Happy New Year! In celebration, this week’s blog entry showcases three wet and wild exercises from How to Cheat in Photoshop, 6th ed, by Steve Caplin. Well, that may be a bit of an overstatement. They do all feature water, anyway.
Water: Moats and Reflections
Hampton Court Palace, which was the Royal residence for Henry VIII and all his wives, serves as the first water feature. At one time the Palace had a mote as can be seen by the water stain in the original photo on the left, below. Caplin tasks his readers with re-filling the mote.
The first step was drawing in the shape of the water in a mid-grey. The edges shouldn’t be perfect as they need to suggest a slight waving of the water. So, Caplin suggested the Lasso Tool instead of the Pen Tool or the Polygonal Lasso Tool.
The next step is duplicating the background layer, flipping it vertically and using the water layer as a clipping mask to begin to create the reflection. Unfortunately, just leaving it at that won’t work. Sections of the buildings need to be selected and separately sheared so they fit the perspective. These separate layers then need to be grouped and the whole group have the opacity lowered around 80% to look more like a reflection on water.
Caplin added a swan to his image but didn’t supply his readers with one. I located one on Google Images, cut it out and added it. I also had to match the swan and it’s reflection to the background by desaturating it using curves adjustment layers. Next, all of reflected layers were merged and a wave filter was added to create the rippling effect. Also, I made an eliptical selection around the swan on the reflected layer and applied the ZigZag filter to create a waving effect around the bird.
Finally, Caplin has his readers tint the water. Instead of a nice blue, Caplin suggests a muddy green, as mote water wasn’t exactly “clean.” If you’re unfamiliar with castle sanitation of the period, you can Google that on your own.
Making Water From Thin Air
Since creating reflections is tricky, Caplin provides his readers with another tutorial on the subject. This time a reflecting pool is created from a sandlot, as seen in the image pair below. Much like in the first tutorial, water is created by painting in mid-grey on a new layer. Also similar to the first tutorial, simply duplicating the background and flipping it vertically will not create a convincing reflection. The boy, the wall and the rest of the background all need to be put on separate layers and sheared separately.
This time, however, instead of applying the Wave filter, Caplin has his readers create a rippled water texture in a separate, much larger, document using the clouds filter and then the glass filter. Next, the new document is then dragged into the image file and then the grey water shape is then used as a clipping mask. Additionally, Caplin suggests deploying the Perspective mode of Free Transform to give the waves some depth, tinting it blue and then reducing the opacity to about 30%.
Finally, since the pool is shallow, Caplin suggests reducing the opacity of the original water layer so that the original sandpit just starts to become visible. All very realistic effects, I’d say.
Submerging in Water
The last watery tutorial of post was originally a Friday Challenge. But, instead of creating water, an object (in this case a late-model Corvette) is submerged in a pool as seen in the image pair below. To create the partially submerged effect, the area of the car that you wish to place under water must be masked out with a layer mask. Then, the layer containing the car and it’s mask is duplicated. Next, the mask in the duplicate layer is inverted so that the “dry” part of the car is masked in that layer.
At this point, the whole car can be seen again. To create the appearance of the car being partially submerged, a wave filter is applied to the “submerged” part of the car in the layer with the mask that blocks out the “dry”part of the car and the opacity is then reduced to around 30%. To complete the effect, a shadow is added under the car.
Next: Shiny Surfaces – Part 3 – Bad Weather and a Cold Drink