advanced photoshop

Tutorial preview: Create a fantasy desert matte painting

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Magazine previews, by Adam Smith

Learn how to paint and blend images to achieve a surreal matte paint setting

In this tutorial we will embark on a matte-painting adventure to achieve a fantasy image setup in the desert.

We’ll start with a basic image, paint detailed rock structures and use several images to convert a simple background to a fantasy environment, all while maintaining realism.

Here we will need to use a pen tablet since there is quite a bit of brushwork involved.

You can try with a mouse, but the process will be much more difficult to achieve the results needed.

The tutorial is completed with Photoshop CS6 but you can use almost any version from CS2 to achieve the same results, however bear in mind some items and settings might have different names.

As you progress, it’s recommended that you go through the videos to catch the action and details, as they can provide a better understanding of what is being done and clear up any doubts you might have before continuing.

For successfully completing this tutorial you’ll need a strong practical knowledge of Photoshop, since basic operations like accessing a menu, utilising the Brush palette or using a layer clipping mask are not explained.

Read more in Advanced Photoshop 103, now on sale at and

Tutorial preview: Create a fantasy desert matte painting