In this tutorial I will be showing you how to take a simple photograph and turn it into a raging sea effect. Using background removal techniques, brushes and lighting effects you can create your very own surreal ‘God of the ocean’.
Version: CS or Higher
Estimated Completion Time: 3 Hours
Final Image Preview:
I would just like to thank Lorna Christie for the stock photograph of Sara Coulson. Lorna is a local photographer and the owner of Memorie Photography. Check out her website at memoriephotography.co.uk.
Open your background image, and then paste in your image of the girl. Name the layer “Girl”. Resize the image of the girl using the Free Transform Tool (Cmd+T/Ctrl+T) until you have her roughly into position.
Select the Pen Tool (P). Using a series of clicks, draw around the edges of the girl, I followed the dress line and missed out her shoes at the bottom, as we are going to have her submerged in the water. NOTE: The more clicks you use the smother your image will be, so it is worth taking the time to zoom in and get right into all the corners as best you can.
Once you have the girl all mapped out with the pen tool choose Window > Paths. Choose the Load Path As Selection button.
With your path selected, choose Select > Refine Edge. Try not to use too much feathering, it is a common bad habit to try and use the feathering option to make up for a bad selection. Make sure your selection with the pen tool is clean and you should not need the feather tool so much.
One you click ok you should return to your image. Choose Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection. This will hide the background and you should be left with the girl and the background image.
We are going to add an effect to our girl layer to make her appear wet. Choose Filter > Artistic > Plastic Wrap. Adjust your settings to its not too over the top. You want it to be subtle enhancements, not overpowering.
With the plastic wrap applied, darken the image down slightly. Choose Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Just tweak it so its not as vibrant. Make sure you have the thumbnail of the girl selected, not the layer mask.
Next we need to start adding some waves. Download and install Water1 and Water2 brush packs from Obsidian Dawn. With the brushes installed, I found it easier to drop it down on a new document, and then copy and paste it into our artwork. I find it easier to resize the image than the brush size.
So create a new document, and make the canvas size huge. Make it 3500×3500 as the biggest brush preset is 2500 we will have plenty of room to work with. Fill the background with black.
Create a new layer and choose the brush Wave1. Set the brush size to 2500 and using White do a single click on the background.
Next, select the entire canvas choosing Select > All (Cmd+A/Ctrl+A). Choose Edit > Copy (Cmd+C/Ctrl+C) and then return to our artwork. Choose Edit > Paste (Cmd+V/Ctrl+V) to paste it into our document. Name the layer “Wave1″. Use the Free Transform Tool (Cmd+T/Ctrl+T) to resize and position it at the bottom left hand side of our girl.
Repeat the last step, only this time when using the Free Transform Tool, Cmd-Click/Right-Click on the wave and choose Flip Horizontal. Position the flipped wave at the right hand side of the girl. Name the layer “Wave2″. NOTE: Try to make the sizes a little bit different, as this will make it look less of an exact copy of the other side.
Choose a different brush, this time use Splash1. Do the same thing as before, dropping it into the blank document and pasting it over. Call this layer “Splash1″ and position it between the other two waves.
Now, this is where your artistic side comes in. We need to colour the waves to make them look solid and not an empty shell. Create a new layer above our Girl Layer but below Wave1. Name it “Wave Colour”.
Choose a the Eyedropper Tool (I) and on the Girl Layer select a colour at the base of the wave.
With your new colour choose the Brush Tool (B). Choose a 45px soft round brush and draw in some colour on the Wave Colour layer.
You cannot simply use the same colour for the whole wave because the lighting changes throughout. So keep selecting different colours from the base using the Eyedropper Tool (I) as you progress along, You can even put darker streaks through the waves to create a more broken water effect.
Now we need to add some spray, to make it really look like those waves are smashing against our subject. There are various spray brushes in the brush packs we downloaded. Create a new layer and call it “Spray”. Choose a few different brushes and with varying size, put some spray in.
There is a brush called Splash1 which is perfect for the rock at the base of the dress.
Paste it in and name the layer “Splash 2″. Position it the same way as earlier using the Free Transform Tool (Cmd+T/Ctrl+T).
Put a couple more various splashes in the sea using different brushes out of the brush packs. Name the layers to fit.
Now we need to add some water to the girl in our picture. Use the waterfall6 brush and paste it into our document as before.
Use a large soft eraser and remove the pool from the bottom of the water fall.
Copy and paste it into our artwork as before, name the layer “Drips1″ and use the Free Transform Tool (Cmd+T/Ctrl+T) to resize it to fit the front fold of the dress. Do not constrain the proportions, squash it horizontally and stretch it out vertically to get a better effect.
Next, use the Free Transform Tool again, but Cmd-Click/Right-Click the selection and choose Warp. Bent and warp your water so that it fits the curve of the fold a bit better.
Repeat the previous step for a few more cascades.
Take the brush waterfall3 and drop it onto the blank document.
Take the eraser and remove the pool again. Then paste it into our artwork and name the layer “Blast1″. Use the Free Transform Tool to position it on the left next to the top fold of the dress.
Use the warp tool to make it look more curved, it looks like it is defying gravity a bit right now.
Once you are happy with your water blast, take the eraser tool and carefully take out the bits that overlap the dress. You can change the opacity a bit also to make it less white.
Repeat the step for another water blast and name it Blast 2.
Again repeat the step and name it Blast3. Only this time position the layer below the Girl Layer. Horizontal flip the image like we did with the wave earlier and position it on the right hand side. It will go behind her because of the layer positioning.
Add one final blast but use just the tips so that it looks more like drips.
Take the falling1 brush and drop it onto our blank document.
Just like before use a soft eraser on the bottom edge.
Paste it into our artwork and call it Fall1. Position the layer above Blast3 and use the Free Transform and Warp Tools to position it coming over her arm.
