In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to create an out of this world, medieval-fantasy themed photo-manipulation. Using a few images, and brushes, we’re going to make a seamless image of a stormy night filled with dragons bathing a medieval ship in flames. We’re going to learn how to create a storm, how to create realistic looking fire, how to create realistic waves from a ship and how to give it a fantastic color using Photoshop adjustment layers.
Preview of Final Results
Out of This World, Medieval-Fantasy Themed Photo Manipulation Photoshop Tutorial
- Stormy Sea – darkrose42 stock
- sky III – nestrstock
- Digea Rain Brushes – Jelena Jovovic Photoshop brushes
- Tall Ship PNG stock – Alegion-Stock
- Dragon T1P1 stock – Shoofly-Stock
- Flames Fire Photoshop Brushes – redheadstock
- Grungy Paper Texture v.5 – bashcorpo
- Canvas Texture White Paper – Enchantedgal-Stock
- Waves-Brushes-Sampler – FrozenStarRO
Step 1: Create a New Image File
To start, let’s create a new image file, go to the Menu bar and click File > New, and then input the following values on their respective fields:
- Width: 1920px
- Height: 1080px
- Resolution: 300pixels/inch
- Color Mode: RGB Color; 8 bit
- Background Contents: Transparent
Step 2: Create the background
In this step, we will be creating the major element of our picture which is the stormy sea and the sky. To start, let’s open the image “stormy sea” by darkrose42 stock. Once the image is open, activate the Rectangular Marquee tool by pressing M on your keyboard. See image below:
When you’ve activated it, click on an area on the edge of the image and drag a selection area (Rectangular Marquee) on the area shown below:
Once you’ve made the selection area, move the image to our canvas.
To do that, activate the Move tool by pressing V on your keyboard. Once you’re done, the mouse pointer will change and a small cross will be added to the bottom-right part of the cursor.
When you see that change, left-click on the image using the Move tool and then drag the image within the selection area to our canvas.
Before we proceed with the next part, we will need to rename this layer to “Sea”.
To rename a layer, simply double-click on the words: “layer 1” to prompt a text box to appear. Once that appears, you may now rename the layer.
Next, we’re going to rotate this image for composition purposes. To do that, make sure that the “sea” layer is activated and then activate the Transform tool (Ctrl + T). Once you’ve done that, you would see a box around the image with 9 squares on its edges. To rotate the image, follow the instructions as shown on the images below:
The result should be similar to the image below:
After that, click on the “Sea” layer and go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and input the following:
- Brightness: -25
- Contrast: 0
The result will be similar to this image:
Now that that’s done, let’s now open “Sky III” by nestrstock.
Activate the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and select the sky. See image below:
When you’re done, activate the Move tool (V) and drag the selected part of “Sky III” to our canvas. On the layer window, position this layer under the “sea” layer so that the “sea” layer would appear in front. Once done, rename the layer to “sky”. See the image below:
Position the “sky” as shown on the image below:
The result is as follows:
After this, we will need to flip our “Sky” image horizontally for composition purposes. To flip an image horizontally, simply activate the Transform tool (Ctrl + T) and right click on the canvas to bring up the contextual menu; pick Flip Horizontal.
For composition purposes, we will transform our sky layer so that the beautiful parts of the sky would be seen. To do that, select the “sky” layer once again and activate the Transform tool (Ctrl + T) and follow the instructions shown on the image below:
After that, we’re going to transform it once more, and again, for composition’s sake. This time, we’re going to resize the sky for the viewer to see bluest part of the sky and to make our image appear more minimal.
To start, click on the “sky” layer and then activate the Transform tool (Ctrl + T). See more steps on the images below:
Once you’re done with that, activate the Transform tool once again and rotate the image as seen below:
The result should be similar to this:
Now, we’re going to create the light on the horizon. To start, let’s create a new layer by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + N on your keyboard. When the New Layer box opens, type: “Light 1” as its name. Next, position this layer between the “Sea” and “sky” layer. Once you’ve done that, activate the Brush tool (B) and input the following settings:
- Brush size: 500px
- Hardness: 0%
- Opacity: 15%
- Flow: 100%
- #: fff9c7
To input those settings, first press B on your keyboard to activate the Brush tool (B) and input all the settings mentioned above on their respective places on the Options window (Shown below). See image below:
To input the value #: fff9c7, simply follow the instructions shown on the image below:
Now we’re all set to paint in the light on the horizon. Click on the “Light 1” layer, activate your Brush tool (B) and then follow the steps on the images below: