Create a fantastic world in Photoshop

Sometimes real life seems boring, and artists expand the boundaries of their imagination and create extraordinary, fantastic scenes, fictional and surreal worlds. In this tutorial, we will create a fantastic world in the clouds, using various tools and techniques in Photoshop.
The lesson uses Adobe Photoshop CS5.

Materials for the lesson:


Note translator. In the lesson there is drawing, for this it is desirable to use a tablet.

Final result:

Step 1. We begin our work by creating a new document with a size of 1080 × 810 pixels. If you want to get a high quality image (to print later), you can increase the resolution to 300 pixels / inch.

Step 2. Open the cloud.jpg file with clouds and position it strictly in the center of your working document. This image is quite large, so reduce it to the desired size using transformation. Click Ctrl+T and holding the key Shift To keep the proportions, move the corner handles.

Step 3. Create a new layer below the cloud layer and name it. Bluesky (Blue sky). Take the tool BrushTool (B) (Brush), set the brush size to 175 pixels and Hardness (Hardness) 0%. Start drawing from the top of the image in color # 275488, making below a smooth transition to color # 628eae, as shown in the screenshot.

Step 4. Now go back to the cloud layer and erase the areas shown below in red.

We have taken the previous steps in order to clear the upper part of the sky from the clouds. The result should look like this.

Step 5. Open the image with the Tower.jpg. Take the tool MagicWandtool (W) (Magic wand) and highlight the areas shown (a). Then click the Refine Edge button (Refine Edge) (b, located at the top of the tool parameters), set the settings shown below (c) and walk along the contours of the tower.

Note translator. After selecting the tower and clarifying the edges of the selection, it is more convenient to hide the background on the layer mask so that, if necessary, you can correct the selection.

Step 6. After selecting the tower, place it approximately in the center of the work. I erased the extra parts of the tower that are not needed.

Step 7. Create a new layer. Take the tool Brushtool (B) (Brush), set the size to 45 pixels and Hardness (Hardness) 0%. Draw gray areas on this layer (# 262626) on the clouds at the bottom of the tower – the shadows, in the screenshot below is shown by arrows. Use the tablet, make sure that the Tablet Pressure option is active in the brush settings (Pressing controls the opacity), lower the Opacity to 64%.

Step 8. The next step is to add extra shadows and light to give the tower a volume. First using the tool Burntool (O) (Dimmer) with a soft brush, darken the areas shown by arrows (a). Then using the tool Dodgetool (O) (Clarifier) also with a soft brush, brighten the opposite side of the tower (b).

Step 9. Open the image of the rocky rocky mountain.jpg. Also as we did in step 5, select the areas that we do not need with the tool MagicWandtool (W) (Magic wand) (a). To add a selection to an existing one, hold down the Shift key. Then click the Refine Edge button (Refine Edge) (b). Using the specified settings (c), walk along the contours of the mountain. When you are happy with the selection you created, click Delete.

Step 10. Now add a waterfall falling down from the cliff. To do this, take the tool Brushtool (B) (Brush), set the size to 3 pixels, Hardness (Hardness) 100% and Opacity (Opacity) 100% (a). Before drawing, make sure that the option Tablet Pressure is active (the pressure controls the opacity). Start drawing a waterfall with short lines, where it breaks out of a cliff (b-one). Continue by drawing long lines – streams of falling water downward (b-2). Add more lines falling down (b-3). At the end, draw a few dots below the waterfall to create a splash and fog effect (b-four).

Step 11. Using the tool Brushtool (B) (Brush), size 20 pixels, Hardness (Hardness) 7%, draw a shadow from the waterfall (color # 000000) in the areas shown below red.

Step 12. Add an extra fog effect at the bottom of the waterfall. Use a soft brush to draw light and shadows, first color #ffffff and Opacity 46%. Continue using color # 000000 and Opacity 15%.

Step 13. Now add a stream of flowing water down to the “Earth”. Using BrushTool (Brush) small size (3-4 pixels) and Hardness (Hardness) 100%; draw a flowing stream, as shown below by arrows. For an area where water falls down to the ground, use the same technique as when drawing a waterfall.