Using the brush falling2, repeat the last step calling the layer Fall2. Change the opacity to around 78%.
Download the image of the Guy In The Water. Open it in photoshop and use the Pen Tool (P) to draw around him like we did earlier with the girl. Keep as much of the splash as you can but just cut a rough edge around under him.
Delete the background using Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All. If the option is not available its because the background layer is locked. Double click the background layer and click OK to unlock it.
Now take the Pen Tool (P) again and cut around the guys left arm. The hand is not present in the picture so we are going to remove the whole arm. Load Path As Selection when done.
Choose the Pen Tool (P) again and draw around the guys right arm. Load the path as a selection.
Duplicate the layer, then choose Select > Inverse and ensuring you have the layer mask selected, fill with Black. It will look like nothing has happened, but you have actually just got the guys arm left on this layer. Use the Free Transform Tool, Flip it Horizontally and rotate it into position.
As you can see his arm now goes off the side of the image. So choose Image > Canvas Size and make a relative adjustment to the width.
Click on one of the layers, then hold down Shift and click the other to highlight them both. Cmd-Click/Right-Click and choose Merge Layers. This will make our guy all one once more.
Usually now we would focus on making the join in the arm smoother, but for the size this guy will be resized to it wont matter as you wont see it anyway.
Copy and Paste him into our artwork, name the layer Man and resize him using the Free Transform Tool.
Use the same brush as we used on the rock earlier, and on a new layer called “Man Splash” paste it in and resize it to mask the water already present.
Choose the Man Layer. Take the Sponge Tool (O), you may have to choose it by holding on the icon. It is in the same panel as the Burn and Dodge Tools. Set the Mode to Desaturate, the flow to 100%, then colour in the wave to take the orange out of it.
Create a new layer called “Eyes” at the very top of the layers panel. Use the Pen Tool (P) and draw a path around the eye of the girl, just the iris and pupil do not include the white.
Choose the Circular Marquee Tool (M). Again like the Sponge Tool you may have to choose it from the Drop Down Menu. Holding down Alt, draw a circle over the pupil. This will leave us with just the iris selected.
Now fill it with the colour blue (#00aeef).
Repeat step 29 for the other eye.
With both eyes done, choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options. Set an inner glow using #bee7ff as the colour.
Find the original background photograph in the layers panel, and duplicate it. Name it “Wet Rocks”. Choose Filters > Artistic > Plastic Wrap and do the same thing we did to the girl.
Use a large soft Eraser and remove the plastic wrap from everything but the rocks, the sky, the waves, the sea. Set the Blend Mode to Overlay, and reduce the Opacity to somewhere around 30.
Choose the origninal Background Image. Select the Pen Tool (P). Draw along the horizon to select the sky. As always, load the path as a selection.
Choose Edit > Copy followed by Edit > Paste. Name the layer “Sky Dark”. Choose Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast. Adjust the sky.
Choose Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All to add a layer mask to our layer. Using a large round soft Brush, remove the tip of the wave so it becomes bright again, and also run your brush along the solid join of the horizon to blend it in a bit. Remember on a Layer Mask Black removes White replaces.
Now there is still a definite join where the sky meets the horizon. Use the Free Transform Tool on the Sky Dark Layer. Drag the skyline down into the sea slightly.
Choose Image > Adjustments > Levels and darken it down a bit further.
Download and install the Clouds Brush Pack from the left side bar on Deviant Art. We will be using two brushes from this pack. Pincel Muestreado 3 and 8.
Take the brush Pincel Muestreado 3 and drop it onto our blank document like we were doing earlier with the Water Brushes.
Copy and Paste the image into our Artwork and name the layer “Clouds1″. Position the Clouds1 layer above the Dark Sky layer.
Choose Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Lower the brightness level to make your clouds darker.
Take a soft round eraser and delete any overlap.
Repeat the last step but use the brush Pincel Muestreado 8.
Paste the image in and name the layer “Clouds2″. Position the image behind the girl and again, touch it up with a soft eraser.
The sky looks a little bit too blue still for my liking. So, choose the Sky Dark Layer and from the menu choose Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Tween the Saturation to make the sky a bit more gray.
Now we will add the lightning. Create a new layer above the Dark Sky Layer and call it “Lightning”. Choose the Gradient Tool (G) and choose the Black and White default gradient. Draw a short gradient in. If you draw your line too long the lightning will not be sharp and the effect wont work. The red line below represents my gradient.
Now choose Filter > Render > Difference Clouds.
Invert the difference clouds by choosing Image > Adjustments > Invert.
Now set the Blend Mode to Screen.
Resize and position the layer. Use a large soft eraser to remove any unwanted clouds that are not part of the main bolt. Also touch up the top of the bolt to blend it into the clouds etc.
Choose Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Tick the Colorize Box and make the lightning bolt blue.
Duplicate the Lightning Layer, and call it Lightning Blur. On the duplicated layer choose Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the radius to about 23 and click ok.
Create a new layer right at the top of the pallet, name it “Rain”. Ensure you have Black and White as default colours (Press D) Choose Filter > Render > Clouds.
Choose Filter > Add Noise. Set the amount to 63, check Gaussian and Monochromatic.
Set the Blend Mode to Screen. Then choose Filter > Blur > Motion Blur and set the angle to 70. Make the Distance 50 and click ok.
Next, Choose Image > Adjustments > Levels and play with the settings until you are happy with your rain effect.
To finish the rain, use the Free Transform Tool just to stretch the layer off the top and bottom of the Artwork, as the noise effect gathers at the top and bottom and gives this cluttered effect.
Choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation. Just to brighten the pic up a bit.
And that is it… Please leave any comments or suggestions below, they are appreciated!