Create an Incredible Twilight Surreal Scene with Floating Islands

Create an Incredible Twilight Surreal Scene with Floating Islands
Create an Incredible Twilight Surreal Scene with Floating Islands

Create this magical twilight landscape with floating islands, a old sailboat, and a surreal moon background. This tutorial will teach you how to mix stock photos, apply filters to create a twilight scene, and even some matte painting basics!

Preview of Final Results


Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Let's start! Create new file 1920x1080 size.


Step 2

Choose Forest Mountain stock and place it:


Step 3

Add new adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer) with Brightness/Contrast).


Step 4

At adjustment layer make mask. Use big (ex. 200px) soft brush and draw:


Step 5

Then, paste Sky levels stock as new layer. You should transform it, to fill canvas. Change blending mode to Multiply.


Step 6

On this layer, use mask. Try to mask all the trees from the bottom side. you should use big, soft brush (ex. 300px or more). My masking results are below


Step 7

Paste Stars stock, as new layer. Then add mask to this layer. Again use soft, big brush on contours of mountains.


Step 8

Change blending mode of stars to Screen.


Step 9

It's time to paste moon stock on new layer. Place it as shown. Change blending mode to Screen


Step 10

As you can see, moon is too big and the color doesn't goes with this landscape. You should change that. First - mask. Use big, soft round brush (100-200px) and mask it on the bottom.


Step 11

Now hue of the moon. Add adjustment layer with Hue/Saturation and create clipping mask (RMB>Create clipping mask).


Step 12

You should make moon brighter. Compliment won't work ;). Holding ctrl choose Moon and Hue layer. Duplicate it.


Step 13

Add new layer. Choose Gradient Fill tool and #362f2d color. Arrow will guide you :)


Step 14

Change blending mode of this gradient to overlay.


Step 15

Add new layer. Choose soft, big (370px) brush, #6dcff6 color and set opacity to 70%. Draw gently glow around and near moon. I also draw a few spots on the edges of mountains.


Step 16

Change glow layer blending mode to soft light.


Step 17

Now you will know some matte painting techniques. Add new layer. Choose soft brush, 40px wide, #929397 color. Draw on the edges of the mountains/plants. This is very important step! It can appear like fog, and give mystic look!


Step 18

Change blending mode to Soft light. Will be awesome! :)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

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30 comments on “Create an Incredible Twilight Surreal Scene with Floating Islands”

  1. Thank you very much is a great job and I was surprised by the castle, since it belongs to my city Almadén (Ciudad Real) has been an incredible detail.

  2. Thanks, love this tutorial, and thanks for posting. Explains a lot of techniques. One thing I would add is to delete (or mask or cover) the stars that are showing thru from behind the moon. Unless they are meteors, they would not be visible behind the opaque moon.

    My 2 bits

  3. what's a spatter brush?
    (:: - Step 55
    Create new layer. (Hey! Without making clipping mask :]) Choose spatter 59 px brush #baf3f0 color. Draw on the edges of trees.)

  4. In Step 4, you say "At adjustment layer make mask". What does this mean? I'm pretty new to this, so any help would be great!

  5. Hi, can someone please explain to me in details how step 4 and 5 was done? After I made a new mask layer and colored in red the sky area, I then proceed to paste the sky stock. That sky stock image appeared as a new layer and not on the mask layer called "Sky - mmtEvr6." How do you merge the sky layer with the landscape to appear as one image?

    Thank you.

    1. For merging two layers, select both layers and press Ctrl + E.. Hope this helps..

  6. Hi Monika,
    Fantastic Tutorial..! Thanks for posting..! I too have a blog with Photoshop Tutorials aimed for beginners..

    Keep on posting nice tutorials like this.. Happy to revisit..!

  7. Bonjour;Je vous remercie beaucoup pour votre tutoriel et l'utilisation des calques et des masques.
    Je vous souhaite à tous une bonne journée à tous

  8. Would be really nice if you would inform me when you use my stock in a tutorial - we could do some social sharing and promotion

    Kind Regards


  9. I think this could have all been a lot shorter now that i've read through the whole thing.

    For one, hyper links, use them and just say repeat this process such as the saturation, hue, contrast and brightness factors, as well, it's really hard to learn this tutorial if you were a beginner, saying to just "mask" something is far easier said than done if you have no idea more effective ways of doing the like with the quick mask or the layer mask.

    I hate the ship, it's like heres rocks and trees and everything natural not a single bit of water showing, oh and here's a ship. I took it out of mine on personal choice but it's up to you.

    Last thing I'd say is the rocks you created, they look far more detailed then just using a brush to create them I'd say you took multiple layers using different sections of the rock each time and layered them on top of each other to give more depth to the photo, if you want nice crisp clean jagged rocks try using the lasso tool and deleting the brush layer piece by piece.

  10. Fantastic graphics work..Have to ask all of our designers to follow your articles..Thank you so much..

  11. What a great tuto! Trying to be better in photo manipulation this was really helpfull.
    Just having a weird result on step 30 when trying to add lights to the stone, it needed to be set at 5% opacity not to have those white mass...
    And also step 56 I'm not able to have something like yours, I just have this white edge as if it wasn't well cut out, took me time to fix it but nevermind, I learnt a lot thank you! (and sorry for my bad english ahah)

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