Design a Surreal Floating Eiffel Tower Scene In Photoshop

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In this tutorial, I will show the steps I took to design this absolutely magical, floating Eiffel Tower scene in Photoshop. The inspiration of this tutorial came from this wonderful design done by matu02 in PSD Vault Flickr Group.

Along the way, we will be using a lot of layer masking techniques, blending options, selection technques, pen tool and dynamic brushes. Hope you enjoy it and find it useful and inspirational!

Here is my final result for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)


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

Misty Ocean

Dark Water

Tower Image


Cloudy Scene


Ok let’s get started!

Step 1

Load the “Misty Ocean” stock image into Photoshop. Duplicate the background layer once and set blending mode of the duplicated layer to be “Soft Light”.

We can see the overall image become darker a little bit and the colour contrast increases comparing with the original image:


Rename this layer as “soft light” and make a duplicate of this layer, set the duplicated layer blending mode to “overlay” and this will further increase the light and contrast of the image:


Rename this layer as “light overlay”.

Step 2

Now you will see the ocean portion disappeared and we don’t really want that. To reveal the ocean portion,  add a vector mask to the “light overlay” by clicking the following button on the layer palette:


Click on the mask thumbnail to select it, grab a big soft brush (I chose a 300px round brush), erase the ocean portion off the “light overlay” layer.

You will now see the ocean become more visible:


Optional: I feel the colour tone of the image is a bit dull and a bit more variation will make the image looks a bit more lively. So I add a new Adjustment layer (Color Balance) and apply the following settings:


Change the blending mode of this adjustment layer to “lighten” and you will have the following effect:


Step 3

Now let’s again focus on the ocean portion of the image. Currently we have a very smooth ocean without much movement at all. This can be a bit of problem because the end result we would like to achieve is a dynamic, active image.

So let’s load the “Dark Water” image into Photoshop. Go back to our document and use the Rectangular Marquee Tool with 20px feather to select the ocean portion of the image:


Drag this selection onto the “Dark Water” Texture to position the selection as shown below:


Copy and paste it back to our document, and you will see now the image become a bit dynamic and not so boring:


Step 4

Load the “Tower Image” into Photoshop. Use the Pen Tool to make a working path around the Tower:


Make a selection (Right-click and choose “Make selection”) from the working path (0px feather), copy and paste the selection onto our document. Desaturate the layer, resize and position it as shown below:


Rename this layer as “Tower”. Then add a vector mask to this layer,  grab the Gradient Tool and apply the following gradient to the mask: (You can go the mask by Alt+left-click the mask thumbnail on the layer palette)


Go back to our document and you will see the tower is seamlessly linked to the cloud:


Step 5

Load the “Moon” image into Photoshop, use whatever selection tool you feel comfortable with to make a selection of the moon, as shown below:


Copy and paste the selection back to our document, resize, rotate and position it on the top right corner of the canvas:


Name this layer as “Moon” and change the layer blending mode to “soft light”, you will have the following effect:


Duplicate the “Moon” layer a couple of times, you will see the the Moon become more visible:


Step 6

Load the “cloud scene” image into Photoshop, use the Lasso Tool with 100px feather to make a selection as shown below:


Copy and paste the selection back to our document to the tower position, use Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T) with Warp, perspective, resize, transform the cloud into a flaming effect:


Name this layer as “Flame” and set its blending mode to “Overlay”. After this, duplicate this layer once, change the duplicated layer blending mode back to normal, use the Eraser Tool to erase off the bottom part of the flame on the duplicated layer:


Step 7

Load the “Eagle” image into Photoshop, use the same Pen Tool technique to make a selection of the eagle. Tip: after you make the selection, use the refine edge option to further enhance your selection: (The setting below can be used as a guideline only, you might have to apply slightly different settings according to your own selection)


Copy and paste the image onto our dcoument to the position as shown below:


Name this layer as “eagle” anc change the layer blending mode to “linear burn”. Make several duplicated of this “eagle” layer, resize and rotate each layer and position the eagles in different places: (Assign different opacity, fill opacity to each duplicated layer as well)


Step 8

Create a new layer called “shining effect” on top of all layers, use the Pen Tool to create a working path like this:


Stroke the path using the following dynamic brush:

Shape Dynamics




And you will have the following end result:


Ok that’s it for this tutorial! You can of course add some of your own texture or filter effect and see what the end results are!

Here is my final image for this tutorial. I Added a few light beams – If you like to know a quick way of rendering this, I have another tutorial here containing a part about doing so. Also tried aonther colour scheme:


Hope you enjoy this tutorial, drop me a comment if you have any question, I will try my best to help you out.

Cheers and have a nice day!

Categories: Photo Effect

Tags: ,,,,,,

  • Jeno

    Admin, You’re my Idol!

  • admin

    Thank you Jeno!!

  • photolover

    Thats awesome! I’ll give it a try!

  • joyoge designers’ bookmark

    very nice thanks for tut..

  • mark joncheff

    Well done chubby que, I like it, fantacy is all ways a good genre to mess with.

    peace out G

  • CjFOR

    Realy is cool … respect u :)

  • admin

    Thank you for the support guys! glad that you like this post :)

  • ivan

    cool man thank you

  • CjFOR

    James , u has mail or ICQ i have offer for u .

  • ROLA

    more then great, it`s really awsome
    thanx for this tut

  • Chinmay

    Amazing tutorial….. thanks a lot….. i got a learn a lot of things in the tut…..

  • Hmeli

    great !

  • aya

    Superrbbb tutor….

