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Create Surreal Floating Tree Above Ocean in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to create this surreal floating tree above ocean in Photoshop. We will be mixing lots of natural elements to form this design. Have a try!

Note: The Photoshop tutorial is done in Photoshop CC – therefore some screenshot may have slighting different layout as in the earlier version. Some brushes are exclusive to Photoshop CS6.

Here is a preview of the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

psdvault-fantasy-floating-tree-above-ocean-flatten

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OK Let’s get started!

To complete this tutorial, you will need the following stocks:

Ocean

Aquarium Fish

Ground

Sky

Tree

Birds

Step 1

Create a document sized 800px * 1140px with white background. Load the Ocean stock into Photoshop and select the following area:

1 sel

Copy and paste the selection to our document, re-size it to fit the width of our canvas:

1 resize

Use a soft eraser to fade the top edge of the ocean layer:

1 fade

Add the following 2 adjustment layers on top as clipping mask for this ocean layer:

Levels

1 lvs

Curves

1 curves

and here is the effect so far:

1 effect

Step 2

Please note that the fish stock image used in this step has been replaced due to copyright permission. Please download this alternative fish stock image instead.

We will add some fish into the ocean. Load the fish stock image into Photoshop and select a few fish from it: (this should be a simple selection, as the background of the fish stock image is transparent. You can use either Magic Wand or Quick Selection tool to select them.)

2 fish

Paste the fish into our document and place the layers above all the previous ocean layers. Change the blending mode of each fish layer to “Overlay”, and here is the effect:

2 fish paste

Step 3

Let’s add the sky part into our design. Load the sky stock image into Photoshop and select the following area:

3 sel

Copy and paste the selection to our document, re-size to fit our canvas size and apply the following adjustment layers as clipping masks:

Levels

3 lvs

Curves

3 curves

You can use a soft eraser to fade the bottom edge of the sky layer to blend it in with the ocean:

3 erase 2

and here is the effect so far:

3 effect 2

Step 4

We will work on the ground which will hold our tree in this step. Load the ground stock image into Photoshop and select a piece as shown below:

4 sel

Copy and paste the selection to our document. Re-size and place it above the ocean. Use a soft eraser to work on its edge until it forms the following shape:

4 erase

Grab the burn tool to darken the bottom of the ground as shown below:

4 burn

4 burn effect

Add the following Curves adjustment layer as clipping mask to this ground layer:

4 curves

and here is the effect so far:

4 effect

Step 5

We will add the tree into our design in this step. Load the tree stock image into Photoshop and add it to our document, re-size it to fit the width of the ground:

5 paste

Add the following Curves adjustment layer as clipping mask to this tree layer:

5 curves

Apply the following layer mask on the curves adjustment layer above:

5 mask

And here is the effect so far:

5 effect

Step 6

Create a new layer and use a cloud brush to paint some cloud around the ground and tree:

6 cloud

Optionally, you can add some particles around the tree to add some motion to our design:

6 particles

Use an abstract brushset to paint some abstract lines around the tree: (Use “Overlay” blending mode for some fancy lighting effect)

5 overlay

Load the Birds stock image into and select some birds:

6 sel

Add the birds around the tree and ground – make sure you adjust the size of the birds to ensure variety:

6 paste

Step 7

We’re almost done! For final touches, we can flatten the image and use the Burn Tool to add some shadow under the tree – this will allow better blending of the tree and ground:

7 burn

Add the following Curves adjustment layer on top to fine-tune its contrast:

7 curves

and here is my final effect: (click to enlarge)

psdvault-fantasy-floating-tree-above-ocean-flatten

That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy it and find it useful. Till next time, have a great day!

Categories: Photo Effect

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  • Vivek Gopalakrishnan

    images aren’t loading on this webpage , please link the images properly

  • Hi Vivek, can you please try again. let me know if it is still not working.

    James