How to Create a Surreal Pirate House Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

Learn how to create this fantasy photo manipulation of a pirate house scene set in warm scenic dreamscape with Photoshop. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create rocky mountain using photos of rock and stones, combine ruin of castle to create dramatic pirate house in the dreamscape with warm vivid lighting. Throughout the tutorial, you’ll learn techniques that are very essential to create better photo manipulations.

What you’ll be creating

On this tutorial we will create a fantasy scene of a pirate house dreamscape with dramatic warm and vivid lightning. We will use some essential techniques in doing photo manipulation. 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 of coffee and optionally a pack of cigarette for your companion. Ready..?

final result

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

On these early steps we will create some ruined castles standing on a rocky mountain. We need this image to begin with. We will use this image as the rocky mountain.


We have to cut out the crack of the image. To do this purpose, take pen tool (P) in the panel tool. With the tool, cut out the crack lined out in red as shown in the screenshot.


For your inspiration, this is the cut out we have now.


Step 2

After cutting out the crack, we will start to create a rocky mountain with some ruins standing on it. We do this on a new canvas. Hit Ctrl+N to create a new canvas. Set the size of the canvas as the one sampled in the screenshot.


Next, select and copy (Ctrl+C) the cut out and then paste (Ctrl+V) it on the new canvas. We need to flip the cut out horizontally or resize it as needed. To do this, go to edit > transform > flip horizontal/scale.


Duplicate (Ctrl+J) the first crack to create the second one. Go again to edit > transform > flip horizontal to flip back the second crack as its original direction. Take move tool (V) and move it to the upper position behind the first one.


Do the similar step to add the third crack behind the second one.


Finally, add the fourth smaller crack and place it between the first and second one.


Step 3

Proceed to add some ruins to the rock. Cut out the ruin.


Scale the ruin to the size needed and place it behind the second crack.


Duplicate (Ctrl+J) the first ruin and place the duplicate on the lower left side behind the first crack.


Step 4

Now select the first ruin and give it a layer mask by going to layer > layer mask > reveal all. Take the brush tool (B) and choose chalk brush 17 pixel in the brush panel (F5). With black color, stroke the brush on areas where needed to mask them. The red highlighted parts show us the masked ones.



Next, we need to hide some part of the fourth crack that overlaps the first ruin. To do this, give the fourth crack a layer mask (Layer > layer mask > reveal all) and mask where needed as shown in the screenshot.

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