Create Surreal Pirate house photo manipulation tutorial

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How to Create a Surreal Pirate House Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

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Learn how to create this fantasy photo manipulation of a pirate house scene set in warm scenic dreamscape with Photoshop. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create rocky mountain using photos of rock and stones, combine ruin of castle to create dramatic pirate house in the dreamscape with warm vivid lighting. Throughout the tutorial, you’ll learn techniques that are very essential to create better photo manipulations.

What you’ll be creating

On this tutorial we will create a fantasy scene of a pirate house dreamscape with dramatic warm and vivid lightning. We will use some essential techniques in doing photo manipulation. We will use masking, brush tool, some filter, color adjustments all through the steps in this tutorial. Use Adobe Photoshop CS3 or higher, don’t forget a glass of coffee and optionally a pack of cigarette for your companion. Ready..?

final result

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

On these early steps we will create some ruined castles standing on a rocky mountain. We need this image to begin with. We will use this image as the rocky mountain.

step1a

We have to cut out the crack of the image. To do this purpose, take pen tool (P) in the panel tool. With the tool, cut out the crack lined out in red as shown in the screenshot.

step1b

For your inspiration, this is the cut out we have now.

step1c

Step 2

After cutting out the crack, we will start to create a rocky mountain with some ruins standing on it. We do this on a new canvas. Hit Ctrl+N to create a new canvas. Set the size of the canvas as the one sampled in the screenshot.

step2a

Next, select and copy (Ctrl+C) the cut out and then paste (Ctrl+V) it on the new canvas. We need to flip the cut out horizontally or resize it as needed. To do this, go to edit > transform > flip horizontal/scale.

step2b

Duplicate (Ctrl+J) the first crack to create the second one. Go again to edit > transform > flip horizontal to flip back the second crack as its original direction. Take move tool (V) and move it to the upper position behind the first one.

step2c

Do the similar step to add the third crack behind the second one.

step2d

Finally, add the fourth smaller crack and place it between the first and second one.

step2e

Step 3

Proceed to add some ruins to the rock. Cut out the ruin.

step3a

Scale the ruin to the size needed and place it behind the second crack.

step3b

Duplicate (Ctrl+J) the first ruin and place the duplicate on the lower left side behind the first crack.

step3c

Step 4

Now select the first ruin and give it a layer mask by going to layer > layer mask > reveal all. Take the brush tool (B) and choose chalk brush 17 pixel in the brush panel (F5). With black color, stroke the brush on areas where needed to mask them. The red highlighted parts show us the masked ones.

step4a

step4b

Next, we need to hide some part of the fourth crack that overlaps the first ruin. To do this, give the fourth crack a layer mask (Layer > layer mask > reveal all) and mask where needed as shown in the screenshot.

step4c

step4d

But the problem is we have the uniform looking ruins………………

step4e

Step 5

Well, don’t worry, we will fix this “twin” ruin. Give the second ruin a layer mask. Mask some parts of this layer. We do the similar way to do this masking as the one in previous step 4. The red highlighted part is where masking should be done.

step5a

step5b

Step 6

The second ruin looks flat now. We will add some shading behind the ruin. Create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N) behind the second ruin layer. On this new layer, paint dark shading behind the ruin as indicated in red arrows in the screenshot.

step6a

Step 7

Proceed to add another object to the scene. We will add stairs. Open the tower with stairs image first, the next steps we do are the similar steps as the ones in previous steps. Cut out the tower. Scale and place the tower in front of the first crack.

step7a

Give this tower layer a layer mask. Mask unneeded part.

step7b

Duplicate the tower layer some times. Place the duplicates where needed.

step7c

Step 8

On this step, we will alter the shape of the first ruin. To do this, duplicate (Ctrl+J) the first ruin. Scale its size bit bigger than the first one. Place this duplicate layer in front of the first crack layer.

step8a

Give this duplicate layer a layer mask. Mask parts where needed as shown in the red highlight.

step8b

step8c

Step 9

Next we will alter the shape of the third crack. Select the layer, and give it a layer mask. Mask parts as the ones highlighted in red.

step9a

step9b

Step 10

By repeating the previous step, add the other object on left top of the rock.

step10a

Step 11

More objects

step11a

step11c

By repeating similar steps with trial and error efforts, this is the result that is finally done for our inspiration. This piece will be used as the main object in the main canvas in the next steps. We still have a long, long way to go….. a cup of coffee, please :)

step11b

Step 12

Now we will create the main document. Create a new document/canvas (Ctrl+N).

step12a

Step 13

Firstly we will create background for image. To do this, open the misty sea image on the new document. Take rectangular marquee tool (M) in the tool panel. Make selection on the upper part of the image. Duplicate (Ctrl+J) the selection to make it a new single layer in the document.

step13a

We will use this new layer to create misty texture for the background of the image. Take free transform tool (Ctrl+T). With this tool, click-hold and drag the upper middle transforming point upward and the lower middle one downward to cover the white background.

step13b

Duplicate the layer and set the duplicate to multiply blending at 100% opacity.

Step 14

Next, place the original misty sea image above the two misty layers in the layer panel.

Mask the upper part of this layer to hide it. We just use the water texture of the image.

step14b

Select all the background layers and hit Ctrl+G to group them in a folder. Name this folder BG

step14c

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