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Full Moon in The Midnight Forest - making of

Here we go! Create new document, fill background layer with dark blue.

Open Layer Style -> Blending Options, select Gradient, change gradient blend mode to Overlay, and style to Radial. also scale up  to 150%. (I also added black Inner Glow).

Create new layer, use selection tool or shape tool to create grey ellipse (this will be our earth). If you used shape, rasterize it.

Add some noise (menu Filter - Noise - Add Noise).

Tricky part now - we are going to simulate macro photo where only part of  a photo is focused, and the rest is blurred.
- switch to quick mask mode (Q)
- select gradient tool. make sure that foreground color is black, and background is white
- on top of window, switch gradient type to Reflected
- create gradient similar to show here. Since we are in qucik mask mode, you should see gradient in red.

return to normal mode from quick mask mode (hit Q again). Your gradient should become the selection. Apply Gaussian Blur to selected area (Filter - Blur - Gaussian blur), widh raduis about 4-6 pixels. Now, only part of our earth" is focused

change the layer's blend mode to Overlay. Now the earth is almost ready, but how about some grass growing on it?

Create new layer, select Brush tool, open brush properties, and find the grass brush (scale it down as needed). make foreground black and background blue.

fill all the earth with grass.

Use the same technique as above to blur top and bottom of grass area.

and lastly, change layer blend mode to overlay.

now let's make some trees! Open ContextFree - this is cool fractal freeware available from - and choose Demo1 in Examples menu.

Manipulate the code on left column unless you are satisfied with the tree you get. I really did not want to learn the code, so  I removed couple of lines, changed couple of digits, etc.

When the tree is rendered, save it  as PNG and open this PNG in Photoshop. Now we need to remove white, that is, make it transparent and keep only black tree. Here's how:
- select all (Ctrl-A)
- copy (Ctrl-C)
- go  to quick mask mode (Q)
- paste (Ctrl-V)
- turn off quick mask (Q)
- clear (Del)
- Deselect all (Ctrl-D)
- Turn all to black (Ctrl-U, Lightness = -100%)

Copy the result and paste into the wallpaper. Use shape tool to draw white eyes. Now that looks good already!

Go back to ContextFree, create new tree, repeat the steps above to put it into the wallpaper. To make it look far away, scale the tree down, and then apply Gaussian Blur.

..and again, and again, and again.... :-)

Now, the moon. Select the background layer, create new layer above it, and use shape tool, or white brush, to draw a white circle. Then, use layer effects to add uter glow with settings similar to shown here.

Since there is the light source (moon), all trees should have reflection. They are easy to do. Select a tree layer, duplicate it, (menu layer - duplicate), flip vertically (edit - transform - flip vertical).

turn all to black (Ctrl-U, Lightness = -100%), and then use Distort tool (edit - transform - distort) to make the shadow fall correclty from the moon.

repeat for all trees :-)

The shadows are they are now are too much, of course. For each shadow layer (you did make them in separate layers, right?) change its opacity to 30%-40%.

The part where a shadow touches a tree did not look good to me, so  I added more black using big black brush.

...and added into the wallpaper with layer blend mode set to Overlay, as always. That's it! Hope it will be useful.


← My favorite wallpaper background texture Mont Saint Michel (Dark) Making Of →

Komentáre 89

Armond · long ago
Hello Vlad, Im having difficulty changing the size and shape of my trees. I was wondering if u could post something on how u made your trees, I would greatly appreciate it. THANKS!!

MiyopYarasa · long ago
(Y) (Y) that's great! (Y) (Y)

Mati · long ago
Hello, I am of Spain. Here also your creations very are known... and still you are very young¡¡. Perdona my English of translator. Congratulations

MrChops · long ago
I just found your site and I have to say your work is simply stunning - superb, keep it up! (Y)

cduiqsymsk · long ago
Hello! Good Site! Thanks you! ebinjnqrvtj

JABBAR · long ago
I visited here for the first time. :) Its very useful tutorial. Thanks for sharing. Do you have any idea of "Ghosting" without using "Illustrator"?

Mike · long ago
The Link tree1.cfdg is not working can you fix it?

Andreas · long ago
The link was broken with he tries can someone that done this before upload a or write the code???

Jack · long ago
Awesome tutorial. But there's one part I'm stuck at. I'm trying to creat the tree, but can't get mine to look ANYTHING like yours. And the link you posted for Justing gives me a 404.

