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Photo Manipulate a Stunning Underworld Scene

Photo Manipulate a Stunning Underworld Scene

In this tutorial I will show you how to combine to different pictures into one, so they fit together. As the fine part of this tutorial, you will also learn some different techniques to create instance dramatic effects.

Final Image

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

Step 1

Open this picture, select all(ctrl+a) and copy(ctrl+c)

Create a new document with the settings you see below and paste(ctrl+v) the picture in this document, and drag it up to the top.

Step 2

Open this picture.

Select all(ctrl+a) and copy(ctrl+c) and paste(ctrl+v) it into our document.

Now go to edit>transform>flip vertical and transform it so the sizes of the two pictures match each other, and drag it a little down.

Step 3

Add a layer mask (The square icon with the circle in the layers palette). With a soft, black paintbrush brush you will begin to erase/hide the water in the scene from “layer 2”.

Step 4

Now let’s transform the city in a little more perspective way. Go to edit>transform>distort and distort it so the objects on the picture is in same directions as the island. I have distorted mine like this:

Step 5

Now we’re going to add some shadows to the city. Create a new layer and name it “city shadows”.

On this layer, with a black and soft brush on 11% opacity, paint around the houses to give it a little more debt and set the blending mode to “overlay”.

Step 6

Go to “layer 2”

Go to quick mask mode (the same icon as the layer mask, the icon is in the bottom of the tools palette).

With a soft, black paintbrush on full opacity, paint around the skies, like this.

Now set the opacity on the brush down to 55% and paint a little over top (bottom) of the buildings.

Go back to standard mode, and click ctrl+shift+I to invert what we have marked. Now, create a new layer called “seawater” and go to Gradient (G) and add these colors:

Drag it with a linear gradient from bottom to top. Afterwards set the blending mode to overlay. It’s important that you don’t deselect what we have marked.

Step 7

Create a new layer called “seawater debt” – blending mode on “overlay”.

With a large, soft brush with an opacity on 35%, paint around the city and on the top of the picture with #052b3d this color.

Create a new layer called “seawater light” – blending mode on “overlay”.

With the same brush settings and with this #ebd9ac color, paint on the buildings and the boat.

The picture should look something like this:

Step 8

Still on the “seawater light” layer, paint with the same color and brush settings, on the cliff, where the light hits it.

Go to the “seawater debt” layer and add a layer mask. With a black and soft brush on 100% opacity you paint around the cliff on the island, because the cliff shall not have any debt as the seawater. It should look like this:

Step 9

Now we’re going to add some shadows to “layer 2”. Select the burn tool. Range: Midtones – Exposure: 40%.

With a brush size on 100px paint at the top of the picture when you are on “layer 2”.

Now we’re going to add some midtones to the bottom of the cliff. Go to “Layer 1” and select the dodge tool. Paint around these places:

Step 10

I actually think that I have painted/whitened the buildings on the “seawater light” layer too much. Go to this layer. Select the eraser tool (E) with an opacity on 60% and erase a little of the light color on the buildings.

Step 11

Go to edit>transform>perspective and transform it like on picture below.

Go to edit>transform>warp and morph the corners out like on the picture below.

Step 12

Now we want to make it a little more realistic, like the town is under the water. Go to “Layer 1”. Select the pencil tool (P) and mark the the part of the mountain as you can see on the picture below.:

Right click, make selection and make a feather on 15 px. Copy(ctrl+c) and paste it(ctrl+v). Name this layer “sea stone” and drag the layer upon “layer 2”.

Go to edit>transform>flip vertical. Now transform (ctrl+t) it so it is right under the real mountain, like it is hanging together. You can see the result on the picture below.

Step 13

Add a layer mask on the “sea stone” layer. With a soft, big and black brush with an opacity on 35% paint around the edges of your photo.

Step 14

Select the burn tool (O) with an “exposure” on 40% and the range on “midtones” (still on the same layer). Paint these places:

Step 15

Pick a 100px large blur tool brush and paint around the “sea stone” layer. Now mark the “sea stone layer” and “layer 2” and click ctrl+e to merge them together.

