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Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy
Illustration by John Hersey

Enhancing a landscape by adding a lake


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Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy

with Bert Monroy

Video: Enhancing a landscape by adding a lake

Today, what we're going to do is, And, go all the way around and select that area.
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    7. Enhancing a landscape by adding a lake
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Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy
6h 6m Intermediate Jun 07, 2013 Updated Apr 18, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Take a 10-minute recess every week and join Bert Monroy in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, the playgrounds of digital artists. Every Friday Bert walks through a fun, self-contained project that tests your skills and challenges the imagination. These programs aren't just image editors; they are sandboxes for creativity and experimentation. Take a spin through a carousel of tools and get reinspired, each and every week.

Subjects:
Design Illustration Photography Design Techniques Digital Painting
Software:
Illustrator Photoshop
Author:
Bert Monroy

Enhancing a landscape by adding a lake

Today, what we're going to do is, we're going to take this relatively bland looking image that's on the screen, here, and give it a little more excitement. We're going to add a little more color, and we're going to give it a lake, a nice little mountain lake that lives right here in this little mountain range. So the first thing we're going to do is, let's go in there and give it some color. I'm going to go into my Adjustments, and I'm going to choose my Levels. And Levels, what I'm going to do is increase the contrast between these tones here. So I'm going to take my Dark slider and move it in, way in there like that.

And I'll take my Midtones and just move them slightly. So see, right there we've got this nice intense contrast between all our. Different colors, and I might want to give them a little more color. So I'll go into my Adjustments and go to something like Hue/Saturation and bump up the Saturation just a little bit, not a lot. I want to get it iridescent but just a little bit so we get it a little more brightness to our colors, richer blues and so on. Click OK. We now have the image. What we need now is the lake.

So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take my Lasso tool, and I'm going to go right along this edge right here. Right through here. Right in there like this. And, go all the way around and select that area. I'm going to save this selection. I'm saving this selection and I'm going to call it lake because I might want to use it a couple times. And it saves it to an alpha channel right there. And come back to out layers here. And I'll create a, a new layer right on top of this. And this layer will be the lake. So I got a nice blue that I selected for my lake, right there. So I'm going to go ahead and fill that layer with that foreground color at 100%.

That's the beginnings of my lake. Now I'm going to do a couple more things with it. I'm going to go in there and blur it a little bit. I'm going to come up to my Filter and go to Gaussian Blue and we'll blur it just a little bit, just to soften that edge, click OK. And then what I'm going to do, is give it a mask. In the mask I have my brush, nice soft-edged brush. I have Opacity lowered considerably. I'm just going to go in there and just. Touch it right along that edge right there. You see what it has, it's created kind of like a shallow edge where the water is just meeting up with the shoreline right there.

That's the beginnings of our lake. Now, we need a reflection in there. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to select this whole area right in here. This whole area of our. Background. Right, let's select a little more of it, right there. And in the background, I'm going to say, send it to a new Layer Via Copy. And there's that layer, right there. Okay, so what I'm going to do with that layer is I'm going to take it, and put it on top, so it's right on top here. And I'm going to do a little. Flip Vertical on it.

So it's upside down, and I can now bring it down into position, down into here, right there like that. Now, the angles are very different here. So, I'm going to pull back a little bit, and what I'm going to do now. If I'm going to clip that with my lake. Holding down my Option key, I can click between them and it became a clipping group. So I can now take that layer and I'm going to go in and I'm going to do a little Transform on it. So we'll do a little a little Distort.

And Distort, I'm going to just bring this up like that, and bring this one down. There, just about like that. A little more. There, now you can see that we have a nice little reflection down below. going to let that happen. And I'm going to give it a little treatment here. Get in a little closer so you can see what's going to happen next. I'm going to bring down the Opacity, considerably, so I'm going to bring down the Opacity for that layer, so it's just a little hint of a reflection there. And I'm also going to give it a mask. And in the mask, I'm going to paint right through this area here, right in here, in the mask, and I'll bring up the opacity to about maybe close to 50 right there, and I'm going to start to paint this.

So, it starts to kind of disappear as it gets closer to the shoreline. And then, I'm also going to give it a filter. So, go back to the layer and say Filters. And I'm going to give it a Motion Blur. Straight up and down, 90 degrees. And maybe just a little more, just to give it that little sense, like that. Click OK. And there, we see that, now we have this nice little reflection in our water. And the final step that we're going to need is a little texture in that water. So what I'm going to do is, in another layer. I'm going to call this one the ripples. These are going to be the little ripples of the water.

So what I'm going to do is clip them, also with that, and I'm going to go in there and give that layer some Noise. Add some Noise, and layer right now is empty. So I will have to fill this. I'm going to fill it with some white. There it is, in white. And I'm going to go in there and give it some Noise. Add Noise, considerable amount of Noise. Just like that. And I'm going to go in there, and take that noise, and give it another filter. I'm going to go in there and say, Facet the noise. So it gives me that. And then I'm going to give it another filter. I'm going to go in there, and use that same motion blur that I used before.

Except, this time, I'm going to go straight across, and increase that distance just a little bit like that. Click OK. And going into my image adjustment. Levels, I'm going to go in there and increase that contrast so I get really strong blacks, and really strong whites. Just like that. Now, it's a little rough right now, so I can go in there and very easily blur it a little more. So we'll give it one more filter, just give it a little Gaussian Blur just to soften those just a little bit. About like that.

That looks good. And then what I'm going to do to this layer is I'm going to put it, I'm going to try a couple of modes. Go into Multiply, which is going to give me little black ripples, or we'll go into screen, which is going to give me little white ones. I kind of like the dark ones, so I'm going to go into Multiply and get those nice little dark ripples happening there. And, I'm going to bring down the Opacity. Bring down the Opacity so it's just a little hint of those little ripples right there like that. The next thing I'm going to do is do a little distortion on this. I'm going to select the bottom portion, right there, where the water itself is.

An I'm going to come up here an say, Distort. And I grab these bottom parts and pull 'em straight out, like so. And you can see what it's starting to do is making the ones that are closer to us a little bigger and the ones in back a little smaller. And there, we can see that now we can deselect and pull back and we see that we have a nice little mountain lake living amongst all these beautiful trees and, and the vistas in the background.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy.


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Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.
Q: Why are some of the 3D menu items grayed out when I try to follow along?
A: The 3D features in Photoshop CC require a computer with at least 512MB VRAM. If your computer doesn't meet this criterion, the 3D menu features will be greyed out.
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