Create a surreal world in Photoshop

In this lesson you will learn how to create conceptually surreal photo manipulation. You will learn the process of creating depth of field with a few tools. You will learn how to combine images so seamlessly that they look like a single image using a brush, an eraser, and several adjustment layers. You will learn how to create chiaroscuro to make the background look organic. You will learn how to use textures and how to breathe life into your image, as well as how to impart shades of gloom and mystery to an image using several adjustment layers and lighting effects.

Final result

Source materials:

STEP 1 – Create a New Document

Create a new document (Ctrl + N) 3500 px in width 3500 px in height and set the background color to white, and the resolution value is 300 pixels / inch.

STEP 2

First, open the desert image in Photoshop. We use the lower part with the desert in our composition, therefore, we will need to move this image to our document.

Click on the image with the desert, then press the M key to activate the tool. Rectangular area (Rectungular marquee tool), and then create a selection around the desert. Press V to activate the tool. Moves (Move Tool). By pressing the selected image of the desert with the left mouse button, move it to our document. Name this layer “earth”.

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 3

Choose a tool Transformation (transform tool) (Ctrl + T), see screenshot below:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Once again, activate the Transform tool, and then right-click on the image, when the context menu appears, select the option Distortion (Distort).

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 4

Next, open the Desert 2 image in Photoshop. We use the image of the sky with clouds in our composition, therefore, we will need to move the upper part of the image to our document:

Click on the image with Desert 2, then press the M key to activate the tool. Rectangular area (Rectungular marquee tool), with this tool, create a selection around the sky. Next, press the V key to activate the tool. Moves (Move Tool). Holding the selected sky image with the left mouse button, move it to our document. Name this layer ‘Sky’:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Next, select the tool Transformation (transform tool) (Ctrl + T) and apply scaling to the image with the sky.

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 5

Choose a tool Brush (brush tool (B), next, apply the following settings for the brush:
Brush size (Brush size): 400px
Rigidity (Hardness): 0%
Opacity (Opacity): 40%
Pressure(Flow): 100%
Colour(Color): # 000000

Set the foreground color to black by pressing the D key.

Next, add a layer mask to the desert layer. This option can be activated through the lower settings panel in the layers palette:

Next, using a black brush, paint over the edge of the image, as shown in the screenshot below:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 6

Next, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), this correction can be activated through the lower settings panel in the layers palette:

Apply the following settings:

Hold Alt + click between two layers (between the sky layer and the adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to create a clipping mask).

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Next, add another adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), this correction can be activated through the lower settings panel in the layers palette:

Apply the following settings:

Hold Alt + click between two layers (between the desert layer and the adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to create a clipping mask).

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 7

Next, add an adjustment layer. Colour (solid color), this correction can be activated through the lower settings panel in the layers palette:

Apply the following settings:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Reduce the opacity of the adjustment layer. Colour (solid color) up to 30% and change the blending mode to An exception (exclusion):

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Next, add an adjustment layer. Photo Filter (photo filter), this correction can be activated through the lower settings panel in the layers palette:

Apply the following settings:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Add a new adjustment layer Gradient Map (gradient map), this correction can be activated through the lower settings panel in the layers palette:

Apply the following type of gradient:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Change the blending mode for this adjustment layer to Glow (luminosity), 100% layer opacity:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Next, add another adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), this correction can be activated through the lower settings panel in the layers palette:

Apply the following settings:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Next, add another adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), this correction can be activated through the lower settings panel in the layers palette:

Apply the following settings:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Next, add another adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), this correction can be activated through the lower settings panel in the layers palette:

Apply the following settings:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 8

Choose a tool Brush (brush tool (B), then apply the following settings for the brush, as shown in the screenshot below:

Settings for the brush:
Brush size (Brush size): 300px
Rigidity (Hardness): 0%
Opacity (Opacity): 45%
Pressure (Flow): 100%
Colour (Color): # 000000

Paint over the areas that are highlighted in the screenshot below:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 9

Create a new layer. Name this layer “Vignette”. Fill the new layer with white #ffffff.

Next, go Filter – Distortion – Distortion Correction (Filer> Distort> lens correction):

When the window opens Correction of Distortion (Lens Correction), apply the following values:

Vignette (Vignette)

Effect (amount): -100

Mid point (Midpoint): +30

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 10

Next, change the blending mode to Multiplication (Multiply), 100% layer opacity:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 11

So, open the image with the Deer in Photoshop. We use the image of the Deer in our composition, therefore, we need to move this image to our document.

Click on the image with the Stag, then press the P key to activate the tool. Pen (pen tool), and then create a selection around the deer. Press V to activate the tool. Moves (Move Tool). Holding the highlighted image of the deer with the left mouse button, move it to our document. Name this layer ‘Deer’:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 12

Next, select the tool Transformation (transform tool) (Ctrl + T) and apply scaling to the image with a deer.

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 13

Next, we will create the shadow of a deer on the ground. Create a new layer, name this layer “deer shadow”.

Choose a tool Pen (pen tool (P) and using this tool, draw a shadow under the deer, as shown in the screenshot below:

Next, go, Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur):

When the settings window of this filter appears, apply the values ​​shown in the screenshot below:

Reduce the opacity of the shadow layer to 70%.

