· To do the left side of the cave you’ll probably need to flip some of the pieces horizontally. To do that, go to Edit -> Transform -> Flip Horizontal.

· This process will be tedious but if you stick with it the results will make your image unique.

· Try to leave a flat piece of the cave on the right corner so we can add the monk to it later.

· Don’t try to do everything at once, choose a lot of small pieces over a few large ones.

· Put a good song on and have fun with it! =D


In the end here’s how my cave tuned out:


And here is all the layers I used:


To clean that mess we’re going to create a new group with all of them, just like we did before. Select all of them and drag them to the folder button in the layer panels (or hit Ctrl/Cmd+G). Name this new group “Cave Walls” or something, and create a new layer mask to it.


With this mask we’re going to erase some parts of the cave. To do that, use the image below as reference and paint the red areas with black (remember to use a soft brush and keep the opacity around 10~25%).


Here’s how my cave is looking like after that:


As a final adjustment to the cave, add a new layer (CtrlCmd+Shift+N) and let’s do the lighting of it just like we did with the clouds and the sky.


Select the Dodge Tool (Shortcut: O) and try to highlight the areas of the cave that are exposed to the sun, and darken the other areas to create a fade-away effect. Remember to also add some details (highlights close to darken areas) to give a good contrast to it. Here’s how my layer looks like in normal mode:


And here is the result of it:


To finish this step, select the “Cave Walls” group and reduce the opacity to around 85~90%.


Step 5: Adding the monk

Place the monk stock into our image by going to File -> Place. Make sure you place it above all the other layers.


We’re going to select the monk using the Pen Tool. Select it (Shortcut P) and create a path around the monk. Then right click in it and select Make Selection. Usually when you use the pen tool to create a selection you wouldn’t need to add any feather to it, but if you want to add feather don’t go over 1px.

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29 responses to “Create a Surreal Photo Manipulation of a Monk in the Caves”

  1.  Avatar

    Good job Awesome work

    1. Creator Avatar

      u’re wron

  2. MaximImages Photography Avatar
    MaximImages Photography

    Beautifully done.

  3. Dereck Avatar

    Love this TUT! it took me a couple of hours but well worth the end result. Great job!

  4. Ayaan Avatar

    Please re uploaded PSD file because when i click on download showing 404 error, this is best work for me i want check how did you do this

  5.  Avatar

    Thanks a lot, I learn a lot form this tutorrials

  6. Maidul Islam Avatar
    Maidul Islam

    Wow. Thank you for sharing this experience with us………..and for the challenge.

  7. Mcearnie Avatar

    Thanks for this great tutorial. One of the best I found so far. But I do have a question, since one step doesn’t work out like it should. I have finished the cave and put the layers in a Group Folder as the tutorial says. The next step would be the cave lighting layer. But when I try to create it, Photoshop won’t let me add a clipping mask. For some reason it won’t do that above a group folder. To help myself I merged all cave layers into one, that way it works, but of course I can’t change any details now, which is a bit annoying. I would be glad if you or someone else could tell me what I’ve been doing wrong. I use Photoshop CS4.

  8. pepe0390 Avatar

    Hey man. Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial; thanks for being so specifici with everything. Here is what I did following your instructions, hope you like it:


    Regards from Mexico.

  9. Valeria Avatar

    Excellent tutorial! I can’t believe I did it! Thank you for such perfect instructions! I learned a lot!

  10. Yusuf Avatar

    Very nice examples. Thanks.

  11. jerry Avatar

    i love u jerry

  12. Wind Avatar

    Oh great! Thank you.

  13. Gohu Avatar

    Great tutorial =)
    Thanks a lot !

    Here’s my try : http://gohusdesign.com/surreal.html (in the bottom of the page)

  14. Brody Avatar

    Thanks Man, Good tutorial it really help with some techniques i already knew and did know :P Thanks!

  15. Steph Avatar

    Great tutorial. I loved it, and my end result turned out really well. I learned a tonne about layer masks so thank you :D

  16. Simpshop Avatar

    This worked ! Could do it as a beginner. Neat description. Great tutorials.Thank you!

  17. Hc Avatar

    A bit cheating with the cube but it works. Proper way is to create a cube with isometric transforms.

  18. Joakim Avatar

    <3 <3 <3
    I love your tuts!!

  19. Ganesh Avatar


  20. Theresa Avatar

    Thank you for your tutoring.I am very appreciate your time.

    Wish you and your family have wonderful weekend.

  21. Ramster Avatar

    Awesome tutorial…keep them coming..Thanks

  22. Jonas Avatar

    Terrific tutorials, as ALWAYS!

    And trust me, a lot of users see your tutorials, even if they don’t leave feedback.

    Thanks, as always!

  23. Steven Avatar

    I always learn something from the great Photoshop Tutorials here.

  24. Benjamin Avatar

    On the part where you pick random parts from the island, you should have placed the layer inside the main PSD & use layer masks. Duplicate layer, paint in layer mask, repeat.

    1. Lasse Selänne Avatar
      Lasse Selänne

      Better vextor mask to cut out than layer mask to fading edge

  25. Eriks Avatar

    One of the best tutorials- very detailed. Thanks a lot.

  26. Thomas Avatar

    Awesome work!!!!

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