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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.

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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.

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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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Step 10

I added in working document (File > Place (Place Embedded)) a large lotuses “262_boat_by_Chinese_stock”. Quite a bit to increase the size of lotuses (Ctrl/Cmd+T or Edit > Free Transform). Select lotuses, used Quick Selection Tool (W) and add layer mask to this layer.

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Step 11

Duplicate once this layer (to do this, use Cmd/Ctrl + J or go to Layer > Duplicate Layer). A little reduce size and move this layer under previous lotuses layer. Arrange them so that the images overlap. I recommends that you first select the desired fragment and not use reflection to this layer (Flip Horizontal). Otherwise, the picture loses its harmony and becomes not lose integrity. To make the leaves a little different and get rid of the light background in some places, I removed some parts of the layer mask with a small soft brush.

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Step 12

Lotus is perhaps the most famous and sacred plant. But the vast majority of these beliefs combines basic concept denoted Lotus: purity by light. Lotus rhizome immersed in the mud, but the flowers and leaves its pure and untainted. Flowers raised high above the water, over land. Is not it beautiful and instructive!

I thought it necessary to add a few bloomed lotus flowers to diversify and give affection. Place (File > Place (Place Embedded)) image “loto_flower_png_by_darksideofgraphic-d6ck3z4” in working document. Reduce the flowers that they were about the size as on original photos and arrange them different parts of the image. I advise you to place some layers before the layers with lotuses and behind them. Also, do not replace all the buds on the flowers, otherwise you will lose the harmony. Try to arrange the flowers in the foreground on sticks buds. Total I used 4 flower. To Merge flower layers use Cmd/Ctrl + E or Layer > Merge Layers…

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Step 13

To put the point in the work on the first plan, add the finishing touches – koi fish. Koi – it is one of the gems of east. With them is associated with many legends and this fish is highly respected, it has long been revered as a symbol. I added them much later when doing this artwork, but you better do it now. Open image “Koi_1_by_Alegion_stock” (go to File > Open or use Cmd/Ctrl+ O). As you can see, background is not enough black to select the fishes, so press Cmd/Ctrl + L or go to Image > Adjustments> Levels… Set for Blacks: 21, for Whites: 225 and click OK. I increased the maximum black to get rid of noise and color spots on the background and reduced a little of maximum brightness to make a little contrasted fishes.

23 thoughts on “How to Create a Mysterious Matte Painting Landscape in Photoshop”

  1. 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 !

  2. 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).

  3. 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 http://google.com for photoshop basic tools documentation.

      However, thanks!

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