Photo Manipulation

How to Create a Surreal Scene Full of Life in Photoshop


Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to around 3px.



Your image should be similar to this one now:


To finish this step, add these last layer we created in a group called Horse and place it behind the ladder group.


Step 19: Add the ladder shadow

Adding the shadow to the horse made me realize we forgot (well, I forgot) to add the shadow to the ladder, so open the Ladder group again.

Add a new layer, call it Shadow and place it behind the ladder layer. After that paint the shadow following the image below.


Then add a Gaussian Blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 3px to our shadow layer.



Now your image should be similar the one below and we’re ready to move on with our manipulation.


Step 20: Add the buildings behind the elephant

Open the skyline stock and select the buildings with the Quick Selection Tool (W). Don’t worry too much about the lower part because it won’t be seen in our scene.


Copy and paste the skyline in our scene, resize it with the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl/Command+T) and place it on the top of the elephant.


Create a new group for this layer, name it Skyline and place it behind the elephant group.


Your scene should look like this now:


Step 21: Add the mountain above the elephant

Open the mountain stock and select the mountain using the Quick Selection Tool (W). Don’t worry too much about the lower edges, we will erase them later.


Copy and paste the mountain into our project and resize it using the Free Transform Tool. After that, place the mountain on the top of the elephant like this:


Now let’s work the edges of the mountain. Create a new layer mask to this layer and start painting using the image below as reference:



Your mountain should look something like this now:


And your scene should look like this:


The mountains are too blue, so we’re going to change that by adding (non-destructively) a Color Balance Adjustment Layer. Check the image below for the input values and remember to clip it to the mountain layer.



Now create a new group for the mountain and the adjustment layer. Name the new group Mountain.


Step 22: Add the helicopter patrolling the elephant

Open the helicopter stock. We’re going to use a different technique to select it, so, first of all, make a random selection of the sky using the Quick Selection Tool, like this:


Now go to Select > Similar and Photoshop will select everything he thinks its similar to the selection you’ve made.


We want to select the helicopter, not the sky, so we will invert the selection by pressing Ctrl/Command+Shift+I.

Now use the Quick Selection Tool(W) to add the areas the missing areas of the helicopter to our selection.


After you’re done, copy and paste it into our project. Now mirror the helicopter by going to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.


Then resize the helicopter using the Free Transform Tool and place it near the buildings we just added.


Download the Light Beams Brushes and unpack them anywhere you want in your computer. After that, select the Brush Tool and click with the right button somewhere in your scene. Then click in the arrow (see image below) and search in your computer for the SS-light-beams.abr file that you’ve just downloaded.


With the light beams brushes opened, select the one highlighted in the image below. Reduce the size of the brush to 417px.


We don’t want to paint directly in our helicopter layer because we won’t be able to change the light beam later if we want, so create a new layer called ‘Light Beam’ and place it before the helicopter layer.

Related posts
Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

How to Create a Photo-Realistic Metal Apple in Photoshop

Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

Born of the Dragon – Create this Symbolic Gothic Composite in Photoshop

Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

Create an Portrait Artwork with Autumn Colors

Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

Create a Sports Wallpaper with Splatter Effects


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join Our V.I.P. Mailing List!

Subscribe and get the latest Photoshop tutorials, tips, and more via email. As a way of saying thanks, you'll also receive a free copy of Lomocam Photoshop Actions ($7 retail value).