In this tutorial, we will be creating a surrealistic room with realistic water as its floor, real clouds as its wallpaper with a clock on the wall and a boat on the water floor. We will learn a lot of technical aspects like visualizing and creating a perspective using the ruler and the transform tools especially the distort tool, creating realistic waves using the brush tool and two wave brush sets, using brush textures and apply it to the walls to make them realistic. Then we would be creating shadows using the brush tool and the burn tool. Finally we would make the boat look like it really is running and producing waves in its wake.

Preview of Final Results

Surrealistic Room

Surrealistic Room Photo Manipulation Photoshop Tutorial

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Photoshop CS2
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1 to 2 hours


Step 1 – Create a new file

Create a new file with these settings:

  • Width: 3000px
  • Height: 3000px
  • Resolution: 300 dpi
  • Color Mode: RGB Color; 8bit
  • Background Contents: Transparent


Step 2 – Create the Walls

To start off, let’s open Big Blue Sky Stock. We will be using this to create the walls of our room. So let’s transfer it to our 3000×3000 layer. Click our stock image, press (M)to activate our Marquee tool and select the sky and leave the trees outside the marquee box, once you’ve done that press (V) and drag the selected part of the image by holding down the left mouse button to our canvas. See example below:


Note that that image has large dimensions (8591 x 3912 pixels) so, obviously we would need to decrease that size to be optimal for our canvas. We would need a lot of precision on this and on the succeeding steps, so let us activate our ruler by pressing Ctrl+R. You’d be seeing a ruler which is in inches on the top and on the left size of our image. Now that the ruler is active let us create a guide. Click the top ruler and drag it all the way down to the axis or level: 5.3in See image below:


Press Ctrl+T to transform our image. Resize it to come up with something similar to the image below:

step2b_resizedNow that that’s done, let us create the room’s perspective. Let us set the navigator to 15% so the ruler would be counting in 1’s. See image below:


Activate your marquee tool and use it to select the area from axis 5.3in of the ruler on the left to axis 3in on the top ruler. An example is shown below:


Now use the transform tool and right click anywhere on the canvas and left click on the Distort tool. Follow instructions seen on the image below:


Do the same thing on axis 5.3in below and axis 7in to 10in on the top ruler. See instructions on the image below:


Step 3 – Adding texture to the walls

In this step, we will be adding a texture to the very flat looking wall. We will be putting the texture over the clouds to give it a feel of a dirty wall. Let’s open our 18 Vintage Photoshop Brushes. (Note: After downloading this brush set, extract it to ABR file to “Adobe Photoshop > Presets > Brushes”)
We will need to apply the brush on a clean layer so let us create a new layer. Press Ctrl+N or click on the “Menu bar’s Layer > New > Layer.” You may also create a new layer by pressing the paper button located on our Layer Window. Be sure to rename our new layer as “Wall texture: middle” Changing the layer’s name is easy, just click on the words Layer 1, double click on it and there you have a new name for it.