Discover how to create stunning photo manipulations in Photoshop. In this course, you'll learn everything from photographing models to creating dark conceptual artworks. If you enjoy our photo manipulation tutorials, you will absolutely love this course.
Group all the city layers we created until now and name the new group City Outlines.
Let’s create some extra smoke. Create a new layer, name it Smoke and paint a more pronounced smoke effect than we did at step 26. Place this layer above the City Outlines group.
There are probably people still active in the city even at night (unless it is a deserted city) so let’s show that by creating some window lights. Create a new layer and name it Window Lights. Choose a light yellow color and with a round soft brush at 2-3px draw some dots where you feel that windows or doors should be. If you don’t feel anything take a look at how I did it below.
Now let’s add some random detail to break the monotony. Create a new layer and name it Extra Detail. Using a 3-4px size brush at 10% Opacity squiggle a few lines here and there.
A city in the desert wouldn’t be a city without some palm trees. Open the file Palm Tree and press Ctrl + A to select all and Ctrl + C to copy. Go back to our document and press Ctrl + V to paste. Right click the newly pasted layer and choose Convert To Smart Object. Free Transform (Ctrl + T) to resize and position the palm to look like in the image below.
Let’s darken the palm so that it matches the city. Create a new Curves Adjustment Layer and place it above the Palm Tree layer. Clip the Curves layer to Palm Trees layer. Drag the curve down to darken the palm. Group both the Curves and the palm layer and name the group Palm Tree.
In order to add more palms simply duplicate the Palm Tree group (Ctrl + J) and resize and rotate slightly each palm. Place 6-10 palms across the city length. Group all the Palm Tree Groups under a new group called Palm Trees.
Now shift-click City Outlines group, Smoke layer, Window Lights layer, Extra detail layer, Palm Trees layer and group them together. Name this new group City. Make sure this group is below the Terrain group.
This is a desert so it probably should have a snake. Open file Snake and make a selection of the snake. Copy and paste it into our document. Right click the layer and choose Convert To Smart Object. Free Transform to position and resize as shown below.
Let’s add some lights and shadows to our snake. Create a Curves Adjustment layer and clip it to the Snake layer. Drag the curve up to lighten. In the layer mask paint with black the bottom parts of the snake to lighten only the upper parts.
Create a new Curves Adjustment layer and clip it to the Curves Adjustment layer below. Drag the curve down to darken. In the layer mask paint with black mostly the upper parts of the snake to prevent the darkening effect from happening here (the light comes from left up side so the superior part of the snake should be light and the lower part should be dark).
In order to make our snake stand out let’s create some strong shiny highlights on his back. Create a new layer and name it Highlights. Clip this layer to the two Curve Adjustment layers below. Change the blending mode to Overlay and with a round white soft brush at 20% Opacity paint on some of the top area of the snake (go for the head, a little in the middle and a little near the tail).