Create a Textured Bird with Smoke in Photoshop

First up let’s make a document to work on. I like to use a nice big size with plenty of resolution to work with so it makes it easier to scale later on. However your welcome to use any size you see fit or that runs best on your computer.

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Step 2

For the base of our background make a new layer (Shift+Control+N on pc) and used a green gradient. From light (#14dc02) in the center to dark (#008325) on the edges. This might seem subtle now but it will help us later on when we use textures to give focus to the subject without being overwhelming.

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Step 3

Lets go ahead and bring in the first of our background textures, the concrete. I like to keep mine as smart objects so they can scale down and back up without loosing resolution in case you change your mind. For this we can set the blending mode to Soft Light and opacity to 27%. Below you can see that we’ll want to position it in the center so it covers the whole image.

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Step 4

We’re going to do the same for the next two textures, make sure the cover the whole image setting their blending mode and opacity accordingly. Experiment a little here and find what looks good for you by rotating though different options at different opacities. Remember though this is the background, we want it to enhance our image and provide interest without overwhelming the focus of our piece. I also used a black and white filter (Adjustments > Black and White) on Auto to tone it down just a little bit. After your happy with your background its good to group it all together, select the all the layers you want grouped using SHIFT and clicking the ones you want and clicking CONTROL+G or going to Layer > Group Layers. You can even color code a group as you would a layer by right clicking on it and selecting a color at the bottom.

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