How to make Days to Night easy in Photoshop | Why not?

It's not easy to find the perfect photo for a photo manipulation we think of. For example, we want to create a night scene, but the current photo is too bright or has been incorrectly corrected. How to do this in this case? You can transform scenes from day to night using the power of Photoshop! In this tutorial, I'll show you how to create bright scenes, how to add stars in the sky, and how to add light sources with effects.

What do you need to prepare?

You can use any image for this practice. If you want you can go directly to the following steps, you can find the same photo I used below:

1. How to choose the sky

  • Open the photo in Photoshop. Select the Magic Wand Tool ( W ) and change the Tolerance to 100 . Warning: tolerance works best with good contrast between the sky and the halls.
  • Use the Magic Wand in the sky.
  • Go to the Quick Mask Mode tool ( Q ) to see a better selection. Select any brush to paint on the non-sky area (paint with black to select them as red).
  • The mountain background is effected by choosing the color of the sky, let's do a part.
  • Exit the Quick Mask Mode tool ( Q ) and go to Select > Refine Edge to make sure the selection is complete. Choose the display mode that allows you to see the best effect.
  • Now check Smart Radius value and increase it. You can also play with other sliders for perfect results. When you're done, click OK .

2. How to make the sky black

  • Go to Window > Adjustments . Choose Hue / Saturation from the panel.
  • Clip the Adjustment Layer to the layer below (the sky). Then change the Lightness to make the sky very dark but not black.
  • Each Adjustment Layer has a Layer Mask .
  • In a nutshell, when you draw a mask, you define the transparency of the layer: black makes the layer transparent, white makes it blurry, and gray in between the sides.
  • Click on the mask to activate it.
  • Take the Gradient Tool ( G ) and click on the gradient in the bar below.
  • Change the gradient to brown - white.
  • Apply the gradient to the mask from top to bottom. This will create a "white" upper part and a "light brown" bottom part (light transparency).
  • Click on the background layer . We need to darken it. In the Adjustments panel , find Photo Filter .
  • Change the color to dark, reduce the blue color.
  • Unmark Preserve Luminosity ...
  • ... and create a strong effect.
  • The sky can use blue! Add a Photo Filter to adjust it, this time lighter, saturated the darker area.
  • Don't forget to click the adjustment to apply the effect to the sky!
  • Usually, the night sky is brighter than the building with no below light, so darken the lower layer some more. Duplicate ( Control-J ) adjust and lower its Opacity to adjust intensity.

3. Create stars

  • Create a New Layer above. Use the Paint Bucket Tool ( G ) with black color. Then go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise . Add maximum black and white noise.
  • Go to Filter > Filter Gallery and choose Sketch > Stamp . Make settings for optimal effect. The sky is not completely bright, so we don't want too many stars.
  • Use the Move Tool ( V ) to move the stars up, in the sky.
  • Right click on the stars layer and choose Blending Options . Drag the upper black marker to the center, to make a dark part of the layer transparent.
  • Add a Layer Mask to this layer. Use a black-white gradient to ensure a low transparency, gradually turning opaque towards the top.

4. How to light up windows

  • Pick some windows in the background - further away from them the coarser one is less perfect. Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool ( L ) to select the squares. Hold down Shift to keep your selections.
  • Click on the background layer and duplicate the selection ( Control-J ). Move the duplicated part up.
  • Right click on the layer and choose Blending Options . Select Color Overlay and change the color to bright orange.
  • Click the Blend Mode and scroll it until you find the effect you like. I decided to go with Hue , adding colors without hiding the details.
  • Check Outer Glow .
  • Change to bright orange.
  • Do the Blend Mode again ...
  • ... and adjust the sliders to the effect you want.
  • The effect should be gentle.

5. How to add a new light source

  • There is something similar to a lantern on the side of one of the buildings. Use it to add interesting light to the scene! Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool ( L ) to select its shape.
  • Click on the background layer , duplicate the selection ( Control-J ), and drag the new layer on top.
  • Right click on the layer and choose Blending Options . Highlight Color Overlay and make it white.
  • Check Outer Glow and pick a bright orange color.
  • Try the settings for the best results.
  • Create a New Layer and drag it below the lantern. Pick a bright orange color and use a soft brush to paint the light around the lantern. You can decrease the Flow to make the brush softer.
  • Go to the Blending Options and drag the bottom black marker to the right to remove the bright orange from the shadows.
  • Hold Alt to separate the markers to create more transitions.
  • Scroll to the Blend Modes of this layer to find the best effect.
  • Add a Layer Mask to this layer and paint shadow on it. No details needed - just make sure the light doesn't reach the blocked parts. Use black to paint gloss and white to remove them, until you are satisfied with the result.
  • Create a New Layer and use a bright orange again.
  • The paint gently highlights some of the building's protruding elements for a 3D feel.
  • Change the Blend Mode and add a Layer Mask to make the effect more subtle.
  • Finally duplicate the light ( Control-J ) and change its color to white.
  • Then remove it from the darker parts, only on the bright elements of the building. They should be more reflective and should not be overly colored.
  • Change the Blend Mode and lower the Opacity to adjust the intensity of this effect.

6. How to add the effect Late Dusk / Early Dawn 

  • Finally let's adjust the brightness of the scene. Go to the top of the layers and add a new Adjustment Layer : Levels .
  • Drag the white spot to the left to increase the shine in the scene.
  • Create a New Layer. Fill it with black, and go to Blending Options and add a Gradient Overlay .
  • Give it the color of the sun.
  • Hold down Control key and click on sky layer to set layout.
  • Click on the gradient layer and add a Layer Mask . The selection will be automatically applied to the mask.
  • Paint on the mask to reveal the mountains in the background.
  • Duplicate the sky ( Control-J ) and drag it upwards. We will add special effects to the clouds.
  • Add Hue / Saturation .
  • Click Adjustment Layer to duplicate the sky, de-storm and make lighter.
  • Add Levels and add contrast to the sky.
  • Select the three layers (sky and adjustment layers ) and Merge them ( Control-E ). Then go to the Blending Options of the new layer and remove it from the light part of the sky using the bottom white marker. Change the Blend Mode to Soft Light and reduce the Opacity .
  • Duplicate (Control-J) the layer and use the Blending Options mode, this time remove it from the dark part of the sky (black marker below). Change the Blend Mode to Soft Light, Opacity to 100%, adjust the layer mask if needed.
  • This last adjustment. Add the Exposure above to work with the overall brightness.
  • I also decided to drag the sky down a bit to change the color gradually (you can do that with a Layer Mask).
  • The background looks too bright, it should be darkened using Hue / Saturation to make adjustments.
  • When finished merge all layers (right click & gt; Flatten image) and go to Noise & gt; Add noise. This will make the bright photo look real.


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