Creating A Dream Land

By   |  Stashed in Photo Manipulation

Dream World

Inspiration For This Tutorial

Note From MyInkBlog: It’s been brought to my attention that this tutorial was largely inspired by Sabbath (THE COMMANDMENTS) by loswl. Thanks to loswl and Grapixia for pointing this out. Credit should always be given to the original designer.


In this photo manipulation tutorial we are going to digitally create a dream land using Photoshop. Along the way we will analyze lighting, incorporate a shattering effect, and use some brush tool properties.


This is a collage of images, so not surprisingly we’ll need to gather a lot of elements to make it work. If you are following along, you’ll want to grab the following.

Step 1

Import Cloud Images 1 into your canvas, and name the layer ‘clouds 1′. Pay close attention to the light source. In this image the sun light is coming from the right side, which is depicted in the image by arrows. We will consider this the primary light source throughout the tutorial.

Step 1

Step 2

Import Cloud Images 2, and name it ‘clouds 2′. Then, select the Soft Eraser Tool (E), and erase the edges of the ‘clouds 2′ layer.

Step 2B

Step 2A

Step 3

Having the ‘clouds 2′ layer selected, go to Image -> Adjustments -> Curves, and slightly adjust the curves as shown.

Step 3

Step 4

Now import Cloud Image 3, and name it ‘cloud 3′. Just like the last step, erase the edges of the layer with the Eraser Tool (E).

Step 4

Step 5

With the ‘cloud 3′ layer still selected adjust the curves as shown.

Step 5

Step 6

Now open up Hammock 1, and extract it. To do so, draw a shape around the guy and the hammock image using the Pen Tool (P). Once the shape is finished, right click on it, and select ‘Make Selection’. Then, hold ‘Ctrl’ + click ‘J’ (Ctrl+J) to make the selection a new layer.

Step 6A

Step 7

Import the previously made layer into your Dream Land document, and name it ‘Hammock 1′. Then resize the image to fit the composition, using the Move Tool (V). Continue by going to Image -> Adjustments -> Exposure, and change the settings to: Exposure +1.06, Offset -0.0020, Gamma Correction 1.12.

Step 7

Step 8

In the same way as the first hammock, extract Hammock 2 and place it in the work space. Then, move the image to the position as shown. Afterwards, go to Image -> Adjustments -> Exposure, and change the settings to Exposure +0.63, Offset 0, Gamma Correction 1.14.

Step 8

Step 9

Now, select the ‘hammock 1′ layer, and extract the rope using the Lasso Tool (L) and pressing Ctrl+J to turn the selection into a new layer. Place the rope on the ‘hammock 2′ layer. Duplicate the rope layer, and drag it upwards using the Move Tool (V). Erase the knot in the duplicated layer, then merge both of the ropes layers, and name it ‘rope 1′. Now, duplicate the ‘rope 1′ layer, and place it on the other side of the hammock as shown.

Step 9A

Step 9B

Step 9C

Step 9D

Step 10

Having the ‘cloud 3′ layer selected, extract part of the cloud, and make it a new layer named ‘c3-1′. Now place the ‘c3-1′ layer above the ‘hammock 2′ layer.

Step 10A

Step 11

Using the Pen Tool (P) extract the Bruj Khalifa Building (which, by the way is the world’s tallest tower at this time). As mentioned in the first step, the light factor should be taken into consideration. The direction of light in the ‘Bruj Khalifa’ layer is from the left side, so flip it horizontally by selecting the layer with the Move Tool (V), then right click and select ‘Flip Horizontal’.

Step 11A

Step 11B

Step 12

Now import Bird 1, and place it on the left shoe of the man resting on the hammock 1, and flip it horizontally to match the light.

Step 12

Step 13

At this point you can let your creative juices flow by adding additional elements throughout the composition. To give you an idea, I used elements such as hot air balloons, the Taj Mahal, pigeon, butterfly, and another bird near the hammock 2. Make sure that all these elements match the light.

Step 14

Use the pen tool to make a selection of the book like what is pictured below. Then make the selection a new layer, and name it ‘shatter’. Transform the ‘shatter’ layer by choosing the Move Tool (V), then right click and choose ‘Wrap’.

