photoshop creative

Create a water creature

Posted in:
General, by The Photoshop Creative Team
August 31, 2011

Use stock photos to create a fantastical being

Incorporating water effects is currently a popular Photoshop theme on blogs and Flickr feeds, probably because water is a very compelling element. Adding the illusion of a transparent, flowing liquid can be tricky, though, and often the results appear forced and cheesy, so in this project we’ll show you a convincing, effective method of making water radically change the dynamics of a bird in flight. This tutorial is rated intermediate, so don’t be put off if the final composition looks too complex. It’s really just a clever combination of Photoshop’s filters, blending modes and a handful of stock images.

You’ll start off with the Patch tool, then discover how the Magic Wand and Refine Edge command can effortlessly isolate subjects from their backgrounds. You’ll use Smart Object layers in conjunction with Smart Filters and adjustment layers, then see how simple it is to create your own image-based brushes to build a watery mask. To finish off we’ll demonstrate a surprisingly simple method of adding and wrapping the water splashes to successfully pull off the effect. The best thing about this workflow is that the whole process is non-destructive, so you have the flexibility of making unlimited edits.