STEP 14

Next, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), this correction can be activated through the lower settings panel in the layers palette:

Apply the following settings:

Hold Alt + click between two layers (between the layer with the deer and the adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to create a clipping mask).

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

So, we need to slightly weaken the effect of the adjustment layer, because it too darkens the image of a deer:

To do this, go to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (curves):

Choose a tool Brush (brush tool (B), next, apply the following settings for the brush:

Brush size (Brush size): 400px
Rigidity (Hardness): 0%
Opacity (Opacity): 40%
Pressure (Flow): 100%
Colour (Color): # 000000

So paint over the layer mask of the adjustment layer with a brush. Curves (curves) on top of the specified area:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Next, add an adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast), this correction can be activated through the lower settings panel in the layers palette:

Apply the following settings:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Next, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), this correction can be activated through the lower settings panel in the layers palette.

When the adjustment layer settings window appears Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), apply the following settings:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 15

Let’s open the image with lichen in Photoshop. Move this image to our document, placing it on top of all layers.

Next, go, Selection – Color Range (Select> Color range).

When the settings window appears Color range (Color range), apply the following settings:

Choose a tool Move (move tool (v) and move the selected image of the lichen to our document. Name this layer “Grass”.

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP sixteen

To the layer with lichen, add a layer mask:

Choose a tool Brush (brush tool (B), next, apply the following settings for the brush:

Brush size (Brush size): 100px
Rigidity(Hardness): 0%
Opacity(Opacity): 40%
Pressure(Flow): 100%
Colour(Color): # 000000

Let’s hide the extra areas with lichen. Paint over the selected area.

Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft light):

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Next, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), this correction can be activated through the lower settings panel in the layers palette:

Apply the following settings:

Hold Alt + click between two layers (between the grass layer and the adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to create a clipping mask).

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 17

Next, let’s open the Vintage Paper Texture in Photoshop. Move this texture to our document.

Press V to activate the tool. Moves (Move Tool). Holding the paper texture with the left mouse button, move it to our document. Name this layer “Texture”.

Change the blending mode for the texture layer to Soft light (Soft light), reduce the opacity of this layer to 65%:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 18

First, open the image with the Little House on the Hill in Photoshop. We use an image with a house in our composition, therefore, we will need to move this image to our document.

Click on the image with the House on the hill, then press the P key to activate the tool. Pen (pen tool), and then create a selection around the house. Press V to activate the tool. Moves (Move Tool). By pressing the selected image of the house with the left mouse button, move it to our document. Name this layer ‘House 1’:

Next, select the tool Transformation (transform tool) (Ctrl + T) and apply scaling to the image with house 1, as shown in the screenshot below:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Next, add a layer mask to the house layer.

Then, select the tool Brush (brush tool (B) and apply the following settings to the brush:

The size brushes(Brush size): 20px
Rigidity(Hardness): 0%
Opacity(Opacity): 70%
Pressure(Flow): 100%
Colour(Color): # 000000

Paint over the specified area with a brush:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 19

Next, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), this correction can be activated through the lower settings panel in the layers palette:

Apply the following settings:

Hold Alt + click between two layers (between the layer with house 1 and the adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to create a clipping mask).

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Next, add an adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / contrast), this correction can be activated through the lower settings panel in the layers palette:

Apply the following settings:

Hold Alt + click between two layers (between the adjustment layer Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / contrast) and adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to create a clipping mask).

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Add more buildings and towers using the same technique.

STEP 20

Next, let’s draw a shadow:

Create a new layer, name this layer “Building Shadow”. Next, select the tool Pen (pen tool) and with the help of this tool create a selection, then, fill the selection with black color.

Come again, Filter – Blur – Blur by Gauss(Filter> Blur> Gaussian blur):

When the settings window of this filter appears. Apply the following value to the blur radius:

Reduce the opacity of the shadow layer to 78%:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 21

Next, select the tool Pen (pen tool (P) and with this tool, draw a curve.

Choose a tool Brush (brush tool (B), next, apply the following settings for the brush:

The size brushes(Brush size): 5px
Rigidity(Hardness): 0%
Opacity(Opacity): 100%
Pressure(Flow): 100%
Colour(Color): # 000000

Then, re-activate the tool. Pen (pen tool (P), then right-click on the created curve and in the window that appears, select the option Run stroke contour(Stock Path):

When the window appears Outline the contour (Stock Path), apply the following settings:

Then, once again right-click on the contour and this time select the option Delete circuit(Delete path):

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

STEP 22

First, open the image with a light bulb in Photoshop. We use an image with a light bulb in our composition, therefore, we will need to move this image to our document.

Click on the image with the light bulb, then press the P key to activate the tool. Pen (pen tool), and then create a selection around the light bulb. Press V to activate the tool. Moves (Move Tool). Holding the highlighted image of the bulb with the left mouse button, move it to our document. Name this layer ‘Light bulb 1’:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Next, select the tool Transformation (transform tool) (Ctrl + T) and apply scaling to the light bulb image, as shown in the screenshot below:

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Next, simply duplicate a layer with a light bulb several times (Ctrl + J).

And we finished the lesson!

Final result

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