epic-urban-city-montage-flatten

Design an Epic Sci-Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

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In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to create this Epic, Sci-Fi Sytle Urban City Scene (Montage) in Photoshop, by utilising a few simple photo manipulation tricks. Have a try!

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

epic urban city montage flatten1 500x500 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

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vip sign up 250 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop
Ok let’s get started!

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

Ground

City

Cloud Right

Cloud Left

Cloud Overlay

Girl

Watercolor Brushes

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1200px * 1200px, fill the background layer with Black colour. Load the Ground stock image into Photoshop, select the lower half of the image with the Rectangular Marquee Tool, as shown below:

1 select 500x309 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Copy and paste the selection onto our canvas, as shown below:

1 paste 500x337 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Erase the top edges of the texture, as shown below:

1 erase 500x489 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Name this layer as “Ground”, apply the following Black and White adjustment layer to it:

1 bw1 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

and here is the effect so far:

1 effect1 500x494 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Step 2

Load the City texture into Photoshop, select the building portion of the image as shown below:

2 select 499x372 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Don’t worry if the selection is not precise, this is not important in this tutorial.

Copy and paste the selection onto our canvas, resize and position the new layer as shown below:

2 paste 499x398 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Now we want to hide certain portion of the city building. So we can add the following mask to this city building layer:

2 mask 500x501 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

As you can see, here we not only used a soft round brush, but also the Watercolor Brushes we downloaded before for the edges of the building, plus a feathered rectangular marquee tool:

2 mask reveal 500x500 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

and here is the effect after the masking:

2 after mask 500x507 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Name this layer as “City”, apply the following Black and White adjustment layer to it: (make sure to tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

2 bw Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

and here is the effect so far:

2 effect1 499x507 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Step 3

Load the Cloud Right stock image into Photoshop, copy the entire image, and paste it onto our canvas.

Put the new layer below the “City” layer, resize and position the new layer as shown below:

3 paste 500x474 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Add the following layer mask to this cloud layer:

3 mask 500x499 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Name this layer as “Cloud Right”, apply the following Black and White adjustment layer to it: (make sure to tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

3 bw Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Duplicate this cloud right layer once, apply the following motion blur to the duplicated layer:

3 motion blur Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

This will smoothen the cloud and add a bit more motion into the image.

Apply the same black and white adjustment layer as depicted in the original cloud right layer to the duplicated layer, reduce the opacity of the duplicate to around 40%, you will have the following effect:

3 effect 2 500x504 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Step 4

Load the Cloud Left texture image into Photoshop. Select a portion of texture with Lasso Tool (50px feather) as shown below:

4 select1 499x360 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Copy and paste the selection onto our canvas, put the layer above the “Cloud Right” layer, but below the “City” layer, resize it as shown below:

4 paste 500x459 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Erase the excessive portion with a soft brush as shown below:

4 erase 500x473 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Name this layer as “Cloud Left”, apply the following Black and White adjustment layer to it: (make sure to tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

4 bw Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

here is the effect so far:

4 effect1 500x500 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Step 5

Load the Girl texture image into Photoshop. Use the Lasso Tool to make a selection around the girl and the snake, as shown below: (set feather to 40px)

5 girl 500x320 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Copy and paste the selection onto our canvas, put the new layer above all other layers, resize and position it as shown below:

5 paste 499x495 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Name this layer as “Girl”, apply the following Black and White adjustment layer to it: (make sure to tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

5 bw Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

and here is the effect so far:

5 effect1 500x502 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Step 6

Load the Cloud Overlay texture image into Photoshop, copy and paste the entire image onto our canvas, as shown below:

6 cloud paste 500x442 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Name this layer as “Cloud overlay”, apply the following Black and White adjustment layer to it: (make sure to tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

6 bw Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Change the blending mode of this layer to “Screen” and opacity to 30%, you will have the following effect:

6 effect1 500x499 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Cloud overlay is a perfect way to add lighting dynamics and increase the depth for your image. Experiment with it and you will find it very useful when it comes to add extra flavor to your design.

Step 7

Now we pretty much set the overall layout for this city scene. Now we add some more contrast and colour onto it to make it look sci-fi.

Add the following adjustment layers (and their relevant masks) on top of all layers:

Curves

7 curves Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Mask

7 curves mask 500x492 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Attention: for the following 2 colour balance adjustment layer, use the watercolour brushset on the mask for more painting and realistic effect.

Colour Balance Right (set blending mode to “soft light”)

7 col right sha Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

7 col right mid Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

7 col right hig Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Mask

7 col right mask 500x492 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Colour Balance Rest of the image

7 col left sha Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

7 col left mid Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

7 col left hig Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Mask

7 col left mask 500x506 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Levels

7 levels Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Mask

7 levels mask 500x500 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

and here is the effect so far:

7 effect 499x537 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Step 8

We’re nearly finished! I decided to add more contrast to the left side of the image, especially on the left edge of the high-rise in the centre. So I further added the following two adjustment layers:

Hue and Saturation

8 hue Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Mask

8 hue mask 500x507 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Brightness and Contrast

8 bc Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Mask

8 bc mask 500x491 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

and here is the effect so far:

8 effect 500x494 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

You can see now the building is highlighted and as a result, the image has more lighting depth.

Step 9

I feel the right side of the image is a bit boring compare with the left. So I create a new layer on top the background layer, and use the water colour brush to paint some textures on the centre right portion, beneath the buildings:

8 paint 500x498 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

And you will have the following effect as a result:

8 effect 2 500x324 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

That’s it for this tutorial! I sharpen the image with the “Reduce Noise” filter and add some abstract lines on the girl, and here is my final result: (click to enlarge)

epic urban city montage flatten1 500x500 Design an Epic Sci Fi Style Urban City Scene in Photoshop

Lastly, I would like to stress that you will find the “Black and White” filter and the “Water Colour” style brushsets will be extremely useful when it comes to photo manipulation. Experiment with them :)

Till next time, have a great day!