey, have you lost your fairy-tale coach, Cinderella?
Learn how to create a magical deserted scene, inspired by the classic Disney movie, Cinderella. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use 3D renders and beautiful photography to create a dramatic manipulation.
Get awesome 3D objects and more for your projects on Envato Elements.
The following assets were used in the production of this tutorial:
- Red Forest
- Stone Road
- Flower Bouquet
- Pumpkin Coach
- Pumpkin #1
- Pumpkin #2
- Lens Flare & Stars Photoshop Brushes
I was originally inspired by this lovely Red Forest picture. The beautiful colors and moody atmosphere are just what I need for a deserted, fairy-tale composition—a composition that feels as if Cinderella left only moments ago.
To begin, I gathered references from Pinterest and Google. These references helped me match the stock images I gathered later for my magical theme. Want to see what inspired this specific scene? Check out my Pinterest board of Tutorial Inspiration for a better glimpse into this process!
Here are a few of the images I’ll use for this manipulation:
1. How to Download and Use 3D Renders
Now that I have an Envato Elements account, I have been obsessed with the 3D section! So for this tutorial, we’ll need three 3D renders to help us complete the scene.
Once your account is set up, you can view and download any render available.
Let’s start with the pumpkin coach. Click View 360 Render to load the object.
Drag the coach to Rotate it to the position and angle that you prefer.
Since the forest picture is pretty level, I’ll go with this standard view. Now Download this pumpkin coach angle. You’ll be able to open it just like any other isolated object with a transparent background.
You can build an entire scene from scratch with 3D renders, but keep in mind that it is time-consuming! A nice mix of imagery and 3D will do just the trick for this manipulation.
2. How to Set Up the Background and Road
With all the resources downloaded, begin creating your manipulation.
Create a New Document in Photoshop at 2500 x 1588 pixels and 300 dpi.
Copy and Paste the Red Forest image onto the canvas, resizing it with the Free Transform Tool (Control-T).
Now go to Filter > Liquify.
Use the Forward Warp Tool (W) to push the tree branches that are hanging over the man upward. Try to make them more symmetrical and arc-like.
Here’s the result.
Grab the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) and create a selection of the left trees. Hold Control-J to create a duplicate on a New Layer. With the copy selected, go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.
Now position the flipped trees on the right side of the man to create more balance. It’s okay to leave some of the rock wall showing underneath.
Diffuse any harsh edges with the Eraser Tool (E), at 0% Hardness and 20-50% Opacity.
Before we move on, brighten up the road and mysterious background. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves.
Create a high Curve for the RGB Channel. This will brighten up the scene. Then hit OK.
Select the Curves Layer Mask and paint a black arc towards the top of the mask. Concentrate the brightness towards the center of the composition. Lower the Opacity to 35%.
Let’s fix the road. We need to make it wider in order to fit the carriage and pumpkins.
Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to make a selection of the bottom road. Then hold Control-J to Duplicate the selection, creating a new copy you can now resize.
Free Transform (Control-T) the new road layer, stretching it wide to make the road wider.
Let’s add some stones! Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to make a selection of the road portion of this Stone Road image. Copy and Paste the selection onto your canvas.
Duplicate (Control-J) the layer. Position both pieces side by side to fill up the new road.
Merge the copies together, renaming the result “Stone.” Set the Layer Blend Mode to Difference and use a Layer Mask to diffuse the edges of the road.
Adjust the color of the stone road.
With the stone layer selected, go to Image > Adjustments > Hue & Saturation.
Add the following settings to match the color of the road from the red forest.
- Hue: -19
- Saturation: -71
- Lightness: -16
Let’s remove the man from the road. Create a New Layer and use the Brush Tool (B) to paint over the man with a light cream color
#e1dbd0 at 0% Hardness and 40-60% Opacity.
(Don’t worry that it’s a little off; we’ll be adjusting the colors later.)
3. How to Add the Coach and Pumpkins
Open the pumpkin coach at the angle you downloaded.
Control-A to Select All, and then Copy and Paste it onto a New Layer above the rest. Free Transform (Control-T) the coach, making it smaller to fit onto the road.
Use the Paint Bucket Tool (G) to Fill a New Layer above the coach with a dark gray color
#3a393b. Set the Layer Blend Mode to Lighten and the Opacity to 30%.
Create several copies of the same two pumpkins. Adjust the height or width of each pumpkin using the Free Transform Tool (Control-T). Use the same tool if you need to rotate them, or to change the angle or perspective.
Make a selection of the Flower Bouquet and Copy and Paste it onto the canvas twice, adding one bouquet to each of the left and right pumpkin groups. Soften the edges with the Eraser Tool (E).
