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Tutorial: How to create a Rainy Lake scene in Photoshop
Posted on Sep 27, 2012 at 01:16 am IST
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Photoshop has been one of the best tools for matte paintings and photo manipulations. This tutorial will show you how I created this dramatic lake scene and techniques you can use to create your own.
By: K Mahesh
Preview of Final Results
Step 1
Create a new 8◊6 inch document at 300 DPI (File > New). Below is an image of what we'll be making.


I have planned out what I am going to create on this image. Before creating any Matte Painting "Planning" is the core phase which you have to execute properly. If you're not planned well, then Matte Painting is a thing which will urge you to bring more and more effects, and finally, you will get stuck only in effects, no proper output will come. So, Planning is most important!












 

















Now we are moving to work actually on the image. First, we will start from sky portion. In an original image, sky is looking natural so to give it dramatic look then you have to replace sky with another image. For this purpose, I have selected following sky image and have placed it properly to occupy complete sky portion:




























 

Step 2

Now to replace original sky, use the Magic Wand Tool and then select only sky portion properly especially spaces between trees.






























Step 3
And Delete that portion by pressing "Delete" key after that put the dramatic sky layer behind the main layer and see the output.






























 
Some Correction:
If you see in an output, you will find some parts between trees are remaining deselected so to replace it with background, follow this trick.

















Step 4
First select only defected area by using Polygonal Lasso. As I have shown in an image:


















Step 5
Then in Select menu -> choose Color Range tool. "Color Range" is a tool which selects specified color range in an existing selection.
So to replace faulty portion with background image then in Color Range tool first make Selection Preview: None and after that select eyedropper and pick faulty color range only. For reference follow the image below:

























Step 6
Finally click on Ok button, you will find a selected portion of that defective part. Just Delete (delete two times) that portion, it will automatically match with background sky image.


Step 7
To remove the sharpness of trees and Fort then select a Main layer by pressing Ctrl + Click and Add Layer Mask to it.



 























Step 8
After that in Filter -> Blur -> select Gaussian Blur and add Radius: 28.9. To remove unwanted part of fort then use Brush Tool and on a mask just paint on that unnecessary part by using black color as Foreground. So you will get an output like this:



























 
Now we are bringing a moon into a working image. For this purpose, I have selected following moon image.
 


















Step 9
To bringing it, select surrounding moon area by using Ellipse Tool and then drag it into the working image by using Move Tool. Resize it properly to suit to the background. Then apply the mask to it, first by selecting an image.
 



























Step 10
And then to hide surrounding portion of moon, use brush tool and paint only on unwanted portion. So, your image will look like this:



























 
To add birds in a main image then use the following image.























Follow the same process to bringing birds in a working image. Don't go for selecting complicated bird shape by using any selection tools. It will become a time-consuming process.


Step 11
So to get rid from the complicated selection process, choose birds surrounding portion by using Rectangle Marquee tool and then drag it to an image. Place it properly by resizing it.

Step 12
And to match it with background then you have to use Color Range Tool (as shown in step no. 5, 6). Select unwanted part by using Eyedropper tool and keep Fuzziness: 55. Then delete selected part.





















 
Then you will get output like this:




























If you see in an image, then you will find that lakeís bank portion is looking empty. So to fill it, you can add stones on that place.
For this purpose, I have chosen this image:







































 

Step 13
To bring stones cutouts in a working image select it with Polygonal Lasso Tool and drag it. Donít go for color correction and donít use Color Range Tool for stones. Keep it as it is. I have selected this part of stones to bring in our output:





























 
So, all the placements have made properly now. Look out the final output of placements in an image below:
 






























Color Correction Procedures:
Now we are moving to the main part which is ďColor Correction.Ē Color Correction is a procedure which maintains the overall mood of an image, if you succeeded in this section, you have won the race and if not, you have lost it. So itís very important part in any image to finalize the process.
But donít worry! Follow the procedures and techniques below then you will do color correction properly on a working image.


Step 14: Adding a Night Color to the image:

First, we are going to add night color to the image (means we are adding dark color to it.) So for this purpose, apply Adjustment Level Layer for overall layers. Place it above all layers.

You will find this tool in Layer menu -> New Adjustment Layer -> select Levels.
Add values to the Adjustment Layer as shown in an image.






























Step 15
Now to adjust value tone of stones with a background then select Levels tool and add this value to it.



















 
Then you will get output like this:































Adding Dramatic Colors:
Up to this color correction procedure, you will bring beautiful effect but not the perfect. It means still we have not added dramatic look.

