How to Create a Stormy Fantasy Scene in Photoshop

How to Create a Stormy Fantasy Scene in Photoshop

Learn how to create this surreal fantasy image of a lady on an epic budgie. You’ll learn how to combine and blend several stock photos, create a rain storm, then finish it off with a photo effect.

Preview of Final Results

step8b_result[10]

Stormy Fantasy Scene Photoshop Tutorial


Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Photoshop CS2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1 to 1.5 hours

Resources


Step 1 - Create the Photoshop document

To begin, we will be creating a new image file, go to the Menu bar and click File > New, and then input the following values on their respective fields:
  • Width: 2480 pixels
  • Height: 3508 pixels
  • Resolution: 300pixels/inch
  • Color Mode: RGB Color; 8 bit
  • Background Contents: Transparent
step1_create_new[4]

Step 2 - Create the sea and the sky

On this step, we will be creating our stormy background. Open “Stormy Sea" by darkrose42. We will need the sea from this image, so activate the Rectangular Marquee tool (M).
step2a_rectangular_marquee[4]
To use this tool simply, left-click on a point in the image and then drag your mouse to create a rectangular selection area on the image. Once done, dashed lines would appear around the area you selected. Now let's move this sea to our canvas, to do that, activate the Move tool (V). Your mouse cursor will now change to an arrow with a cross with arrows in it (Windows move button). Drag the sea to our canvas and once there, rename this layer to "sea". To rename a layer, simply double-click on the words: “layer 1" to prompt a text box to appear. Once that appears, you may now rename the layer.
step2b_rename_layer[4]
Now that the sea is on our canvas, we will now resize it. Activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and resize the sea as seen on the image below:
step2c_resize_like_this
Next, let's create the sky for this image. We will be using “stock image 17" by CSnyder. So all we have to do once this image opens is transfer it to our canvas. Activate the Move tool (V) and drag it to our canvas. Once in the canvas, rename this layer to "sky". Activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and right click on the image to bring out the contextual menu. Once that's open click on Rotate 180'.
step2d_rotate_180
Then, activate the Transform tool again and resize the image, it should now be similar to the image below:
step2e_result[4]
Notice that the sky is of a different hue compared to the sea? We don't want that right? So let's adjust the sky's color balance to blend in with that of the sea. Make sure that the layer selected is the “sky" layer, after that go to Image > Adjustments > Color Balance. Once the Color Balance menu opens, input the following:
  • Color Levels: 0, 0, +44
  • Tone Balance: Midtones
  • Preserve Luminosity: Checked
The result will be similar to the image below:
step2f_color_balance_result[4]

Now that that's done, we will now distort the perspective of our background to give an illusion of movement for our subjects. To do that, left-click on the layers: "sky" and "sea" and then activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and then rotate and resize as shown below:
step2g_scale[4]
The result should be similar to this:
step2h_result[4]
Now that we're done, we're going to blur the background a little to create an illusion of movement - right-click on any of these layers and then click on Merge Layers. Then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and input the following values:

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