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3797 × 2440 px. Gradient Tool # 04243f # 0e74d6 .


(Ctrl + Shift + N), .


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> . , . ʻ. Ctrl + C, . Ctrl + V, . Clouds, . . Ctrl + T, Free Transform , . , Lighten.


Clouds (Layer> Layer Mask> Reveal All). , .


Overlay. # e37952 , . 40-50%. , . , . , , Ctrl + G.


Moon Elliptical Marquee Tool . (Ctrl + C) (Ctrl + V) . . , .


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Add a layer mask to the layer moon and using a round black soft brush mask the lower and the left side of the moon.

Step 10

Lets add some highlight to our moon. Create a new layer and add a layer mask (Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All). Ctrl- click on the moon layer to make a selection than press D to set the default colors. Finally, press Alt + Backspace to fill the selection with white. Click on the layer again to select it and with a white brush paint some highlights on the right and up side of the moon.

Step 11

Now lets create the terrain. Open file Desert and using the quick selection tool select the terrain only (not the sky). Copy and paste the terrain into our document. As you already guess now you should right click the desert layer and convert it to a smart object. Resize it and position the terrain as shown below. If your selection was imperfect feel free to add a layer mask and mask the
unwanted bits.

Step 12

In this step and the following steps we will apply some adjustment layers to the desert layer in order to blend it better with our image. Usually almost any imported/pasted layer is often more saturated than the rest of the composition (not only in this case but in general) so lets add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer and tweak with the values. We notice that the terrain looks much better if we decrease slightly the saturation. But in order to apply the effect only to the terrain layer we must clip the Hue/Saturation to the Desert layer by Alt-clicking between the two ( and we will do so for the rest of the adjustment layers applied to the terrain). If you notice the a group called City and wonder why you dont have it dont worry about it, you will find out why in the future steps.

Step 13

Now lets color correct the terrain a bit. Add a curve adjustment layer and use the settings shown below. Clip this layer to the layer below (it should be clipped to a Hue/Saturation layer which in turn is clipping the desert layer). Lower the opacity to 32%.

Step 14

Now lets add some selective lighting. We will make the foreground part of the terrain darker. Add a Curves adjustment layer and drag the curve down to darken. Click on the layer mask and with a black brush paint on the top part of the terrain to keep it untouched by the darkening effect. Lower the opacity until you achieve a pleasant effect (40%). Clip the layer to the layer below.

Step 15

And as a last adjustment layer applied to the desert create a Brightness/Contrast layer and drag the Contrast slider to the right until a value of 70 is reached. Clip the layer to the layer below.

Step 16

Group the terrain layer and the all the adjustment layers we applied to it into a new group.

Step 17

Now well create a city in the distance. Create a new layer and press Ctrl + G to add it to a group. Name the group city and move it below the terrain layer.
Step 18

First of all be careful to put all city related layers inside the group City or else we will have a messy document. Our city will have three layers of building outlines to simulate depth. First outline will be dark and it will sit in front, second will be a little lighter than the first and sit in the back of the first outline and third will be even lighter and will sit behind the two other outlines. If you followed the step 17 you should have a single empty layer inside the City group. Select this empty layer and group it again by pressing Ctrl + G. Name the group Dark Buildings. Choose the Mosque Brush and with click a couple of times using a variety of mosque buildings to create a something like I did below.

Step 19

Now we will add some highlights to our dark outlines in order to give them some 3d volume. Create a new layer in the Dark Buildings group and name it Highlight. Clip this layer to the outline layer we created in step 18 (for clipping refer to step 12). We assume that the light comes from the left up side of our image so the highlights will have to be on the left side of the building outlines. Select a white round soft brush at 10% Opacity and paint some highlights on the left side and top of each building. Dont overdo, be subtle.

