Create a fabulous landscape in Photoshop

In this lesson you will learn how to create a mysterious photo manipulation, which depicts a lonely girl in a fantastic landscape. In this lesson, you will also learn how to create your own fantastic landscape using a combination of different stock images, including techniques for creating photo manipulations, such as combining, lighting, using standard brushes, as well as lightening / darkening techniques and applying textures.

Final result

Source materials:

Step 1

Let’s start preparing the objects for our scene, which we will create. First, we will create a castle. Make sure you have downloaded all the necessary images. Create a new document in Photoshop, 1600 px in width and 1800 px in height. Open the stock image of the castle.

Next, open the stock image of the Tree in Photoshop. Position the image of the castle before the image of the tree. Apply scaling to the size of the tree. To the tree layer, add a layer mask by clicking the button in the bottom toolbar. On the layer mask, hide the extra areas in the image with the tree.

Duplicate the image with the tree (Ctrl + J), slightly reduce the size of the duplicate by placing a duplicate with the image of the tree behind the image of the lock, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 2

Create a new document (Ctrl + N), 1600px in width and 1808px in height.

First, open the stock image of the Green Hills, and then separate the hills from the background. Using tool Magic wand (magic wand tool), highlight the background. After you have created a selection, press the Del key to delete the selected area.

Move the highlighted image from the hills to our new document. Using tool Free transformation (free transform tool (T), apply scaling to the hills in accordance with the size of the document. Next, go Filter – Blur – Blur on the surface (filter> blur> surface blur). Apply the values ​​shown in the screenshot below:

Next, on the layer mask, process the top edge of the hill to make the hill look more natural. For this purpose, use the Spray brush. In the screenshot below, the top edge of the hill that needs to be processed on a layer mask is indicated by a red line (the direction of the red arrows).

Step 3

Next, cut a small part of the hill. Using tool Lasso (lasso tool), select a part of the hill, and then press Ctrl + J to duplicate the selection to a new layer.

Place the layer with the selected part of the hill on top of the original layer with the green hill. Apply scaling, placing this separate part of the hill, as shown in the screenshot below:

On the layer mask of the backup layer, hide the extra areas to combine the selected part of the hill with the original image of the hill:

Step 4

Next, we will add mountains to the background. Open the stock image of the mountain. Press Ctrl + T to activate the tool. Free transformation (free transform tool). Increase the size of the image with the mountains, pulling the anchor point while holding the Shift key to maintain the ratio of the parameters.

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

On a layer mask of a layer with mountains, hide the background with the sky, leaving only the mountains. Click on the layer mask thumbnail to make sure the layer mask is active. Using a black brush, process the entire sky in the background to hide it.

Duplicate the image with the mountain (Ctrl + J), place the duplicate on the opposite side of our document. Slightly resize the image, and also position the image of the mountain so that the mountains do not look the same.

In conclusion, reduce the opacity of each layer with the mountain to 10%.

Step 5

In this step, we will add a cloud texture to the background. Open the stock image. Using tool Rectangular area (rectungular marquee tool), select the clouds in the central part of the image. Next, press the Ctrl + J keys to copy the selection to a new layer.

Move the selected cloud texture to our document. Apply scaling to the texture according to the size of the document.

Step 6

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) on top of the cloud texture layer. Choose a tool Gradient (gradient tool), next, apply a gradient on the new layer. Set the gradient colors as shown in the screenshot below. Fill the new layer with a gradient by clicking at the top of the document and then dragging the gradient down.

Change the blending mode for the gradient layer to Soft light (soft light), layer opacity is 68%.

To the gradient layer, add a layer mask. On the layer mask, hide the center of the gradient, which is highlighted in red, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 7

Open the stock image Sky. Move this image to our document to enhance the texture of the clouds.

Change the blending mode for the sky layer to Lightening (screen), layer opacity 35%.

Step 8

Next, add an image with a lock, which we prepared at the beginning of the lesson, to our document. Apply scaling to the image of the castle, placing it in the center between the two mountains.

Reduce the opacity of the lock layer to 30%.

