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The Creation of “Lost in Memory” Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

In this tutorial, i will show you the steps I took to create this epic Fantasy Style artwork “Lost in Memory” in Photoshop. I combined the meteor effect, some matte-painting tricks plus lighting effect in this tutorial. Have a try!

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

Version 1

ancient civil flatten 500x285 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Version 2 (this is an alternative version with a darker contrast)

ancient civil flatten 2 500x285 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

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vip sign up 250 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Ok let’s get started!

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

Cloud brush

Rust

Mountain 1

Moutain 2

Palace

Bridge

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1400px * 800px, fill the background with black colour. Load the “Rust” image into Photoshop, select a portion of the rust texture as shown below:

1 select 499x328 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Copy and paste the selection onto our canvas, resize it to fit the height and width of the canvas, then apply the following motion blur settings to it:

1 mo blur The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Add the following adjustment layers to this texture layer: (make sure to tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

Black and white

1 bw1 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Curves

1 curves1 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Levels

1 levels1 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Apply the following layer mask to the texture layer:

1 mask 500x283 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

The reason I added the mask is when I start this artwork, I’ve already made a plan of how each object will be placed, and here is an indication of it:

1 effect and position 500x282 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Obviously by adding the layer mask, we can hide those areas that we don’t want the texture to be shown.

Step 2

Load the “cloud brush” into the Photoshop, create a new layer called “cloud” above all previous layer, and paint some cloud on it: (adjust the flow and opacity of the cloud brush to a low level, and don’t just use one brush, use the lot!)

2 paint cloud 500x282 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Load the “Mountain 1″ image into Photoshop and cut out the mountain portion of the image, paste it onto our canvas, resize and position it to the left side of the canvas, and name this layer as “mountain left”:

2 mountain paste 500x315 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Add the following layer mask to this “mountain left” layer: (this hide the edges and make a smooth transition, use a combination of a soft round brush and chalk brush to achieve this, make sure you adjust the flow and opacity along the way)

2 mountain mask 499x282 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Add the following adjustment layers to this mountain left layer: (make sure to tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

Black and White

2 bw The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Levels

2 levles The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Curves

2 curves1 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Here is the effect so far:

2 effect1 500x294 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Step 3

As you can we have a river flowing on the bottom of the moutnain – somehow I feel it’s a just too short and I decide to extend it a bit.

To do this, go back to the “mountain 1″ image, select the river portion of the image, copy and paste the selection on our canvas. Name this layer as”river”, resize it to smaller size as shown below:

3 river paste 500x238 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Erase the edges with a soft brush:

3 erase 500x264 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Add the following adjustment layers to this river layer: (make sure to tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

Black and White

3 bw The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Curves

3 curves1 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

For more variety, duplicate this river layer one more time and move it to the right side, apply the same black and white, curves adjustment settings as before:

3 duplicate 500x203 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Here is the effect so far:

3 effect2 500x274 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Step 4

Load the “Mountain 2″ image into Photoshop, cut out the following portion of the mountain and paste it onto our canvas, as shown below:

4 paste 500x285 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Name this layer as “mountain right”, add the following layer mask to this layer:

4 mask 500x278 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Add the following adjustment layers to this texture layer: (make sure to tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

Black and white

4 bw The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Now we move on to the palace bit of the image. Load the “palace” image into Photoshop, cut out the palace portion (i found the quick select tool is probably the best tool here) and paste it onto our canvas. Position it on top of the right mountain, resize it to fit the size of the mountain:

4 palace paste The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Erase the edges of the castle with a soft round brush (you can use chalk brush with a really low opacity and flow to erase some parts of the palace, to create a old and rusty effect)

4 pal erase The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Add the following adjustment layers to this palace layer: (make sure to tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

Black and White

4 pa bw The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Curves

4 pa curves The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Here is the effect so far:

4 effect 500x282 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Step 5

Now we can spice up the fantasy effect a bit by doing some cloud warping. If you are not familiar with this technique, check out this post here on PSD Vault.

The point I would like to mention is once you finish the cloud warp, experiment the layer blending mode with it, don’t just leave it to “normal”. For instance, I used the “screen” blending mode for the following cloud:

5 cloud warp1 500x260 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Also duplicate the cloud layer, move them around to the positions shown below for more lighting and depth:

5 cloud dup 500x349 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Once you’re happy with the cloud, load the “bridge” stock image into Photoshop, cut out and portion of the bridge and paste it onto our canvas. Name this layer as “bridge” and put it under the “mountain left” layer and “cloud” layer we created in the beginner of the tutorial, erase the edges of the bridge with a soft eraser:

5 erase1 500x269 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Add the following adjustment layers to this bridge layer: (make sure to tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

Black and white

5 bw The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Curves

5 curves1 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

We can fine-tuning the contrast of the image a bit. Add the following adjustment layers on top of all previous layer:

Curves

5 curves overall The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Here is the effect so far:

5 effect1 500x280 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Step 6

Now let’s create a simple meteor effect for this artwork. To do this, create a new layer called “meteor head” and grab a round white brush with 60% hardness, do a single click on the new layer, then hit Ctrl + Shift + X to bring up the liquify fitler, apply the following settings:

6 liq The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Left-click and hold, then drag the liquify brush to the direction as shown below for this effect:

6 dot liq The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Create a new layer called “meteor tail” and grab a round white brush with 40% hardness, do a single-click on this layer, then distort and warp it as shown below:

6 distort 500x202 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Warp

6 warp 500x232 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

To add some more effect around the tail, use the cloud brushset we downloaded and reduce their brush size to a very small level, then simply paint around the tail (use a soft eraser tool to erase the edges for better result):

6 paint cloud 500x288 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Then group those layers, duplicate this group and scatter the meteor around the canvas:

6 meteor dup 500x280 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Step 7

OK we’re petty much done. To fine-tune the final effect, I added the following adjustment layers above all previous layers:

Colour Balance

7 col sha The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

7 col mid The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

7 col high The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Layer Mask on Colour Balance layer:

7 col mask 500x289 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Vibrance

7 vi The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Levels

7 curves The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Here is the effect so far:

7 effect 500x284 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

For final touchups, I reduce the noise of the image a bit, and here is the final effect: (click to enlarge)

Version 1

ancient civil flatten 500x285 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

Version 2 (this is an alternative version with a darker contrast)

ancient civil flatten 2 500x285 The Creation of Lost in Memory Epic Fantasy Artwork in Photoshop

That’s it for this tutorial! Hopefully you learnt something new :)

Until next time, have a great day!