Create a landscape with soaring mountains in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a fantastic alien landscape with soaring stones in the style of the Avatar movie. In this paper, we will use stock photos and several overlay techniques.

Please note that the lesson is done in Photoshop CC, so in some screenshots the program is slightly different from previous versions. And some brushes are only in Photoshop CS6 and higher.

Here is the final result of the lesson:

Download the archive with materials for the lesson

Step 1

Create a new document with a size of 1440 x 900 pixels with a white background. Fill the background layer with a gradient from blue to white (# 93b8d9- # ffffff).

We load the photo with the mountain into the program, select the necessary part, copy (Ctrl + C) and paste (Ctrl + V) the selection to the working document. Place a piece of the image at the bottom of the canvas, as shown below:

Take Eraser Tool (E) (Eraser) and gently draw along the top edge of the mountain to create a smooth transition to the background.

Apply the filter to the mountain layer Filter – Blur – Lens Blur (Filter – Blur – Blur at shallow depth of field).

And we get the following result:

Step 2

Load the image with the stone and select the bottom.

Copy and paste the selection to the working paper. Adjust the size and turn the stone upside down (Ctrl + T). We place as shown below:

Via Burn Tool (O) (Dimmer) darken the right part of the stone and draw an eraser (E) along the contour to create the effect of destruction.

We can add additional texture on the stone. Load the image with a cliff and select the part.

Copy and paste the selected area on the working document above the layer with the stone and transform the texture into a clipping mask (Ctrl + Alt + G). Set the layer blending mode to Hard Light (Hard light).

We get the following result:

Step 3

In this step we will add plants on the stone.

We load photos with the first tree into Photoshop, select a small part of the foliage using Lasso Tool (L) (Lasso).

Copy and paste the selected area on the document. With the help of free transformation (Ctrl + T), we correct the shape of greenery. Repeat the whole process to completely fill the stone with green bushes, as shown below.

You can also correct the edges of the plants using the eraser (E) (the shape of the chalk brush) to make them more realistic.

Open the photo with the temple in Photoshop and select the building.

Copy and paste the temple on top of the stone and process it so that it blends harmoniously into the illustration.

Open the photo with a waterfall and select the waterfall.

Place it on the right side of the stone, as shown below.

Step 4

By repeating step 4, we can add more soaring stones. Make sure that they differ from each other in size, distance from the viewer, the amount of vegetation and the presence of any additional elements.

Having finished with stones, we merge all the layers into one. Then, using Blur Tool (Blur) Blur the background elements to create a defocus effect.

Step 5

Between the two stones add wooden bridges. To do this, open the second photo with a tree and cut out a suitable area of ​​the trunk.

Copy and paste the selection on the working paper, adjust the size and using Edit – Transform – warp (Editing – Transformation – Deformation) arching the fragment.

Duplicate the layer (Ctrl + J), add greens on the bridge.

Slightly blur the bridges with Blur Tool (Blur).

And we get the following result:

Using a special brush or filter Clouds (Clouds) add some clouds.

Also apply adjustment layers Brightness/ Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) and Color Balance (Color balance) to add brightness and saturation to the picture. And we get this final version:

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