Photo Manipulation

“The Controller” – Create this Floating Superhero Scene with Sci-Fi Lighting Effects in Photoshop

Create this awesome sci-fi photo manipulation in Photoshop! You will learn how to combine stock photos and apply sci-fi lighting effects to create this artwork. This tutorial is recommended for intermediate-expert Photoshop users.

Preview of Final Results


Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Create a new document and fill it with white. You can choose the size you want but in this tutorial I choose the width larger than the height.

Open background stock. Press C to active Crop Tool and make selection of background as shown below:


Right click this selection, choose Crop to complete this action:


Use Move Tool ( V) to drag it into white canvas, remember to resize to fit the background:


Name it as “land”.

I want to remove the pile on the right side so on land layer, use Polygonal Lasso Tool ( hit L to active it) to make a selection on the left side with feather = 20:


Right click this selection, choose Layer via Copy and we have it on a new layer. Go to Edit-Transform-Flip Horizontal then move it to right side to hide the pile:


Hide background layer ( white canvas) then press Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E) to merge all visible layers ( “land” and “remove pile” layers). Call the new layer as “land 1” or whatever you want.


Step 2

Open sky stock. You can use another image if you can’t download this sky from Photoxpress but a dark one with dramatic look is a good choice.

Use Retangular Marquee Tool to make a selection for the part you want and set feather as 20 ( depends on the size of your picture):


Use Move Tool to drag it into our document, downsize and place this layer under “land 1” layer but above “land” and “remove pile” one. Name it as “sky 1”:


On land 1 layer, add layer mask and use soft black brush to remove sky part of land:


Duplicate sky 1 layer, apply Flip Horizontal for it then move it to the right like the image below shows:


Name it “sky 2”. Add layer mask to remove some parts to make this sky blend better with background:


Step 3

To make color of the land fit sky, I use a new adjustment layer for land 1 layer with Clipping Mask. On land 1 layer, go to Layer-New adjustment layer-Hue/Saturation:



Step 4

In this step I do a bit retouch for background. Create a new layer on the top. Use soft brush with color #373939 and paint on some parts of sky. I vary opacity of brush as shown below:


Change the mode to Multipy 80%:


Make a new layer ( Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N) and I use brush with color #9f9e99. Painting on the left side of sky and some parts of background to brighten them. Set the mode of this layer to Soft light 100%:




To darken another parts of sky I use brush and color #373939. On a new layer, use this brush and paint on sky center. Put the mode as Multipy 50%:


Step 5

Open explosion stock. Use Move Tool to drag it into our canvas. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T to scale it down and transform it as shown below:


Change the mode to Screen 100% and add layer mask for this layer. Use soft black brush to remove the rough edges and the part within this explosion:


Name this layer as “burning circle”.

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