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Members Area Tutorial: Create A Fantasy Mushroom House Photo Manipulation

Members Area Tutorial: Create A Fantasy Mushroom House Photo Manipulation

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a fantasy photo manipulation featuring a mushroom house. You’ll learn how to combine different stocks together in a proper way, work effectively with layer styles and another effects, create light and shadow correctly, make a good use of blending and adjustment layers and more.

You’ll also create a realistic depth of field, and learn how to master the tiny details of your piece to give a more polished outcome.

Inspiration for This Tutorial:

This tutorial has been directly inspired by Anne Hechtfisch’s amazing work Mushroom House.

After speaking with Anne she allows us to post this tutorial and cite her as a direct influence and inspiration. We encourage you to go and check out her portfolio at DeviantArt, it has some incredible work.

Final Image

As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:

Step 1

Create a new document and fill it with white or any color you like. Open background stock. I use a photo from Photoxpress so if you can’t take it, choose another suitable green plant one. Move the background after scaling it down to suitable size into our white canvas:

I want this background to be blurred so I’ll apply Gassian Blur Filter to it. Go to Filter-Blur-Gassian Blur and set radius as 8 px:

Step 2

Open foreground stock. Drag, resize and position it at foreground of our picture:

Add layer mask for this foreground and use soft black brush to blend blurred part with background:

Step 3

I want to add more space which is not blurred for this picture. On foreground layer, use Lasso Tool (L) to make a selection on a visible part of the left side:

Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate (copy) selected part into a new layer. Move it a bit to the right and use Cmd/Ctrl+T to transform it:

Use layer mask and soft black brush to remove hard edges of this part. Call this layer as “foreground part 1″:

I duplicate this part and move it nearer foreground (our viewers). Use layer mask to blend it with the rest:

Name it “foreground part 2″.

Open foreground stock. Use any tools you like to make selection for this part ( I want to copy this part from original stock as it’s bigger and it’s easy to customize the size than the one layered in our main photo).

Place it on the part that is not blurred on our picture, and resize to be smaller as shown below:

Then blend it (with layer mask) and call it “foreground part 3″:

Step 4

Create a Color Balance layer on the top as I want to change color a bit. On foreground part 3 layer, go to Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Color Balance:

Step 5

Open mushroom stock. I choose the one with big stem and after extracting it, I position it at the right side of our picture:

I add layer mask for mushroom and use black brush with hardness about 30% to blend rough edges with ground ( don’t use soft brush as it will leave unatural result):

I notice that there are some parts on bottom of mushroom cap blurrier than the rest. To fix it, first make a new layer above mushroom one with Clipping Mask:

On mushroom layer, make selection for these parts and press Cmd/Ctrl+C to copy them. Choose new layer and press Cmd/Ctrl+V to paste copied parts into it.

Go to Filter-Sharpen-Unsharp Mask:

After sharpening the blur still remains on some parts so I repeat sharpening again but with copied parts from the layer sharpened before ( layer 17) and change the Amounts from 150 to 80:

Name these layer as “sharpen 1″, “sharpen 2″:

That’s the end of the preview!

About the Author:

Thank you for reading this tutorial, I hope that you enjoyed it. If you want to view my other arts and tutorials you can look at my Deviantart page or follow me on Facebook.

Leave a comment


  1. Nisha says:

    very cute result Jenny!! instant fav!! :)

  2. Rod says:

    really nice image! thanks for this tutorial ;-)

  3. Thanks for the reference to the source. Exemplary! :) With a new artwork, I will even work on a tutorial. And by the way a very nice tutorial. ;)

    Best regards Anne Hechtfisch

    • Tom says:

      Thanks so much for being such an inspiration Anne! I can’t wait to see your upcoming works and a tutorial for us would be amazing! :)

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