Step 9

Create a new layer on top of two layers with mountains. Choose a tool Brush (brush tool), then, in the settings, select one of the brushes Moon. Using a white brush, draw the moon on a new layer, about 200 px in size.

On the layer mask of the layer with the Moon, hide the visible part of the Moon located on the castle wall.

Being on the layer with the image of the moon, go Layer – Layer Styles – External Glow (layer> layer style> outer glow):

Step 10

In this step, we will create light highlights on the image of the castle, on which the light from the moon falls. Go to the layer with the lock. Hold down the Ctrl key and hover over the thumbnail of the layer with the lock + left-click on the layer thumbnail to load the lock selection. Once the selection becomes active, press Ctrl + J to duplicate the active selection to the new layer. Convert this duplicate layer to a clipping mask. Fill (Shift + F5) the duplicate layer with 50% gray. Next, select the tool Brush (brush tool), set the soft round brush in white. With the help of this brush, touch the castle with strokes, as shown in the screenshot below.

Next, change the blending mode for the duplicate layer to Overlap (overlay), layer opacity is 100%.

Step 11

Create a new layer. Convert this layer to a clipping mask. Once again, select a soft round brush of white color; the brush opacity is 10-20%. Stroke around the edge of the castle to enhance the light reflections on the edges of the castle. The blue arrows in the screenshot indicate the area where the brush should be applied.

Step 12

In this step, we will create a correction layer, and also add some light highlights to the hills. Go to the layer with the hills, then go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation (layer> new adjustment layers> hue / saturation). Remember to convert this adjustment layer to a clipping mask. Finally, create a new layer on top of the adjustment layer. Also convert this layer to a clipping mask. Add light to the hills as you did in the previous Step 11.

Do the same with the extra part of the hill:

At the moment, the result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 13

The background is almost ready, it remains to add a few locks, located in the distance. For this purpose, we simply duplicate the image with the lock and arrange the duplicate layers at a distance from the image of the original lock. Next, reduce the scale of duplicate layers, and also reduce the opacity of the layers to 10-20%

Step 14

Open the stock image Stone path. Move this image to our document, placing this layer below the hill layers.

Zoom out to the stone walkway. Next, position the image on the right side of the document. Using a layer mask, hide almost the entire image so that only the fence can be seen. You can see the result in the screenshot below:

Duplicate the image with the track, placing the duplicate image where necessary. And just like in the previous step, add additional fences to our scene:

Step 15

In this step, we will add a stone walkway leading to the castle. Duplicate the image with the Stone Walkway, placing the duplicate on top of the hills.

Using a layer mask, hide the extra areas of the image, leaving only the image of the stone walkway. Reduce the opacity of this layer to 50% overlay mode for this layer. Normal (normal).

Step 16

Now, we will prepare the trees that we will add to our scene. We will draw the trees ourselves. First, create a new document (Ctrl + N), 1600px in width and 1800px in height. In order to have an idea of ​​how the tree should look like, we use the stock image of the Tree as a visual sample. Next, setting the brush color # 211e15, draw the same tree as shown in the screenshot below.

Choose a tool Clarifier (dodge tool), set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below:

Using tool Clarifier (dodge tool), create light highlights on the tree, somewhere with the help of strokes, somewhere just by clicking the mouse button.

Add more highlights to where needed:

Continue to create light and shadow. Try to vary the brush size and tool range by switching to shadow – light colors – light (shadow> midtones> highlight). You can also use the tool Dimmer (burn tool) to create shadows on the tree.

Step 17

This tree, which I got:

So open the stock image of the Tree texture. Move this wood texture to our document with a painted tree. Apply scaling to the wood texture (1). Convert the wood texture layer to a clipping mask (2). Finally, change the blending mode for the texture layer to Soft light (soft light), layer opacity is 68%.

Create a new layer, convert this layer to a clipping mask. Choose a soft round brush of white color, the opacity of the brush is 10-20%. Using the strokes, use a brush to brush around the edges of the tree to create light highlights. So, we got a new tree. Select all the layers related to the tree, then press the Ctrl + G keys to group them.

