Grab the Brush Tool (B), select some soft round brush and lower its Opacity on 15%. Pick white color and start painting over the areas which should be lighter:

  • clouds around meteors,
  • clouds from the side where the sun shines,
  • parts of building which are facing to sun.

After you’re done pick black color and darken bottom part of the image and top left corner to make the image more balanced looking.  If you’re not sure where to paint look at the picture below for inspiration.


Step 6 – Adding Vignette

In this and some of the following steps you’ll focus on color adjustments. Let’s start with adding gentle vignette. I really like adding vignette to my pictures because it’s a great way how you can lead viewer’s eye in the center of the image. Grab the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) and select center of the image.


Now you want to make the selection smoother. To do that you need to feather it. Go to Select > Modify > Feather… (path may differ in different versions of Photoshop, this one is for CS6) or press Shift+F6 to activate the Feather Selection window. As Feather Radius set about 40pixels and press OK.


Go to Selection > Inverse or press Ctrl+Shift+I to invert the selection you created. With the mask active add new adjustment layer Curves on the top of all layers and set it as on the following picture.


Because of the active mask the adjustment layer makes only the edges of the picture darker and the center remains same as before.

Step 7 – Creating Stronger Atmosphere

When I was creating this photo manipulation I had some big, polluted city from the future in my mind. For me this mood can be captured by adding red tones to do the image and by darkening it. You’ll do both in this step. First add new adjustment layer Curves on the top of all layers and set them as on the following image. This way you add red tones to shadows of your image and cyan tones to highlights.


Change the Blending Mode of this layer from Normal to Color for better effect.


Now you make the image bit darker. Add another adjustment layer Curves on the top of the layers and set it as on the following picture.


On the following image you can see the adjustments you’ve made in this step.

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33 responses to “How to Create an Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Photo Manipulation in Photoshop”

  1. hamadah elgaml Avatar
    hamadah elgaml

    Love it

  2.  Avatar

    it sux no images

  3. ok cuh Avatar
    ok cuh

    hi bro

  4. satyajit N Avatar
    satyajit N

    thank you , I am teaclother you have explained the tutorial thanks a lot.

  5. satyajit N Avatar
    satyajit N

    thank you , I am teaclother you have explained the tutorial thanks a

  6. Rj raju Avatar
    Rj raju

    It is very helpful tutorial and great idea for this tutorial….thanks a lot

  7. Elie Brisaert Avatar
    Elie Brisaert

    Interesting tutos and very well explained ! Congratulations!
    But how can I get your stock (resources) pictures in Pelleron-Art?

  8. praveen parihar Avatar
    praveen parihar

    Very Nice

  9. Anne Wipf Avatar
    Anne Wipf

    I did your tutorial in the past, here:
    But it seem we cannot see the tutorials published on photoshop-tutorials anymore. :(
    I tried to contact photoshop-tutorial, but it doesn’t work. :(
    Could you tell me if there is something to pay now, or what we can do? Thank you.

  10. Ayaan Avatar

    Please re uploaded PSD file because when i click on download showing 404 error, this is best work for me i want check how did you do this

  11. clippingpatharea Avatar

    Absolutely beautiful works.. This is what called “Creativity”.

  12. Maidul Islam Avatar
    Maidul Islam

    Great, thanks for all the helpful info!

  13. Marcy Avatar

    It’s an okay tutorial… Except I couldn’t follow it after Step 2. (including Step 2).
    The instructions are so vague, and major steps are being skipped. I just can’t follow it.
    You should really try to improve on that. I’d rather have too many details and too proper grammar than too little.

    1. christmas background Avatar
      christmas background

      Maybe you should try to find some specific youtube-workshops about this themes

  14. USUCK Avatar

    WOW this tutorial suck , couldn’t understand a thing

  15. adibkarim Avatar

    Fantastic website. Lots of helpful information here.
    I’m sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you for your sweat!

  16. Tutorial-Trial Avatar

    This tutorial is okay, but it’s obviously lacking a LOT of information that’s required to even get close to the desired look that the author is showing.

    The tutorial is best at showing some ideas of what you can do and how to do it, but it’s not showing an obvious step-by-step method to get the exact look (if you’re trying for that) of the picture the author created.

  17. Kevin Avatar

    Thoughtful tutorial. Hats off

  18. malissimo43 Avatar


  19. john Avatar

    thanks for the tutorial!!

  20. Wonho Avatar

    Thank you very much, it’s really helpful!

  21. relax Avatar

    holy shit ! you are so great !

  22. LANdroid7 Avatar

    Extremely Awesome Tutorial \m/ I love it

  23. Nicolas Gautier Avatar
    Nicolas Gautier

    Humm… We can see a reflection on the city..

  24. adityajain Avatar

    its totally amazin!!!!!
    i have learnt a lot of effects through this and its awesome…… u have got a lot of ability and please teach me some…..

  25.  Avatar

    Thank you for the great tutorial,keep it up

  26. panos_m Avatar

    hay.. in the begginig you say to create a new document.. can you please tell me the exact dimentions of the document coz i face difficulties with the begginig.. thnx a lot!

    1. Photoshop Tutorials Editor Avatar
      Photoshop Tutorials Editor

      I believe the author used an image dimension of 600×900 pixels.

  27. Stevo Avatar

    very nice!!!!

  28. Greg Avatar

    Great tutorial!

  29. David Arocha Avatar
    David Arocha

    Thanks !!!!

  30. Elphie Avatar

    Thank you very much for the tutorial, very well explained :) I have not had any problems in understanding it, Thanks

  31. Anonymous Avatar

    Good but I would change the meteors up so they aren’t the same copy.

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