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Ancient Aliens

According to the ancient archiology it was belived that aliens colonised on the planet Earth and also provided us with the advanced technology which was considered mysterious back in those days. Now we are going to create a scene focused from inside the hallway of a royal balcony where a princess stares at some Mysterious Flying Power Houses powered by some mysterious power beam from space.

In this tutorial we are going to cover topics like Environmental lighting essential for matte painting, Understanding the importance and working with Depth Of Field (DOF), In-depth working with Content Aware Tool in Photoshop CS5, Walk through on Two advanced image cutting techniques, Color correcting the scene using Adjustment Layers.

Ancient Aliens

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

Resources Used In This Tutorial

Step 1

Create a new canvas in Photoshop with the dimensions Width=2560px and Height=1440px.

Step 2

Now import the image of the landscape, which is the initial background of the scene we are going to create.

Step 3

In this step we are going to create the Royal balcony.

1) Cut the image of the balcony from its original image using the Pen Tool (P) and import it onto the working canvas and place it as shown.

2) To get rid of the tree bark from the image use the Stamp Tool (S) and clone the tree bark area as shown.

3) To save the time from cloning the whole empty area we are going to use Content Aware option to do the cloning for us.

-Using the Mask Tool (M) create a mask as shown, and then click ‘Shift+Backspace’ (PC) or ‘Shift+delet’ (Mac) to open the Fill option. Then select Content-Aware from the Use drop down list and click OK to see the magic.

4) Now by using the Stamp Tool (S) clone the center pillar of the marble wall as shown.

Step 4

In this step we are going to cut the plant with fine details using the advanced cutting technique.

1) Create a rough mask around the plant as shown and separate the selection into a new layer.

2) With the plant layer selected go to Channels Pallet and select the Blue layer. Then go to Image>Calculations and select Blue from the Channel drop down list, this will create an Alpha layer in the Channels pallet.

3) With the Alpha layer selected go to Image>Adjustments>Levels and set the Input Levels as shown to make the image look silhouette.

4) As you can see there are still white spots in the area that is to be extracted, hence paint these white spots with black paint using the Brush Tool (B).

5) Now go to Select>Load Selection and select the Alpha 1 from Channel drop down list and press Ok to select the mask around the plant. Then separate the selection into a new layer.

6) Import the image of the plant on to the canvas and place it as shown.

Step 5

We can observe the bright light from the left side of the landscape. Hence we need to create the bright light on the left side of the Royal Balcony to make it look more natural.

1) Select the color #fdeddd and paint on the left side of the scene as shown using the Soft Round Brush (B). Name the layer as Light.

2) Then set the Blending mode of the Light layer to Lighten and reduce the Opacity of the layer to 75%.

Step 6

In this step we are going to add a ‘Gopuram’ in the scene, which represents the upper part of the ‘Mystical Flying Power House’.

1) Create a mask around the ‘Gopuram’ using your preferred selection method and separate the selection into a new layer. Then import the it on to the working canvas and place it as shown.

2) Now we need to color correct the Gopuram to blend with the scene. With the Gopuram layer selected go to Image>Adjustments>Curves and set the RGB curves as shown.

3) Now by using the Hue/Saturation reduce the saturation to -34.

Step 7

In this step we are going to create the base for the ‘Mystical Flying Power House’.

1) Mask out the tomb into a new layer using the Magic Wand Tool (W) and import it onto the working canvas and place it as shown beneath the Gopuram.

2) Now color correct the tomb using the Hue/Saturation. With the Colorize option checked set the Hue=23 and Saturation=15.

3) Now by using the Curves color correct the tomb to blend with the scene.

Step 8

In this step we are going to create the light shade on the ‘Mystical Flying Power House’ (MFPH).

1) By using the color #fdeddd paint the light shade on the left side of the ‘MFPH’ as shown.

2) Usually when we observe an object from a distance the contrast levels will be low. Hence to get the same effect merge all the ‘MFPH’ layers and go to Image>Adjustments>Exposure and set the Offset value to +0.0429.

Step 9

In this step we are going to create few more MFPHs in the scene and align them in such a fashion that they represent the Power Houses powered directly from the Belt Of Orion, just like the pyramids are built.

1) Duplicate the MFPH layer and place it as shown. Then create a mask around the MFPH and add light as shown using the color #fdeddd then set the opacity of the light layer to 73%.

2) As we know when objects are observed from a distance they appear blurred, and the blurriness increases with the increase in distance. Hence add a Gaussian Blur of Radius 0.9px to the MFPH2.

3) Similarly create another MFPH as shown.

4) Since the first MFPH is located by some distance in the scene we need to add a Gaussian Blur of Radius 0.5px.

