Create a surreal landscape among mountains and waterfalls in Photoshop

In this Photoshop tutorial, I will show you how to create a surreal landscape among mountains and waterfalls. We will add some spacecraft to our scene, as well as clouds, birds and light effects. So let’s get started!

Note: This lesson is done in Photoshop CC – so some screenshots may be slightly different from previous versions of the program. Some brushes are only available in Photoshop CS6.

The final result:

Download the archive with materials for the lesson

Translator’s Note: While on the page with the image of a spacecraft, just right-click on the image and select the option in the window that appears Save picture as (Save As), there is no need to download the file.

Step 1

Create a new document with the following dimensions 1000 px x 1500 px, the background color is white. Download the Clouds brushes from the link at the beginning of this tutorial, install them in Photoshop. Draw clouds on the background layer as shown in the screenshot below:

Open the original ‘Mountain’ image. Highlight part of the image with a mountain top.

Copy / paste (Copy / Paste) highlighted part of the mountain on our working paper. Apply scaling to the image, placing the mountain at the bottom of the scene.

Using a soft eraser, process the top of the image with the mountain to combine this image with the clouds in the background.

Step 2

Open the following source image with the ‘Mountains 2’ mountains. Highlight part of the image with a mountain top.

Copy / paste (Copy / Paste) highlighted part of the mountain on our working paper. Rotate the image 180 degrees, as shown in the screenshot below.

Using a soft eraser (in the settings of this tool, set Pressure (flow) and Opacity (opacity) by 50%) soften the edges of the mountain, as shown in the screenshot below:

Repeat the previous action, add 2 more mountains, stuck in the air. Place these mountains in the background. You can zoom the mountains with the tool Free transformation (Free Transform Tool).

Step 3

Open the original image with a waterfall. Highlight the main part of the image with a waterfall.

Copy / paste (Copy / Paste) selected part of the waterfall on our working paper, reflect the image with a waterfall horizontally. Place the waterfall on the left side of the image of the mountain hovering in the air.

Using a soft eraser, process the edges of the waterfall image to combine the waterfall with the mountain.

Next, to the waterfall layer, add adjustment layers as clipping masks:

Black-white (Black-white)

Levels (Levels)

Result at the moment lesson.

Repeat the whole process. This time add a small waterfall on the right side of the mountain image.

Step 4

Open the original image with the spacecraft. Create a selection around the ship image.

Copy / paste (Copy / Paste) the highlighted image of the spacecraft on our working paper. Zoom out. Position the ship below the mountain hovering in the air, as shown in the screenshot below.

Using a small soft brush, the color of the brush is white, paint a light highlight in the tail section and just below the ship.

Next, we will add a light tail from the nozzle of the spacecraft. Create a new layer. Create a rectangular selection. Fill the selected area with a blue tint.

To create a rectangular glow filter apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), let’s go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter-Blur – Gaussian Blur).

Turn the glow slightly clockwise

And also zoom out a bit.

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Repeat the process, add another light tail to the spacecraft.

Using the Clouds brush, add a cloud effect around the ship.

If you wish, you can add a few more spaceships to the bottom of the scene. Do not forget to adjust the size of these ships so that they were not all the same size.

Step 5

Next, I added a light beam hitting from the top of the mountain. This effect is created using the same technique, which is described in Step 4 when creating the glow from the nozzle of the ship.

Using the Clouds brush, add clouds around the top of the mountain.

Step 6

Next, we will add the final touches. Using the Clouds brush, I added clouds around the mountain in the following areas of the image:

Download the Birds brushes from the link at the beginning of this tutorial. Draw the birds — don’t forget to reduce the opacity of the bird layer so that you can barely see them and don’t draw too large birds:

Add the effect of small particles to the bottom of the mountain image using the Particle brush.

Next, I added colors using several adjustment layers, such as Selective color correction (Selective color), Vibration (Vibrance) Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast). I added these adjustment layers on top of all other layers. Please do not be afraid to experiment with different color correction techniques, there is no need to limit yourself using my colors.

And we have completed the lesson! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and it was useful for you. See you again!

The final result:

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