There are all sorts of fantasy pictures out there, but some of the most heavily processed pictures outside of fashion photography are going to be the overt fantasy pictures. While I grew up with people like Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, and Carlos Diaz it is hard to find anyone who is recreating the look and feel of those illustrations in photography. First of all these kinds of pictures take a lot of time to put together in Photoshop, although OnOne Perfect Suite does cut down on the processing time with equal if not better results. You are still going to need Photoshop at some point to help manage the layers and smooth out those things that OnOne Perfect Suite will not smooth out.
To show how this really works I should probably make a movie and load it up on YouTube, and that is on the project list of things to do. Which is a really long list, so this is one of those eventually things as I get around to it and clear my plate of things to do today. I would highly recommend starting with a base picture of the scene you would like to create. Have the model pose as close to or as perfectly as you would like, I also recommend a non-cluttered background. Most of these were taken outdoors, and when you are trying to delete the background, plants, trees and other things you do not want in the picture take time to remove regardless of the software you use to set the mood and tone of the picture. Some photographers I know will shoot on a green screen or chromatic screen to make removing the background a lot easier. I tend to shoot these outdoors without the use of a green screen because moving a prop like a huge four ton rock into the studio just isn’t going to happen.
I recommend a 45 degree gradient for the lighting if you are going to go for a true Julie Bell or Carlos Diaz feel to the fantasy pictures you create. Then insert the background, components, and other mood lighting effects you want after you delete the background. Also you want to add texture and lines to the picture in Photoshop filters to make the lines pop like they would in an illustration. If you know your model well you can also change the mood around to suit the personality of the model, for example one of the models in this is a Goth, so making her dark and moody suited her personality and she ended up liking the pictures enough to turn them into her facebook profile image for a while. In all it depends on what you are going for with Fantasy Pictures, for some it is all about taste, for some it is all about recreating gods, goddesses, and trying to bring back some of the 1970’s old school style of fantasy art works.