In this tutorial we will create an aquatic scene about a fisherman catching a big shark. There will be some blood and some underwater seamless blending.The techniques used here are simple so let’s get started.
What you’ll be creating
You will create an aquatic scene. You will need Photoshop CS5 or newer in order to follow this tutorial.
Create a new document 900×600 px. Save this file and (optional) name it “Fisherman”. Open the “Sky” photo and make a copy of the whole image by pressing Ctrl + A. Make a copy by pressing Ctrl + C. Go back to the “Fisherman” file and paste the copied file by pressing Ctrl + V. Use Free Transform (you can free transform layers by pressing Ctrl + T) to place the sky as I did in the image below.
Create a clipped Curves adjustment layer (there are a lot of tutorial on clipping photoshop layers, it is suffice to say that in order to clip a layer to another you alt click between the two layers in the layer palette). Below are the settings I used in order to change the color of the sky (drag the blue curve up and the red curve down).
Import the moon brushes. Create a new layer and create a new moon as I did. Group the layers together (Ctrl + G)(to keep the file tidy) and name it Sky.
Open the image “Underwater”. Select all, copy and paste into the “Fisherman” scene just as we did in step 1. Resize it as shown in the image below (with free transform Ctrl + T).
Create a layer mask for the underwater layer (Layer -> Layer Mask -> Reveal All or you can click on the little icon in the layer palette). Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool and select the upper half. Make the foreground and background colors default ( shortcut D) and click the layer mask to make sure it is selected. Press Alt + Delete to fill the selection with black.
Create a new layer and fill it with #79a272 color (a green color). Change the blending mode to overlay. Create a layer mask for this layer. Choose the Gradient Tool and while holding Shift drag from the upper portion of the image to the lower in order to create the effect shown below (remember, in the layer mask and not over the color layer).
Import the Bubble brushes. Create a new layer and use the bubble brush as I did in the image below.
Import the Fish brushes. Create a new layer and use one of the fish brushes to create a couple of small black fish in the underwater. Lower the opacity of the fish layer to 50%.
Open the psd file “Fish”. Select a fish with the rectangular marquee tool. Copy and paste the fish into our working document. Convert the newly imported layer to a Smart Object (right click the layer and choose “Convert To Smart Object”). This will allow us to resize the layer without actual loss of pixel data. Place the fish near the left side of the underwater. Press Ctrl + D to duplicate the fish layer and move it next to the other fish.
Import the light brushes. Create a new layer and change itï¿½s blending mode to Overlay. Using one of the light brushes create a light as I did in the image below. Change the fill of the layer to 31%.
Create a new layer and change the blending mode to Overlay. Use the light brush again to create a new light. Blur this light with a 20px Gaussian Blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur). Lower the fill to 51%. Create a layer mask and mask the half upper portion of the light.
Duplicate the light layer and drag it to the left.
Create a new curves adjustment layer. Drag the curve down in order to darken the scene. Fill the layer mask with black. With a white brush paint on the bottom of the scene in the layer mask to reveal the darkening effect.
Create a hue/saturation adjustment layer. Below are the settings I used. Fill the layer mask with black and paint with white on the bottom of the scene (like I did on step 13). The reason we do this is because usually underwater should be darker and more desaturated than the rest of the scene.
Open the image “Sea”. Copy all and paste into the working document.
Create a layer mask for the sea layer. With a black brush paint in the layer mask until you have something resembling my result below.
Create a Curves Adjustment layer and clip it to the sea layer. Drag the curve up to lighten the waves.
Create another clipped Curves Adjustment layer. Drag the red curve down to make the waves bluer.
Create a new layer and clip it to the sea layer. Change the blend mode to overlay. With a 20% opacity white brush paint in the areas shown below.
Create a new layer and change the blending mode to Color Dodge. With a soft brush at 5% opacity paint with #008c29 color over the sea.
Open the image “Little Shark”. Select all, copy and paste into our working document. Convert the little shark layer into a smart object and lower the opacity to 45%. Place the little shark as shown below.
Open the image “Big Shark”. Select all, copy and paste into our document. Convert to smart object. Resize and place the big shark as I did in the image below.
Add a layer mask to the big shark layer. With a black brush at 30% Opacity paint with black the lower areas of the shark so that it appears it is submerged into water.
Create a new layer and change the blending mode to Overlay. Clip it to the shark layer. With a white brush at 20% Opacity paint over the nose and the tail of the shark to make them stand out.
Create a clipped hue/saturation adjustment layer. Increase the saturation to 57 and fill the layer mask with black. With a white brush at 100% Opacity paint in the layer mask over the mouth of the shark to make it red and bloody.
Create a new layer and clip it to the shark layer. Change the blending mode to Color Dodge. With a 1px white brush at 60% Opacity paint some lines on the portion of the shark that is above the water. This will make the shark stand out more.
Create a new layer and clip it to the shark layer. Change the blending mode to Overlay. With a 3px brush at 50% opacity paint over the indicated areas.