Step 20

When light hits an object we usually notice a very sharp bright line on the corner or top of it. This is called specular highlight and it gives our objects a nice look. Create a new layer and clip it to the highlights layer. Name this layer Specular Highlight. With a white brush at 30-40% Opacity and 1px size paint some subtle specular highlights on top and left side of the buildings. Again, be subtle.

Step 21

Now lets create the second city outline. Repeat the steps 18 to 20 but increase the size of the Mosque brushes and place them a little higher than the Dark Buildings outline. Name the newly created group Medium Dark Buildings and place this group below the Dark Buildings group in the Layer Palette. Lower the opacity of the Medium Dark Buildings to 85%.

Step 22

For the last city outline we will use a mosque from a picture. Open file Mosque and make a selection of the mosque using the Lasso Tool or the Pen Tool. Copy and paste into our image. Right click the pasted layer and choose Convert To Smart Object. Use Free Transform (Ctrl + T) to place the mosque behind the two other building outlines.

Step 23

Now lets fill the Mosque with black color in order to make it an outline. There are multiple ways to do that but I went for a Adjustment Layer solution. Create a new Curves Adjustment layer and place it above the Mosque layer. Clip the Curves layer to the Mosque layer and drag the right point of the curve all the way down.

Step 24

Select both the Mosque and the Curves layer and group them together (Shift click each and press Ctrl + G) and name the group Big Mosque. Add a layer mask to the group. Shift click both the Dark Mosque layer (the layer where you applied the brushes) and the Medium Dark Buildings. This will create a selection of both. Now click back on the layer mask of the group Big Mosque and press D to set default colors and Alt + Backspace to fill selection with black. This will prevent the ugly look caused by stacking multiple transparent layers on top of each other.

Step 25

Apply both a specular highlight layer and a highlight layer to the Big Mosque group (as we did in step 18 to 20) and group all these layers together. Name the new group Light Buildings.

Step 26

It starts to look good but we still need to make the city look more real. And the best way to make a city look real is to add smoke/dust. Create two new layers and name them Smoke. Place one between Dark Buildings group and Medium Dark Buildings Group. Place the second one between Medium Dark Building group and Light Building group. Choose a soft white brush at 1% Opacity and paint some smoke/dust (just draw some loose horizontal lines). The effect will be barely visible but it helps selling our city.

Step 27

Group all the city layers we created until now and name the new group City Outlines.

Step 28

Lets create some extra smoke. Create a new layer, name it Smoke and paint a more pronounced smoke effect than we did at step 26. Place this layer above the City Outlines group.

Step 29

There are probably people still active in the city even at night (unless it is a deserted city) so lets show that by creating some window lights. Create a new layer and name it Window Lights. Choose a light yellow color and with a round soft brush at 2-3px draw some dots where you feel that windows or doors should be. If you dont feel anything take a look at how I did it below.

Step 30

Now lets add some random detail to break the monotony. Create a new layer and name it Extra Detail. Using a 3-4px size brush at 10% Opacity squiggle a few lines here and there.

Step 31

. Palm Tree Ctrl + A, Ctrl + C . Ctrl + V, . . Free Transform (Ctrl + T), .


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City Outlines, Smoke, Window Lights, , Palm Trees . City. , Terrain.


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Water Basic Reflection. Color Base Color Dodge. # 1c71ae 40-50% . .


Water Basic Reflection. Color Dodge Moon Reflection. (-) . , 50-60%.


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Lets add some glow to our lake. Create a new layer and set the blending mode to Overlay. Using a soft round brush at 5% Opacity paint a little bit with white over the center of the lake.

Step 48

Usually there are some sort of plants growing around lakes. Create a new layer and with a black chalk brush at 2px size and 80% Opacity squiggle a few herbs here and there. Group all the oasis related layers and name the group Oasis Lake.

Step 49

Select the Brush and choose one of the Camel brushes. Choose black as a foreground color and create a new layer .Click once on it to draw the camels. Resize and position the camels as shown below.

Step 50

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