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Now we should add some detail to the background mountains. I have another piece of photo reference that has the kind of jaggy peaks that would go nice back there called Mountain.JPEG, and it's in the exercise files for you premium members. Let's try extracting this with the magic wand tool. Set the tolerance to 35. And click a couple times into the sky. You'll need to clean up the left side of the mountain just a little bit. And invert the selection and copy it out. Paste it into the castle project and let's position it and scale it down to something like this back volcano.
That's getting close. We'll need to turn the castle off so we can see the background mountains more clearly. Paste in a new copy of the mountain. We're just going to reuse this section a couple of different ways. And scale it and stretch it to fit. Just duplicate this copy over to the left side. What we're primarily going to be getting from this mountain is the texture. With the Eraser tool, go through and erase any hard edges on these layers of mountains. Then select all three of' 'em and merge them together. Load in the selection from that original mountains later, invert it, and then delete those edges.
Now, the photo reference mountains exactly matches the silhouette of the original mountains. Grab that big soft round brush again and invert the selection so you can paint into the mountains. These mountains are lit from the right direction and the shadow's occurring on the left side like we need, but you'll need to enhance the lighting by darkening the left side more. I'm going to merge these photographic mountains with the original mountains from the concept sketch. And then set the Brush transfer mode to Overlay.
Load that deep red color from the sky. We're going to darken and intensify the mountains so that they look more threatening. Go back to normal mode. And let's darken these mountains even more overall. Duplicate the mountains. We want another mountain range in front of these, so scale them down and squash them a little bit. Lets open up the Curves. Pull down on the black point, and let's rais the mid-tones just a bit. Now those lower mountains are more of a silhouette. Paint into them to darken them over all.
Use the Lasso tool to cut the top of this low mountain so that the shape is different from the higher one. Make a new layer between the Mountains and the Mountains Copy and call it Haze. Let's grab some of that light sky color. And we're going to add a little haze in between those two mountain ranges. Let's add another layer of haze on top of that. Go ahead and haze down both sets of mountains this time. There's too much contrast in the base.
So let's knock that back. Let's turn on the volcano smoke. Choose the cloud dynamic to brush again. The smoke is looking pretty good, but we need to extend it up more, there is a bit of a hard line at the top where the smoke cut off. The same with this smaller volcano. Smooth both of them out, so the smoke seems to disappear into the atmosphere. The point where smoke erupts out of the volcano should be hotter. So let's add a dab of bright orange right where the magma would be shooting out.
Let's switch the transfer mode to overlay to intensify the fire effect. Then lock the layer by clicking this lock check box. That will prevent you from painting anywhere on the layer where there aren't already pixels. Select that big, soft round brush. Select a bright orange-red from the color picker. And intensify the base of the volcano smoke. Let's pick a bright yellow Then go over the flames to make them even more saturated than intense. Unlock the layer.
Let's turn back on the castle layer so we can see the foreground and background combined. Then select that layer we made all the corrections to the sky on and return the Brush transfer mode to normal. Then lighten the sky right behind the volcano so little more. There could be slightly more haze on the mountains to set them further behind the castle. The same with this volcano smoke, it got a little too dark up here. That pretty much finishes up the background.
Next we need to unify all the details on the castle, and we're going to do that in the next lesson.
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