Photoshop Tutorial: Surreal Glass Sphere Floating Within a Landscape

Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe Photoshop Today I'm going to show you a few simple steps to create a surreal glass sphere floating within a photograph

This cool effect is perfect for creating interesting album covers, or just to transform your landscape photos into abstract art pieces All it takes is a few relatively simple Photoshop tools, a couple of filters, and a touch of shading, making it a pretty easy effect you can create in minutes But first, if you want access to a library of design resources to use within your projects, check out Envato Elements To begin you first need a photograph to place the abstract sphere within Landscape images work best, but any kind of environment would work I'm using this free image of a Road Between Mountains from Pexels Go to the View menu and make sure you have Rulers enabled, as well as the Snap setting Drag horizontal and vertical guides and place them in the centre of the canvas

Add a new layer, then select the Elliptical Marquee tool Hold the ALT key and drag out a circular selection from the centre of the image Scale it to the desired size of your sphere Use the ALT+Backspace shortcut to fill this selection with black, which should be the default foreground colour Go to Select > Deselect, or use the shortcut CMD (or CTRL on Windows) + D

Select and drag the Background layer onto the new layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to make a copy Drag this copy to the top of the layer stack, above the black circle layer Go to Filter > Distort > Spherize and max out the Amount to 100% You can run this filter again for an even more spherical appearance, but any more and the quality starts to degrade Use the CMD+T shortcut for Transform, then scale this layer down to the same size as the black circle layer You will need to scale non-proportionally to make it fit exactly Since the function of the ALT key was swapped around in a recent Photoshop update you may or may not have to hold it depending on your preferences settings

The snap option makes it easy to line everything up Hit the Enter key when you're done Hold the CMD key, then click on the layer thumbnail of the black circle layer to load its selection Activate the Background copy layer, then add a Layer Mask, which will trim away the square corners Turn off the visibility of the black circle layer to eliminate the thin black halo around the circle

Click the layer thumbnail of the Background copy layer to activate the artwork, not the layer mask We need to add a Twirl effect, but first make sure you load the selection of the black circle again, otherwise the artwork will become distorted Although this could be desirable if you want to go for more of amorphous shape With the selection active, the Filter > Distort > Twirl effect keeps the sphere perfectly circular Add around 50% twirliness to distort the image slightly

Use the CMD+; shortcut to turn off the visibility of the guides to better see the effect Add a new layer, then select the brush tool Set up a soft tip with zero hardness CMD+Click the black circle to load the selection again, then paint with black on one side of your sphere shape to add some shading Use the X key to swap the foreground and background colours around to paint with white, then add some highlights around the edge on the opposite side

Change the blending mode of this layer to Soft Light, then reduce the opacity to around 40% Double click the main sphere layer and add an Inner Glow layer style Change the settings to White, with the Overlay blending mode Reduce the Choke to zero, then change the Size slider to find a suitable value that smoothly fades into the sphere Reduce the opacity to around 30%

Activate the top layer in the Layers panel, then add a new layer above it Paint some basic highlight shapes within the sphere area, then change the blending mode to Overlay Reduce the opacity to around 50% Add another new layer, then use the X key to swap the foreground colour back to black Place a single spot of black on the canvas, then press CMD+T to Transform

Squash and extend this shape to form a shadow that can be placed underneath the sphere to make it seem like it's floating in mid-air Change the blending mode to Linear Burn, then reduce the Fill value to allow the colours to interact with the background to create a slightly more realistic shadow effect The final result is a surreal glass sphere effect that turns any photograph into an abstract art piece As a finishing touch, you could also flip the sphere vertically to mimic the kind of refraction that is captured with real crystal ball photography So I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, if you did, or if you learnt any new tricks be sure to give the video a thumbs up

Subscribe to the channel to stick around for more of my content, and head over to my Spoon Graphics website to download all my free design resources Thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one

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