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The Stone Heart Photo Manipulation Tutorial
Tutorials Photo Manipulation 58929 Views February 2nd, 2012

Learn how to create this surreal Photo Manipulation for Valentine Day from this easy to follow tutorial. We will create a surreal house shaped as a big stone heart. This tutorial can be made even by Photoshop newbies because you only need some cropping, color adjustments and blending, so it's really a good practice.

I hope you like my new photo manipulation tutorial and decide to give it a try for the upcoming Valentine Day. I would love to see how you've personalized this Photoshop surreal image, so don't hesitate to upload your work on our comments section.


Preview of The Final Image

Before we begin let's take a look at the final image of this Valentine Day Photoshop tutorial.

Add the Landscape stock image and remove the sky area. Use the Smudge Tool and the Clone Stamp Tool to fix some areas and cover them with grass texture. You can always use the Brush Tool with a proper color.

Add the Sky stock image and place it behind the Landscape Layer. Add a Gradient Overlay like in the image:

Create a new layer above and use the Clone Stamp Tool to paint the area where the two images meet and blend them even better. Use a Soft Round Brush and clone the right side area on the left side. Make sure you set Sample All Layers before you begin.

Merge the three layers and change the Brightness and Contrast of the new image.

Copy the Landscape with Trees stock image, crop just two trees and place the on the right side of the image. Set the Blend Mode to Darken 100%; that way the trees will blend perfectly with the rest of the image. Use the Dodge Tool to lighten the trees on the top area. Add a soft shadow below using the Brush Tool.

Add the Crack Ground stock image and set the Blend Mode to Multiply 100%. Make a selection out of the Ground Layer shape. Add a Vector Mask to this layer and add a Black(100%) to Black(0%) transparency gradient using the Gradient Tool. Make sure you add the Gradient while being in the Layer Mask.

Now with a Soft Round Brush and color Black, paint inside the Layer Mask of the Ground Layer to remove the cracks from certain areas like the water surface for example.

Copy the Heart stock image in a new layer and remove the black background. Use the Magic Wand Tool to select the background and also use Refine Edge Option to obtain a smooth cut.

Resize the image and also use the Persective tool to change the heart view point. Place it on the left side of our image like shown below:

Copy the Rock stock image in a new layer and place it so that the rock covers most of the heart area. Select the heart shape and press CTRL+J to make a Layer via Copy.

The next step is to use the Eraser Tool to remove some areas like shown in the image; make sure you use a Hard Round Brush.

Use the Dodge Tool and the Burn Tool to lighten the top areas and to darken the bottom areas of the heart. That way our heart shape will get depth and a 3D look.

Use The Clone Stam Tool to fix some areas that are not looking good such as roots or any other elements that look weird. Open also the Layer Style Window and add Inner Shadow, Inner Glow and Gradient Overlay with the following settings.

After all the previous retouches this how our rock heart should look like:

Looks pretty good, the only thing that needs to be added is a shadow. Select the Heart Shape and create a new layer. Fill the selection with black in the new layer. Call it Shadow. Press CTRl+T to transform the selection anf flip it vertical like shown in the image. Also resize it to 70% on the vertical scale.

To make it look realistic add a Gaussian Blur to the Shadow Layer. Reduce the Fill of this layer to 0%. Add a Gradient Overlay using a transparent Black(100%) to Black(0%) gradient.

The Stone Heart will now look like this. You can use any other shapes instead of the heart shape.

As an alternative to this step of the tutorial, you can use this premade stock images: Stone Heart 1 and Stone Heart 2

Crop the Door from the Door with Balcony stock image. Resize the door and place it above the Stone Heart. Decrease the Brightness and the Saturation of the Door image. And also increase the Contrast to blend it with the Stone Heart.

Now crop a window from the Old House stock image and attach it to the Stone Heart House. You might have to adjust the Brightness and Hue balances.

Crop the horn from the same Old House stock image and attach it to the Stone Heart House. Again, you might have to adjust the Brightness and Hue balances. Use the Brush Tool to add a roof to the horn using the #222323 color.

Create another layer and in this layer use the Brush Tool to paint over the image details like Roots, Grass, Falling Rocks. For the Roots use the Smudge Tool, Strenght 90%, to make it look more real. Make sure you check Sample All Layers.

