In this Photoshop tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to Design this Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop. This is an intermediate level tutorial so some steps can be tricky, but why not have a try!

The idea for this manipulation is that I would like to create some sort of out-of-this-world structure (alien alike) and add it to a open space (desert, dry land) with dark sky. Overall, these objects create a surreal feeling and a fantasy environment.

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

time less sky flatten 2 500x243 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

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vip sign up 250 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

OK Let’s get started!

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

Desert

Sky

Tree

Female Model

Cliff

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1440px * 700px with black background. Load the desert image into Photoshop, select the sand portion of the image, copy and paste it onto our document, resize it to fit as as shown below:

1 paste 500x136 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Duplicate this desert layer once and apply the following reduce noise filter (filter > noise > reduce noise) to this duplicated layer:

1 reduce no 500x353 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

And you will add some soften effect to the sand texture after applying this filter:

1 after red 500x178 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Add a layer mask to this duplicated desert layer:

1 mask 500x254 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

and you will fade the top edge of the texture, as shown below:

1 after mask 500x69 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Add the following 2 image adjustment layers:

Black and White

1 bw Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Levels

1 lv Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

and you will have the following effect:

1 effect1 500x114 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Step 2

Load the sky image into Photoshop, select a portion and paste it onto our document, above all previous layers:

2 paste 500x217 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Fade out the bottom edge with the layer masking technique mentioned in step 1:

2 mask 500x205 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Add the following 2 image adjustment layer as clipping mask to the sky layer:

Black and White

2 bw Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Layer Mask on black and white adjustment layer:

2 bw mask 500x235 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Levels

2 lv1 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Layer mask over levels adjustment layer:

2 lv mask 500x238 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

and here is the effect you will have so far:

2 effect1 500x225 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Step 3

Let’s add some surreal structure into the image. I decided to manipulation a tree image and turn it into some sort of alien style object. So load the tree image into Photoshop, use the quick selection tool to select a portion as shown below:

3 sel Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Copy and paste the selection onto our document, resize and position it as shown below:

3 paste 500x374 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Erase the edge with a soft eraser:

3 erase1 500x392 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Add the following 2 adjustment layers as clipping mask to this tree layer:

Black and white

3 bw Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Levels

3 lv Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Layer mask on the levels adjustment layer:

3 lv mask Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

You will repeat this process and add a few more tree texture onto the bottom of this Alien structure:

3 more tree 500x184 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Step 4

I decided to add one more tree texture on top of the first one, just to create a break-apart effect. So go back to the tree stock image, select another piece and paste onto our document:

4 add 500x318 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

You will notice I apply some liquify filter effect to this layer, to create a flowing effect around the edge:

4 liq 500x328 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Add a Black and White adjustment layer as clipping mask to this layer:

4 bw Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

and here is the effect so far:

4 effect1 500x411 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

We can add some particle effect to the image – Go back to the tree image and select some small pieces with quick selection tool:

4 sel part Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Copy and paste them over to our document, resize them to a very small scale, place them under the second tree layer:

4 paste part 500x308 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Step 5

Load the model image into Photoshop and cut it out:

5 select model 344x700 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Paste and resize the model, position it under the tip of the structure as shown below:

5 paste1 500x274 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Add some light above the model image just to create some surreal effect:

5 light Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Step 6

Load the cliff image into Photoshop, select the small rock in the sea and cut it out:

6 select rock 500x261 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Paste it onto our document, reduce its size a bit with free transform tool:

6 paste Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Use a soft eraser to erase the bottom edge, so it blends into ground texture:

6 erase 500x237 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Duplicate this rock layer once and flip it horizontally, reduce the size of the duplicated rock a bit and move it to the right:

6 right 500x116 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Step 7

We’re almost done! Flatten the image (don’t forget to save first) and duplicate the background layer, apply some unsharp mask filter to it:

7 unsharp Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Mask out the following area on the sharpened layer:

7 unsharp mask 500x257 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

Add some cloud around the structure to add some dramatic effect with either cloud brush or filter:

Hint: use free transform and eraser tool to adjust the cloud shape and size.

7 cloud 500x316 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

and here is the effect so far:

7 effect 500x220 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

I then further added some colour effect onto the image, and here is the final effect I have: (click to enlarge)

time less sky flatten 2 500x243 Design Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop

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