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Gigantic Fortress with a Mysterious Glow Photoshop Tutorial

Tutorial Resources

Step 1: Create a Photoshop Image File

Let’s start by creating a new image file, go to the Menu bar and click File > New, and then input the following values on their respective fields:

  • Width: 3000px
  • Height: 3000px
  • Resolution: 300pixels/inch
  • Color Mode: RGB Color; 8 bit
  • Background Contents: Transparent


Step 2: Create the Sky

In this step, we will be creating the sky of our image. To start, open “Background 26” by Albastock. Once open, activate the Rectangular Marquee tool (by pressing M on your keyboard) and create a selection area around the sky. See images below:



Now that you’ve made a selection area around the sky of the stock image, activate the Move tool (V) then left-click on the image and drag it all the way to our canvas.

Position it as shown below:


Next, double-click on the words “Layer 1” and rename this layer to “Sky 1”.


Now, we will resize the image to make it a part of the sky in our image; to do that, activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T).


The result of that should be similar to this:


We’ve made the first part of the sky, now we will make it more dramatic. To do that, we will add the sky from the stock image: “Stock_Field” by digital-amphetamine. Open the said stock image and once it is open, create a selection area around its sky using the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M). See image below:


After that, activate the Move tool (V) and drag that selected sky to our canvas. Make sure to put it above the “sky 1” layer; to do that, just left-click and drag this new layer on top of the “sky 1”.

Rename this new layer now to “sky 2”. Next, position “sky 2” as shown on the image below:


Now, activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and resize “sky 2” as shown below:


The result:


In order to make these two skies blend, we’ll need to duplicate “sky 2” by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + J and then change “sky 2”‘s blending mode to “Multiply”. To do that, simply do the following as shown on the images below:


Click on “Multiply”, once the contextual menu opens:


Now, the result of that change blending mode would be like this:


Step 3: Create the Ground

In this step, we will be creating the ground to which the castle is built upon. First, let’s open the stock image: “into the desert” by night fate stock. Activate the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and create a selection area over the ground shown on the image below:


Next, activate the Move tool (V) and drag that to our canvas. Put it above the “sky 1” and “sky 2” layers. Position it as shown below:


Rename this layer now to “ground 1”. Next, we will need to resize this. Activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and resize it as shown below:


The result of that should be similar to this:


For this ground to have the same lighting as the sky, we’d need to reduce its Brightness/Contrast. To do that, make sure that “ground 1” is selected and then go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and input the following:

  • Brightness: -70
  • Contrast: 0
  • Use Legacy: Unchecked


The result should be similar to this:


Next, we will need to darken some parts of this ground before we put the castle walls on top of it to make things easier.

To do that, make sure that the “ground 1” layer is selected and then create a new layer (Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + N). This process makes sure that the new layer will be created above the active layer. Now when then new layer box is open, input “darken” on the name box. See image below:


Next, right click on the “darken” layer and click on “Create Clipping Mask” so that the paint we will be applying will only be applied to the “ground 1” layer.


Next, activate the Brush tool (B) but before we start, make sure that the active Brushes are the default brushes. The default Photoshop brushes are shown on the image below, if that’s not what you see, then follow the instructions below:


Right click the canvas while a layer is selected and while the Brush tool (B) is activated and then click on the button highlighted below:


Then click on “Reset Brushes” from the contextual menu.


Now, that that is done input the following settings for our Brush tool (B):

  • Brush size: 1100px
  • Hardness: 0%
  • Opacity: 15%
  • Flow: 100%
  • #: 000000


Take note that the #: 000000 is the brush’s color. To change to that, simply do the following:


Once it opens input 000000 on the # space.