How to Create a Mysterious Matte Painting Landscape in Photoshop

How to Create a Mysterious Matte Painting Landscape in Photoshop
Here is my result. I made the picture more contrast in the sky temple roof and yellow trees. Lighten very dark areas in the mountains and places for future light.

Step 33

Now introduce some dark tones to the mountains to make them more realistic, and the contrast. Use Soft Round Brush with Size: 300px, Hardness:0% Opacity: 100%, color #253647. Draw a spot on a a mountain in the middle of the image, the woods on the left and right, on the yellow trees. Layer Opacity: 20%. For Second layer use same brush but change Size: 850px and color #253547. Draw a spot between Huangshan and Patagonian mountains. Layer Opacity: 35%.
So work with the mountains over. Now a bit of light and mist I added on lotuses (Size: 300px, Opacity: 50%, color: # f5e4c3). Draw spots on the middle left edge and at the seam of textures. Layer Opacity: 15%.

Step 34

Create the sun and light effects from it. Create a new layer, set background color to black (press D, then X on keyboard) and fill layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Del). Convert this layer for Smart filters (Filter > Convert for Smart Filters) Add a filter "Lens Flare..." (Filter > Render > Lens Flare...). Set Lens type: "105mm Prime" and Brightness: 50%. Try to position flare on the edge of the mountain on the right side. Not much close to the edge of the document and not much higher than the mountains. That is why comfortable convert layer for Smart filters, double-click on the filter and you can change all settings :).
Duplicate flare layer (Cmd/Ctrl + J) and change Lens Type to "50-300mm Zoom" and Brightness: 40%. Do not change the position of the flare, not to get the wrong form of the sun.

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".

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28 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 for photoshop basic tools documentation.

      However, thanks!

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