How to Create a Mysterious Matte Painting Landscape in Photoshop

How to Create a Mysterious Matte Painting Landscape in Photoshop
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Go to Channels tab, hold Cmd/Ctrl and click on RGB thumbnail to select fishes from background. Use Move Tool (V) or hold Cmd/Ctrl to switch into it and drag a fishes in your working document. This is a very easy way to quickly select the colorful image from the black background. Depending on the different channels, the colors are paler or saturation. In this case, the fish will be slightly transparent, making them realistic in water.
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Step 14

Reduce the size of the fishes to a little less than the distance between the water plants and shore (Ctrl/Cmd+T). To transform the image proportionally hold Shift. Duplicate fishes 4 times (Cmd/Ctrl + J) and change the size of a slightly larger and smaller fishes, flip layers horizontally (Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal) to make visible the diversity of fishes, arrange some little under water plants. All you want. This is a creative process and you can make your own version. After all the transformations I merge the layers with the fishes in one (Cmd/Ctrl + E). Place the layer with the fishes above layer with the temple to randomly fish have not started to go down the water lilies.
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Here is my result. I combined all layers with the first plan and the main temple in one group "Temple and lotuses". That's it! In this work on the first plan until finished and you can move on. Be sure that your image does not leave white stripes on the edges of document (this means that the image does not reach the edge of the document). If there is one, use the arrow keys and move the desired layer and if necessary, increase the image. Check it always and use Zoom Tool (Z).
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Step 15

Now I start adding towers. I decided to add more buildings to make the transition between the temple and the mountains to landscape change smoothly. Into working document, add image "temple_in_the_trees_by_firenze_design-d4uaozg" (Miyajima Temple) and resize it that trees to become the same size. Place the tower from the right edge of the document to the roof of the main temple. Place this layer under a group "temple and lotuses". Do not worry that the remaining blank space under the tower. I will add that there is a tower, only smaller.
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Step 16

First, let's remove the blessings of civilization in the form of cable throughout the tower. For do this, make right click on tower layer and select "Rasterize Layer". Take a Clone Stamp Tool (S) (Size: 6px, Hardness: 0, Opacity: 100%) and very very carefully, paint over cable. The source of the cloning choose adjacent region to avoid differences in color. If you are careful and attentive, then you get everything perfect.
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Step 17

Use Pen Tool (P) to circle the tower and trees. Make selection from path (right click on image > Make selection) and go to Refine Edge (Cmd/Ctrl + Opt/Alt + R). In Refine Edge Set checkbox on "Smart Radius", Radius: 0.5px, Shift Edge: -10% (this option will help squeeze a little contour that will prevent possible unnecessary details). Use a brush in this window to clean the contour of trees. After all, add a layer mask to remove background. Small crossbar on both sides of the tower, I cleaned manually use small hard brush on a layer mask.
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Step 18

Duplicate this tower two times (Cmd/Ctrl + J), resize each tower that all three towers are various sizes and place them side by side in harmony, closing the empty spaces and making landscape soft. Keep in mind that the last tower of the smallest and closes the absence of background and to resize proportionally (Ctrl/Cmd+T), hold Shift. It is very important to keep proportion and try to find for each tower right place.

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23 comments 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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