photoshop creative

Create incredible water effects (part 1)

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
November 15, 2014

Learn new methods and tricks to create a very complex but cool composition

1. Create a new document

Start a new document. We’ve named ours ‘Water Effect’, and made it 255mm by 300mm with 300dpi, so that it’s big enough for the composition.

2. Make a gradient background

Grab the Gradient tool (G) and click Edit to open the Gradient Editor. Create a new gradient using the colours #0e254f and #2e87c5, set it to Linear and then click OK.

3. Place the image

Go to File>Place, find your subject and hit Place, or just paste in a picture to work from. Resize the image and then duplicate four times.

4. Select

Grab the Quick Selection tool (A) and, using a hard brush, select the hair. Click the Add Layer Mask button in the Layers panel, or choose Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. Now Ctrl/right-click on the layer thumbnail and choose Simplify Layer (CS users click on Rasterise).

5. Repeat the selections

Now select the arms, hands and legs, repeating the previous step. Add a layer mask and then Simplify the layer. Do the same for the face and the dress, naming each layer accordingly: ‘Woman_Hair’, ‘Woman_Dress’ and so on.

6. Enhance the image

Select the Woman_Hair layer and hit Cmd/Ctrl+U. Set the Saturation to -100% and then change the blend mode to Screen. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+L to open Levels, setting the Input Levels to 20, 1.00 and 120.

7. Apply filters

Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, set the Radius to 3px and click OK. Now go to Filter>Plastic Wrap. Set the Highlight Strength to 30, Detail to 1 and Smoothness to 5, then click to confirm.

8. Layer the face

Select the Woman_Face layer and go to Enhance>Auto Smart Fix (Opt/Alt+Cmd/Ctrl+M). Click Adjust Hue/Saturation (Cmd/Ctrl+U) and set the Saturation to -100. Now go to Filter>Other>High Pass and set the Radius to 15px.

9. Mix in more filters and blends

Change the blending mode for the layer to Hard Light , then open Levels (Cmd/Ctrl+L), setting Input to 65, 0.85, 175 and the Output to 95 and 245. Go to Filter>Artistic>Plastic Wrap and set Highlight: 15, Detail: 2 and Smoothness: 10.

10. Accent edges

Select the Woman_Arms layer, then go to Enhance>Auto Smart Fix (Opt/Alt+Cmd/Ctrl+M). Hit Cmd/Ctrl+U and change the Saturation to -100. Go to Filter>Stylise>Glowing Edges and set Edge Width to 5, Brightness to 20 and Smoothness to 15.

11. Edit the remaining elements

Select the Woman_Dress layer and repeat the previous steps. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+U, set the Saturation to -100 and the blend mode to Screen. Go to Filter>Artistic>Plastic Wrap and enter Highlights: 20, Detail: 1 and Smoothness: 10. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+L, setting Input to 25, 0.80 and 220.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2!