Anyway, so I got this idea one day to make a zoo out of pretty much nothing and have these creatures on display, only they're modified humans. The idea was inspired by my favorite artist ever, Salvador Dali, and his "Les Elephantes" painting. (You know, the elephants with the long, skinny legs that will eventually be tattooed onto my side? - TMI, sorry.)
So I started putting it together. There are 25 active Photoshop layers in the final result, (not including the initial modifications to the gazelle herself), 10 to put the gazelle in her surroundings, and 15 for the background. It took me about 6 hours to put together, so if you plan on making something yourself, be prepared to stare at a computer screen for hours on end.
Step 1: The Gazelle
Not only did I have to stretch her legs, but I had to prevent her body from stretching as well, so I selected the bottom half of the photograph to stretch.
*Note: the reason why the top part of the original photo has grey around the edges is because for part of the stretching process, I adjusted the camera distortion in Lightroom before taking it into Photoshop.
I used puppet warp for most of the stretching, but when you puppet warp half the image instead of the whole, the intersection where the two halves meet don't line up anymore. On top of that, the feet distorted, her thighs became thicker and her butt lengthened. Obviously, I didn't want this, so after using puppet warp for a TON of different adjustments, I went back in with liquify and tightened all of those areas as well as her shirt, arms and stomach.
In the last image, you'll notice that I took the time to cut her out and put her on a white background. Why, if I was just going to put her on a different background anyway? Because not only is she easier to select from white, but I could create my own shadows for her legs and flip her around.
Step 2: The Room - Step 1
So I started with the basics. The sky, walls, and floor, using the Vanishing Point filter, (filter > vanishing point). Doesn't look very realistic does it?
Step 3: The Room - Step 2
First I created the tonality, using various curves, vibrance and saturation adjustments. Then while looking at my original photos of my model, (flipped of course), I used the dodge and burn tool to create my shadows and light. On top of that, I also added some more grout to the bottom edge of both sides of the brick so that they looked seamless and blurred the sky a bit so it appeared to be more in the background.
Step 4: Now, the Gazelle
I started with the shadows and lighting adjustments. The are very subtle, but without them, there is a huge difference. Her feet looked like she was kind of floating over the floor rather than standing on it, and the light source on the left wall and floor didn't quite match the direction it was coming from on her face. Again I used dodge and burn to fix these.
From here on, the rest was relatively easy. I adjusted the tonality and colors yet again with even more curves, vibrance and saturation layers, and for the last and final image, I added a texture on top, (an old vintage paper texture, to be exact), which gives "The Gazelle" it's yellowy tones.
All in all, this project was totally worth the time I spent on it, and I look forward to creating the other "creatures" that will live inside my zoo.
I hope this inspires you all to go out and make some art!!