Creating the Basic Landscape with Photomerge in Photoshop, Part 3

Creating The City In The Sand

By Stephen Burns

Now, you are going to create the city that will fit into the landscaper with photographic images.  You will start by giving the dunes the appearance of the rear portion integrating into the rear lighting atmosphere.  We will then use photographic content to create the skyscrapers emanating from the peeks of the dunes.

Step 1.

To help prepare the sand dune for the city details let’s give it the appearance of the light source spilling onto the rear portions of the dunes.  You will use the Layer Style option for this. Duplicate the sand dunes layer and place it on top of the layer that you used to intensify the shadow detail.  Double click on the right most portion of the layer to get the Layer Styles dialogue box.  Select the Gradient option and edit the gradient by clicking on the gradient preview box.  Apply the settings that you see in figure 24 by applying a color that will gradiate to transparency from a yellowish brown hue.

Step 2.

Go to your tutorials folder and open “refinery.tif”.

025smView of “refinery.tif”

Step 3.

Duplicate the layer and Inverse it horizontally (Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontally).  Position the second layer and blend it with the other using a layer mask to achieve a look similar the figure 26.

026smCreate a symmetrical look for the refinery

Step 4.

Now, implement steps 2 and 3 for the technique for “sky scrapper 1.tif”.

027smView of “sky scrapper 1.tif” “refinery.tif”
028smCreate a symmetrical look for the sky scrapper

Step 5.

Select both of the Skyscraper layers and right-click on them to bring up a submenu.  From this menu select “Convert to Smart Object”.  This will merge both layers into a Smart Object so that you will maintain the original quality of the image as you alter its size with the Free Transform tool.  Next, duplicate this layer and transform it (Ctrl-T/Cmd-T) so that it is thinner and longer than  the first merged shape.   Use figure 29 as an example.  Next, merge the two layers as a single Smart Object.

029smGive the ambient light a neutral warm color.

Step 6.

Go back and select the Sky Scrapper layer and duplicate it (Ctrl-J/Cmd-J).  We will keep one to place in the foreground of the composition to help establish depth.  The other you will use for the following procedure.

Position the Refinery layer beneath the Sky Scrapper layer and transform it (Ctrl-T/Cmd-T) so that it gives the appearance of extra detail being added that protrudes above the architecture.  Use figure 30 as a guide but play with the layer blend modes as well to experiment with other possibilities.

030smTransform the “refinery.tif” image to integrate with the sky scrapper .

Part 1, 2, 3, and 4

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