Add this Birds flying PNG image. Or you can download these Bird Brushes and use them with color #171e14 to add some birds over the trees.

Add a new layer and call it Color Accents. Change the Blend Mode to Color 100% and start painting over the Heart grass area using a soft green color #aad068

Crop the Girl from the Girl stock image and resize it to fit with the rest of the image. Adjust the Brightness and Contrast Balance like shown in the image.

Now add a shadow below the Girl Layer using black a color. Use the Gaussian Blur to soften the shadow.

Copy the Daisy stock image and crop only the flower. Resize it and use the Stamp Clone Tool to multiply the daisy throughout the heart surface. To make it look more realistic select daisy flowers and resize them; being the same size will only make them look unrealistic.

Change the Brightness and Contrast balance and also add a Drop Shadow effect.

Use the Burn Tool and use it to darken the Highlights, so that every daisy to match with the Heart lighting.

Add this Light Beam texture overlay with Screen blend mode. Or you can use these Light Beam Brushes using color white. Set the opacity of the Light Beams Layer to 80%.

Add a Gradient Fill Layer using the colors #dcc423 and #dcb61d for the gradient. Set the Blending Mode of the Gradient layer to Soft Light 100%. It is really important to add a Gradient Fill Layer, that way all the elements of this photo manipulation will have the same color tone, in our case a warm yellow-orange tone.

Press again the Create a New Fill or Adjustment Layer button and add with the following settings.

For the final touches you can use the Dodge/Burn Tools to add even more contrast on targeted areas. The same effect can be achieved if you create a new layer with a Soft Light blending mode and paint with white (for the lighten areas) and with black (for the darken areas). I prefer this second method.

So, here is the final result, hope you like it and decide to make it for this Valentine Day. And don't forget to upload your work!

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42 comment(s) for "The Stone Heart Photo Manipulation Tutorial"

9:48 AM Friday, February 3, 2012
which can be viewed at full size? reply
10:06 AM Friday, February 3, 2012
The images have 630 px wide to fit better with our website template; most of the intermediary images are at full size so that you can see the details.
The original canvas size for this photo manipulation is around 950x950 px, so it's not such a big difference! reply
7:08 AM Thursday, February 9, 2012
the link is broken, please fix it? reply
8:37 AM Thursday, February 9, 2012
It is really nice. However, even just stone heart by itself can be used in many different pieces.
Thanks reply
8:42 AM Thursday, February 9, 2012

I am sorry but it is not my stock image. The author removed this particular image (or moved it) from her deviantart account.

However there are other images in her gallery that can replace that image night-fate-stock gallery but you will have to add a grass texture.

8:49 AM Thursday, February 9, 2012
I am glad you like it Saya, and you are right the Stone Heart can be used in so many other photo manipulations :) by simply changing the landscape and the tone colors! reply
Su Hall
1:02 PM Saturday, February 11, 2012
I was thinking it would go almost anywhere a stone object would go. I'm thinking on it now. This is awesome!
Thank you for sharing this set of V-day tuts! You always have good tutorials, anyway! This one is - magikal! I am going to do this today. If it turns out, I'll post my results.
Thank you!!

Su reply
1:22 PM Saturday, February 11, 2012
Thank you honey,
I am really glad you like my tutorials. If you decide to try this tutorial, please upload your work :) reply
1:31 PM Saturday, February 11, 2012
You're welcome ! reply
6:42 AM Thursday, February 16, 2012
Here you guys have my version, shoot up your critiques! reply
7:19 AM Thursday, February 16, 2012
interesting work, it has a dark side that I really like. You should pay more attention to every little detail.
Keep up the good work! reply
4:09 PM Monday, February 20, 2012
I am really glad you like my tutorials and that you are improving your techniques.
I don't really understand your question ... I guess you saw that I've added a Crack Ground texture with a Multiply blend mode. You decide the depth of the cracks by increasing the Contrast and Opacity of the texture. reply
7:53 AM Wednesday, February 22, 2012
that's what I missed, thanks for your patience I'm going making a new image for a client using skills from your tutorial already! reply
9:18 AM Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Very original idea, I really like it!!! reply
2:16 PM Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Love this tutorial! Thank you!
My one ---> reply
2:33 PM Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Thank you! Your result looks beautiful :) reply
1:23 PM Thursday, April 26, 2012
ok REAL new at this, I've taken the adobe class in a book and all of those lessons turned out good. however i was only working with the images supplied with the course. basically i learned nothing other that a familiarization with a few of the tools. when i start to work on some of these tuts nothing works. how do you get the tree and fenceline out of the very first picture to create the background. nothing i do works. if i manage to get it out then i cant blend the surrounding scene/colors? reply
1:33 PM Thursday, April 26, 2012
I first thought that this is a tutorial for beginners but now I understand that you have to have intermediate Photoshop level skills.
Let's take for example the trees. Make a square selection around the trees and copy them in a new layer and set the Blend Mode to Darken (with the Eraser Tool delete the areas that do not blend with the image)
As for the color of the trees you have to adjust :
1. Hue/Saturation - reduce the saturation a little
2. Color Balance - reduce the red, increase the blue
3. Brightness/Contrast - increase the contrast a little