Step 16
So to creating dramatic light then create a new layer and randomly paint three-color tones on a layer by using Brush tool.
1st Color Tone: 3b7480 2nd Color Tone: 3f715c 3rd Color Tone: 75743b

And then using Gaussian Blur Tool, blur that color tones. So, your three-color Tone layer will look like this:





























 
Step 17
And then in Blending Mode choose Hard Light blending mode. On that same layer to preserve brightness of moon, select Brush tool, and using Black color as Foreground just paints on moon shape. Finally, your image will look like this:































Step 18
Again to looking main image more beautiful, make some color correction to it by choosing Levels tool and add these values to it:
 



























Step 19

To increase brightness or shine of a moon then on a new layer, exactly on a moon, using a brush tool, make one circle with opacity low as 60% and with foreground color as white.

Step 20
Use Overlay blending mode for it and apply Gaussian Blur by keeping Radius 20 pixels. Make another duplicate of this layer and keep the both layers above the main moon layer and three-color tone layer.


Step 21
Make the use of hue & Saturation tool. And fill this value in that tool to the duplicate layer of a moon only.
 


























After doing enough color correction then our working image will look like this:































Now we are moving in detail to the Color Correction process. So first I am choosing birds, I want to match it with background color because recently we have made many changes to the background.



Step 22
So to blend birdís color with the background then in Image menu -> Adjustments -> select Match Color. ďMatch ColorĒ is a tool in which you have to give the reference layer of which color value you have to apply to selected objects.

For this purpose, I have given reference of a Moon layer; Source is working image and in Image Options, I have added following values. Now this tool will collect color information of a moon layer and will apply it to the bird color.




































Letís do now some little but necessary changes to the image.
Itís important to pick color of a background by border of objects. Otherwise it will look unnatural. If you see borders of fort and trees, then you will find some kind of white tone on it.
So to match that borders then we will follow one method.


Step 23
First, select that main layer then inverse the selection by pressing Shift + Ctrl + I (or in Select menu -> select Inverse) and after that moves the selection one pixels inside, first by pressing Down Arrow key (twice) and Right Arrow key twice).






























 
Step 24
Then make the use of Dodge Tool, select Range: Highlights and Exposure: 92%. And just apply it (2-3 times) only on a border of fort those belong to sky image. Then output you will get (Donít forget to keep the three- color tone layer above the main working layer):
























Step 25
Follow the same procedure for defective part of trees (Step no. 23, 24).
 






















Step 26

To make the lake view more beautiful then uses Curves tool and add these values to it.
 
































Now see the output:




























Modifying Fort small light:
See the small light of a fort in this image.
 




























Step 27
Now we will convert that fort light into original looking light. To do it, first by using Rectangular Marquee Tool select that fort light and add following color to that portion as shown in an image below:
 






















Step 28
Then use Gaussian Blur and add Radius 8.5 pixels to it to make a blur.



























 
Step 29
Select Hue & Saturation tool, add following value to it to look more natural light.
















 
 






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Step 30
To create reflection of fort light on water then duplicate the layer and place it on lake water, to spread it use Smudge Tool and spread it with flow of water.




























Step 31: Learn to create rain
To creating rain, first take a new layer and fill Grey color (# 989897) to it as shown in an image. And keep it above all layers. :

























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Step 32
Then add noise to the same layer from Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise by keeping its amount 33. Keep the settings of Noise panel as shown in an image:
 




























Step 33
After that from Filter -> Blur -> apply Motion Blur to that layer like as shown in an image.
 


























Step 34
Now use Soft Light blending mode then your output will look like this:

















 










Step 35
Finally, to make rain flow more natural, add mask to that same rain layer. After that use Brush tool by keeping low Opacity: 35% and add some black color patches to it.



























 
Create Foggy climate on the Lakeshore

If you observe the lake shore area after raining, then you will find some foggy climate there.


Step 36
So to create it, on a new layer, by using Brush Tool (Keep Opacity low 35%) just paint brush around the lake like as shown in an image:



























Step 37
After that you have to select that fog layer and apply Gaussian Blur to it. Keep Radius 71.1 pixels.




























Step 38
And then add noise to it. Keep values and settings as shown below:
 




























Step 39
Then again, use Gaussian Blur tool and keep Radius 9.5 pixels and finally select Vivid Light blending mode to blending that fogs with background color.
So friends, we have done it now! Our dramatic night lake view is ready to use. See our final output:

Final Results
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