Create a clipped Curves Adjustment layer. Drag the curve down to darken. Fill the layer mask with black. With a white brush paint over the indicated areas in the layer mask.
Create a clipped Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer. Drag the saturation slider all the way to -100. Fill the layer mask with black and with a white brush paint in the layer mask only inside the mouth to keep the redness.
Create a new layer. Choose a chalk brush. With a white color draw some little waves crashing into the body of the shark like I did in the image below.
On a new layer create some bubbles in the underwater portion of the shark.
On a new layer with a yellowish color draw something like a hook in the mouth of the shark.
Import the blood brush. Create a new layer and with a red color create a red splash near the mouth of the shark. You donï¿½t have to use the same brush I use or the same splash, most blood splashes out there will do. Use a layer mask to hide unwanted parts of the red splash.
Create a new layer and clip it to the splash layer. With a soft white brush draw some highlights on the splash.
On a new layer create another red splash using the blood splatter brush. Group the blood layers together.
On a new layer create some blood marks on the side of the shark using either the blood brush or the standard chalk brush.
Make another layer and draw some blood hanging from a tooth of the shark. Make another clipped layer to the hanging blood layer and create some shadows and highlights to make the blood look more real.
On a new layer create some blood flying from the mouth of the shark using the blood brush.
Add some shading (highlights and shadows) to the blood layer you just created. I used a couple of layers to draw with white and black and a curves layer, all clipped to the blood layer.
On a new layer cover with red the surface of the sharkï¿½s eye. Use a dark red.
Now on another layer create with a brighter red the iris.
At this step I feel that I can add more wounds to make the scene more realistic. Create a new layer and with the blood brush or the standard chalk brush create some red marks on the sharks nose. Double click the layer to enter blending mode and use the settings shown below.
On a new layer draw by hand with a black and white brush some more shading for the wounds on the nose.
Now letï¿½s make some underwater wounds. On a new layer create some wounds near the tail of the shark with a dark red. Lower the opacity of the layer to 64%.
With a round soft brush at 10% Opacity draw some red blood dispersing in the water near the wounds. Group all the layers associated with the shark and name the group “Shark” to keep the document tidy.
Open the image “Boat”. Copy and paste the boat into our working document. Convert the boat to a smart object. Resize the boat as shown below.
Add a layer mask to the boat layer. Mask away the bottom of the boat so that it looks submerged in the water.
Create a clipped Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer. Drag the saturation slider to -66.
Create a clipped Curves Adjustment layer. Drag the curve down to darken. In the layer mask use a soft white brush at 50% opacity and 2-3px size to create some lines along the lines of the boat.
Create a new layer and clip it to the boat layer. Sample a blue color from the water and with a soft brush at 2-3 px create some blue lines along the boat. This step is just to have some color variation in the boat.
Create new layer and clip it to the boat. With the chalk brush draw some blood spots on the boat surface.
Create a new layer. With the chalk brush at 40-50% Opacity draw some small waves splashing into the boat.
Open the file “Fisherman”. Make a selection of the fisherman (with the pen tool). Copy and paste the fisherman into our working document. Convert it to a smart object. If needed create a layer mask to hide additional parts of the fisherman.
Create a clipped Curves adjustment layer. Drag the curve down to darken the fisherman until he is just a silhouette.
Create a new layer and clip it to the fisherman. Sample a light blue color from the sky or sea and paint some light on the left side of the fisherman as shown below. No need for great precision, just the general feeling of light hitting the left side of the fisherman.
You may notice that the fishing line is not complete. Create a new layer and with a black chalk brush at 1px size complete the line to the sharkï¿½s mouth.
The fisherman while fighting the beast should have some blood on himself. Create a new layer and with the chalk brush draw a couple of red spots on the fisherman. Group all the layers related to the fisherman and name the group “Fisherman”.
Time to add some splashes. Open the file “Splash1”. Choose Select > Color Range. Click once on a white spot on the image to make a selection of the drops and click ok.
Now that we have a selection of the splash press Ctrl + J to make a new layer from the selection. Ctrl + A to select all, Ctrl + C to copy and while back in our working document Ctrl + V to paste the water drops.
Add a layer mask and mask all the unwanted parts until you have something like the image below.
Repeat the steps 59-60 two more times to add splashes in the indicated regions but this time using “Splash2” image.
Import the splash brush. Create as many layers as you see fit and create splashes on them using the brush. You can mask portions of the splash you donï¿½t like. Place some splashes around the shark and some around the boat. Group all the splashes together and further add a layer mask to the group to refine where the splashes are.
Create a Color Balance adjustment layer. Use the settings shown below in order to achieve a darker, more interesting mood.
Create a new layer and set the blending mode to Overlay. With a soft brush paint with white over the areas indicated below in order to emphasize them.
Create a Curves adjustment layer. Drag the curve down to darken. Select the gradient tool and in the layer mask drag from the up left corner towards the right bottom corner with black and white as default colors in order to reveal the darkening effect only in the upper left portion of the scene.