This is my finished piece. When I saw all of the different action figures, I thought of Smash Bros and decided to photoshop a battle scene! I found the background image from Google (source).
I began with He-Man, doing some manual white balancing.
I used the spot healing brush tool to cover up some of the scuffs on his t-shirt logo.
For this I had to get a bit creative. I wanted to make it look like He-Man was surrounded by his tornado attack. I made a copy of the tornado layer, placed it on top of the He-Man layer, and turned the opacity down. I also played around with the gradient overlay settings to change the colour and contrast of my tornado.
Colour correcting this character (I don’t know who this is actually).
I used colour replace to change the yellow paint of the truck to green.
The black details on the truck turned red/orange after the colour replace, so I had to do some white balancing here to darken the black.
Here, I found an image of tire skid marks to add behind the truck. I used the creative commons search again (link). I decided to try making a brush out of it, and had to rotate it a bit. I also added a shadow on the platform underneath the truck after this.
Originally, I had drawn a spiderweb freehand with the brush, but I wanted to add a better looking web. I followed a tutorial online, which involved drawing the web with a brush, using shift + slick to keep the straight lines all connected.
I also added a few blurs such as Gaussian blur, and a texture called craquelure (pictured above).
I have the web transformed and inserted into the picture. I used the selection, copy, paste, and transform tools to make the web strand connected to Spiderman’s hand.
I decided to change my shadows a bit. Instead of drawing the shadows freehand with a low opacity brush, I decided to use the drop shadow tool to create better looking shadows. Depending on the character, I changed the angle and distance. I also changed the blend mode to linear burn because it looked more prominent.
To complete my composition, I added a fourth character, Stay Puft! After white balancing and colour correcting, I decided to give Stay Puft an healing power. Using the pen, I drew a path that would circle around his body. I had a bit of a tough time with this part, where I couldn’t see the results of my fade number.
The final picture again. I added a second brush variant in Stay Puft’s power, blurred it and lowered the opacity to make it look softer. A final touch up and erase of old brush strokes, and we’re done!
I think this picture turned out pretty decent and the bright colours of the toys and the background go well together. To improve this, I would have experimented with the pen tool a little more, and maybe tried out a hand drawn brush for the colour variant in the yellow swirl. I think choosing a graphic background instead of a real photograph as a background made this a bit easy for me, as I didn’t have to change the character’s hue or white balance too much. Maybe next time, to challenge myself, I will use a real photo for the background.