Learn how to create this beautiful ruins landscape with magical shafts of light. This Photoshop tutorial will show you how to add ruined buildings to the peaks of a snowy mountain landscape, add mystical light shafts, and a marching army.

Final Results


Tutorial Resources

Some resources may not be available anymore – this is one of the downsides of free stock photos. If that happens, use the “Alternative” link instead. These tutorials can typically be recreated with lower-res or similar-looking stock photos.

Step 1 – Preparing Background

Create a new document in Photoshop. Set its dimensions on 2337x 1315 pixels and press OK. The aspect ration of this photo manipulation is 16:9 to create more movie like feel.Press OK.


Download the background photo listed in the beginning of the tutorial and drag it into your new file. Name this new layer BACKGROUND.

Tip: It’s a very useful habit to name all your layers. It’s very time effective once you work with many layers and need to find something quickly to adjust it.


Step 2 – Adding the Ruin in the Background

Download the photo of the ruin (Ruin #1) listed in the beginning of the tutorial and drag it into your photo manipulation. Name this the layer RUIN IN BACKGROUND and drag it on the top of all layers. (If you don’t see the layer palette press F7 on your keyboard or go to Window > Layers to activate it).


Press Ctrl + T to activate the Free Transform Tool and resize the ruin on the proper size (see the preview image to get the example). Press Ctrl while doing it to preserve the same proportions. After you’re done press Enter on your keyboard to apply the changes.

Cut out the background of the ruins. There is plenty of ways how you can do it (e.g. with the Lasso Tool (L), the Pen Tool(P), the Brush Tool (B)). Just choose the one you’re the most comfortable with.


Step 3 – Darkening the Ruin

To make it more realistic looking you need to make the ruin bit darker. You can adjust that very easily by adding new adjustment layer Curves on the top of all layers. Click on the button Create a new fill or adjustment layers on the bottom part of your layers palette.


Choose the option Curves and set it same as on the following image.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

10 responses to “How to Composite a Ruins Landscape”

  1. APLUS America - Math and English Avatar
    APLUS America – Math and English

    Who else loves

  2. Aw Ais Avatar
    Aw Ais


    <3 ;)

    :) <3

  3. clippingpatharea Avatar

    Beautiful, creative and acutely enjoy able!

  4. Maidul Islam Avatar
    Maidul Islam

    Nice illustrations, they make it really easy to scan the post for the important parts.

  5. Ducebax Avatar

    This was very good tutorial. Yea maybe missing a few steps. But i think its a good thing to make you think sometimes on your own.

    I liked the tutorial very much. Keep it up m8.

    My attempt http://1niquity.deviantart.com/art/Snowland-457464418

  6.  Avatar

    awesome picccccccc

  7. Joe Avatar

    I like the image, but the tutorial is missing a LOT of steps.

  8. kostas Avatar

    Its a very nice tutorial and a picture..but for the left ruin it was way too few the info you gave about it… cause you copy the one side of the ruin and put it and left side of it ,plus you copy the short wall it had and put it on the right side of it…without those it didnt looked realistic ..

  9. Cameron K Avatar
    Cameron K

    tutorial was sort of hard to follow. I mean, when transforming the “left ruin” layer, did you change the perspective? not very descriptive… Good picture though

  10. SHARON LILY Avatar


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *