In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a sci-fi landscape. First, we’ll build the base environment using images of the sky, mountain, and landscape. Later, we’ll make the columns, add the planets and blend them together using adjustment layers, masking, and brushes. After that, we’ll use the tech brushes and some basic tools to make several sci-fi effects, paint lighting, enhance the color and contrast, and more.

Preview of the Final Result

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Create a new 2850×1780 px document in Photoshop and fill it with white. Open the sky image and use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select the sky part only. Drag it into a white canvas using the Move Tool (V). Use the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl+T) to resize it to fit the size of the document.

Step 2

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation  and set it as Clipping Mask. Change the Master values as the screenshot below shows:

Step 3

Create a Curves adjustment layer and reduce the lightness. On this layer mask, activate the Brush Tool (B) and select a soft round one with black color. Use this brush to erase the left and the middle of the sky to reveal the lightness there to fit the main light source (we’ll see in the next steps).

Step 4

Open the mountain image and place it in the lower of the canvas. Use Ctrl+T to rotate the image a bit as shown below:

Click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a mask to this layer. Use a soft black brush to remove the hard edges and most of the sky and reduce the visibility on some parts of the mountain.

Step 5

Make a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) and decrease the Master settings:

Step 6

Create a Curves adjustment layer to make the mountain darker.

Step 7

Open the landscape image and use the Magnetic Lasso Tool ( L) to select the ground with the rocks only to add to the bottom of the canvas.

We’ll fill in the missing part on the left. Use the Lasso Tool (L) to select this part and go to Edit > Fill and choose Content Aware. You should have a similar result like the screenshot below shows:

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2 responses to “How to Create a Sci-Fi Landscape Photo Manipulation with Adobe Photoshop”

  1. Min Avatar

    Thanks a lot!

  2. Oscar Weman Avatar
    Oscar Weman

    Fantastic result, really well explained & very instructive3, thanks a lot !

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