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 5

Make Feather: 0px, set checkbox on "New Selection" and click OK. Improve the selection and remove the extra. First inverse Selection (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + I or Select > Inverse) and go to Refine Edge (Opt/Alt+ Cmd/Ctrl + R or Select Refine Edge). In Refine Edge set checkbox on "Smart Radius" and set Radius: 0.3px. Use brush in this window and several times draw it along the edges of the trees, where stayed background. After all click OK.


It remains to remove background. Add a layer mask by clicking on the Add Layer Mask button in the layers panel or by going to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.7

Step 6

We go further. The next step, I began work on the first plan. I added in working document (File > Place (Place Embedded)) a small lotuses (Stepping stones) image "Stepping_Stones_by_Ekuboryu". Resize it so lotuses be smaller (Ctrl/Cmd+T or Edit > Free Transform) and place them between temple coast and the left edge of the image.


Step 7

Add a Layer mask to both layers and use Brush Tool (B) (Brush form "Oil Pastel Large", Size: 63, Opacity: 100%) to remove from water part of the plant. Make sure that would have removed part of the image where the plants darkened from tree. Do not make a smooth edge of plants, otherwise you will lose the realism. Play a bit with the form that the plants were dynamic but without sharp conversion.


Step 8

Duplicate two times this layer (to do this, use Cmd/Ctrl + J or go to Layer > Duplicate Layer), because we will need to cover remaining empty space and increase the river and make the transition between the large lotuses, which we then added. Increase second and third layers so that plants have been a little bigger than previous (just a bit), place them in a stepwise manner, but try to observe the type of plant (texture must matched). The third layer I Flip Horizontal (Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal) to not use a dark area. So I can use the more useful parts of the image and ensure harmony.


Step 9

With a Soft Round brush (Size 70px, Opacity: 100-70%), on a layer masks I lined texture of plants to make the transition between layers. You can not leave it in this form :). Be careful with a big stone on a second layer, it must been not visible. With the same stones, remove unwanted stones, only very gently without damaging texture. For the third layer with water plants use a brush from Step 7 to make the uneven edge for plants.

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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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