Step 16

Now we’re going to add some more colors to the water. Hold down ctrl and click on the “seawater” layers icon to mark it. Now create a new layer called “watercolor”. Set the blending mode to “overlay”.

Pick a medium/large soft brush with an opacity on 35%. We will be using these watercolors: #24a6c6 , #127891 and #35278b.

Now paint around the underworld, set the layers opacity down to 65% and it will look like this:

Step 17

Now here’s a little trick to make the picture a little more stunning. Create a new layer on the top. name it “blue” and set the blending mode to overlay and the opacity to 45%

Type in #475368 and hold down shift+f5 again.

Go to the “sea water” layer and set the opacity down to 75%. The picture should look something like this now.

Step 18

Now we want to make a little but cool effect to some of the buildings. Turn off the “blue” and the “sea water” layers so you can see the colors on the “sea stone” layer a little better.

On the “sea stone” layer, go to quick mask mode, and with a little black brush your going to paint these places:

Go back to standard mode, invert it (ctrl+shift+i), copy (ctrl+c) and go to the blue layer and paste it(ctrl+v). Call the new layer “city colors” and set the blending mode to “soft light” and the opacity to 70%.

Right click and duplicate this layer, and set the new “city colors copy” layer’s opacity to 40% Remember to turn on the “blue” and “seawater” layers again. Then it will look like this:

Step 19

It will be a little more cool if we had fog down at the water. Go down to the “sea stone” layer. Create a new layer and name it “fog”.

Select the Pencil Tool (P) and draw around the cliff of the mountain. When that is done, right click>make selection… and feather it to 15px.

With black and white colors on the palette go to Filter>Render>Clouds, and finally, set the opacity to 60 % and the blending mode to multiply.

Go to edit>transform>perspective, and transform it into the same perspective as the picture below. As you can see it is getting a little more dramatic after this.

Step 20

Right click on the fog layer and click on “duplicate layer…”.

Go to edit>transform>flip vertical and drag right under the first fog.

Step 21

Go to the “blue” layer, add a layer mask and select the Gradient tool (G).

With the black color and the linear gradient selected, draw from the top to the half of the picture, so it erases some of the blue color. It should look like this:

Step 22

Now we want to add the right balance to the color of the mountain picture (“layer 1”).

Go to image>adjustments>color balance and add the settings as you see below:

Step 23

Now we’re going to do the same to the “sea stone” layer. Go to image>adjustments>color balance and add the settings as you see below:

And We’re Done!

I really hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and would love to hear your feedback!

(Click the image below to view the full-sized outcome)

Download Source File for this Tutorial

About the Author:

is a 21 year old freelance designer studying as a multimediadesigner. His passion is photo manipulation. You can check some of his photos at his flickr page. His portfolio is coming soon.

Leave a comment


  1. Nice tutorial. Very creative one and well explained. Thanks for share this awesome post. :)

  2. Tom says:

    Thanks Mahmudur, I’m glad you enjoyed it :) .

  3. look like an natural scene in this beautiful tutorial.

  4. Thanks a lot, im glad you enjoyed it :)

  5. Dejo says:

    Thanks for the great instruction!!! :)

  6. Zabava says:

    Nice tutorial thanks for shareing!

  7. Zyman says:

    Magnificent, expactaculor : )

  8. Layouts says:

    Learning a whole lot more. Good and well explained, bit late for me

  9. Web Design says:

    i like it thanks for sharing.

  10. Great tutorial. Very easy to follow and all the steps are very well explained. I really like the final outcome of the tutorial as it is very creative and looks impressive.

  11. busyokology says:

    this tutorial is excellent.

  12. Fresh says:

    photography is just a mirror. I did not like the resolution.

  13. Looks nice. It’s good to find a tutorial site that actually has some nice effects instead of the usual crap. Give me a shout if you need someone to guest write a commercial retouching tutorial.


  14. Shevaa says:

    Cool. Nice Tutorial thanks for sharing man…

  15. morris says:

    nice tut,,, i hope i can learn much more from your another tutorial

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