Create Ocean Monster Attack Surreal Digital Art in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the process used to create ocean monster attack surreal digital art in Photoshop. We will combine a number of objects such as city buildings, ocean and rocks to form the base on the image, and use an octopus stock photo as the monster. We will also add some tornado onto the image to finalise the effect.

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This is an intermediate level tutorial and prior knowledge of Photoshop layers, image adjustments, layer masks are required.

Note: The Photoshop tutorial is done in Photoshop CC – therefore some screenshot may have slighting different layout as in the earlier version. Some brushes are exclusive to Photoshop CS6 or above.

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

sea-monster-attack-flatten

Alternative Colour Scheme:

sea-monster-attack-flatten-3

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OK Let’s get started!

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

Ocean

City 1

City 2

Rock

Octopus

Tornado by AshenSorrow

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1500px * 844px, fill the background layer with a light grey colour as shown below:

1 fill

Load the ocean stock image into Photoshop and select the following portion:

1 sel

Copy and paste the selection to our canvas. Adjust the size of this layer so that the ocean part will take around 3/4 of the canvas height. The slightly rotate it clock-wise with the free transform tool:

1 roate

Reduce the layer opacity of this layer to around 80%:

1 opa

Apply the following adjustment layers as clipping masks to this ocean layer:

Black & White

1 bw

Levels

1 lvs

Curves

1 curves

and here is the effect so far:

1 effect

Step 2

I decided to add some extra waves to the ocean to make it look more stormy. Go to the ocean stock and select a piece of the ocean as shown below with a Lasso tool (set feather to 40px):

2 sel

Copy and paste the selection to our document, apply the black and white adjustment to this wave layer and place it onto the ocean:

2 bw

Use this process to add more waves around the ocean:

2 more waves

Load the rock stock into Photoshop and select the following portion:

2 island

Copy and paste the selection to the right side of the canvas, blend it into the ocean and make it submerged:

2 paste

Step 3

Load the “city 1” stock into Photoshop, select the following portion from the stock image:

3 city

Copy and paste the selection to our document, remove the unnecessary parts from it and place the buildings over the rock:

3 attach

Load the “city 2” stock image into Photoshop and select the following portion:

3 sel

Copy and paste the selection and place it to the bottom left as shown below:

3 attach 2

Use a particle brush to add some particle effect around the buildings:

3 erase

Apply the following adjustment layers as clipping masks to this building layer:

Black and White

3 bw

Layer mask on the above black and white adjustment layer:

3 bw mask

Levels

3 lvs

and you will have the following effect so far:

3 effect

Repeat the above process, add more buildings to the centre and right side of the canvas:

Hint: use free transform tool to flip, distort the buildings to add variety and depth.

3 effect 2

Step 4

Load the octopus image into Photoshop and we will use it to create the ocean monster. Cut out the octopus and place it to the position shown below. Use a soft eraser to fade the bottom part of it as shown below:

4 oct

Apply the following adjustment layers to this octopus layer:

Black and white

4 bw

Layer mask on the above black and white adjustment layer:

4 bw mask

Levels

4 lvs

And you will have the following effect:

4 effect

Repeat the above process to add 1 smaller monster to the left side,

4 effect 2

Step 5

Add more waves to the top of ocean with the method described in step 2:

5 wave

Use a cloud brush, paint some cloud around the top:

5 cloud

Load the tornado image into Photoshop, make a soft selection of it:

5 tor1

Copy and past the selection to our document. Use it to form 3 tornodes, make sure their sizes are different from each other:

5 tor2

Add some particles around the canvas:

5 part

5 part 2

This is my overall effect without adding any colour:

5 effect

And this is the my final result with colours added: (click to enlarge)

sea-monster-attack-flatten

Alternative Colour Scheme:

sea-monster-attack-flatten-3

Please experiment your own colour scheme and the adjustment layers, and see what result different colour brings you.

That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy it and find it useful! If you have any questions about the steps, please contact me or leave a comment below. I will try my best to answer them.

Till next time, have a great day!

Tags:

  • My name is James and I have been using Photoshop since version 5.0 (long time ago!). PSD Vault is my spare time hobby and I write majority of the Photoshop tutorials and articles here. I hope you enjoy my blog, and feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.

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