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Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

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In this tutorial, I will show you the processes I took to create this Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop. This is an intermediate level tutorial so some step can be tricky, but why not have a try!

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

natural abstract model flatten 500x285 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

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vip sign up 250 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

OK let’s get started!

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

Beach

Mountain

Girl

Planet

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1400px * 800px, leave the background layer as white, load the “Beach” image into Photoshop. Copy and paste the entire image onto our document, resize it as shown below:

1 paste 500x444 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

The reason we do is that we only want the sand portion of the image to show at this stage, and we will manipluate the cloud portion later on in the tutorial.

Name this layer as “beach”, add the following mask to hide the sky/cloud portion on this layer:

1 mask 500x296 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

and here is the effect after applying this layer mask:

1 after mask 500x286 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Add the following three adjustment layers on top of this “beach” layer:

Black and white

1 bw Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Set blending mode to “Soft Light” for this black and white adjustment layer.

Curves

1 curves Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Colour Balance

1 col sha Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

1 col mid Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

1 col hig Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Here is the effect so far:

1 effect 500x292 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Step 2

Now we can tackle the sky/cloud portion of the image. We use the same texture as in the previous step, but this time we select a portion of the sky and paste it onto our canvas.

To add variartion to the image, I copy and paste two different portion of the sky onto our canvas: (One to the left, the other one to the right)

2 cloud paste 500x293 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Use a soft brush to erase the edge of the sky to blending them together:

2 erase 499x295 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Add the following adjustmnet layer to the sky to the left:

2 col mid Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

I know when I add the mountain texture later on, the right side of the skpe will probably be covered be the mountain, the left side will therefore become a light source, so the adjustment layer is to emphasise this portion.

and here is the effect so far:

2 effect 500x279 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Step 3

Load the “Girl” texture into Photoshop, cut out the girl using whatever selection method you prefer (don’t worry about the edge) and paste it onto the canvas as shown below:

3 copy paste 500x317 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Create a new layer on top of the girl layer called “shadow”, set the blending mode to “Soft Light” and opacity to around 60%, use a soft brush with black colour  to paint some shadow under the girl and to the right, as shown below:

3 shadow 500x361 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Add another layer on top of the shadow layer called “light”,set the blending mode to “soft light” and opacity to 60%, this time use a soft round brush with White Colour and do a single click in the position as shown below:

3 light 499x393 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

and here is the overall effect so far:

3 overall 500x283 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Step 4

Load the “Mountain” texture into Photoshop, select the mountain portion of the image as shown below: (I used the Quick Selction Tool)

4 select 500x366 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Copy the selection and paste it onto our canvas, name this new layer as “mountain right”, erase the edges with a soft eraser, as shown below:

4 mountain paste 500x296 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Add the following two adjustment layers to this mountain right layer, make sure to tick “use previous layer as clipping mask” option:

Curves

4 curves Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Colour Balance

4 col mid Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

4 col hig Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

add the following layer mask to the colour balance adjustment layer: (this will hide the rest the layer, and leave only the river portion)

4 mask 1 500x274 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Duplicate the “mountain right” layer once and drag it to the top, flip it horizontally and drag it to the left hand side of the canvas, erase the right and top edges as shown below:

4 paste 2 500x354 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Add the following two adjustment layers to this mountain right layer, make sure to tick “use previous layer as clipping mask” option:

Curves

4 curves 2 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

here is the effect so far:

4 overall 500x283 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Step 5

Now we can do some tweaks so each of the objects blend together with each other. Add the following adjustment layers (and their relevant layers masks) on top of all layers:

Vibrance

5 vib Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Colour Balance

5 col sha Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

5 col mid Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

5 col hig Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Mask:

5 mask col 500x280 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Curves

5 curves Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Mask

5 mask curves 500x281 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Of course with the colour balance layer, you can try out your own colour combination and see what result that brings you.

Optionally, you can add one more colour balance layer on top and add some warm colours on the bottom. Here are my settings for the second colour adjustment layer:

5 col 2 sha Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

5 col 2 mid Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

5 col 2 hig Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Mask:

5 col 2 mask 500x283 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

and here is the overall effect so far:

5 effect 500x282 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Step 6

Load the planet stock image into Photoshop, cut out the plaent and paste it onto our canvas in the position as shown below:

6 paste 499x217 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Apply the following mask to this planet layer:

6 mask 500x284 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Change the blending mode to “Soft Light” and reduce the opacity to 50%, you will have the following effect:

6 effect 500x276 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Step 7

We can add some misty/fog effect on the image – instead of using textures, we use this fractal brushset to paint some texture around the image, as shown below: (paint on a new layer, with soft light blending mode and a 30-50% opacity)

Hint: try to mix the Warp Tool (Ctrl + T and right-click to choose warp) and the fractal brushset for better effect:

7 paint 500x281 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Of course you’re free to experiement and paint those fogs in a different position :)

Step 8

Now we’re pretty much done! However we can add some final adjustments to the image.

We simply flatten the image, duplicate the background layer, and apply the following High Pass filter to the duplicated layer:

8 high pass Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Change the blending mode to “Hard light”, you will find your effect become sharpened and clearer:

8 sha 1 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

8 sha 2 500x277 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

That’s it! I also tried to add some colour to the image by having one more Colour Balance adjustment layer, with the following settings:

8 col sha Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

8 sha mid Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

8 col hig Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

Mask

8 mask 500x278 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

You can also try out adding more adjustment layers such as Curves or Levels to add more lighting contrast.

and here is the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

natural abstract model flatten 500x285 Design a Fantasy Style Mountain River Scene in Photoshop

That’s it for this tutorial! Hopefully you learn something out of it and find it inspirational!

Cheers and have a great day!