Step 18

Finally, move the group with the tree to our main working paper.

Using the same technique as in the previous step, create another tree. Add this tree to the right of our scene.

Step 19

Using the Tree brush, draw another tree. To do this, download and install the brush tree.

Add more trees to be located in the distance.

Step 20

In this step, we will add hills to the foreground. Go to the layer with the selected image of the hills. Duplicate this layer twice. Next, place duplicate layers on top of the main group of layers with trees. In the screenshot below, you can see where duplicate layers should be located:

Step 21

Now, we will add a model image to our scene. First, open the stock image of the model. Choose a tool Pen (pen tool), using this tool, create a contour around the model image, creating anchor points on the edge of the image (I started to create a contour from the girl’s head). Continue to create the outline until you close it.

Once you have closed the contour, right-click on the document so that the context menu appears, in the menu that appears, select the option To form a selected area (make path selection) to convert the contour to the active selection. Press Shift + Ctrl + I to invert the active selection, then press the Del key to remove the background.

Step 22

Apply scaling to the model image according to the document size:

Step 23

In this step, we will tie the swing to the branches of the tree. First, cut a small piece of rope, which holds the swing.

Place the cut piece of rope on a thick branch of a tree on which the swing should be tied. Activate the tool Free transformation (free transform tool) and using the option deformation (warp), warp a piece of rope, slightly bending around the branch.

Cut a small piece of rope from the created loop. Duplicate this piece of rope several times as needed. Place each duplicate of a small piece of rope next to each other to create a knot on the loop:

Finally, add more pieces of rope to complete the loop:

Step 24

In this step, we will additionally draw clouds. Select the brush tool and then apply the settings shown in the screenshot below:

Brush opacity set between 20-30%. Next, on a new layer, draw white clouds.

Step 25

In this step, we will apply adjustment layers to the entire scene. Let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Color Balance (layer> new adjustment layer> color balance). The blend mode for this adjustment layer Normal (normal), opacity is 100%.

Next, add an adjustment layer. Curves (curves). The blend mode for this adjustment layer Normal (normal), opacity 60%.

After correction, the result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 26

Make sure you are on a correction layer. Curves (curves). Using a layer mask, reduce the effect (the area with a black brush is indicated in red in the screenshot). For this, use a soft round brush.

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 27

Create a new layer on top of two adjustment layers. Activate the brush. Set a soft round brush, brush opacity about 20-30%. On a new layer, paint over with a black brush around the edges of the document. Next, to complete the composition, add birds to the trees. Place the bird layer below the adjustment layers.

Step 28

Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Fill the new layer with black. Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening basics (color dodge), the opacity of the layer is 100%. Activate the brush. Set a soft round brush, brush opacity 5-10%. Using a white brush, paint over the castle windows to create light in the windows, and also create a slight reflection of light on the hills. The job should look like in the screenshot below, in the blend mode Normal (normal):

After you change the blending mode to Lightening basics (color dodge), the result will look like this:

Step 29

Next, create another adjustment layer to correct the entire scene. Let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (layer> new adjustment layers> curve). The blend mode for this adjustment layer Normal (normal), opacity 90%.

Step 30

Press Shift + Ctrl + Alt + E to create a merged layer. Once you have created a merged layer, right-click on the merged layer so that the context menu appears. In the menu that appears, select the option Convert to smart object (convert to smart object). With this option, we will convert the layer into a smart object.

Next, go Filter – Other – Color Contrast (filter> others> high pass). We will apply a color contrast filter to the smart object.

Place the cursor on the color contrast filter in the layers palette, then right-click on the caption to display the dialog box. In the window that appears, select the option Editing Smart Filter Details Parameters (Edit Smart Filter Blending Option).

Next, in the window that appears, change the blending mode to Multiplication (multiply), layer opacity is 100%.

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 31

On the filter mask, apply a brush to reduce the effect of the filter. The processing area is indicated in red. Using a soft round brush, treat the specified area.

The result should be as in the screenshot below:

You can see the final result in the screenshot below. I hope you enjoyed the lesson, I will be glad to hear your comments on the technique of execution and the result.

Final result

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