Step 10

In this step we are going to create a palace in the scene.

- Mask out the image of the palace from its original image and import it on to the working canvas and place it as shown.

Step 11

Since the image of the palace is cut abruptly, we need to fill the incomplete image using Stamp Tool (S).

1) Using the Stamp Tool (S) clone the shrine as shown to make it look complete.

2) As we previously discussed that the far away objects lack in color contrast, we need to reduce the Offset value of the palace to +0.0429.

3) Now add a Gaussian Blur of Radius 0.4px to the palace.

Step 12

In this step we will be cresting a hill behind the palace.

1) Mask out the image of the hill from its background and import it on to the working canvas and place it behind the palace as shown.

2) Now by using the Curves color correct the hill to blend with the environment we are creating.

Step 13

In this step we will be working on some fine refinements on the hill.

1) As we know that the hill image is cut abruptly on the sides we need to cut the hill in such a manner to show that it is a tall vertical hill. Hence by using the Lasso Tool (L) cut the image of the hill as shown.

2) Now add a Gaussian Blur of Radius 0.6px to the hill layer.

Step 14

In this step we will add a tree in the scene.

1) Import the image of the tree into Photoshop and select the Blue channel in the Channels pallet and go to Image>Calculations and select Blue in the Channel drop down list.

2) Now go to Select>Load Selection and select Alpha 1 from the Channel drop down list and press OK to select the mask around the tree.

3) Now separate the selection into a new layer and import it on to the working canvas and place it on the right side of the scene as shown.

4) With the tree layer selected go to Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast and set the Brightness level to 15.

Step 15

In this step we will be creating the mystical power beam to the MFPHs, which represents the mysterious power connection between MFPHs and the Belt of Orion.

1) Select the color #c4f5fb for the beam and set the Brush Radius to 3.

2) Now by using the Pen Tool (P) create a straight line and open the Stroke Path option and select Brush from the Tool drop down list and press OK.

Step 16

In this step we are going to create a lens flare at the point of contact of the beam.

1) Import the image of the Lens Flare on to the canvas and place it as shown then set the Blending mode of the layer to screen.

2) Now import the Lens Flare2 image and place it on the previous Lens Flare and set the Blending Mode of the layer to Screen.

3) Similarly create the Mystical beams to other two MFPHs. Since they are far away the color of the beam appears mixed with the environment color, hence use white color for the beams.

Step 17

In this step we will be working with an advanced cutting option of CS5 to cut the image of the women with every fine details of the hair.

1) Select a mask around the women as shown using the Magic Wand Tool (W) and separate the selection into a new layer.

2) Now again select a mask around the women as shown and open Refine Edge Option from Select>Refine Edge then by using the Smart Radius Tool grace the hair of the women. Then set the Output to New Layer and press OK to separate the women into a new layer with all the fine details.

Step 18

1) Now import the image of the women on to the working canvas and place it in the Balcony Lobby.

2) Since the women is under the shade reduce the Brightness of the women to -54.

3) Now create dark shadows to the women as shown to blend with the scene.

4) Now add light shade on the women as shown to blend with the light in the scene, then set the Blending Mode of the layer to ‘Overlay’ and reduce the Opacity to 76%.

Step 19

In this step we are going to create the arches of the royal hallway.

1) Cut the arch from the original image using the Pen Tool (P) and import it into the scene and place it on the left side as shown.

2) As we can see the pillars are very thick and are also blocking the scene we just created, hence cut the arch pillar into a new layer and erase the pillar in the original arch image.

3) Using the Move Tool (V) resize the pillar as shown. Then duplicate the pillar image and complete the whole pillar.

4) Similarly complete the hallway arches.

Step 20

In this step we are going to color correct the Hallway arches. But before proceeding to color correction merge all Hallway layer and duplicate the hallway layer. We will be color correcting the Duplicated layer.

1) With the Hallway layer selected go to Image>Adjustments>Exposure and set the exposure to -2.86 and Gamma Correction to 0.70.

2) Now by using the Curves color correct the arches to blend with the scene.

3) To show the sun light entering the hall way erase the bottom of the Duplicated Hallway layer to reveal the original hallway image which gives a perfect illusion of light entering the hallway.

Step 21

Since we are creating a sunset environment, we need to create birds flying in the scene, returning back to their nests in the forest.

- Using the Birds Brush paint few birds flying around in the scene as shown near MFPH, Dome of the palace and on the left side of the scene.

Step 22

In this step we are going to create pots for the garden plants.

1) Cut the image of the pot into a new layer using the Pen Tool.

2) Then by using the Stamp Tool clone the leg of the pot as shown. Then import it on to the working canvas and place it near the wall as shown.