With this 3 simple steps you can adjust the color, saturation, contrast and brightness of any cropped image and blend it with the rest!
Hope it helps...good luck with Photoshop!
9:47 AM Monday, May 7, 2012
Thanks :) reply
5:59 AM Saturday, May 12, 2012
Thank you so much for this !
This is my modest picture with a little girl of Mark Ridden !

6:02 AM Saturday, May 12, 2012
It looks so cute, I love your result :) Keep up the good work! reply
5:47 AM Sunday, June 17, 2012
Absolutely love this tutorial, thank you for sharing :)

I also did a variation here

Thank you :) reply
5:53 AM Sunday, June 17, 2012
I am glad you like my tutorial. All your works look great but my favorite is the one with the cat :) really unique! reply
11:56 PM Tuesday, June 19, 2012
i put your tutorial in here...

thanks for sharing, pal ;) reply
4:14 AM Wednesday, July 18, 2012
I had great fun with this tutorial, keep up the good work:)) reply
4:17 AM Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Wonderfull design :D reply
8:46 AM Monday, September 10, 2012
lol I was looking through all the comments posted on my stock resources (eliskan-stock, I provided the heart stock) and kept getting pictures of a mossy heart house. lol now I know where it came from!

Nice tutorial. reply
8:46 AM Monday, September 10, 2012
:) I am glad you like it, thank you for the stock image, as you see it helped me create this popular heart shaped house ! reply
12:40 AM Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thanks you! reply
Dynamic Brushes
Dynamic Brushes
1:56 PM Sunday, January 13, 2013
This tutorial is really inspirational. Fabulous imaginative ideas with excellent combination of elements and sublime color toning. reply
5:35 AM Thursday, January 17, 2013
Another cool Surreal Puzzle House photo manipulation made by reply
5:14 AM Sunday, January 12, 2014
Here's my version,fun tutorial :) Thanks :) reply
2:26 AM Sunday, May 11, 2014
Thanks for the great tutorial. It has been much fun for me and a lot of ideas reply
2:28 AM Sunday, May 11, 2014
Beautiful photo manipulation, I love it! reply
10:45 AM Wednesday, June 11, 2014
I liked doing this tutorial..
Any suggestions on my image? reply
10:50 AM Wednesday, June 11, 2014
I like your photo manipulation. The idea with the bride and groom is awesome! reply
11:53 AM Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Perfect, always wanted to learn how to do these kind of images, thought they were really advanced but with your help I've got me some new skils :)

In the 5th from last picture the ground on the right side is grassy, but in the 4th from last picture the ground on the right side is much more cracked. Maybe I'm missing something but I can't find how you got those cracks, I really want to recreate wat you did and that detail is staying in my mind, thanks! reply
5:44 AM Saturday, January 31, 2015
Ha sido divertido seguir este tutorial, gracias ! reply
2:25 AM Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Here is mine. Thanks for this tutorial ;) reply
2:25 AM Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Thanks ;) reply
8:21 AM Wednesday, September 9, 2015
This is a really lovely tutorial and very easy to follow. Thanks for sharing it with us! reply
2:32 PM Monday, January 25, 2016
Using a Gradient Map with bloody red color tones and my free dispersion Photoshop action, you can totally transform this image using : reply

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