by Mike McNamee Published 01/07/2016
Here then is a possible workflow using only Photoshop.
The start image would ideally be composed and lit to assist in the creationof the final effect. Some of the effects, and especially the off-the-shelf ones can be a little too harsh and lacking in subtlety. A reduction in contrastusing a levels adjustment layer will often provide a better starting point but experimentation and experience are the only way to predict this. Too much contrast in the background is also a problem, it is difficult, for example, to keep things under control if there is a mix of sky and land - you need to darken both so that they will take on the same overall tones from the gradient mapping.
Once the start image is prepared, the colour grading is created by making a new adjustment layer and selecting 'Color Lookup' as the type from the drop down. Then choose OrangeTeal Added Contrast and see how you like the effect. The chances are that you might not, in which case other adjustments will have to be made and this is almost certain to involve lots of masks and adjustment layers (see right)! Don't forget you have the immediate option of trying a lower adjustment layer opacity to quieten down the effect.
The 'hardening' effect may be created by using a High Pass filtration to effectively 'over-sharpen' the image. The basic technique is to make a copy layer (Ctrl J) the go to Filter> Other>High Pass, apply an appropriate level of radius then change the blending mode of the layer to say Soft Light. Now here's the clever bit. If you make the filter into a smart filter you can duplicate the effect a number of times and then go back and adjust the radius of each high pass layer so that it affects different parts of the image structure, say 60 pixels for an overall body-level effect and say 3-4 pixels for bring out grittiness and detail in the skin - the combinations are limitless.
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