  • Brandon

    Thanks this tutorial was so easy to understand and to do and im a beginner at photoshop the only part that i had trouble with was the gradient part i couldnt det it off the black and white gradient for the eifle tower but i guess that just comes in time THANKS :)

  • Abdullah

    Great. It’s amazing.

  • admin

    Thank you very much for the comments guys! very much appreciated!

  • Michael

    This is like Pepsi……..too good to be true

  • Grace

    hi james … thanks for sharing your talent…hope to see more of your great works!!!

  • admin

    @Grace: no worries, thanks for your comment and support!

  • Tonystark

    Extra extra wonderfull

  • Thomas

    now I use photoshop CS
    And I have a bit trouble with the tower, after I cut out the pixels then ALL the blue from the cloud behind appear on my “floating tower”.
    Can you help me with that?

  • Brochures

    Wow, you are amazing! Thanks for sharing this! I definitely learned lots of cool stuff to try out. You write really good tutorials, very easy to follow.

  • Erin Shaw

    wow this is really going to help me out a lot thanks so much for this tutorial!!!

  • Eiffel Tower Paris

    Wow, this is unbelievably beautiful. Is it possible to try this on GIMP ?. I am a great fan of all things related to (even remotely) Eiffel tower. Can see many possibilities where I can apply this tute.
    Thanks !

  • coupons

    Nice pic but the Eiffel Tower sort of kills da picture tho…..

  • jorge

    excelente tutorial gracias por compartirlo, saludos desde jalisco en mexico

  • photoshop lover

    thanks for teaching me ,man, this is awsom.

  • huwaw69

    Wow awesome! i remember a video of gorillaz! when i saw the result of this tutorial!

  • orogreen

    hey where is the colors? doing the colors….

  • templtae

    Excellent, thanks!

  • natasha

    great tutorial! easy and very visiauly dinamic

  • Antonela

    Amazing awesome greatlooking picture!
    And I tried something similar…
    Thanks for inspired me.

  • taryarL

    love this so much :)
    u r the ONE :D

  • David Coburn

    Great and inspirational

  • hedda

    Great tut! Thanks :)

  • Lian

    Great tutorial!
    But I’ve a question! Step 3 won’t do the way I want it! I use the rectangular marquee tool, but when I mark the part you showed in the picture, it doesn’t make t square! It’s making a sort of Ellipse! Do you know how I’m able to fix that?

    Thanks! And sorry for my English, I’m Dutch so!

  • Tips Menulis Online

    I agree. Admin, you were incredible. Thanks

  • Alebdaa Alalmy

    Peace and mercy of God be upon you
    Anna from Saudi Arabia, your educational wonderful
    But I have a query which is how it was crayon design in the last step??
    Wish you luck

  • ngoc

    how do you make the eagle look smaller? im a beginner in photoshop and i can only add the moon and the water in the pitcuture but not the tower because i can’t use to pen tool as well as the eagle because it looks too big and i don’t know how to make it smaller , please help me!

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  • Zilva

    Hey this was a great tutorial thanks heeps!!!

  • Frederic Lievre

    Good tutorial, I just pushed it a bit… Made it a bit more dramatic and added Notre Dame. See here

  • Katas


    I tried all of these steps but I was halted on Step No. 8. How did you get that Shining Effects? Please give me a link to download. I need it to complete mine.


  • HammerX

    Really thanks for this outstanding tutorial, simply !! easy !!! but an outstanding result, highly appreciated
    Could you please show me the link for the lights beam effect !!! Thanks in advance

  • chrystal

    In the above tutorial you said you have another tutorial about this on how to render the other colour scheme where is the link?

  • ali

    Very awesome tutorial, with just few images you just thought us how to make this kind of effect, thanks alot for your tuts, great work!!

  • narut0

    in Step 3 I got confused. I am not an expert in phtoshop so I really don’t know much. anyway in Step 3 I got confused when you said select the rectangular marquee tool which i did and select the ocean bottom part..which i did then you said grab and move it to the “dark water” area and copy and paste back to the other document. PROBLEM: What do i click or press do copy the selected area in dark water and how do i paste?

  • naruto

    nevermind found out =)

  • Bill

    Great tutorial — very useful.

  • alex

    could you explain how did you do rendering because it is so beautiful with this option and I cant recreated without your help PLEASE!!!

  • Cabal18

    totaly enjoy making that im no expert only just change to cs5 from cs2 big jump lol . BUT! very good art work and very good tut didnt get confuse . where the bit where you render the image that golden colour .

  • kropped

    Great tutorial – I think I prefer the less orange final image but I can see why you did the orange version its very eye catching and is actually why I read the article.

  • Rohan ;D

    That is well good i just gave it a ry, my first time as well and it looks really good this tutorial and the final outcome is great, keep it up :D

  • Nidia127

    hi i will like to sign up for your monthly membership. Will I have access to any other gorgeous scene tutorials like this one? or is it only for the .psd images?

  • Jayprakash Arolkar

    Thank you! very very eductional! Words are not enough to describe my gratitude…..

  • Ben_hameda

    that’s realy a wonderful work ,, I tried it , I’m still new in photoshop ,I had little problem with the final look of the tower , and the flam effect , I couldn’t do it , but the result was good ,, thank you , wish you the best

  • Dnaclay

    I just did your awesome tutorial and added my own twist too, great tutorial

    Here is my attempt at this—[IMG][/IMG]

  • Maryterrytoo

    That is so Wonderful!!!!!  You did an amazing Job.  Was that all from Techniques you learned from this tutorial?

  • Lea

    I got a question… how do i do the colors in the last picture???? :)

  • Asia

    I’m doing the tutorial and the cloud scene isn’t hyperlinked so I’m not sure where to download it from.