Frauke · long ago
Hi all, if anyone is still interested in the code - this worked for me. Just try a few times... startshape FOREST rule FOREST { SEED {} } rule SEED {BRANCH {}} rule SEED {BRANCH {rotate 11}} rule SEED {BRANCH {rotate -1}} rule SEED {BRANCH {rotate 21}} rule SEED {BRANCH {rotate -2}} rule SEED {FORK {}} rule BRANCH {LEFTBRANCH {flip 90}} rule BRANCH {LEFTBRANCH {}} rule LEFTBRANCH 4 {BLOCK {} LEFTBRANCH {y 0.885 rotate 5 size 0.99}} rule LEFTBRANCH 4 {BLOCK {} LEFTBRANCH {y 0.885 rotate 5 size 0.99}} rule LEFTBRANCH {BLOCK {} LEFTBRANCH {y 0.885 rotate 4 size 0.99}} rule LEFTBRANCH {BLOCK {} FORK {}} rule BLOCK { SQUARE {rotate 1 size 2} SQUARE {rotate -1 size 2} SQUARE {} } rule FORK 2 { BRANCH { } BRANCH {size 0.5 rotate 40} } rule FORK { BRANCH { } BRANCH {size 0.5 rotate -40} } rule FORK 3 { BRANCH {size 0.5 rotate -20} BRANCH { } } rule FORK 4 { BRANCH {size 0.7 y 0.1 rotate 20} BRANCH {size 0.7 y 0.1 rotate -20} }

Vlad Gerasimov · long ago
Justin: yes, forgot to mention: change image mode (menu Image > Mode) From Index to RGB! Then, double click to Background layer, and name it somehow. That will make it "unlocked" and you will be able to make it transparent (by default, background layer cannot contain transparent parts).

Vlad Gerasimov · long ago
...but, I do encourage you to try and create your own :-)

George · long ago
Vlad, you are the man... I have been looking at your stuff for more than a year and I cant get enough of it plus the tutorials help me so much... I learn alot more from them than I do from the video tutorials from other websites... I wish I knew more about the features photoshop has because its such a large program and there are so many possibilities... well keep up the great work and dont forget to keep making tutorials because they really help alot :-)

Lynn · long ago
Wow...this is really amazing. You are so incredibly talented!

Olivier from Paris (FR) · long ago
GREAT - a sensation of Tim Burton's world with his charater of Jack of the lantern. FE-LI-CI-TA-TI-IONS !!!

spacey from Neowin · long ago
nice, i like the tutorial as well as the wallpaper.

Pepito · long ago
Esta Gueno ;-)

secret say · long ago
a very interesting piece i must say

Mohammad Abbas · long ago
Thanks alot Vlad, your tutorial is great and very helpful ;-)

Divya · long ago
Hi.. both the wallpaper and the tutorial are Awesome!!! Tutorial is very good indeed.. thankz for sharing!!

alise · 31 január 2008
Thank you, Vlad, for the рositive emotions. I'm happy to be here!!!

~Umi_Kage~ · 17 október 2008
WOW thats crazy stuff!

· 6 január 2009
That is sick! Definitely going to try some of those techniques. I especially like the depth-of-field effect you created. Rock on!

Vlad Gerasimov · 19 január 2009
Tailsgirl: yes, forgot to mention! Please see my comment above - change image mode (menu Image > Mode) From Index to RGB! Then, double click to Background layer, and name it somehow. That will make it "unlocked" and you will be able to make it transparent (by default, background layer cannot contain transparent parts).

Maryam · 24 február 2009
Your work is exquisite! (But ofcourse you have heard this and a whole lot more perhaps a zillion times and so I will just get to the point :)) I was unable to see how you modified the code to get a tree like yours. The file you had uploaded for a previous viewer is no longer available. Can you help me out? Thanks a bunch! You have an apprentice :)

Tomás · 2 apríl 2009
I loved the tutorial! I have one doubt... I tried to change the code in ContextFree, but I allways got the same thing. I clicked the Render button, I didn't forget it. I have one more thing to say... I love your tutorials! Thankyou!

· 19 október 2009

gourav · 5 december 2009

Rachel · 3 január 2010
LOVING IT!!!! · 19 marec 2010
amazing man! amazing ! nice work!

liran · 29 marec 2010
thats amazing your so talented · 9 október 2010
very very very good bro exilent mavelus very gud

Jelena · 10 november 2010
Great tutorial Vlad. I just did it, thank you a lot..

Clear · 24 november 2010

· 3 marec 2011
that is the best ever

· 13 marec 2011
nice nice nice ooooooooooooooh my gad very good nice pic

Godly Ham · 13 marec 2013
umm i followed your directions on removing the white background on the trees but i just ended up with a black background. :( help?

Vlad Gerasimov · long ago
Rubynater: please refer to the tutorial where it says about contextfree software.

Rubynater · long ago
"Manipulate the code on left column unless you are satisfied with the tree you get. I really did not want to learn the code, so I removed couple of lines, changed couple of digits, etc." but how did you get that outcome?! and the link you gave was broken or something.. :-|

raul · long ago
Absolutely GREAT! You ROCK! I think i´m going to register to get some wallpapers despite i am a little broken lately... Thanks!!

Leila · long ago
easy but very interesting, i love this picture:-)

donny · long ago
the link to tree1.cfdg is broken please fix it

mia. · long ago
hey vlad!!you did a great job...i like your wallpapers, especially this one ;)...tried to work with this little program for the trees as well,but i think i´m to stupid..i can´t change the size from the tree, how did you do that??which line did you choose?

