Photo Manipulation

How to Create a Fantasy Book Scene in Photoshop

In this tutorial we will create a celestial fantasy scene, full of color and intensity. I’ll teach you a couple of masking tricks and some compositiong techniques. Let’s begin!

You will create an intense and colorful scene. You will need Photoshop CS3 or in order to follow this tutorial.

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Open the image “Background”. This will be our base on which we will build our scene. Double click on the background layer and press ok to convert it to a regular layer. Right click on the layer and from the drop down menu choose “Convert To Smart Object”.

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Step 2

Import all the brushes from the resource section (you can import brushes by either double clicking on the .abr file or going to Edit > Preset > Preset Manager and clicking on the load brush button). Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N) and using one of the cloud brushes create a cloud in the middle of the scene.

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Step 3

Create a new layer and choose the standard soft round brush. Increase the size to 400px and with white as foreground color click once over the cloud to create a glow effect. Lower the opacity of the layer to 76%.

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Step 4

Choose one of the imported sun brushes and create a new layer. Create a white small sun over the cloud. Lower the opacity of this sun layer to 43%.

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Step 5

Choose a glam brush from the imported fantasy light brushes (Small Glam) and a couple of new layers create some particle/glam effect around the edges of our scene. Change the blending mode of the layers to Linear Dodge and lower the opacity if the effect is too strong.

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Step 6

Create a new Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer and increase the hue slider to +38. Click on the layer mask and fill it with black (press D to choose default colors and Ctrl + Backspace to fill with the background color). Select the standard round soft brush and increase the size to 300px. With white as foreground color and the layer mask selected (the layer mask is the black and white thumbnail next to layer thumbnail in the layer palette) click once in the middle of the scene over the cloud to reveal the effect there.

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Step 7

Open the image “Island”. Select all by pressing Ctrl + A and copy by pressing Ctrl + C. Go back to our scene and press Ctrl + V to paste.  Press Ctrl + T to enter Free Transform and position the island as shown below.

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Step 8

Add a layer mask to the island layer ( Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All).  Use the standard chalk brush in the layer mask to hide the bottom of the island ( in a layer mask black hides everything and white reveals so paint with black in the layer mask over the areas you want hidden).

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Step 9

Open the file “Chains”. Select a set of chains you like and copy/paste them into our scene (click on one of the layers you like, Ctrl + A to select all, Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + V to paste back in our document). Right click the pasted chain layer and choose from the drop down menu “Convert To Smart Object”. Do this for all the imported layers (smart objects allow us to preserve pixel information after countless resizes and transforms). Use layer masks to hide the upper portions of the chains.

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