In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a sci-fi lighting scene . First we’ll create the base scene using a desert image and a space background. After that, we’ll import the hole and use several ways to make the light. Later, we’ll add the man and enhance the light effect to complete the final result.
Preview of the Final Result
Step 1Create a new 1500×1200 px document in Phottoshop and fill it with white. Open the ground image and drag it into the white canvas using the Move Tool (V).
Step 2Click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a mask to this layer . Use the Magnetic Lasso Tool (L) to select the sky area and on this layer mask, turn the foreground to white. Click Delete to remove the sky and reveal the white background.
Step 3Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation and set it as Clipping Mask . Bring the Saturation values down to -90.
Step 4Make a Color Balance adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) and change the Midtones settings to give the ground some blue/cyan .
Step 5Create a Curves adjustment layer to darken the ground. On this layer mask, activate the Brush Tool (B) and select a soft round one with black color to erase the midground and foreground to keep its lightness as we aim to add the main light there.
Place the space background in the white canvas and set this layer below the ground one. There is an unwanted light area on the lower right of the background. To fix it, duplicate this layer and move it to the indicated area. Add a mask to this layer and use a soft black brush to remove the hard edges around and cover the indicated light part.
Step 7Make a new layer and activate the Clone Tool (S) and use this brush to hide the light detail on the top middle as it will affect the main light effect on this place (we’ll see in the next steps).
Step 8Select the space and cloning layers and hit Ctrl+G to make a group for them. Change the group’s mode to Normal 100% and make a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to desaturate the background. Bring the Saturation values down to maximum.
Step 9Create a Color Balance adjustment layer to change the background layer. Alter the Midtones settings:
Step 10Add a Curves adjustment layer to brighten the left side of the background. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase the right to keep its lightness.
Step 11Open the hole image and use the Quick Selection Tool (W) to take the fountain to place it in the midground. Add a mask to this layer to erase the bottom of the fountain and leave the surface visible only.
Make a new layer below the hole one and use a soft black brush to paint shadow for the hole. Use a layer mask if needed to remove any unwanted details.