3) Now create a Curves Adjustment layer for the Pot layer and set the RGB curves as shown to perfectly blend with the scene.

4) Now duplicate the pot layer multiple times and place them as shown in the scene.

Step 23

In this step we will be creating shadows to the pot.

1) Since the pot is placed close to the wall it must cast its shadow on the wall. Hence by using the Soft Round Brush paint the dark shadow on the wall and on the pot as shown to make it look more natural.

2) Similarly create shadows for other pots.

Step 24

In this step we are going to add plants in the pots.

1) Import the image of the plant into the scene and place it in the first pot as shown.

2) Then create a Curves Adjustment layer for the plant and set the RGB curves as shown to blend the plant perfectly to the environment we are creating.

3) Similarly add plants in other pots as shown.

Step 25

In this step we are going to create a royal couch (also known as Diwan) in the scene.

1) Mask out the image of the Diwan using the Pen Tool (P) and place it in the scene as shown.

2) Now color correct the Diwan image using the Curves to blend it perfectly with the scene.

3) Since the Diwan is close to the scene we need to add a Gaussian Blur of Radius 2.1px to maintain the Depth Of Field (DOF) of the scene.

Step 26

In this step we are going to create a table beside the Diwan.

1) Mask out the Table image using The Pen Tool (P) and place it beside the Diwan as shown.

2) With the Table layer selected go to image>Adjustments>Exposure and set the Exposure level to -1.01 then set the Gamma Correction to 0.54.

3) Now by using the Brush Tool paint the dark shadow on the right side of the table as shown.

4) To maintain the DOF of the scene add a Gaussian Blur of Radius 2.1px to the Table.

Step 27

In this step we are going to add a candle on the table.

1) Import the image of the candle into the scene and place it on the table as shown.

2) Now paint the dark shadow on the right side of the candle to blend with the lighting of the scene.

3) Now add a Gaussian Blur of Radius 2.1px to the candle.

Step 28

In this step we are going to create the glow to the candle flame.

1) Using the Soft Round Brush paint the color #f6a509 on the candle flame in a new layer.

2) Again reduce the brush size and paint white color in the center of the glow we are painting.

3) Now set the Blending Mode of the layer to Screen and reduce the Opacity to 77%.

Step 29

In this step we are going to add a book on the table.

1) Mask out the image of the book and place it on the table as shown.

2) Now by using the Soft Round Brush paint the dark shadow on the book as shown.

3) Now add a Gaussian Blur of Radius 2.1px to the book.

Step 30

In this step we are going to add hanging lights in the scene.

1) Mask out the image of the hanging light using the Magic Wand Tool (W) into a new layer and place in the scene as shown.

2) Now select a mask in the shape of the inner glass of the light and set the Blending mode to Screen and reduce the Opacity to 76%.

3) Duplicate the Hanging Light image and place it on the other side of the scene as shown.

Step 31

In this step we are going to color pass the scene using the Adjustment layers.

1) Create an Adjustment layer of Curves and set the RGB curves as shown.

2) Now create Black & White Adjustment layer and set Reds=40, Yellows=60, Greens=40, Cyans=60, Blues=20, Magentas=80. Then set the Opacity of the Black & White Adjustment layer to 17%.

3) Create Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer and set the Hue to 30 and Saturation to 25. Then reduce the Opacity of the Adjustment layer to 14%.

Step 32

In this step we will be creating the sun rays entering the hallway.

1) Using the Pen Tool (P) create the masks as shown for the sun rays and fill in the selection with white color.

2) Now select the mask in the shape of the arches and erase the rays overlapping the arches.

3) Now add a Gaussian Blur of Radius 43.9px to the sunrays layer then set the Opacity of the layer to 41%.

Step 33

This is the final color pass for the scene.

-Create a Brightness/Contrast Adjustment layer and reduce the Brightness to -58 and set the Contrast to +100. Then reduce the Opacity to 75%.

And We’re Done!

You can view the final outcome below. I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and would love to hear your feedback on the techniques and outcome.

Member File Download

Download the original .psd file for this tutorial here:

DOWNLOAD .PSD FILE

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2 Comments:

  1. Stark says:

    Step 30.
    2) Now select a mask in the shape of the inner glass of the light and set the Blending mode to Screen and reduce the Opacity to 76%.

    Misunderstood. What I need to do with lattern glass. You can’t set Blend Mode of selected areas of layer only.

    • fanextra says:

      Hi Stark. That’s actually a great question. I would personally handle it by isolating the glass on it’s own layer, and deleting it from the original light layer, then changing the isolated glass layer’s blend mode to ‘screen’.

      I’m just about to send our author Santhosh an email about this though to get you some more feedback straight from the tutorial’s author.

      Thanks for the heads up about this issue.

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