Photo Manipulation

How to Create This Eerie Floating Island Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

In this tutorial we will create an eerie floating island photo manipulation by using your vast imagination and the mighty power of Photoshop. I will introduce you to  some simple editing techniques, Smart Objects and adjustment layers. Let’s begin!

What you’ll be creating

This is a classic floating island scene with a touch of funny elements added to it. Multiple elements will merge together to create a believable scene. You will need Photoshop CS3 or later to follow this tutorial.


Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Create a new document 2400×3097 (Ctrl + N). Choose the Gradient Tool and create a gradient like shown below (set the foreground color to blue – #0068ae, foreground color to black and hold shift while dragging the gradient tool vertically).


Step 2

Open the file “Stars”. Select all (Ctrl + A) and copy (Ctrl + C). Go back to our document and paste (Ctrl +V). Convert the pasted layer into a smart object (right –click the layer in the layer palette and from the drop down menu choose “Convert To Smart Object”) and place the stars as shown below (use the Free Transform Tool – T).

From now on convert all imported layers to smart objects. By doing this we will have an non-destructive workflow and we will be able to resize and apply various effects to the layer without permanently loosing pixel information.


Step 3

Add a layer mask to the stars layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All). Click on the layer mask to make it active and with the gradient tool drag from top to bottom (or inverse) to fill the lower part of the layer mask with black. This will blend seamlessly our  stars layer with the blue background.


Step 4

Change the blending mode of the stars layer to Color Dodge in order to achieve the effect shown below.


Step 5

Create a Curves Adjustment Layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves). Use the settings shown below to increase the lightness of the background.


Step 6

Open the file “Grass”. Select all and copy/paste in our document. Use the Free Transform Tool (T) to position the grass layer as shown below.


Step 7

Add a layer mask to the grass layer. Select the gradient tool and fill seamlessly the upper part of the layer mask with black (just like we did on step 3) in order to blend the grass layer seamlessly with our scene.


Step 8

Create a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer and change the Hue to +33. Clip this layer to the grass layer (Alt-click between the two layers in the layer palette). By doing this we will restrict the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer effect to the grass layer only.


Step 9

Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt +N) and use the standard chalk brush to paint an ellipse as shown below (use any color you like). This will be the base of our hole in the ground.


Step 10

Double click the layer you painted in the step above and add an inner shadow and a color overlay effect.


Step 11

Create a new layer and choose the standard round soft brush. With the brush tool (B) paint some black shadows as shown below (set the brush to 30% Opacity).

Related posts
Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

Create an Incredible Twilight Surreal Scene with Floating Islands

Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

How to Create Vivid Arabian Night Composite in Photoshop

Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

How to Create a Photo-Realistic Metal Apple in Photoshop

Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

Creepy Lady on a Dark Mountain - Learn How to Create This Composite in Photoshop


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).