Photoshop Tricks: how to change day into night

    Photoshop Tricks: how to change day into night

    From turning portraits into zombie photos and making dogs smoke cigars, there are plenty of Photoshop tricks with which you can amuse yourself and others. But did you know you can change the time of day in which your photos were taken?

    Read on to find out how to create a nocturnal effect, and then enhance your night-time illusion by adding a realistic moon!

    By shooting a rural scene during the day and processing the shot in Photoshop later you can avoid the constraints of trying to capture a decent photograph at night. It’s really easy to adjust a daylight shot’s colours and tones to make it look as if it was captured at night.

    Thanks to creative plug-ins, such as Flaming Pear’s LunarCell, you can create a computer-generated moon with ease and place it wherever you like to improve a composition. We’ll even show you how to place a rippling reflection in the lake to create a romantic moonlit scene, without spending long cold nights on location!

    Photoshop Tricks: how to change day into night
    Step 1
    Create a colour layer 
First, open the image file. In the Layers palette, click on the Create Adjustment Layer icon and choose Solid Colour. The Pick a Solid Colour window will open. Choose a dark twilight blue. Alternatively, type a value of 51 into the B (Blue) channel to choose the same colour we used in the main image, left.

    Photoshop Tricks: how to change day into night
    Step 2
    Lights out! 
Click OK to create the nocturnal blue Colour Fill Adjustment Layer. To mix the dark blue colour with the landscape’s colours, set the Colour Fill Adjustment Layer’s Blending Mode to Multiply. This will turn the mountains into striking silhouettes, producing the type of image that you might capture when shooting a landscape at night.

    Photoshop Tricks: how to change day into night
    Step 3
    Restore detail 
Because you’re simulating a moonlit scene you’ll need to add a hint of colour to the mountains and restore some of the landscape’s hidden detail. You can fine-tune the level of darkness to reveal as much detail as you see fit. Reduce the Opacity to 70% and more of the landscape’s colours and textures will become visible. Save the image as a .PSD and quit Photoshop.

    Photoshop Tricks: how to change day into night
    Step 4
    Perfect plug-ins 
To create a moon for your nocturnal scene, go to www.flamingpear.com and click on the Downloads link to download a free trial of the LunarCell plug-in. Unzip the downloaded folder and you’ll find a file called LunarCell-175. Go to the Program Files>Adobe>PhotoshopElements>Plug-Ins folder before dragging the LunarCell-175 plug-in file into the Filters folder inside the Plug-Ins folder.

    Photoshop Tricks: how to change day into night
    Step 5
    Plug and play 
Now restart Photoshop and open your layered daynight_start.psd document to begin playing with the plug-in. In the Layers palette, click on the Create A New Layer icon. Place the transparent layer above the Colour Fill Adjustment Layer by dragging it upwards in the layer stack. Now go to Filter>Flaming Pear>LunarCell and the LunarCell interface will open.

    Photoshop Tricks: how to change day into night
    Step 6
    Clever compositing 
By default, LunarCell generates an Earth-like planet (click on Reset Factory Settings if needed), but you can use the sliders to terraform the planet into a moon. To make the planet’s background transparent, choose Composite from the Map mode’s drop-down menu. This enables you to scale and move the moon to a more suitable size and location later.

    Photoshop Tricks: how to change day into night
    Step 7
    Make a moon 
In the Planet section of the LunarCell interface tick the Real Luna box to override the Planet sliders and create a photorealistic moon. Tick the Lunar Climate box, too. Drag the three Climate sliders to 0. In the Air section, set Depth to 1, Brightness to 100 and Sunset to 0. Drag all the Clouds sliders to 0.

    Photoshop Tricks: how to change day into night
    Step 8
    Lighting 
For a more suitable colour, click the blue colour swatch in the Planet section. Choose a white colour and click OK. Click on the light blue colour swatch in the Air section and change that to white, too. To change the moon’s shadow, drag the trackball to re-position the light source. You can make your moon wax or wane. Click OK to render the result.

    Photoshop Tricks: how to change day into night
    Step 9
    Scale the moon 
Press Ctrl+T to activate the Free Transform tool and tick the Constrain Proportions box in the Options bar. Next, click and drag the Transform tool’s corner handle to scale the moon down to a more realistic size. You can now drag it into position in the night sky and then hit the Return key.

    Photoshop Tricks: how to change day into night
    Step 10
    Blend it 
Set the moon layer’s Blending Mode to Lighten and reduce its Opacity to 58%. To darken the sky above the moon, set the Foreground colour to a dark blue. Grab the Gradient tool, click on the Gradient editor and choose Foreground to Transparent. Hit OK. Click on the Linear Gradient icon and drag the mouse down from the top of the image to create a gradient.

    Photoshop Tricks: how to change day into night
    Step 11
    Create a reflection 
Drag the Moon layer onto the Create A New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to duplicate it. Target the Moon copy layer. Go to Image>Rotate>FlipLayerVertical to create mirror image of the moon. Press the V key to activate the Move tool and drag the moon’s reflection down into the water.

    Photoshop Tricks: how to change day into night
    Step 12
    Finishing touches 
Finally, target the moon reflection layer and go to Filter>Distort>Ripple. Set Amount to 136% and Size to Small. Click OK to break up the edge of the reflction and then fake the effect of water ripples distorting the reflection. Reduce the Opacity of the moon reflection layer to 31%. And that’s it.

    This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 at 5:18 pm and is filed under Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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    | Tutorials | 15/02/2012 17:18pm
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