Playing with Photo Manipulation with Photoshop

I came across this photo that I was really impressed with.  It’s of a man dressed as Megamind standing on a city street.  The highlights and shadows on his cape and false cranium looked very painting-like. The background looked almost inconsistent because it was real.  So, I wanted to see what I could do with photo manipulation to improve it.

First, some credits, since this isn’t my photo:

Original photo was by Elemental (who’s okay with me using it)
Costumed Villain played by Kildread
Costume Created by God Save The Queen Fashions

Original Photo:

So, I took this and applied a Photoshop Oil Paint filter to come up with this:

This was pretty good.  The filter simplified the background nicely.  However, this is a picture of a costumed villain.  It didn’t seem right for him to be walking around on the streets in broad daylight.  It would be better as a night scene. I also wanted to put in the invisible car.

How’d I do it?  Well, in the interest of disclosure, I had some instruction from someone called thinwhite_duke over on the LiveJournal community.  Anyway, I used two layers with a copy of the image on both.  I cut out Megamind, the sky, and the red light on the traffic signal.  Then I Adjusted the levels on the layer with the scene to make it dark and night-like.  Surprisingly, the signs magically transformed into neon signs without my actually doing anything.  Then I used variations on both layers to make it bluer.  I added a layer between the two and put a gradiation in for the sky.  And I burned and dodged both the dark scenery layer and the original layer to touch things up.  Then I painted the highlights for the invisible car on another layer.  It was actually very easy.

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