How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

In this tutorial you will learn how to create an amazing, enchanted effect. I will try to explain everything in so much detail that everyone can create it, even those who have just opened Photoshop for the first time.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action
The effect shown above is the one I will show you how to create in this tutorial. If you would like to create the even more advanced effects shown below, using just a single click, then check out my Dust Storm Photoshop Action.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

What You’ll Need

To recreate the design above, you will need the following photo:

1. Let’s Get Started

First, open the photo that you want to work with. To open your photo, go to File > Open, choose your photo, and click Open. Now, before we get started, just check a couple of things:

  1. Your photo should be in RGB Color mode, 8 Bits/Channel. To check this, go to Image > Mode.
  2. For best results, your photo size should be1500–4000 px wide/high. To check this, go to Image > Image Size.
  3. Your photo should be theBackground layer. If it is not, go to Layer > New > Background from Layer.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

2. How to Select the Subject

Step 1

In this section, we are going to make a selection of our subject and copy it to a separate layer. Choose the Quick Selection Tool (W), and select the background of the photo. Use theShift-Altbuttons on your keyboard to add or subtract some areas from the selection. After you’ve made a perfect selection, press Control-Shift-I on your keyboard to invert the selection.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 2

Now press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using the selection and name it Main Subject.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

3. How to Add Lighting

Step 1

In this section, we are going to add a lighting effect. Select the Background layer and go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer. Set the color to #050505 and name it Background Color.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 2

Now go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Gradient to create a new gradient fill layer. Name it Light Source and use the settings below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 3

Set the Opacity of this layer to 90%. Then, Double-click on this layer thumbnail and using the Move Tool (V), click and drag anywhere inside the canvas to position the light source as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 4

Now select the layer mask, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and set the foreground color to #000000. Then brush onto the layer mask as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

4. How to Blend the Subject

Step 1

In this section, we are going to blend the subject. Select the Main Subject layer and change its Blending Mode to Soft Light.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 2

Now press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate this layer and name the new layer Subject Contrast.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 3

Press Control-Shift-U on your keyboard to desaturate this layer and set its Opacity to 58%.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 4

Now press Control-J to duplicate this layer and name the new layer Subject Details.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 5

Change the Opacity of this layer to 100%. Then, go to Filter > Other > High Pass and set the Radius to 35 px as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 6

Now select the Subject Contrast layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate it. Then, drag this new layer to the top of the layers in the Layers panel and name it Subject Sharpening.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 7

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Overlay and Opacity to 100%. Then, go to Filter > Other > High Pass and set the Radius to 2 px as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 8

Now Shift-click on the Main Subject layer to select all subject layers at the same time. Then, go to Layer > New > Group from Layers to create a new group from the selected layers and name it Subject.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 9

Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All to add a blank layer mask. Then choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, set the foreground color to #000000, and brush onto the mask as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 10

Now pick a small soft brush and brush over the edges of the subject where needed to blend the subject more.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

5. How to Create the Textures

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create textures. Go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer and name it Texture_1.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 2

Now press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches and go to Filter > Render > Clouds. Then, press Control-T on your keyboard and set theWidth and Height to 150% as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 3

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Hard Light and set the Opacity to 40%. Then go to Image > Adjustments > Levels and use the settings below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 4

Now go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All to add a layer mask that hides the whole layer. Then, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, set the foreground color to #ffffff, and brush onto the layer mask as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 5

Go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer and name it Texture_2. Then, drag this new layer just below the Texture_1 layer.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 6

Now press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches and go to Filter > Render > Clouds. Then, press Control-T on your keyboard and set theWidth and Height to 200% as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 7

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Overlay and set the Opacity to 25%. Then go to Image > Adjustments > Levels and use the settings below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 8

Now Control-click on the Main Subject layer thumbnail to make a selection of that layer. Then, go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide Selection to add a layer mask that hides the selected area of the layer.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

6. How to Create Dust

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create dust. Select the Texture_1 layer, go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer, and name it Dust_1.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 2

Choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a hard brush, and in the Brush panel enter the settings below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 3

Now set the foreground color to #ffffff and brush over the light source as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 4

Change this layer Blending Mode to Overlay and set the Opacity to 50%. Then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 2 px.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 5

Now select the Texture_1 layer, go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer, and name it Dust_2.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 6

Choose the Brush Tool (B), and brush over the light source again. Use the same brush with the same settings as the previous time.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 7

Now press Control-T on your keyboard and set theWidth and Height of the layer to 210% as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 8

Change the Blending Mode to Overlay and set the Opacity to 50%. Then, using the Move Tool (V), click and drag anywhere inside the canvas to position the layer as you like.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 9

Now go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 7 px as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 10

Select the Dust_1 layer, go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer, and name it Dust_3.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 11

Now set the foreground color to#000000, go to Edit > Fill, and set the Contents to Foreground Color, Mode to Normal, and Opacity to 100% as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 12

Go to Filter > Pixelate > Mezzotint and set theType to Coarse Dots as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 13

Now go to Select > Color Range. Using the Eyedropper Tool, select the white color by clicking on some of the white particles in your photo, and set the Fuzziness to 200. Then, go to Select > Select and Mask and use the settings below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 14

Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection to add a layer mask that reveals the selected area of the layer. Then, Right-click on the layer mask of this layer and choose Apply Layer Mask. After that, press Control-T on your keyboard and set theWidth and Height of the layer to 150% as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 15

Change the Opacity of this layer to 10% and drag this layer just below the Dust_2 layer in the Layers panel.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 16

Now select the Texture_1 layer, go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer, and name it Dust_4.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 17

Set the foreground color to #000000, go to Edit > Fill, and set the Contents to Foreground Color, Mode to Normal, and Opacity to 100% as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 18

Now go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Set the Amount to 2%andDistribution to Uniform, and check theMonochromatic option as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 19

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Screen.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

7. How to Create a Color Look

Step 1

In this section, we are going to add a nice color look to the design. Select the Dust_1 layer, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves to create a new curves adjustment layer, and name it Color_Look_1.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 2

Now Double-click on this layer thumbnail and in the Properties panel use the settings below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 3

Select the Dust_1 layer, go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it Color_Look_2, and set the color to #578cba.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

Step 4

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

8. How to Crop the Image

In this section, we are going to crop the image to cut some empty area of the design. Choose the Crop Tool (C) and transform the Crop Box as shown below:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

You Made It!

Congratulations, you have succeeded! Here is our final result:

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action

If you would like to create the even more advanced effects shown below, using just a single click, then check out my Dust Storm Photoshop Action.

The action works by letting you simply fill in your subject with a color and play the action. The action will do all the work for you, leaving you fully layered results that you can further customize. You can choose from eight different light directions, and a Snow Storm action is also included. The action even creates 50 preset color looks that you can choose from.

It comes with a detailed video tutorial that demonstrates how to use the action and also how to customize the results to get the most out of the effect.

How to Create an Enchanted Photoshop Action