How to Create a Fun Giant Dog Photo Manipulation in Photoshop (2023)

What if dogs were as big as houses? You don't need to wonder any longer, because we can bring this vision to life with the magic of Photoshop! Let's take our Godzilla-dog for a walk in the city and see what happens. I promise that no animals will be harmed in the process!

What You Will Need

You will need the following resources in order to complete this project:

1. How to Prepare Photos for Photo Manipulation

Step 1

Open Dog in water 1. Use any selection tool to select the head and the stick. I used the Pen Tool (P) here.

  • Photoshop in 60 Seconds: Getting a Grip on the Pen ToolKirk Nelson03 Nov 2015
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Step 2

Go to Select > Refine Edge. Check Smart Radius and drag theRadius a little to make the edges smoother. You can also "paint" directly on the edge to exclude the small areas between the hair from the selection. When you're done, change Output to New Layer and press OK.

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Step 3

Open Dog in water 2. Select it the same way, just without the head—we're going to use the head of the other dog in its place.

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Step 4

Show the original layer again and this time select the splash of water. You can use the Lasso Tool (L) to make the selection organic.

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Step 5

Let's remove the background from the water. Go to Select > Color Range and click the blue behind the water. Adjust theFuzziness until the image below shows mostly the outline of the drops.

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Step 6

Press Delete or Backspace to remove the selection. Then Deselect (Control-D).

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2. How to Combine Photos Into One Scene

Step 1

Open the photo of a city. Copy and paste the dog's body and the water into this file. Resize them together (Control-T) and put them in the right place. The water should be on a layer below the body.

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Step 2

Copy and paste the head of the other dog. Resize it and attach it to the body. This trick is useful when your subject has the pose you need, but the wrong facial expression.

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Step 3

Click the layer with the body and add an Exposure adjustment.

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Clip it (Control-Alt-G) to affect only the layer below. Then increase theExposure to make the body as bright as the head.

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Step 4

Lower the Opacity to make the effect subtler.

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Step 5

Click the mask of this adjustment. Paint on the dog's body with a soft black brush to "paint the shadows" (to remove the effect of the adjustment).

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Step 6

Let's add some dynamism to the photo. Select the layer again (not the mask) and go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur. Adjust the Angle and the Distance to create an illusion of motion.

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Step 7

Click the layer with the water now. Add some blur to it as well.

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Step 8

If you want to blur a part of the layer at a different angle, you must select it first. Go intoQuick Mask Mode (Q).

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Use the soft black brush to "paint" the area that you want to edit. Then go out of the mode (Q), invert the selection (Control-Shift-I), and hide the selection (Control-H).

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Step 10

Add Motion Blur to this selection. Don't forget to Deselect (Control-D) when you're done.

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Step 11

The dog is very dynamic now, but the rest of the photo isn't. The boats look very static, and they break the illusion. Let's fix it! Select the boat on the right as precisely as possible. Duplicate the selected area (Control-J) and hide the copy.

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Step 12

Hold Control and click the thumbnail of the copy to take its selection. Then select the background layer and go to Edit > Fill > Content Aware.

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The boat will disappear!

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Step 13

This tool isn't perfect, so you may need to use it a few times on the problematic areas to clean them.

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Step 14

Remove the other boat the same way.

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Step 15

The water looks way too still as well. Select the background layer and go to Filter > Liquify. Use the Forward Warp Tool (W) to pile up the water right under the dog. To see the dog, check Show Backdrop, but it may make it harder to see the changes. When you're done, press OK.

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Step 16

Tilt both boats (Control-T) to give an illusion of them being pushed by the sudden wave.

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Step 17

To blend the object better with the water, you can use a Layer Mask. It's a mask that you can paint on to make parts of the layer transparent. You can learn about Layer Masks here:

  • How to Use Layer Masks in PhotoshopLaura Keung04 Mar 2019
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3. How to Change the Colors in the Photo

Step 1

In the photo we used as a background, the city is the subject, so everything is equally sharp. But in our photo manipulation the dog is the subject, so we want to add some blur to put the focus on it. Click the background and paint inQuick Mask Mode (Q) to select most of the background.

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Step 2

Go to Filter > Blur > Lens Blur and adjust theRadius to add some blur. Check More Accurate to better see the changes.

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Step 3

Deselect and repeat, this time selecting a smaller portion of the background, deeper in the back.

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Use stronger blur as well.

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Step 4

Without deselecting, add a Hue/Saturation adjustment.

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Increasethe Lightness to add some aerial perspective. This will make the dog pop!

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Step 5

Add aColor Balance adjustment. Hold theAlt key and drag the mask from the previous adjustment to the new one to copy it.

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Change the colors to make them more bluish to increase the effect of an aerial perspective.

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Step 6

It's almost done, but let's add a few little fixes. Add Motion Blur to both boats (separately) to make them even less static than before.

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Step 7

Add a Color Balance adjustment to the water under the dog. Clip it (Control-Alt-G). Adjust the colors to make the water more like the river—greenish, not blue.

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Step 8

The colors from the environment should be reflected on the dog's body. Create a New Layer over it and clip it (Control-Alt-G). Use the Eyedropper Tool (I) to pick the colors from the environment and paint them onto the body.

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Step 9

Change the Blend Mode of this layer to Color and lower the Opacity to make the effect subtler.

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Step 10

Do the same with the head.

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Step 11

Paint some extra reflections on another layer. Paint them on the side of the head and under the stick.

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Lower the Opacity to make the effect more natural.

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Step 12

The dog's body is still a little too contrasting. Click its layer and add aBrightness/Contrast adjustment.

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Change the settings to make the shadows brighter.

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Step 13

The head seems sharper than the rest of the scene. Click its layer and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Add a little blur, just enough to lose some of the details.

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Step 14

We can make the shadows bluer, as well. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment to the head. Clip it, check Colorize, and turn the head light blue.

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Step 15

Paint on the mask to keep the effect only in the shadows.

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Step 16

Do the same with the body. You can simply copy the adjustment and clip it to the other layer.

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Step 17

The other boat still seemed too static, so I tilted it some more.

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Step 18

Let's push the aerial perspective even further. Go to the background layer and useQuick Mask Mode (Q) to select the whole background.

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Step 19

Add a colorizing Hue/Saturation adjustment, just like the one on the head and body.

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Step 20

Lower the Opacity for a subtler effect.

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Step 21

There are still paws on the water layer, and a part of them stays visible. Use the Liquify filter to push them up a little.

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Step 22

Finally, use the Liquify filter to create a "dent" in the water under the boats. You can also add an Exposure adjustment on top and increase theOffset to unify the contrast in the whole scene.

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Good Job!

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