How to Create a Mysterious Matte Painting Landscape in Photoshop

How to Create a Mysterious Matte Painting Landscape in Photoshop
How to Create a Mysterious Matte Painting Landscape in Photoshop

Step 35

I painted some orange tones on the flares to give some vividness. Create two new layers. One front flare layers with light color # f2ecc6 (layer Opacity: 27%) with dark color # f2d9b1 (layer Opacity: 15%) behind the flares (Soft Round Brush, Size: 500px, Opacity: 100%). Try make that brush center and flare match, then the form will be better.


Step 36

Create a new layer. Take Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) and draw a shape similar to a wrong crystal or just a way of movement of the sun rays (Sun - roof of left tower - right towers - sun). Fill this figure with color #ffedba, deselect it (Cmd/Ctrl + D). Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur... Set Radius: 200px. Done! Set Opacity for this layer 40%.


Step 37

We make the rays of the sun by using Photoshop filters. Fill black color a new layer. Go to Filter > Render > Fibers. In dialog box set Variance: 20, Strength: 20 and click OK.


Rotate this layer on 39 degrees (Cmd/Ctrl + T or Edit > Transform > Rotate). Set Blending Mode "Screen" and Opacity: 15%. Add a layer mask and with soft brush remove all except the space in the center of the image, where we did the incident light. A little more to add to the mountains and the sky (just do not overdo it).


All layers of the sun safely hidden in the yellow group with same name :). It remains to improve the clarity of small details and do a little color correction.


Step 38

Please make the correction of noise and sharpness. You have two options for how to do it. You can merge all the layers now (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + E) (without the possibility of returning to the layers. In this case you will have to make a duplicate of this layer) into one or duplicate them (Cmd/Ctrl + J), and then will merge it (Cmd/Ctrl + E). In any case (I chose the second option) convert layer for Smart Filters and add Filter "Reduce noise".


And add a second filter - "Sharpen" (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen...). Nothing happens, but in Layer panel, on this layer appears "Sharpen". Make double-click on settings icon on the right-side; in window, that appears, set Opacity: 55%.

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29 comments on “How to Create a Mysterious Matte Painting Landscape in Photoshop”

  1. This looks so cool. You know what would make it even better?? ATMOSPHERIC PERSPECTIVE. But that can be a personal job for readers. Nice work

  2. Possibly the best tutorial I have done. Absolutly awesome image, and I love the way you explain how you see it & why. It is like a noval.
    Please do more !

  3. Amazing tutorial, now I have to go back and do the rest of your stuff. :D

    A tip for Step 38: just select your top layer, go to Edit -> Select all (ctrl/cmd + A)
    then Edit -> Copy merged (shift + ctrl/cmd + C)

    This will copy all the visible layer (inside your selection), now you just have to paste it,

    Edit -> Paste (ctrl/cmd + V) or Paste special -> Paste in place (shift + ctrl/cmd + V).

  4. wow, what a wonderful great tutorial.
    Very well explained so even a "beginner" to work with.
    Thank you also for the material and links to the trouble to write it all. Once again, simply grandiose.
    Kind Regards

    1. Easy to follow. But I have some problems with making it exactly the same you have showed. I would have to search in for photoshop basic tools documentation.

      However, thanks!

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