How to Create a Moon Balloon Scene Photo Manipulation With Adobe Photoshop

How to Create a Moon Balloon Scene Photo Manipulation With Adobe Photoshop
In this tutorial, I'll show you how to create a surreal night scene featuring a cat watching a moon balloon. First, we'll build the base scene using some images of stars and landscapes. Later, we'll add the roofs, trees, and the moon balloon. After that, we'll change the color and light of the whole scene and then add the cat. We'll use several adjustment layers to enhance the final effect.

Preview of the Final Result

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Create a new 2000x1698 px document in Photoshop and fill it with white. Hit Ctrl+Shift+N to make a new layer and choose G  to activate the Gradient Tool.  Select Linear Gradient with the colors #327990 and #0e222d and drag a line from the left to white and you should have a similar result like the screenshot below shows:

Step 2

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves and reduce the lightness. On this layer mask, activate the Brush Tool (B) and select a soft round one with black color. Use this brush to erase the dark effect around the upper part of the canvas.

Step 3

Open the stars image and use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select the starry sky only and place it onto the upper of the main document. Change this layer mode to Screen 100%

Step 4

Make a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and set it as Clipping Mask. Bring the Saturation values down to -100 to desaturate the stars' color.

Step 5

Create a Levels adjustment layer to reduce the opacity of the stars.

Step 6

On the stars layer, click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a mask to this layer. Use a soft black brush with the varied opacities to reduce the visibility of the stars more.

Step 7

Open the background image and drag it onto the white canvas using the Move Tool (V). Place it in the lower of the canvas and add a mask to this layer. Use a soft black brush to erase the sky, leaving the plants visible only.

Step 8

Make a Photo Filter adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) and pick the color #9eccc7.

Step 9

Create a Color Balance adjustment layer and change the Midtones settings:

Step 10

Add a Curves adjustment layer to darken the background more.

Step 11

Isolate the roof from the background to add to the bottom of the main canvas.

Step 12

Make a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) to change the color of the roof a bit:

Step 13

Create a Color Balance adjustment layer and change the Midtones and Highlights settings. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to reduce the color's effect on the bottom of the roof:

Step 14

Make a Photo Filter adjustment layer and pick the color #00acec. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush with the opacity about 40% to reduce the effect on the middle bottom of the roof.

Step 15

Add a Curves adjustment layer and decrease the lightness. Use a soft black brush on the layer mask to erase the dark effect on the top of the roof as it will be illuminated by the moonlight (we'll see in the next stage).

Step 16

Create new layer, change the mode to Overlay 100% and fill with 50% gray. Activate the Dodge Tool (O) with Midtones Range and Exposure about 13% bring more light to the top of the roof. you can see how I did it with Normal mode and the result with Overlay mode:

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