Muragatroid · long ago
Good as ussually. Tahnks a lot :-)

Jason Carlson · long ago
Yes, I have to say... this is a great tutorial if you could get those trees to look right. I'm perplexed. Vlad - c'mon man help us all out here please. THANKS!

Armond · long ago
THANKS A LOT Frauke....

banikkk · long ago
I have a problem when opening the tree, does not recognize the png

Ranjith · long ago

-=Delusion=- · long ago
VERY NICE!!!!!!!!

Suraj · long ago
awesome tut :)

Museifu · long ago
Hey thanks for this tutorial, I have just come back to it from ages ago because I wanted to recal this excellent way of getting a selection (Quick mask method)... I use it in alot of ways :)

HI! thanks alot u r a best teacher for me good luck..........

SuSpanS · long ago
Hey, This men It's an Artist , I'm coming from phpbb dot com and I'm amaized of what he can do with photoshop. Good live to you Victor.

Minh Chanh · long ago
To blend the tree to picture. I'm think it will simpler by use the blend node Multiply. It's make the white be gone !

Rubynater · long ago
Vlad.. can you help me creating those trees.. I don't know how you do that :-S

Minh Chanh · long ago
Well, it's so cool. I love it. Thank for good job ! Uhm... i'm Vietnamese. Visit :

piniata · long ago
thats insane.

Justin · long ago
having problems recreating the trees as you did. ive messed around with the digits but cant get anything anywhere near what youve done

Justin · long ago
also having problems with inserting the image. i got the image, cut the parts out, but when i import the image, it looks dumb as you can see the edges from the photo. how did you go about making it look smooth?

Vlad Gerasimov · long ago
Justin - here is CFDG file I used in ContextFree:

Justin · long ago
ok i got the clouds to work. i used the pate into command. is that correct?

M · long ago
A great step-by-step tutorial, as always. (Y) Thanks so much, as well as for recommending ContextFree. It's a really neat and simle utility that can work wonders combined with a little imagination. Very nice. (L)

Moo · long ago
Thanks once again!

PWyQ4hc7SM · long ago
Hi! Very nice site! Thanks you very much! mZ0kR9WFwnA

jiujiu · long ago
Thankx ! that's great! :-) (Y)

hamid · long ago
thats great for me ....thx from creator..... i have one question from you? how did you creative tree?:-d

Edward · long ago
Kool! :-)

tama · long ago
what a generous man thank u for making my computer so beatiful..

Beepee · long ago
congratulation (Y) and a big THANKS for tutorials! you are doing a very good job and it helps a lot! Greetings from Czech republic :-)

Ttg · 23 január 2008
Lucky 4 me, learning the tutorial from the master himself. Thanks Vlad, you're the best !!

Robby Kie · 30 august 2008
Really awesome and helpful tutorial..thanks a lot

Parvez · 17 december 2008
You are really boss man.....Nice tutorial..

Elenka_ZP · 13 január 2009
Прикольно =) Пошла рисовать деревья =)

Tailsgirl · 19 január 2009
Heya Vlad, TG from WC here, I'm trying to do this hon, but no matter what, the white won't remove, it just turns into a black image, can't be done.. any ideas? :)

Tailsgirl · 20 január 2009
Heya Vlad, yes, I set it to RGB, just have to do the rename :) I actually made the wall anyway, and it came out pretty well, it got accepted too [WC] :) I couldn't d/load the storm pic, so I stretched the little one you have lol

Maryam · 24 február 2009
Ok never mind, I tried the code that Frauke provided and it worked perfectly. Thanks a bunch Frauke!!!

Zach · 16 apríl 2009
This is incredibly cool, thanks!

· 3 jún 2009
really cool! thanks for sharing

Anja · 16 jún 2009
How do you make the inner shadow (step 2) ? If I do that, I just get a square shaped black shadow at the edges... In your example you still have the radial shape of the gradient ?

Souhaila · 4 október 2009
Wauw! Great job!!!

LiaLia · 27 október 2009

lj · 9 december 2009
Thank you friend, nice tut.

Aline Silva · 12 január 2010
Cute, congratulations from Brazil! thanks for the tutorials... Can you do a desktop paper about Rio de Janeiro?

kamha · 11 apríl 2010
SOooooo Cool u r very good

millie · 27 september 2010
I have a problem...when I cut a tree and make a backround tranparent I can't copy it into wallpaper...Someone know what's wrong? Actuaaly whem I copy it with ctrl-c ctrl-v into w3allpaper it shows with really wanna do this

John · 16 január 2011
Thank you Vlad for great tutorial but for some reason link to the swirly tree CFDG file doesn't work.

soroor · 29 marec 2011
this is very good, too! thank you!

dhika · 26 jún 2011

Vlad Gerasimov · 13 marec 2013
Godly Ham: your layer is probably "Background" - it's locked by default and cannot have transparency. To solve this, simply double-click layer and rename it to something.

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