How to Create a Stormy Fantasy Scene in Photoshop

How to Create a Stormy Fantasy Scene in Photoshop
  • Radius: 4.0 pixels
step2i_gaussian[4]
Before continuing to the next step, let’s group the layers that we had just created. To group the layers, click on all the layers that we have made and press Ctrl/Cmd + G. After doing that, you’d notice that all the layers are now inside the group. Let’s rename this group to Background. To rename a group, simply click on the words “group 1" (etc) and a text box would appear and you may now rename it.
step2j_group[4]

Step 3 - Create the Floating Island

Now in this step, we will be creating the Floating Island. To start, open “island 1" by shelldevil. We need to separate it from its background. To do that, we will need to activate the Magnetic Lasso Tool (L).
step3a_magnetic_lasso[4]
Once activated, left-click your mouse anywhere on the edges of the island and drag your mouse until you reached the point where you started. This will thus create a selection area around the island.
step3b_island
When you're done, activate the Move tool (V) and then drag the island to the canvas that we've created and once there, rename the layer to: "island" Once the "island" layer is in the canvas, activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and right click on the canvas to bring up the Transform tool's contextual menu. Once open, click on Flip Vertical.
step3c_flip_vertical
step3d_result

Then, activate the Transform tool again and this time, resize the island as seen below:
step3e_resized
To make it blend with the rest of the images, let's adjust its Brightness/Contrast; To do that, click on the "island" layer and then go to the Menu bar, click on Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast. When it opens, input the following values:
  • Brightness: -25
  • Contrast: -30
step3f_bc[4]
Then activate the Eraser tool (E) and input the following values:
  • Brush size: 90 px
  • Hardness: 100%
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Flow: 100%
To reduce or increase the Hardness, right click on the image while the Eraser tool (E) is activated, then you’d see the Hardness scale, which is at default – 100%, just move the slider to the left to get 0% or to the right to get 100%.
step3g_hardness[4]
We activated the Eraser tool (E) to erase the part of the island as shown below:
step3g2_erase_the_following[4]
Next, let's add the castle; open the stock image: “Castle" by LilyStox. Activate the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) and create a selection area over the whole image, excluding the watermark found on the bottom of the image.
step3h_rmt[4]
When done, move the image to the canvas using the Move tool (V). Rename this layer as: "castle". Because of its size, we would need to make it small to fit our canvas and thus fit on top of the island. To deal with that, we need to activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and resize the image as shown below:
step3i_reduce_size_of_castle[4]
Next, activate the Magic Wand tool (W) and left-click on the sky on the “castle" layer, (it wouldn't select all) then hit DELETE. This will accurately remove the major parts of the sky.
step3j_magic_wand[4]

Now we will erase the remaining parts of the sky. Activate the Eraser tool (E) and then input the following values:
  • Brush size: 20 px
  • Hardness: 100%
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Flow: 100%
It is recommended that you adjust the zoom level to 400% or higher on the Navigator window so you could accurately erase small details.
step3k_zoom_400[4]
step3L_result[4]
Now, let's make those trees on the floating island look finer. Activate the Eraser tool and then right click on the canvas to bring up the Brush menu. Scroll down and pick the eraser brush which resembles that of grass; we will be using this brush to give the trees a finer finish. See image below:

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