Learn how to create this photo manipulation of a fisherman in a scenic lake dreamscape with Photoshop. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create your own dreamy landscape of a lake using water texture, add water ripples in the landscape, enhance the original image with lightning and some more. Throughout the tutorial, you’ll learn techniques that will help you create better matte paintings and photo manipulations.

What you’ll be creating

In this tutorial, we will create a dreamscape of a fisherman in a panoramic lake using some image stocks. We will use some essential techniques for doing matte painting and photo manipulation. You will be amazed at how easy it is to combine several different images and match their color. We will use masking, brush tool, some filter, color adjustments all through the steps in this tutorial. Use Adobe Photoshop CS3 or higher, don’t forget a glass or more glasses of coffee and optionally a pack of cigarette for your companion;-) Ready..?

final result1

Tutorial Resources

Step 1 (A new Document)

Let’s start by creating a new document (Ctrl+N) in photoshop with size of 1858 pixel wide and 1500 pixel high.

step1a

Step 2 (Filling The document)

Next, we fill the document with a radial gradient. To do this, firstly activate the gradient tool in the tool panel. Make sure to choose radial gradient in the options bar. Set the foreground color to #e5e4e4 and the background to #141313. Fill the document by hold-clicking the mouse right in the center of the document and drag to the direction indicated by the yellow arrow in the screenshot.

step2a

Step 3 (Adding Water Texture)

Now we are going to begin adding some pictures to the canvas (document) to create our own landscape. Start by placing the lake picture in the canvas. We will need the water of this image used as texture to create our own lake composition.

step3a

After the image is in the document, we need to scale it up to get the desired composition of the water texture used to create the lake. To do this, hit Ctrl+T to activate the free transform tool, start scaling up the image to get the water texture needed. Here is the one I created for your inspiration.

step3b

step3c

Proceed to alter the color of the texture by giving it a new adjustment layer is that hue/saturation. Go to layer > new adjustment layers > hue/saturation to open the hue/saturation’s setting window.

step3d

Here is the value of the hue/saturation and the result of the effected image.

step3e

Step 4 (Hiding unneeded part)

What we should do now is hiding the unneeded part of the image. As we know we just need the water part of the image to be used as texture to create the landscape. To do this, give the image a layer mask by hitting the layer mask icon located in the bottom of the layer panel. A layer mask is indicated by a white thumbnail next to the given layer.

step4a

Make sure to be active on the mask thumbnail and take a very soft round brush set to about 300 px and 30% opacity. With black color, mask the upper part of the image by stroking it. The red part in the screenshot is the part we should stroke the black brush. When the layer is mask, it is indicated by the black or gray spot on the thumbnail.

32 thoughts on “Create a Photo Manipulation of a Fisherman in a Lake”

  1. HI, I’m really struggling with getting the size and perspective of the water ripples right. How big did you make it before changing the perspective and how exactly did you change the perspective.

    I’m using CS3

    LP

    1. Denny Tang

      For the transform tool, hold the Shift+Ctrl+Alt (Shift+Cmd+Option on Macs) and then drag the top-left corner towards the right. Then drag the top-middle downwards.

  2. Thank you for this, it has helped me understand the adjustment layers much better, which is what I was aiming for.

    Appreciate the time & effort.

    Scott

  3. Здравствуйте. Вижу что урок хороший и по возможности всегда стараюсь ваши уроки выполнять, только у мне трудности с луной. Перехожу по ссылке а страница отсутствует. Можно ли это исправить? Спасибо за интересный урок.

  4. Found this guide to be missing loads of steps, such as better explaining how to make the light glow.
    in CC many of your layer blending modes don’t work the way you talk in this guide.

    And the way to blend in the waves just isn’t described and probably out of date for CC again.

    1. Thanks a lot A, yeah it should be ‘above’ thanks for the correction, it would be a big help….

  5. I’m having a really hard time getting my radial blur so dark and smooth. I’ve played with the controls to no avail. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  6. Hello.Thank you for the great tutorial.
    But would you give me some more helps about making that wave in water ( page2 )? I have this problem the boat disappears behind the wave. Thanks

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