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Bert Monroy: Dreamscapes Volume 1
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating a floating island


From:

Bert Monroy: Dreamscapes Volume 1

with Bert Monroy

Video: Creating a floating island

In this movie we're going to take our castle, with all the nice little trees around it, and we're going to put it on top of an island that's going to be floating in the sky. Now here's a situation where I don't really have an island laying around, especially one that's floating in the sky. So this is a case where we're going to have to create one. You don't have be a professional photographer with a big giant studio, no. I'm going to show you what I did. I took a dead plant from my garden, and I just raised it in my patio right here, I just took couple of patio chairs and put them up on a table, and some bamboo that shoot right across the top.
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  1. 2m 12s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 14s
  2. 23m 11s
    1. Using clipping groups
      3m 33s
    2. Explaining alpha channels
      6m 29s
    3. Using layer masks
      3m 47s
    4. Creating alpha channels
      5m 56s
    5. Using Adobe Bridge to stay organized
      3m 26s
  3. 26m 6s
    1. Introduction
      14s
    2. Preparing the scene: Retouching
      7m 36s
    3. Turning day into night
      6m 18s
    4. Creating the sky
      6m 24s
    5. Creating chimney smoke
      5m 34s
  4. 16m 23s
    1. Introduction
      14s
    2. Creating the castle
      6m 14s
    3. Creating a floating island
      3m 29s
    4. The final composite
      6m 26s
  5. 29m 22s
    1. Introduction
      30s
    2. Creating the basic cliff
      4m 50s
    3. Including cliff details
      2m 38s
    4. Adding plateau details
      8m 53s
    5. Creating a cascading waterfall
      5m 31s
    6. Building a rock cliff
      2m 13s
    7. The final composite
      4m 47s
  6. 30m 49s
    1. Introduction
      40s
    2. Creating terrain
      3m 47s
    3. Adding buildings
      9m 18s
    4. Creating the planet
      4m 7s
    5. Creating planet rings
      9m 39s
    6. Adding atmosphere
      3m 18s
  7. 25m 4s
    1. Introduction
      49s
    2. Creating islands
      5m 56s
    3. Creating a beach
      4m 28s
    4. Adding a planet and a moon
      6m 42s
    5. Adding the secret base
      7m 9s
  8. 49m 34s
    1. Introduction
      33s
    2. Manipulating the plane with the Pen tool
      8m 12s
    3. Adding the logo to a curved surface
      4m 14s
    4. Compositing and aging the plane
      6m 14s
    5. Busting up the plane
      8m 54s
    6. Breaking glass
      5m 53s
    7. Adding moss and lighting
      7m 15s
    8. Adding water and reflection
      5m 2s
    9. Applying finishing touches
      3m 17s
  9. 26m 41s
    1. Introduction
      15s
    2. Creating the sea
      4m 15s
    3. Creating the dome
      8m 4s
    4. Compositing and colorizing the city
      9m 3s
    5. Adding a flock of birds with the Pen tool
      5m 4s
  10. 21m 6s
    1. Introduction
      22s
    2. Creating the scene
      7m 49s
    3. Making a castle on an island
      7m 16s
    4. Adding foliage
      5m 39s
  11. 27m 12s
    1. Introduction
      53s
    2. Composing the scene
      9m 6s
    3. Creating explosions
      8m 54s
    4. Adding flying debris
      3m 30s
    5. Applying finishing touches
      4m 49s
  12. 26s
    1. Final thoughts
      26s

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Bert Monroy: Dreamscapes Volume 1
4h 38m Intermediate Sep 18, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Discover how to use Adobe Photoshop, without any added fine art skills, to modify artwork and turn the ordinary into extraordinary. Author and illustrator Bert Monroy takes an unexciting photo and transforms it into an amazing dream sequence by combining it with other photos and techniques. His process touches on compositing, digital painting, masking, and other key image editing techniques. All you need is Photoshop, some images that could use a boost, and your imagination!

Topics include:
  • Creating alpha channels
  • Isolating content with clipping groups and layer masks
  • Turning a day sky into a night sky
  • Compositing photos
  • Creating tableaus
  • Blending color and tone in combined images
  • Painting in explosions
Subjects:
Design Photography Design Techniques Digital Painting Masking + Compositing
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Bert Monroy

Creating a floating island

In this movie we're going to take our castle, with all the nice little trees around it, and we're going to put it on top of an island that's going to be floating in the sky. Now here's a situation where I don't really have an island laying around, especially one that's floating in the sky. So this is a case where we're going to have to create one. You don't have be a professional photographer with a big giant studio, no. I'm going to show you what I did. I took a dead plant from my garden, and I just raised it in my patio right here, I just took couple of patio chairs and put them up on a table, and some bamboo that shoot right across the top.

On one of the bamboo that shoots I just put a large piece of white paper and on the other one I put down the dead Azalea root ball. I shaved it down a little bit just to get the shape that I wanted, and using my little Cannon G9 I shot the shot that we see here. I'm going to go in there and select that ball and separate it from its background and in this particular case it's going to be easy, because I made the background a pure white. So I'm just going to go in there and select that background. Then I'm going in there and inverse that selection so that the root ball itself is selected.

Just to make sure I don't have little white haloes or anything like that, I'm going to go into my selection, I'm going to say Modify and Contract it. I'm going to contract it about 2 pixels to bring in that selection just to that edge. I'm going to send that to new Layer Via Cut. So there we can see that our root ball is in its own layer. Now I'm going to go in here, and I'm going to move it down a little bit and erase this part on top. Even though my castle is going to cover that, I don't want to see it. I'm going to give this a little more space. Go to Canvas Size here and on the Height I'm going to make it a full 20 inches, and make the original down at the bottom here, click OK so that my additional space will be on top.

Now that I have my root ball ready to go, let's get rid of this. I'm going to come over here to my little castle, which was merged in the last movie. I'm going grab that and drag it into the scene here. It will automatically fall right on top. Now it's a little smaller. No problem. We could either shrink this one down or make the castle larger. So I'm going to go in there and make the castle larger. So I'm going to drag it, my Shift key to constrain it and then put it right up in there like that. I'm now going to take the root ball, put it in position where I want it, I'm going to rotate it slightly just like that to get it the angle that I want, and move it up a little bit so it's right below my castle.

My castle and its trees are now sitting on top of this root ball. Now I want to give this a little more drama. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to come over here to my Burn tool, and I'm just going to go in there and just start adding a couple of little dark tones right through here. I'm going to set this over here to my Shadows so that I'm going to work with deeper tones right in there. And I'm going to make it a little larger and just kind of darken along the edges right in here and maybe down in here just to get some little wedges going through this dirt down here. And just darken it up along the edges right down in here like that and it starts to add a little more drama to my little island that's going to float in the sky.

So once I have it all together, I can now go in and take this layer of the trees and the castle and merge it down to the layer holding the little island. So let's merged visible into one, and there it is. Now in the next movie we are going to put this into a nice little scene, but now we see that we have our castle with its trees resting on top of an island that's going to be floating in the sky.

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