Add one more flower bouquet to the top of the pumpkin coach. Lower the Opacity to 78%.
4. How to Adjust the Colors With Filters
Now that we have all of our magical elements in place, we can adjust the colors for more drama and realism.
At the top of your Layers panel, add a New Adjustment Layer of Color Lookup.
Set the 3DLUT File to FoggyNight.3DL. Then lower the layer’s Opacity to 87%.
Already, it looks cool!
Above that layer, add a New Adjustment Layer of Curves. Adjust the curves for the RGB and Blue Channels like the ones below:
Above that layer, add a New Adjustment Layer of Gradient Map. Make sure it’s set to a Linear Gradient transitioning from red
#431704 to blue
Then set the Layer Blend Mode to Hue and lower the Opacity to 35%.
Add one last Adjustment Layer of Color Lookup. Set the 3DLUT File to Filmstock_50.3dl. Then lower the Opacity to 45%.
(Here is a snapshot of the adjustment layers as they appear in the panel.)
5. How to Fix the Lighting
Notice how the 3D objects stand out?
We’ve got to change that!
Create a New Layer and set it as a Clipping Mask to your pumpkin coach. This will be the shadow layer.
Use the Paint Bucket Tool (G) to Fill the layer with dark gray
#3a393b and then lower the Opacity to 59%. Use the Eraser Tool (E) at 0% Hardness and 20-40% Opacity to diffuse the shadow on the coach. Pay attention to the light source to know where to erase.
If you took too much away, just paint more shadow back in using the same gray color.
Now for the pumpkins.
By now, I’ve already made two sets of Merged layers: one for the pumpkins and flowers on the left side, and one merged layer for all the elements on the right. This helps with file size and more.
To adjust the lighting on the right side, clip a New Adjustment Layer of Levels to that merged layer with the following settings for the RGB Channel:
- 58, 1.14, 242
- Output Levels: 0, 126
Do the same for the left side. Use the same settings as before.
Now we’re going to add some character to each pumpkin set!
For each set:
- Clip a New Layer to the pumpkin layer and set it to Multiply.
- Use a dark gray color
#171718to paint shadow onto the pumpkins and flowers.
- Start with a Soft Round Brush (0% Hardness, Low Opacity), and then increase the Brush Hardness to 50-100% to define the pumpkin lines. Add shadow and accents to the road for more detail.
Here is the evolution of the left side.
With the same concept in mind, do the same for the right side.
Remember to paint shadow on the top bouquet. Feel free to also add shadow underneath the coach for more realism.
6. How to Finish the Manipulation
Time for highlights and final adjustments!
At the top of your Layers panel, create a New Layer dedicated to highlights (this step works best if you have a pen tablet).
Using a Hard Round Brush with Pressure Opacity Checked, paint white highlights on the pumpkins, flowers, and coach. Diffuse the intensity using the Eraser Tool (E) at 10-30% Opacity.
Now set a New Layer to Overlay.
Using a light cream color
#e7e2d8, paint golden highlights around the scene. Paint with a Soft Round Brush first, and then increase the Brush Hardness for more details.
Continue adding more layers of highlight set to Overlay. Study the original forest reference as well as other photos to understand realistic lighting.
To switch up the momentum, let’s finish the color arrangement! We’ll need three more New Adjustment Layers for this.
Start with Brightness and Contrast:
- Brightness: 11
- Contrast: 17
Then add a New Adjustment Layer of Color Lookup. Set the 3DLUT File to LateSunset.3DL. Lower the Opacity to 20%.
Then finish with Color Balance with the following settings for the Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights.
Here’s the pretty result!
Let’s get magical!
Download this Lens Flare & Stars Brush Set and load it into your brushes. Continue painting new layers of highlights and shine—just make sure that they’re underneath the previous adjustment layers for a rose gold effect.
Use the 1267 Brush to paint several spots of twinkling shine.
Make the coach shine even more! Experiment with different brushes for more intensity! Use a Hard Round Brush to paint tiny magical dots all over the ground and coach.
Paint some bright rays of sunshine for more drama. Start by drawing a simple line first, and then use the Eraser Tool (E) to diffuse the edges.
Keep pushing it!
Paint clean highlights onto the pumpkin coach using a Hard Round Brush. Diffuse the edges with the Eraser Tool (E). Just make sure that the light corresponds to the light source and you’ll do great!
The last step is adding glow to the pumpkin coach.
Right-click the pumpkin coach layer and go to Blending Options. Create an Outer Glow with the following settings:
Check out the final result below!
Check out this larger version to see the details up close!
It really seems like you can make anything with 3D renders. And I hope this tutorial inspires you to try them out someday!
Feel free to leave your questions, comments, and results below. And for more fun photo manipulations, check out these tutorials: