Now, let’s darken the areas that need to be darkened:

image035

The result should be similar to this:

image036

Next, we will brighten the horizon of the sky; to do that, let’s create a new layer again (Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + N) and in the name box, input “horizon”. Make sure though, that this layer is above the “darken” layer.

Once the layer is created, activate the Brush tool (B) and input the following settings:

  • Brush size: 800px
  • Hardness: 0%
  • Opacity: 15%
  • Flow: 100%
  • #: ffffff

image037

Now, we can paint in the horizon.

image038

The result of that should give a brighter horizon such as shown on the image below:

image039

Next, it’s time we added the second stock image which will feature the rocks in this deserted wasteland. To start, open the stock image: “Petrified Forest National Park 2” by dynamix.

Once the stock image is open, activate the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) because we will use this to create a selection area over the rocky region of the image.

image040

Let’s do it!

image041

Once the selection area has been made, activate the Move tool (V) and drag it to our canvas. Make sure to put it above all the layers that we’ve created.

Position it as shown below:

image042

Rename this layer now to “ground 2”. Next, activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and resize it as shown on the images below:

image043

image044

image045

The result of that transformation should be similar to this:

image046

Now, let’s reduce the Brightness/Contrast of these rocks to make it blend with “ground 1”. Go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and input the following:

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

image047

The result of that should be similar to this:

image048

To make “ground 2” blend more seamlessly, we’ll need to erase some parts of it and to that, we’ll need an Eraser. Activate the Eraser tool (E) and input the following:

image049

  • Brush size: 150 px
  • Hardness: 0%
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Flow: 100%

Once you’re ready, erase the region highlighted on the images below:

image051

image052

The result of that should be similar to this:

image054

Again, the un-erased part looks like this:

image055

Now, let’s darken the general ground to make both “ground 1” and “ground 2” blend more seamlessly with the rest of the images; so, create a new layer (Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + N) and name it “darken ground”. Make sure that this layer is above all the previous layers we’ve created.

Activate the Brush tool (B) and input the following:

  • Brush size: 1300px
  • Hardness: 0%
  • Opacity: 15%
  • Flow: 100%
  • #: 000000

And, let’s paint!

image056

The result of that should bring about something similar to this:

image057

The background is now complete, so select all the layers that we’ve created and then press Ctrl/Cmd + G to group all these layers. Once you’re done, rename the group to “BG”.

Note: Renaming a group is similar to renaming a layer.


Step 4: Create the Wall

Now, we will be adding the huge castle wall where a mysterious light will come out. To start, let’s open the stock image: “Battlements” by OeilDeNuit.

Once opened, activate the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) and create a selection area around the castle walls. See image below:

image058

Next, activate the Move tool (V) and drag the selected area to our canvas. Put this layer above all the “BG” group that we’ve created.

Position the castle wall as shown on the image below:

image059

Rename it now to “castle wall”. After that, activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and resize it as shown on the images below:

image060

image061

The result of that should be something like this:

image062

Next, we will make the castle wall blend-in with “ground 1”. To do that, we will need the Eraser tool (E). Activate this tool and then input the following:

  • Brush size: 100px
  • Hardness: 0%
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Flow: 100%

Now, we will erase.

image063

The result of that should be similar to this:

image064

In detail:

image065

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Now, we will enhance the lighting on the “castle wall”, let’s make it a little darker. Create a new layer (Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + N) and name this new layer “darken wall”. Make sure that this layer is above the “castle wall” layer. Right click on this layer and choose Create Clipping Mask from the contextual menu that pops up.

Activate the Brush tool (B) and input the following:

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

image067

The result of that should be similar to this:

image068