Create Dark Atmosphere In This Eerie Castle Scene

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create an eerie castle scene with a medieval woman holding a lamp. You’ll learn how to combine different images in a cohesive scene using adjustment layers, masking and brushes. You’ll also learn how to create a depth of field, make a dark atmosphere, enhance the contrast and color and create lighting effect.

Final Image

Woman in victorian dress imprisoned in a dungeon

Software: Photoshop CS3 +

Difficulty : Intermediate

Estimated Completion Time: 90 minutes

Resources Used In This Tutorial:

Model: 3606541 @Evgeniya Litovchenko

Lamp: 3506850 @pshenichka

Vines: 42093298 @Phanuwat Nandee

Branches: 11303642 @Kjetil Dahle

Skulls: 27359465 @nerthuz

Cobweb brushes: Devianart

Step 1

Open the model image. Select the Crop Tool (C) and delete the top of the image to focus on the model:


eerie1

Make a new layer and use the Clone Tool (S) to cover the windows behind the model:


eerie2

Hit Ctr+Shift+Alt+E to merge the model and the clone layer into a new one. Apply a Gaussian Blur of 9 px (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur) to this image and use a soft black brush to paint on the front of the image to clear the blur effect there. We now can see that the effect only visible at the background:


eerie3

To enhance the depth of field and create a mysterious look, on the new layer, use a soft black brush to paint on the background and hide the door:


eerie4

Create a new layer and use a soft brush with the color #d9eef8 to paint over the model dress and the wall area beside her as they looks too blue compared to the background. Change this layer mode to Color 100%:


eerie5

Isolate the vine and add it to the edges of the images. You can duplicate it several times and arrange them in the way you want. I used the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl+T) with the Warp mode to tweak the vines to make them appear different:

eerie6

Apply a Gaussian Blur of 4 px to the vine in the foreground to create some depth to the scene:


eerie6a

Select the vine layers and press Ctrl+G to make a group for them. Change this group mode to Normal 100%. Create a Color Balance adjustment layer and change the Mid-tones settings:


eerie7

Make a Curves adjustment layer and decrease the lightness. Use a soft black brush to paint on the middle of the vines to reveal the lightness there:


eerie8

Cut out the branches from the original image using your own method. Select the different parts of the branches to add to the edges of the door, below the vines.


eerie9

Make a group for the branches. Use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and reduce the Saturation value to – 63:


eerie10

Change the branches color with a Color Balance adjustment layer:


eerie11

Use a Curves adjustment layer to darken the branches. Paint on the middle of the branches as done with the vines to show some light there:


eerie12

Extract the skull pile and place the skulls in the bottom right of the door:

eerie13

Add a mask to this layer and use a hard black brush to make the skulls appear behind the model:


eerie13a

Make a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and set it as Clipping Mask. Change the Saturation value of Master to change the skulls color:


eerie14

Add more cyan to the skulls using a Color Balance adjustment layer:


eerie15

Use a Curves adjustment layer to darken the skulls. Paint on the top of some of the skull to reveal some lightness on these areas:


eerie16

Create a new layer on top of the layers. Change the foreground to #e4e4e4 and the brush kind to the cobweb ones. Select different cobweb brushes to paint on the edges of the door, along with the vines and branches:

eerie17

Apply a Gaussian Blur of 2 px to the cobweb in the bottom left to match its softness with the blurred vine in there:


eerie17a

Make a new layer under the vine group. Use a soft black brush with the opacity about 40% to paint the shadow of the vines and branches on the door:


eerie18

Create a Curves adjustment layer on top of the layers and decrease the lightness. Paint on some details of the model, door and floor to reduce the effect in those areas:

eerie19

Make a Color Fill layer and pick the color #450404. Change this layer mode to Exclusion 100%:


eerie19a

Use a Color Balance adjustment layer and change the Mid-tones and Highlights settings:

eerie20

Create another Curves adjustment layer to darken the whole scene more:


eerie20a

Make a Selective Color adjustment layer and change the Cyan settings:

eerie21

Use a Vibrance adjustment layer to enhance the color effect:


eerie21a

Isolate the lamp and place it below the model hand. Use a layer mask to make it look like being held by the hand:

eerie22

Make a Curves adjustment layer to darken the lamp. Paint on the middle of the lamp and the handle to reveal the light there:

eerie22a

Paint shadow for the lamp as done with the vines and branches:


eerie22b

To make the light for the lamp, make a new layer and change the mode to Linear Dodge 100%. Use a soft brush with the color #2c1502 to paint around the lamp and fingers:

eerie23

Make another layer and change the brush color to #f6b764. Paint on the middle of the lamp to increase the light there and set this layer mode to Overlay 100%:


eerie23a

Make a new layer under the light ones and change the mode to Hard Light 100%. Use a soft brush with the color #f6b764 to paint the light reflection on the dress:

eerie24

Use another layer with Color Dodge mode 100%. Paint more light on the fingers and the dress wrinkles with the color #fcd7a6:


eerie24a

I used a brush with the color #0e566b to paint highlights on the model hair.


eerie25
Woman in victorian dress imprisoned in a dungeon

If you tried this tutorial to the end, great work! It’s always rewarding to complete a mini project like this one. Do try our other tutorials as well!

#photoeffects #design #mystery #123RF #tutorial #scene #castle #photoshop

12 views0 comments