Create a spectacular rippling underwater explosion effect and blending a sexy girl into the water with just a few simple steps!
Step 1: Creating the Bubbles
a) New PSD: 1024×768 @ 72dpi.
b) Press D to make sure colours are default.
c) Filter -> Render -> Fibers @ default options.
d) ⌘I to Invert
e) ⌘L to Level the image.
f) ⌘J to Duplicate layer, Screen Blending Mode, Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur.
g) Move the layer slightly so that it’s not directly on top, and looks like it’s in the background.
h) ↑⌘E to Merge all visible layers, name the merged layer “Bubbles”.
i) ⌘J to Duplicate layer, name the new layer “Ripples”.
j) On the Bubbles layer, Filter -> Distort -> Ocean Ripples
k) ⌘B to Color Balance.
l) On the Ripples layer, Filter -> Distort -> Ripple. Then repeat step k) for it. After this, you’re done, Save the PSD as Bubbles.psd and keep it open.
Step 2: Composition
a) New PSD: 600×1136 @ 72dpi.
b) Copy & Paste in the Aquarium image, transform it to a nice scale and position.
c) ↑⌘U to Desaturate.
d) ⌘L to Level.
e) Drag in the Guide Me girl to your image, transform it to a nice scale and position.
f) ⌘L to Level.
g) ⌘U to Hue/Saturation and turn the Saturation down 50.
h) ⌘T to Transform, hold down ⌘ to Skew and drag the bottom right corner slightly up and to the left as shown.
i) If there’s anything that the girl is overlapping such as fishes, or corals, you can create a layer mask on the girl and brush out anything overlapping to create depth and blend it better.
Step 3: Bubbles and Waves
a) Drag in the “Bubbles” layer from Bubbles.psd and turn the Blending Mode to Screen.
b) ⌘T to Transform and try to do something like this by skewing.
c) Add a Layer mask to the layer and select the mask. Filter -> Render -> Clouds.
d) Select back the layer not the mask. Filter -> Distort -> Wave
e) ⌘J to Duplicate. Move and scale it smaller to a position on her hands like so.
f) Feel free to repeat c) until you feel it’s nice.
g) Repeat step a) to c) but this time, drag in the Ripples layer instead from Bubbles.psd
h) If any get on her face or parts that aren’t nice, erase or layer mask it.
i) Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Gradient Map @ Multiply, 70% Opacity.
Step 4: Lighting
a) New Layer, select the Rectangular Marquee Tool and drag a box as shown.
b) Select the Gradient Tool and select Reflected Gradient mode (4th option), on the top toolbar. Also use a White to Transparent gradient.
c) Drag from the middle of the selection to the edge.
d) Use the same transform technique we used to make this gradient into a cone.
f) Change the Layer Blending Mode to Overlay. If the lighting is still too much, delete some parts.
h) New Layer, Blending Mode on Color, Opacity on 75%.
i) Select the Gradient Tool, Linear mode and use a Foreground to Transparent gradient. Pick a colour like #00ff8a for your Foreground colour and Drag from the top of your canvas to about 3/4 to the bottom.
j) Press V for the Move tool, hold ALT and drag upwards on the canvas so that there’s a new gradient on the very top of the artwork.
k) ⌘U and play with the Hue slider until you get a yellowish or bluish colour on the top, according to taste.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
a) ⌘A to Select all, ↑⌘C to Copy Merged, ⌘V to paste on top of all the layers.
b) Filter -> Blur -> Lens Blur
c) Layer Mask the blurred layer, select the layer mask, ⌘I to Invert. Use a soft brush on about 70% Opacity @ White and brush out any areas that will look nice a bit blurred out. Do this for parts like her hands, objects in the background and objects that are very close to the camera.
d) ⌘A to Select all, ↑⌘C to Copy Merged, ⌘V to paste on top of all the layers.
e) Use this layer to do any remaining touches you feel is needed. You can burn areas around her feet to create some shadow, dodge up her face, sharpen specific parts, and blur out anything.
f) As with most of my artwork, I like to sharpen it when complete. ⌘A to Select all, ↑⌘C to Copy Merged, ⌘V to paste on top of all the layers. Filter -> Other -> High Pass @ 3px, change Blending Mode to Soft Light and play with opacity.
So what do you think? Not bad for a couple of steps?
Thanks for reading and I hope you have learnt something from this tutorial. Please Comment & Rate & Subscribe and I might make a video tutorial for this if I get enough feedback.
Stay tuned for more!
Founder of Anothera.net, has been using design programs for 8+ years. What had started as a hobby, design and art had became a real passion and a way of life. Achieved the Graphic Design Advanced Diploma qualification.