How to Create an Epic Portal Scene in Photoshop

How to Create an Epic Portal Scene in Photoshop
portal6c[4]
portal6d[4]

Step 7

To make some depth for the portal , I make a new layer with Clipping Mask above each portal layer, set to Overlay and fill with 50% gray:

portal7[4]

Take Dodge and Burn Tool ( hit O) with Midtone Ranges and medium Exposure ( 50-55% - Dodge tool) and 20- 30% for Burn Tool to darken and brighten some parts of portal parts. I changed the mode to Normal to let you see how I applied these tools ( bright parts-Dodge Tool, dark parts-Burn Tool):

portal7a[4]
portal7b[4]

Overlay mode ( result of this step):

portal7c[4]

Step 8

In this step we'll create shadow for portal parts. Make a new layer under "portal part 1". Hold the Cmd/Ctrl key and click inside the thumbnail of "portal part 1" layer to load its selection:

portal8[4]

Go to Edit-Fill and fill this selection with black:

portal8a[4]

Choose Edit-Transform-Flip Vertical then hit Cmd/Ctrl+T to transform this part:

portal8b[4]

Lower opacity to 30%:

portal8c[4]

To get the softer look for this shadow , choose Filter-Blur-Gassian Blur and set radius as 3 :

portal8d[4]

Add layer mask and use soft black brush with opacity and flow about 50% to blur shadow top and right:

portal8e[4]

With same technique we make shadow for another part of portal:

portal8f[4]

Step 9

To add more light for the portal as it's shone from behind, I use Inner Shadow effect. Right click each portal layer, choose Blending options-Inner Shadow and fill with settings below:

portal9[4]

This is result we have:

portal9a[4]

Step 10

To fix some parts of the portal, I use Clone Tool again. Make a new layer on the top and use this tool to remove some unwanted parts as the screenshot below shows:

portal10[3]
portal10a[3]

Step 11

To change the light and contrast of picture, make a new layer and press G to active Gradient Tool. Choose Radiant Gradient with default color (black and white). Drag a line from center to bottom:

portal11[3]
portal11a[3]
portal11b[3]

Change the mode of this layer to Soft light 100%:

portal11c[3]

Step 12

To darken the land , make a new layer and I use soft brush with color #091425. Paint on the land and leave a small part around the portal. Put the mode as Multipy 100%:

portal12[3]
portal12a[3]

You can see the picture change the mood from day to night.

Step 13

Open light stock. I found a perfect stock image ( light of fire) for this tutorial purpose. Make selection around light part then copy it into our canvas, resize and transform it ( Cmd/Ctrl+T), position it onto the portal :

portal13[3]
portal13a[3]

Change the mode to Screen 100%. You can see most of dark part disappeared. I add layer mask to remove remained part and some parts of the light to make it look natural. You can vary brush size for different parts of it:

portal13b[3]

Duplicate this layer and apply Flip Horizontal for it. Use layer mask with same method to make these lights look like going out from the cleft between portal doors. Name these layers as "light 1" and "light 2":

portal13c[3]

Step 14

On light 1 layer, I make selection for a part of light and set feather =0.5. Copy this part into a new layer as we did in step 2. Move it above light layers. Place it on the top of portal. You can use Eraser Tool to clear any unecessary parts:

portal14[3]
portal14a[3]

Step 15

To make a more visible cleft between portal doors , make a new layer and use white brush to draw a line from the top to bottom of the cleft. Change the mode to Overlay 100%:

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25 comments on “How to Create an Epic Portal Scene in Photoshop”

  1. I received an email with a link to this tutorial. It's pretty old, so some of the links to images we can use, are gone. Could someone help me find something like them that I can use?

  2. Excellent! Very well explained tutorial. Found a cool epic comet on pinterest that could fit to the nature of the pic.

  3. I don't know what shall I do, because I have trouble with Step 7. I could create the clipping mask with one of the portal's side but I can't do it with the other part... If I create the clipping mask the whole part disappear. With the other part it worked perfectly. Help pls! :(

  4. Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing. Excellent photo manipulation, by the way, with the light glow providing a nice touch.

  5. this tutorial was awesome!!!!!!! It was easy to understand and it really got me to explore PS more and do some problem solving, for my computer was being stubborn and not letting me do certain features. :)
     
    i give it a 10/10! :D

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