Photo Manipulation

Create a Sci-Fi Space Cave Scene in Photoshop

Learn how to create this mysterious image of a newly explored space cave. This tutorial will show you how to seamlessly combine photos together, create rock carvings, smoke, and more.

Preview of Final Results


Sci-Fi Space Cave Scene Photoshop Tutorial

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Open the file “Stars field“. This will be our background. Let’s add a Sun to it. First, create a new layer and name it “Sun”. You can put these two layers into a group named “Background” to keep your layers organized.

With the “Sun” layer selected, select the Elliptical Marquee tool and draw a small circle. Fill this circle with a light yellow color.

Add an outer glow effect using the same light yellow color. To add the Outer Glow layer style, go to Layer > Layer Style > Outer Glow.

Step 2

Open the file “Hole through the wall”. Go to Select > All then copy the image to your clipboard (Ctrl/Cmd+C or Edit > Copy). Close this file and go back to the original document. Go to Edit > Paste and Photoshop will paste the image as a new layer in your document.


Step 3

Open the file “Alien man 1” and create a selection of the stone figure using any of the selection tools. Copy and paste it into your document. You’ll get a new layer with the stone. Name this layer “Upper Effigy”.

Desaturate this layer (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+U or Image > Adjustments > Desaturate). Resize and position it above the wall entrance using the Free Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd+T or Edit > Free Transform).

Step 4

Add a Bevel and Emboss layer style (Layer > New Layer Style > Bevel and Emboss) with the settings shown in the image below.

Step 5

Create a new layer and position it as the top layer. Use the Brush tool to paint a red dot in the upper middle of the stone.

Step 6

Apply the layer styles shown in the images below to the current layer. You can access the Layer Styles window by going to Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options.

Rename this layer to “Button” and place the top two layers into a group called “Effigy1”.

Here’s what our image currently looks like.

Step 7

Duplicate the group “Effigy” 6 times. You can duplicate a group by dragging the group into the new layer button in the Layers palette.

For variety, you can change the button color for each effigy by adding a Color Overlay layer style. To do this, select any one of the 7 Button layers that you want to edit then go to Layer > Layer Style > Color Overlay.

Step 8

Open the file “Alien man 2” then make a selection of the central stone figure. To do this, select the Lasso tool and create a rough selection around the stone.

Next, select the Magic Wand tool and while holding down the Alt/Option key on your keyboard, click around the stone to deselect the areas.

Finally, use the Refine Edge tool (Select > Refine Edge) to enhance the selection. Use the Smart Radius feature to enhance the selection.

Copy (Ctrl/Cmd+C) the selected area then close the document. Go back to the original document and paste it. Photoshop will paste this image as a new layer.

Step 9

Using the Free Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd+T or Edit > Free Transform), resize and position the stone like shown in the image below. Desaturate the layer (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+U or Image > Adjustments > Desaturate).

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