Create an Incredible Twilight Surreal Scene with Floating Islands

Create this magical twilight landscape with floating islands, a old sailboat, and a surreal moon background. This tutorial will teach you how to mix stock photos, apply filters to create a twilight scene, and even some matte painting basics!

Preview of Final Results

final-results[10]

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Let’s start! Create new file 1920×1080 size.

step-001[6]

Step 2

Choose Forest Mountain stock and place it:

step-002[6]

Step 3

Add new adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer) with Brightness/Contrast).

step-003[6]

Step 4

At adjustment layer make mask. Use big (ex. 200px) soft brush and draw:

step-004[6]

Step 5

Then, paste Sky levels stock as new layer. You should transform it, to fill canvas. Change blending mode to Multiply.

step-005[6]

Step 6

On this layer, use mask. Try to mask all the trees from the bottom side. you should use big, soft brush (ex. 300px or more). My masking results are below

step-006[6]

Step 7

Paste Stars stock, as new layer. Then add mask to this layer. Again use soft, big brush on contours of mountains.

step-007[6]

Step 8

Change blending mode of stars to Screen.

step-008[6]

Step 9

It’s time to paste moon stock on new layer. Place it as shown. Change blending mode to Screen

step-009[6]

Step 10

As you can see, moon is too big and the color doesn’t goes with this landscape. You should change that. First – mask. Use big, soft round brush (100-200px) and mask it on the bottom.

step-010[6]

Step 11

Now hue of the moon. Add adjustment layer with Hue/Saturation and create clipping mask (RMB>Create clipping mask).

step-011[6]

Step 12

You should make moon brighter. Compliment won’t work ;). Holding ctrl choose Moon and Hue layer. Duplicate it.

step-012[6]

Step 13

Add new layer. Choose Gradient Fill tool and #362f2d color. Arrow will guide you :)

step-013[6]

Step 14

Change blending mode of this gradient to overlay.

step-014[6]

Step 15

Add new layer. Choose soft, big (370px) brush, #6dcff6 color and set opacity to 70%. Draw gently glow around and near moon. I also draw a few spots on the edges of mountains.

step-015[6]

Step 16

Change glow layer blending mode to soft light.

step-016[6]

Step 17

Now you will know some matte painting techniques. Add new layer. Choose soft brush, 40px wide, #929397 color. Draw on the edges of the mountains/plants. This is very important step! It can appear like fog, and give mystic look!

step-017[6]

Step 18

Change blending mode to Soft light. Will be awesome! :)

step-018[6]

Step 19

Duplicate fog layer.

step-019[6]

Step 20

Create new layer. Now choose 100px wide brush, the same color. Draw delight on the depressions of landscape.

step-020[6]

Step 21

Change blending mode to Multiply (Suprise! :])

step-021[6]

Step 22

Okay! Keep up good work! Now add Adjustment layer with Selective color. Choose Reds from menu.

step-022[6]

Step 23

Now choose Greens from the same menu.

step-023[6]

Step 24* – optional

Cool! Now select all and copy merged picture (Edit > Copy merged). Paste it as new layer.

step-024[6]

Choose Filter > Filter Gallery > Glowing edges.

step-024a[6]

Then change blending mode to Color Dodge and opacity to 75%.

step-024b[6]

Step 25 – First Island

Create new folder (if you want). Add new layer. Set Hard Round Pressue Size brush, 42 px wide, black color. With strokes draw rocks shape on the bottom of island. You can, of course make your own shape. Play with it! :)

30 thoughts on “Create an Incredible Twilight Surreal Scene with Floating Islands”

  1. Would be really nice if you would inform me when you use my stock in a tutorial – we could do some social sharing and promotion

    Kind Regards

    Eve

  2. I think this could have all been a lot shorter now that i’ve read through the whole thing.

    For one, hyper links, use them and just say repeat this process such as the saturation, hue, contrast and brightness factors, as well, it’s really hard to learn this tutorial if you were a beginner, saying to just “mask” something is far easier said than done if you have no idea more effective ways of doing the like with the quick mask or the layer mask.

    I hate the ship, it’s like heres rocks and trees and everything natural not a single bit of water showing, oh and here’s a ship. I took it out of mine on personal choice but it’s up to you.

    Last thing I’d say is the rocks you created, they look far more detailed then just using a brush to create them I’d say you took multiple layers using different sections of the rock each time and layered them on top of each other to give more depth to the photo, if you want nice crisp clean jagged rocks try using the lasso tool and deleting the brush layer piece by piece.

  3. What a great tuto! Trying to be better in photo manipulation this was really helpfull.
    Just having a weird result on step 30 when trying to add lights to the stone, it needed to be set at 5% opacity not to have those white mass…
    And also step 56 I’m not able to have something like yours, I just have this white edge as if it wasn’t well cut out, took me time to fix it but nevermind, I learnt a lot thank you! (and sorry for my bad english ahah)

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