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Create an Ancient Egyptian Tomb in Photoshop

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Creating imaginary scenes from scratch can be a lot of fun. Today, we will create an ancient Egyptian scene using stock images, textures, and some basic knowledge of perspective. Let’s get started!

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial.

Step 1

Start by creating a file with a size of 700x800 pixels and a resolution of 300ppi.

Step 2

Next, start by opening the file Wall.jpg then desaturating it by going to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate, just like what I did below. You might need to play with the Level settings (Command/Ctrl + L) to add more contrast to the wall.

Step 3

Next, is to add the ceiling. To do this duplicate (Command/Ctrl + J) the "Wall.jpg" then reshape it by pressing Command/Ctrl + T to activate the resizing handles. Press right-click then select Free Transform from the dropdown menu, then follow the indicated direction of distortion below.

Step 4

Next, open the Floor.jpg then resize it just like what we did with the ceiling. I also changed the image's hue and saturation by clicking Command/Ctrl + U then adjusting it to decrease the overall brightness and saturation of the image.

Step 5

Next, with the use of the Rectangular marquee tool (M), I removed a rectangular section on the lower center area of the wall, just like as shown below.

Step 6

Next, reduplicate the Wall.jpg, our first layer, then reshape it by clicking Command/Ctrl + T then select Free Transform from the dropdown selection. I shaped/distorted it in a certain manner that would create a hallway like structure.

Make sure that the "gap" lines of the wall meet so that the flow of the blocks will be continuous.

Step 7

Next is to add the opening of the tomb, which opens to a sunset colored sky. To do this, open the Sunset.jpg, apply a layer mask then use the Brush tool (B) set to color #000000 and hardness ~85% then start to cover the areas we don't need. You could also try to use color gradients and digital painting to make the sunset as another way to do this.

Step 8

Next is to add the stairs going to the tomb. To do this, open the Concrete.jpg then cut rectangular shapes out of it just like as shown below. Make a set of these shapes from the bottom up to the main opening of the tomb. Make sure to decrease the size gradually as you go up through the stairs, you can do it by pressing Command/Ctrl + T to activate the resizing handles.

The final result should look like as shown below.

Step 9

Next, I changed the color levels of the stairs. To do this, in the Layers tab, you should first select the components of the stairs by pressing Shift key then clicking the layers needed. Press right-click then select Merge Layers from the dropdown menu. Once merged, press Command/Ctrl + Alt/Option + L to activate the Levels window. Drag the handles so that the result will give you a somewhat dark-brown color just like as shown below.

Step 10

Next add a new layer just below the "merged stairs" layer. Then, using a soft, small-sized brush (B), paint the indicated areas with color #000000 with an Opacity level of ~80%

Step 11

Next, using the same brush settings we used for the shadows for Step 9, paint the areas indicated below but know using color #ffffff.

Step 12

Next, using a soft, mid-sized brush, about ~125px, and Opacity level of about ~30%, brush the areas indicated below. Don't paint the entire indicated area, just paint some patch of small areas, we did this because we want to emphasize that the ground is uneven.

Step 13

Next, open up the Statue.jpg. Using the Pen tool, trace the entire outline of the statue. Once selected, press right-click then select Make Selection from the dropdown menu. Next, press Command/Ctrl + Al/Option + I to inverse the selection, then press delete. Duplicate the Statue.jpg, then place one on both sides of the entrance. The color tone of the original Statue.jpg is far in comparison with the dominant color scheme of the environment. To fix this, press Command/Ctrl + Alt/Option + U to open the Hue/Saturation window. Here, you can slide the handles to match the color of the statue to the overall color scheme of our scene.

Step 14

Next I started to paint the first shades of shadows in the lower areas of the wall and the statues.

Step 15

Next, using the Brush tool (B) paint the cast of light coming from the environment (light on the walls and stairs), and the one coming from our source of light, which extends to the floor of our tomb.

Step 16

Next, using the Wall.jpg, I cut then reshape, base on the perspective of our scene, a small rectangular shape of the image then placed it on the upper portion of the opening.

Step 17

Next is to add the highlights for our scene. Using different variations on brush settings, paint the areas indicated below, paying close attention on the light source, light reflections, and surface lights. Like what I did below, I painted some highlights on the statues, which comes from the reflected light from the floor.

Step 18

After adding some highlights to our scene, I started out to add the primary set of shadows for our image. Using different size and hardness of brush (B), with color #'s close to 000000, start painting out the shadows to the areas indicated below. Use harder and more opaque brush settings for the corners on the ceiling, the shadows casted by the statues, and the corners on the floor.

Step 19

Next, I added a darker set of secondary shadows with the use of soft, mid-sized brush.

Step 20

Next, add a new layer then using the Paint Bucket tool (G), fill the entire image with color #8d4200. After that, decrease the layers Opacity level to ~36% and change its Blend Mode to Overlay. This step will help us blend the image and set the mood of our scene.

Step 21

Next, using a soft, ~70% Opacity level, mid-sized brush (B), paint the areas indicated below with its corresponding color #'s. Just like what we did in Step 19, change the layer's Blend Mode to Overlay then decrease its Opacity level to a higher value of about 60%. This layer will add the warm color effect we need for our scene.

Here's the final effect should look like.

Step 22

Next, using a small brush with hardness level of ~70%, paint some light rays coming from our main light source just like as shown below. Next go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, then apply a 9.3 pixel blur level.

Finally, decrease the Opacity level of the blurred lines we just made. The effect should look like as shown below.

Step 23

Next, using the Brush tool (B), paint the Sun in our scene. In painting the Sun, start with brushes with hardness level of about 60%, the gradually decrease it as you increase the brush size. After that, add a new layer then paint the areas close to the opening, upper areas of the stairway, with warm yellow to brown color tones, then use Overlay or Soft light as Blending Modes. You can decrease the Opacity level of the layer to adjust the intensity of the layer.

Step 24

Next, I added some "boque"-like effects by using a 100% hardness brush with color #ffffff. After that, I change its Blend mode to Overlay then decrease its Opacity level to about 15%. Make sure that if you're going to intersect two "circle lights" do this into two separate layers.

Step 25

Next, add a new layer then, using the Paint Bucket tool (G), fill the entire layer with color #000000. Next go to Filter > Render > Clouds, Fig. 1. Next, change its Blend Mode to Overlay then decrease its Opacity level to 70%, Fig. 1. After that, press Command/Ctrl + T to activate the resizing handles, then press right-click then select Warp from the dropdown menu. Warp the clouds just like as shown in Fig. 3. Finally, erase the areas indicated in Fig. 4.

The final effect is shown below. We did this so to add an effect of air and dust rushing outside the tomb.


That's it, we're done. The final product is shown below. Hope you had fun working on this project and learned something new! Thanks for reading!

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