Photo Manipulation

How to Create an Amazing Futuristic Matte Painting in Photoshop

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Open the Yosemite image. Select and copy.

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Paste above the paint layer in the group.

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Copy another bit of the mountain.

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Open up the Mountain4 stock. Copy the marked portion.

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Transform and color correct.

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Bring the element from the Mountain6 stock image and reposition it. Lower the saturation slightly. Follow the steps below.

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Let’s add one more piece from the Mountain7. Rotate the layer. Color correct using Hue/Saturation.

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Paint some details using brush

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Step 10: Finishing touches.

We are done with major details. Add some more details to the scene. Here I painted a command center and a helicopter.

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Paint some silhouettes of people to indicate life.

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I wanted to increase the brightness of the water of the background plate. Duplicate the background plate and increase the brightness using Curves. Mask out everything except water.

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Red indicates the hidden area.

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I painted some orange tones on the sky to give some vividness.

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At this point I wanted to introduce some dark clouds to the foreground. I painted a dark cloudy sky tone. Send it back to the foremost mountain.

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Drop the cloudy sky image into the comp. Clip it to the painted layer. Resize it.

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Increase brightness.

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We are going to add another layer of sky. Open up the blue sky. To key out the cloud wisps go to Channels palette duplicate the channel with most contrast and softness. In this case it is Red Channel. Duplicate it by dragging on to the Create New Channel button.

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Increase contrast using Curves.

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Ctrl+Click on the channel. Click on the RGB composite channel. Press Ctrl+J to separate the selection.

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Drop the sky into the composition.

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Resize it vertically. Duplicate the layer and place above everything. Reduce the opacity if it is too dark or duplicate the layer if it is too light.

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Now introduce some shadows to the composition. Use a soft brush.

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Duplicate the building. Click on the base layer and press Ctrl+Shift+C to copy. Since it is far away in the distance it becomes less contrast. Lot of atmosphere involves. Use color correction tools to make it mix well in to the atmosphere.

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Here I Added one more floating rock. I copied the middle rock and edited it. I painted mountain range in the distance on the horizon line.

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Add a flock of bird using bird brushes.

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Add a Levels Adjustment Layer at the very top in the layer stack. Adjust the mid tones. It affects the document as a whole. I am satisfied with the result. And it is time to wrap up things. Take a look at the final result.

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Final Results

And that’s pretty much it. You can achieve great results by combining photos and paintig and taking it further by putting the tips and concepts into practice. Take a look at the final image.

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Authors Comment

profile[3]I am a Graphic Designer and a wannabe VFX artist. Thanks for following this tutorial. Hope you learned something and had fun reading this tutorial.

– niranth

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