Create Sci-Fi Landscape Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn the steps of creating sci-fi landscape photo manipulation in Photoshop. We will create the landscape based on a few standard nature stock images, plus some custom brush paintings. Have a try!

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NOTE: THIS PHOTOSHOP TUTORIAL IS DONE IN PHOTOSHOP CC 2017 – 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)

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Let’s get started!

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

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1440px * 700px with black background. Load the stormy cloud stock photo into Photoshop, add it to our document as shown below:

Apply the following image adjustment layers onto this cloud layer:

Black & White

Levels

Curves

and this is the effect you will have:

Use the tree brush to paint some random tree pattern down the bottom:

Step 2

Load the mountain stock image into Photoshop. Select the mountain tip:

Copy and paste the selection to our document and flip it vertically (turn it into a floating rock). Use a soft eraser to fade its edge so it blends into the cloud:

Apply the following image adjustment layers as clipping mask to this floating rock layer:

Black & White

Levels

Curves

and this is the effect so far:

Step 3

Load the warrior stock image into Photoshop and cut of the warrior, resize and place him over the floating rock:

Use the lightning brush, paint some lightning effect around the warrior:

Step 4

Go back to the mountain stock and select this part of the mountain as shown below:

Copy and paste the selection to our document, place it to the right side of the floating rock. Fade its edge with a soft erase:

Apply the following Black and White image adjustment to this layer:

and here is the effect after the adjustment:

Repeat this process and add another mountain base to the left:

Use the cloud brush to paint some extra cloud around the mountains, and this is the overall effect so far:

Step 5

We will add a few mountain peaks to the left and right mountain base. Go back to the mountain photo and select the tip of the mountain:

Copy and paste the selection to our document. Erase the unnecessary part of the mountain, and use the free transform tool to scale it down. Then add to the left mountain base as shown below:

Duplicate this mountain peak layer a few times, use free transform tool to vary each layer’s size, and form a group mountain effect like below:

Repeat this process and add the mountain peak to the right side:

Use the lightning brush to paint some lightning effect around the mountains as shown below:

Step 6

Load the fire stock image we downloaded at the beginning of the tutorial into Photoshop. Use a Lasso Tool with 30px feather setting, select this portion of the fire (mainly particles):

Copy and paste the selection to our document, and change its layer blending mode to “Color Dodge”:

This is the effect you will have after the layer blend mode change:

Repeat this process and add more fire particles around the canvas.

Step 7

We’re almost done! I decided to add a couple of spaceships onto the image using the spaceship stock image downloaded at the beginning of the tutorial:

Make sure you use a soft eraser (or drop the layer opacity) to fade the spaceships into the cloud.

I also added extra tree around the left & right mountain with the tree brush:

I further applied some colours using a few image adjustment layers, and this is my final result: (click to enlarge)

That’s it for this tutorial! Leave me a comment below if you have any questions. Enjoy it? Help me share it around by using the share buttons at the top of the tutorial!

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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