How to Create a Fantasy Book Scene in Photoshop

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Step 10

Open the file “Book”. Use the Pen Tool to make a selection of the book (P for Pen Tool) and after you’re done press Ctrl + Enter to convert the path into a selection. Copy/paste the book in our scene and place it on top of the island. Don’t forget to convert it to a smart object.
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Step 11

Create a new layer and place it below the book layer. Use the standard round soft brush to paint with black a shadow. Change the layer blending mode to Multiply.
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Step 12

Create a new Curves Adjustment Layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves) and use the settings shown below to increase the darkness and the contrast. Once you’re done with the curve settings hold the Alt key and click once between the curves and the book layer – this will clip the curves layer to the book. Clipping a layer to another means that the upper layer will be visible only through the bottom layer pixels – in our case the effects of the curves layer will be restricted only to the book layer below.
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Step 13

Create a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer ( Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation) and lower the saturation to -68. Now clip this layer to the curves layer we created at step 12. This will in effect restrict the saturation effect only to the book layer (because it is the bottom most layer).
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Step 14

Create another Curves Adjustment Layer and clip it to the book layer. Use the settings shown below to lighten the book and further increase the contrast.
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Step 15

Create another Curves Adjustment Layer and drag the curve upwards a bit in order to further lighten the book. As you can see I am using a multitude of curves layer instead of a single one and the reason behind this is that I like to have flexibility when it comes to effects. If I would decide in the future that I don’t like a single effect applied to the book I could delete the corresponding clipped adjustment layer.
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Step 16

Open the image “Grass” and using the Rectangular Marquee Tool select the grass. Copy/paste in our scene and convert the grass layer into a smart object. Position and resize the grass (use the Free Transform to do that – Ctrl + T) over the right page of the book.
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Step 17

Use the pen tool to create a path around the upper pages of the book. Press Ctrl + Enter to convert the path into a selection. Add a layer mask to the grass layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All) and press D to set the colors to default – you will notice that the grass disappears. Click once on the layer mask to make it active and press Alt + Backspace to fill the selection with white and thus revealing the grass only through the upper pages of the book.
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Step 18

Press Ctrl + D to deselect everything and select one of the grass brushes you imported. Click on the grass layer mask to make it active and paint with white near the edges of the pages. This will remove the hard lines of our layer mask and give the impression that the grass is sprouting from the page.
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Step 19

Repeat steps 16 to 18 for the left page of the book.
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Step 20

Create a new layer (or a couple) and paint some black vertical lines exactly in the middle of the book with the standard round soft brush. Lower the opacity of the layer(s) to 60-70% and change the blending mode to Multiply.

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