How to Create a Surreal Moon Scene in Adobe Photoshop

How to Create a Surreal Moon Scene in Adobe Photoshop

Step 18

Hold the Ctrl key and click the thumbnail of the circle layer to load its selection. Click to choose the Rectangular Marquee Tool and then right click this layer, choose Free Transform Selection.  Resize it to be a bit smaller and move it upwards as the screenshot below shows:
Set the feather radius of this selection to 3 px and click the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Choose this layer mask and hit Ctrl+I to invert the mask and you should have the result like below:

Step 19

On this layer mask, use a medium-hard black brush to erase the small part at the bottom of the moon to hide it below the sand.

Step 20

Double click this layer, choose Outer Glow. Set the color of glow to #48a9ec.

Step 21

Create a new layer and use a soft brush with the color #adffd2 to paint around the moon and change this layer mode to Screen 100%. Add a mask to this layer to reduce the light and unwanted details.

Step 22

Make a new layer below the moon one and use a soft brush with the color #c1e6eb to paint around  the ground to make the light effect from the moon.  Change this layer mode to Soft Light 100% and use a layer mask to reduce the light on the foreground. 

Step 23

Cut out the child and place her in the left of the midground and resize her to be much smaller. 

Step 24

We'll make shadow for the child on the desert following the texture of the sand. On the desert layer, use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to select a part behind the child which we've aimed to add the shadow to. Press Ctrl+C to copy this part and hit Ctrl+N to make a new document and Photoshop will open a new document with the size fit the indicated desert part (Mine is 396x155 px). Press Ctrl+V to paste the desert into the new file. Save this file and name it whatever you want. 

Step 25

Come back to the moon file and make a new layer below the child's one. Hold Ctrl and click the child thumbnail layer to load her selection.
Fill this selection with the color #01101f and move it below the child's feet. Convert this layer to a Smart Object and use Ctrl+T to distort this shadow to fit the light's direction and lower the opacity of this layer to 70%.

Step 26

Go to Filter > Distort > Displace and fill in the following settings and browse the desert file made in the step 24. 

Step 27

Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to desaturate the child:

Step 28

Make a Color Balance adjustment layer and change the Midtones, Shadows and Highlights settings:

Step 29

Add a Curves adjustment layer to darken the back of the child. On this layer mask, paint on the contour of the child to reveal the lightness there. 

Step 30

Create a new layer, change the mode to Overlay 100% and fill with 50% gray.
Activate the Dodge and Burn Tool (O) with Midtones Range and Exposure about 10-15% to refine the light and shadow on the child. You can see how I did it with Normal mode and the result with Overlay mode. 

Step 31

Make a Curves adjustment layer on top of the layers and decrease the lightness on the top middle. On this layer mask, paint on the rest so they won't be affected by this adjustment layer. 

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