Making of a Floating Island



Before we start, we need to have 5 different images. A nice sky as background, a cone-shaped mountain, patch of grasses, some roots and bushes.

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Step 1 – Setting Up Background:

Create a document of size 670 by 493px and drag the sky as background layer in the document.

Create a new layer and call it as white. Using a large Soft Brush tool with color #FFFFFF, paint the lower half of the sky as seen in the diagram.


Step 2 – Cropping a Mountain:

Next thing, you shall crop the cone-shaped mountain with the Pen tool.

Just a rough outline will do since rocks are suppose to look edgy.


Step 3 – Forming the Base:

Drag your mountain on top on the white layer and rotate it such that the tip of the mountain is facing down.

Using the Burn tool, burn some parts on top and right of the mountain so the light source seem to come from the bottom left.


Step 4 – Drawing the Surface:

Create another new layer and name it as draft.

With a Pen tool, draw out roughly how you want the top flat surface to look.

This will give you a better idea of how to patch the grasses later.


Step 5 – Duplicate the Grasses:

Let’s proceed on to the grass.

Duplicate several of this grass image and tile them seamlessly by blending their edges with a large Soft Eraser tool.


Step 6 – Patching the Grasses:

Drag the grasses on top of the draft layer and set its Opacity to 50%.

Go to Edit > Transform > Distort and transform the grasses the way you see it in the diagram.

Ctrl-click on the draft layer to load its selection. Select the grass layer, go to Select > Inverse then press Delete.


Step 7 – Touching Up:

With a small size of Smudge tool around 2px, pull the edge out of grasses randomly.

You can do this as many times as you like. The more the better.


Step 8 – Adding the Roots:

Using the Pen tool, path out some of the roots and drag them into the document.

I darken them with the Burn tool so it blends in better with the mountain.

You may do this several times more for other positions of roots.


Step 9 – Adding the Bushes:

Similar to Step 8, do the same for the bushes.

Blend the bushes with the mountain by erasing their edges with the Soft Eraser tool.


Step 10 – Drawing the Clouds:

Last thing you need to do here is to create another new layer call clouds.

Use a large Soft Brush tool size 300px with 20% opacity to dot a few patches of clouds above all these images.



You can duplicate a few more of the islands you’ve just created. Make them blur and scale them smaller so they look far away.

Then start to decorate what you wish to have on the surface of your floating island!

Click here to view the final image.

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37 Comments | Write a Comment

  1. mark says:

    can someone help me i can not get the grass in the shape of the surface that i made with pen tool ????
    please someone help me !

  2. Rob says:

    I thought i would like the tutorial but i don’t. I really can’t get the grass layer fixed. If i try to select the draft layer and then the grass layer and go to select “invert” and push delete, nothing happens.

    am i the only one?

  3. raf says:

    where can I download the stock images?????????

  4. Killa Be says:

    Stumbled across this website and desided to do this for fun , heres how mine turned out.

  5. PSDDude says:

    Simple and nice!
    This is my floating island
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Malvika says:

    Neat πŸ™‚

  7. seoMetuzalem says:

    Nice tutorial! Do you like floating island on

  8. CgBaran Tuts says:

    Excellent tutorial

  9. Cool!! i’m going to try this one!! I have a similar idea for a concert poster… I’ll send u the results soon!!

    thnx!! πŸ˜€

  10. ashley says:

    this is really cool but then again ; it looks like it would take too long

  11. Johnson says:

    Hi Paula, yup this tutorial is featured on PSDTUTS under their 35 Green and Earthy Photoshop Effects πŸ˜€

  12. Paula says:

    I save something like this before on

  13. Rob del Ar says:

    great tuto….but where did you find the mountain? I’ve googled my hands off and have yet to find a good one…haha!

    all the best…

    R. of del aR Films

  14. Johnson says:

    Thanks guys! πŸ˜‰

  15. Trikstar says:

    cool features I always wondered how they did it.

  16. Johnson says:

    Thanks for your support πŸ™‚

  17. great tutorial.thanks for this one.keep it up


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