Step 14. Add an energy cable leading from the tower to the mountain. To do this, use the tool. Brushtool (B) (Brush), Set the size to 3 pixels and Hardness (Hardness) 100%. Draw a thin line (a). Then add light patches on the top edge of the cable (color #ffffff, b). Draw a vine twining around the cable (c), continue by adding additional details (d).

Step 15. We want to create the effect of neglect, penetrating nature, germinating plants. Draw additional vines and branches as shown below.

Step 16. Open the image of the rock RockArch.jpg. Click Ctrl+T to call the transformation and, if necessary, resize the image (a). Right-click and select Flip Horizontal (b). Take the tool MagicWandtool (W) (Magic wand) and highlight the areas shown in c. Then using the Refine Edge option (Refine Edge), as we did before, specify the margins of the selection, after getting the selection you want, click Delete to remove the background. Finally, adjust the color of the rock so that it fits better with the environment, for this use ImageAdjustmentColorbalance (Ctrl+B) (Image – Correction – Color Balance) (d).

Step 17. Create a new layer and fill it with black. # 000000, using a tool PaintBuckettool (G) (Fill). Apply filter Filter > Render > Clouds (Filter – Rendering – Clouds) (the main and background colors should be black and white). Change the layer blending mode to Overlay (Overlap) and reduce its Opacity to 16%.

Step 18. Add an additional effect to the tower so that it attracts more attention. To do this, create a new layer and fill it with color. # 000000, using a tool PaintBuckettool (G) (Fill) (a). Then apply the filter Filter > Render > LensesFlare (Filter – Rendering – Blick) with the specified settings (b). Change the blending mode of this layer to Screen (Screen / Lightening) (with). The result is the following effect (d).

Step 19. Now we will add details to work. First create a new layer and name it. Bridge (Bridge). Draw a bridge connecting the tower and the rock in the form of an arch. Take the tool Brushtool (B) (Brush), Put a small size of 3-4 pixels and Hardness (Hardness) 100%. Draw starting lines for the bridge (a). Add shadows, draw them, taking into account the direction of the light source. Then add additional details, I drew a fence for the bridge to make it more realistic (b). Add hanging vines and branches, again creating the effect of a neglected nature (c). I added more details, such as vines, sprouting from the stone and hanging down, as well as a small entrance to the tower at the end of the bridge (d).

Step 20. Create a new layer and name it. Greenishtint (Greenish tint), fill it with color # 2dfoura3f, change the blending mode to Overlay (Overlap) and set Opacity to 66% (a). Create a new layer, name it. SepiaTint (Sepia tint), fill with color #ad7a02, set the overlay mode Color (Chromaticity) and Opacity 50% (b). Then create another new layer, fill it with black. # 000000. Apply filter Filter > Noise > AddNoise (Filter – Noise – Add Noise), set the effect to 16%. Set the layer blending mode Screen (Screen / Lightening) and Opacity 20% (c).

Step 21 Now add the effect of vignettes – darkening around the edges. To do this, create a new layer and name it. Border (The edges). Take the tool PaintBuckettool (G) (Fill) and fill the layer with black # 000000. Using the tool Erasertool (E) (Eraser), erase the areas shown below with red. Reduce the Opacity of this layer to 20%.

Step 22 In this step, we will add a blur effect to complete the work on our fantastic world. Select all layers on the layers palette, hold Shift, click on the first and last layers, duplicate them, then right-click on the selected layers and select Merge Layers (a).

Note translator. You can simply create a merged copy of all visible layers by clicking Shift + Alt + Ctrl +E.

Apply filter to merged layer Filter > Blur > GaussianBlur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur), set a radius of 4.9 pixels (b).

Step 23 Finally, erase the center shown in the screenshot in red on the blurred layer, use the tool Erasertool (E) (Eraser), 1000 pixel size and Hardness 0%.

That’s all, we are done. The final result is shown below. Hope you enjoyed doing this lesson! Thanks for reading.

(click on image to enlarge)

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