Create Surreal Landscape with Mountain and Waterfalls in Photoshop

In this Photoshop tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to create Surreal Landscape with Mountain and Waterfalls in Photoshop. We will also be adding some spacecrafts flying in the sky, as well as elements such as cloud, birds and light.

The PSD file of this tutorial is available to buy on PSD Vault Shop, or via the PSD Vault VIP members area.

This is an intermediate level difficulty tutorial and some steps can be tricky.

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.

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

fantasy-landscape-with-floating-mountain-waterfall-max

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OK Let’s get started!

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

Mountain 1

Mountain 2

Waterfall

Spacecraft (when you’re at the page, right-click on the image and “save as”, no need to download the source file)

Cloud Brushes

Birds Brushes

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1000px * 1500px with white background. Load the cloud brush downloaded and paint some cloud over the background layer as shown below:

1 cloud

Load the “Mountain 1” image into Photoshop, select the following mountain peak from this image:

1 sel

Copy and paste your selection into Photoshop, re-size and place it down the bottom:

1 paste

Use a soft eraser, fade the top edge of this new layer, so it blends into our cloud background:

1 erase

Step 2

Load the “Mountain 2” image into Photoshop, select the following peak area:

2 sel

Copy and paste the selection to our document, rotate it so it becomes up side down as shown below:

2 rotate

Use a soft eraser (set its brush flow and opacity to both around 50%), fade the edge of the mountain as shown below:

2 erase

Repeat the above step, add 2 more floating mountain into the far distant position. You can adjust the size of the mountain by using the Free Transform tool:

2 more

Step 3

Load the waterfall stock image into Photoshop, select the main falls portion of the image:

3 sel

Copy and paste the selection to our document, flip the new layer horizontally, and place on the left side of the floating mountain:

3 paste

Use a soft eraser to fade the edges of the waterfall, so it blends into the mountain:

3 erase

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

Black and White

3 bw

Levels

3 lvs

and here is the effect so far:

3 effect

Repeat the above process, add another small waterfall on the right side of the mountain:

3 add

Step 4

Load the spacecraft image into Photoshop. Select the spacecraft:

4 sel

Copy and paste the selection onto our document, re-size it to a very small scale, and place it to the following position below the floating mountain:

4 paste resize

Use a small soft brush to paint a white light behind and below the spacecraft:

4 light

We will add some trail light behind the spacecraft. Create a new layer and draw a rectangular selection, and fill the selection as shown below:

4 fill

Apply the following Gaussian Blur setting to this rectangular shape:

4 gau blur

Rotate it slightly clockwise:

4 rotate

And scale it down a bit:

4 scale

and this is the effect you will be aiming to achieve:

4 effect

Repeat this process, add another trail light for the spacecraft:

4 more

Use the cloud brush, paint some cloud effect around the spacecraft:

4 cloud

Optionally, you can add a few more spacecrafts around the mountain at the bottom. Make sure you adjust the size of the spacecraft so they don’t have the same size to each other:

4 more craft

Step 5

I added a light shooting from the top of the mountain using the same method as the trail light in Step 4:

5 add light

Paint some cloud around the mountain peak using the cloud brushes:

5 cloud

Step 6

We will be adding some final touches to our image in this final step. I use the cloud brush to paint some extra cloud around the mountain, in the following areas:

6 cloud

Use the bird brush downloaded at the beginning of the tutorial, paint some flying birds – make sure you lower the opacity so they’re barely visible, and do not use large size birds:

7 bird

Add some particles effect around the bottom mountain with a particle brush:

7 particle

I further added some colours to the image with several adjustment layers added on top of all previous layers, such as selective colours, vibrance and brightness and contrast. Please feel free to experiment with different colour schemes, you don’t have to limit yourself to using my colours.

fantasy-landscape-with-floating-mountain-waterfall-max

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!

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  • 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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