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In this tutorial, I will show you the processes I used to transform an average forest Photo into a Dark and Crimson Forest Scene, inspired by the Japanese Survival Horror Playstation game “Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly”.

We will explore various layer blending options, an interesting way of rendering light and various image adjustment options.

Here is a preview of the the final result:

Ok let’s get started!

Step 1

Download this image off the net and use it as a starting point of this tutorial.

Load the image into Photoshop and duplicate the background layer. Set the blending option of the duplicated layer to “Hard Light”.

Step 2

Duplicate the background layer again and put this duplicated layer on top of the one in the previous step.

Hit Ctrl + U to bring the Hue and Saturation Image adjustment tool, apply the following settings:

Change the layer blending option to “Soft Light” and keep all other blending options unchanged.

Here is the effect so far:

Step 3

Create a new Hue and Saturation Adjustment Layer (see below for detailed path)

Apply the following Hue and Saturation Settings:

The effect so far will look like this:

Step 4

This is an optional step. Personally I feel the image is a bit saturated and feel a bit hard. So i decided to add some softness to the image and desaturate it a bit.

To desaturate the image, duplicate the “Background Copy 2″ layer, hit Ctrl + Alt + Shift + B to bring up the Black and White image adjustment tool, apply the following settings:

Still on this layer, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply the following settings:

Here is the image so far:

Step 5

Now we can add some butterflies on the image. Create a new layer called “Butterfly” and load the “Special Effect Brushes” brush preset (see image below for details):

Paint some butterfly on the image as shown below (be aware that your result may look slightly different to mine because the brush dynamics).

Hint: User the Eraser Tool with 50% opacity and flow to erase some parts of the butterfly to create some depth. You may also hit Ctrl + T to bring up the free transformation Tool to adjust the shape of the butterfly a bit.

After painting the butterflies, set the layer blending option of this layer to “Color Dodge”:

Step 6

We can add some extra lighting effect to image. To do this, create a new layer called “lighting”, use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to make a selection. Fill the selection with black colour:

Maintain the current selection, go to Filter > Render > Fiber and apply the following setting:

Hit Crtl + T to bring up Free Transformation Tool, rotate the selection as shown below:

Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur and apply the following settings:

After rendering motion blur, change the layer blending option of this layer to “Overlay” and you will have the following image:

Ok let’s it for this tutorial~ You may add some more lighting effect, adjust the colour balance, or test applying some more texture onto it! Always remember not to limit your creativity!

Here is my final image for this tutorial:

If you have any question, simply drop me a line!

Thank you very much and have a nice day!

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