Step 14

Step 14B

Step 15

Mask the ‘shatter’ layer using the Magic Wand Tool (W), and add a layer mask. Now fill the layer mask with black. Paint the layer mask white with a grunge brush to get the shatter effect.

Step 15A

Step 15B

Step 15C


Now use the Moon Brushes 1 and Moon Brushes 2 to add some stars and moons throughout the composition. Be wary not to go overboard with this effect.

Step 17

Step 17

Select a soft white brush sized at 3px, and go to Window -> Brushes (F5). Select the Scattering option, set it to 100%. Now brush on some white magic particles coming from the bird.

Step 17A

Step 17B

Step 18

Use the Bubbles Brushes, to subtley add a few bubbles where you desire. If the effect looks to intense, drop the opacity a bit.

Step 18

Step 19

To complete the effect, I used a soft white brush along the edges of the composition. I also added the text ‘Dream Land’ and dropped it below the ‘cloud 3′ layer in the layers pallet. This is my finished artwork.

Step 19

That’s A Wrap

That’s if for this tutorial. I’d love to hear what you think, drop me a comment using the below.

About the Author

Santhosh is a freelance stopmotion and motion graphics designer. He is the founder of zillionarts, a modern digital art community. He is currently experimenting on his skills to bring out the new in his art.

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  • cherry


  • JC

    Nice simple tutorial with a strong finished product. THX!

  • adone

    Amazing tutorial!!! Thanks Santhosh and MyInkBlog.

  • Gaby Linko

    Beautiful job!! Some great vibes in the air :)

  • Sebastian

    Thanks Santhosh, very inspiring and to the point. Looking forward to more, I’m a beginner photoshop user but I’m not planning to stay that way :)

  • Jonathan

    Really awesome. This kind of thing makes me want to make versions of my own instead of just copying straight of which in my opinion makes the best turorials. Thank you

  • SJL Web Design

    Great tut! I think it is always good to practice photo manipulation, especially on a piece that is interesting and unique like this one.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Laurent Jouvin

    Full of fun little details. I’d like to go there some time ;)

  • Don

    Awesome, creative, I really enjoyed it

  • loswl

    Very good job of capturing he essence of the image I created

    I love the extra guy out there among the clouds, nice tutorial too :)

    • Andrew Houle

      I just noticed how close the design is to your original work. I’ve added a note about this at the beginning of this post.

    • loswl

      Thanks for updating the post :)

  • Xpirt Design

    Awesome tutorial. I like what you’ve done with the buildings

  • Benjamin Rama

    awesome tut santosh , cheers for sharing it with us ,

  • Johnson Koh

    Good work here. Those people look really relaxing hanging up in the sky :D

  • Roei CPO

    Wow, real nice work. and very useful tutorial! thanks :)

  • Midlands pop up displays

    I like this artwork. There’s lot of things going on in the clouds. Wonderful.

  • Grapixia

    Oh Dude! This is a rip-off of loswl’s design from! you did’nt even give him credit…give credit where credit is due dude!….other than that it is a nice tut :)

    • Andrew Houle

      Wow, thanks for making mention of this. It’s not a complete rip, but it seems to be very much inspired by the work you are referring to. I’ve added a note and linked back to loswl at the beginning of this post.

  • Tutorial Lounge

    you did excellent job in this beautiful tutorial.

  • mowdesign

    Amazing,love this tutorial a lot.Good job !!

  • Bane

    I like the tutorial but I really think it needs more post-manip work like gradient maps and levels, so that all the elements in the picture would blend in, instead of looking “photoshopped”.

  • Theo

    Very nice tutorial, well explained !!!


  • vy

    this is so great…thanks

  • Andrei

    For some reason I can’t see the images. Is something wrong with the page?

  • Jaime Miller

    Thank you loswl and Grapixia for the fantastic tutorial!

  • damasio

    Thanks for this post. Just what i needed

  • peter

    good tut,i will try it .

  • http://none Jean Clink

    There are not pictures, no photos on this page – that is true of one of the other tutorials as well – and they look so promising – I am hoping to try them out!

  • noble
  • http://deleted noble

    ^^^ i meant psd file PLEASE anyone?

  • mahmoed

    woow…..nice tutorial……!!!!

  • prototype

    hey i have made this pic just i cant do that book.. lol