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

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

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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:

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:

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

Black and white

Curves

Levels

Apply the following layer mask to the texture layer:

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:

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!)

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”:

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)

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

Levels

Curves

Here is the effect so far:

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:

Erase the edges with a soft brush:

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

Black and White

Curves

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:

Here is the effect so far:

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:

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

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

Black and white

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:

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)

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

Black and White

Curves

Here is the effect so far:

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:

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

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:

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

Black and white

Curves

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

Curves

Here is the effect so far:

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:

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

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:

Warp

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):

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

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

Layer Mask on Colour Balance layer:

Vibrance

Levels

Here is the effect so far:

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

Version 1

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

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

Until next time, have a great day!

Categories: Photo Effect

Tags: ,,,,,,,

  • http://www.clippingimages.com/ clippingimages

    Wow!! great:) thanks for sharing this post…….

  • http://www.psd-dude.com PsdDude

    Wow! I like both versions , very creative fantasy scene :)

  • amazing!

    wow that is amazing!

  • daozi

    3Q for sharing this post ~~!! HAHA AMAZING!!

  • nicholas

    coooooooooooooool

  • PSDMaterial

    Version two is amazing :D

  • 705am

    i’ve learned that u amazin ^^

  • http://www.freeitsolutions.com/photoshop/ Photoshop Tuts

    Amazing image! I sure learned a lot from this tutorial! Thanks !

  • Eliza

    Wow Awesome !!!!!

  • http://www.pato.pl/en/ photo editor

    I love u man :P

  • mating

    Wow,Amazing image!Amazing tutorial! thx

  • Alx

    What am i going to do when it says: “apply the following layer”
    I always stop there! On every turtorial I give up when i get to that part because I simply don’t know what to do!
    Please help me, what shall I do?

  • Arshinov

    Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this it’s great guys….keep burning coz yo hot…..

  • Mira

    “What am i going to do when it says: “apply the following layer”
    I always stop there! On every turtorial I give up when i get to that part because I simply don’t know what to do!
    Please help me, what shall I do?”

    I think I can help you… If i’m right you have to select your texture layer then go to “Layer” -> “Layer Mask” -> “Reveal All”. You’ll see the mask added to your layer. Then you have to get your brush tool, select the foreground color to black and make like it shown in the tutorial. If you want to see the effect just hide your 1st layer (The Black Background) and you’ll see that some parts of the pic are “deleted”. Enjoy!

    Good tutorial!!!

  • Agus

    Good, i like it

  • emma

    umm…. mine looks nothing like your final outcome. the whole photo is tinted yellow-orange, instead of multicolored.

    GAH!!

  • Naresh kumar

    Very nice. I like the effect.

  • Liane Hilo

    This is actually a exceptional post. I am still new to all this but I try to improve. Reading this article helped me a good deal in getting a line of this. Thank you for sharing it and maintain the great work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WolfQween Stephanie Allard

    Can anyone tell me how to create a layer mask likes the ones in this tutorial> I’m using Photoshop CS6 and have no idea how to make one :/