How to Create a Surreal Scene Full of Life in Photoshop

How to Create a Surreal Scene Full of Life in Photoshop
step-023v
Now paint the shadow of the roots with a hard brush.
step-023w
Then add a Gaussian blur to make the shadow more realistic, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to around 10px.
step-023x
step-023y
Set the opacity of this shadow layer to around 40%.
step-023z
And now we're finally done with all those stock images and we're ready to make the final adjustments.
step-023zz

Step 24:Final Adjustments

To start with out final adjustments, create a new layer on the top of our layer stack.
step-024a
Now select a gray color by going to the color picker and setting 'H' to 0, 'S' to 0 and 'B' to 50.
step-024b
Fill the new layer with gray using a shortcut. Alt/Option+Delete will fill the layer with gray for you.
step-024c
Now change the blend mode of this layer to Overlay and you will se no difference in your image.
step-024d
Select the Dodge Tool(O) with a soft brush(hardness between 0~50%) and the exposure at 10%
step-024e
And now start "painting" your gray layer with the Dodge and the Burn Tool. Here are some tips:
  • Doge Tool will make place you paint brighter
  • The Burn Tool will make the place you paint darker
  • To quickly change between them hold Alt/Option, this will change the tools as long as you hold the Alt/Option key (You will use this A LOT)
  • If you made a mistake and it's too late to undo the changes don't worry, just select the Brush Tool and paint the area of the layer you want to "reset" with gray again (that's why we're using this gray layer)
This is the most important step of our manipulation, and can really improve your final image if you do this right. So take your time in this step and don't rush with the painting. In the image below I tried to show you which areas to dodge and which areas to burn but it's just a reference, try to make your own lightning of this image.
step-024f
The image below is just my gray layer after I was done with the Dodge/Burn Tool painting. You don't have to do that, but if you want to see what yours look like just change the Blend Mode to Normal again.
step-024g
And here is my outcome:
step-024h
We're almost finished. Press Ctrl/Command + Shift + Alt/Option + E to make a new layer merging all the layers of your project together. Don't worry, your layers will not be deleted. Now change the blend mode of this new layer to Lighten and lower the opacity to around 35%.
step-024i
Now let's add a dreamy effect to our image. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to around 10px.
step-024j
step-024k
With the dreamy effect:
step-024l
Just two more adjustments! Add a Selective Color Adjustment Layer (non-destructively) and check the image below for the input values in each of the Colors values. The Colors that don't appear in the image were not changed.
step-024m
With the Selective Color Adjustment:
step-024n
To finish off, repeat the shortcut to create a new layer merging all the previous layers (Ctrl/Command + Shift + Alt/Option + E).
step-024o
And add a Lens Correction by going to Filter > Lens Correction. Select the custom tab and change the Vignette Amount and Midpoint (see the image below for the values).
step-024p
step-024q

Final Results

And here it is, finally, our final image:

Download the PSD

Surreal Photo Manipulation.zip | 39.69 MB

Tutorial by Guilherme Pejon

profileThanks for following this tutorial! I know it was a really long tutorial but I hope you've learned a thing or two here (even if it was just some shortcuts). Also, this is the first tutorial I ever made so I hope you were able to follow along. Give your opinions in the comments below and expect more tutorials soon. Have Fun!.

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29 comments on “How to Create a Surreal Scene Full of Life in Photoshop”

  1. You've made a very nice and comprehensive collection of WordPress Themes. I appreciate it. Really great art work with typography. Thanks for sharing this nice post.

  2. Outstanding tutorial!Clear instructions and awesome picture instructions. Very nice, thank you a bunch.

  3. I can not thank you enough, the amount of things I've learnt in two hours is incredible, would usually take me a week of watching and reading tutorials, but nope, you've used many techniques that made my life easier! Thank you is not enough!

    1. just do what i did , 
      download the attached PSD from up there and take the mountain photo from there :D

    2. @SalahKabbani OK! Got it!I decided to replace the mountain photo with a desert one ^_^Thanks anyway :)

  4. Thank you so much for this tutorial really great photo and great explanation love it. 
    but i have a problem with the mountain photo , the link of this photo doesn't work , can you please upload it again or give me another photo that could be good for the tutorial ?
    thanks

  5. Hi Guilherme, From the start of your tutorial you say to go to lens correction and distort the image to + 25,00, it distorts the image considerably !, is that right, ?, by the way it is a great tutorial,
    regards and respect johnny

    1. Its ok, all i did was after the lens correction was used the free transform tool and adjusted the image to cover my canvas again lol, My bad..

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