The background and basic guide I used was from Sorin Bechira (http://goo.gl/Jbtfx7). I also borrowed Bechira's background from his Figure 16 image to save time ( I'm in the same boat with a bad photo; but with a low resolution for a background). Everything else in the image was done on my own accord to figure things out.
Some may know I tend to use Photoshop / Lightroom … heavily. I'm still a novice ^^;
I wanted to get better at Photoshop and decided I should focus on a long term self stretch project, matte painting (http://goo.gl/jscszP).
I have a much better appreciation for those that do matte painting for a living. To say it's difficult is an understatement.
Here's brief amount of techniques I had to learn/use:
– Color matching
– Displacement maps
– Contrast blending
– Clipping masks
– Multiple layers (4-6) blending