movie-like-sunset-in-photoshop-tutorial

I have always been impressed by the surreal, peaceful lightings sunset of scenic places I see in films. Unfortunately, I do not get to see them in real life.

In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to create a piece of romantic movie like sunset in Photoshop. This tutorial is made to show some very cool Photoshop techniques that beginners can quickly pick up.

Preparation:

You will need an image similar to this. Preferably, one which you can clearly see the skyline.

Opera House

Step 1:

Use soft brush (opacity 10%, black colour), and paint 1 to 2 times below the sky area. Then using the same brush opacity, change the colour to #ad651a and go over the sky area (you may use a lighter colour, but try not to make it go any darker). You will have something similar like the image below.
Opera Houses

Step 2.

Now click on the icon beside the quick mask. This will create a new fill or adjustment layer. Choose Curves and adjust the graph to the picture below.

Photoshop Curves

Result after adjustment of curves:

Photoshop Curves

Step 3.

Add a new layer below the Curves layer, Set foreground colour to Black. Fill it with Black (Alt+Backspace).

Opera House Black

Bring down the opacity of the Black filled layer to about 60% (so that you know where to place the lens flare in the image). Go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare. Adjust to the settings below.

Photoshop Lens Flare

Step 4.

Go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Radius 10 pixels.

Photo Gaussian Blur

Bring the opacity level of the Black layer up to 100%.
Now, we are going to create light rays from the flare.

Choose Soft Round Brush with the color #ffe01a, opacity 10%. Start brushing down from the point of the flare, keep brushing down until you have something like this.

Rays

Go to Blending Mode > Linear Dodge (Add).

linear-dodge

Step 5.

Duplicate the layer and change blending mode to Screen. Bring the opacity down of the layer to about 40%. This is what you will get.

Photoshop Blending Mode

If you think the image is still too dark, you may duplicate it again and adjust its opacity level.

Photoshop Blending Mode

Using the same brush colour #ffe01a, opacity 10% or lesser, work on the skyline area, so that the lighting is blend in nicely. You may also use the eraser tool to erase some light on the opera house (if it gets too washed out).

Step 6.

We are almost there. Select the whole canvas (Ctrl + A), Edit > Copy Merged (Shift + Ctrl + C), Open a new canvas (Ctrl + N), Paste the image on this new canvas (Ctrl + V).

We are now going to fix the blue portion at the right hand side of sky.

Sky Mistake

Use the Lasso Tool, Feather: 2 Px. Select the above the blue part of the sky. Copy (Ctrl + C) and Paste (Ctrl +P).

Lasso

This will cover the blue patch in the sky.

Sky Adjust

You may wish to adjust the Levels, Curves and Colour Balance on the final image like what I have done below.

movie-sunset-photoshop-tutorial

Conclusion

And we’re done! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, but most of all, I hope you learned something useful. Whether it’s just a new way to do something you already knew how to do a different way, or a whole new skill. I hope you took something away from this tutorial. Thanks for reading and keep practicing!





About the Author: Alex Roman

I’m a 23-year old independent graphic artist based in Romania, Bucharest. I design beautiful, engaging user experiences and intuitive user interfaces for the web. I really love what I do. Want to hire me? Follow me on Facebook or Twitter.


  • frip:

    I liek step 5, thank

  • kizi:

    I like Step 6. Thanks

  • geopopy:

    great work

  • friv:

    Great. create a Movie Like. Thank you

  • Vitor:

    just simple and gorgeuos

  • Smail:

    Thank you so much Alex for the tutorials, it helped me a lot and useful ! my skill has improved because of your tutorials ! thank you again Alex :)

  • friv:

    a great tutorial for beginners like me, thanks

  • nick:

    Hi i have read the tutorial and looks very nice,but i have a question how to make a photo effect like your avatar like this http://bit.ly/dwAHBS
    admin edit: use these Photoshop actions http://fav.me/d2ldesu

  • MR.36:

    wow impressionant mon ami

  • ISMBUTT:

    great……..one dude it is really very very nice…i love it.

  • Mark:

    impressive. i love the final effects… nice tought for me as beginner.

  • Oswaldo:

    Hey men, really great, i hope can to get to make any silmillar.

  • Zol:

    Hmmm…whilst it is a nice tut, it is definitely NOT a sunset, as the photo is looking eastward.

  • admin:

    like i said earlier, use the Burn Tool to darken that area.

  • Singapore Web Design Company:

    This is very detailed but i spotted something.

    If the sun is coming from the back, perhaps you can try to add the shadows of the various roof sections of the opera house? :P

    i have got an eye for details too!

  • David:

    This is excellent, thanks!

  • admin:

    good point frank, you should use the Burn Tool to darken that area.

  • call me frank:

    my only concern is that the near side of the opera house is lit, whereas surely it should be darkened by the shadow of the sunset?

  • Heather @ PSD Tutor Roo:

    The final image is beautiful. It is really amazing how you took an ordinary photo and were able to transform it into something breathtaking.

  • Daniel A.K.A White-Trash:

    great! looking good

  • stef:

    Nice stuff thanks!!!

  • Pavel:

    great photo manipulation :-D

  • Jenna H.:

    Fantastic Tutorial. Love It!

  • Gorny S. Needa:

    Great stuff, love the end result. many thanks

  • Warren:

    What a great tutorial! thank you very much!

  • Nikky:

    Wooowwww… unbelieveble…. Thanku for sharing…

  • Heatherina:

    Hey, Thanks for that! :)

  • Josh:

    Wow, loving the final outcome! Great use of colours.

  • Deepak:

    Great! love the colors…

  • Allice:

    Wonderful !! That’s professional teaching
    thanks for this tut!

  • Nikky:

    Will apply such one in the future, great Light lesson.

  • Matthew:

    Great tutorial. thanks!