Create an Underwater Scene of a Giant Goldfish in Photoshop

Create an Underwater Scene of a Giant Goldfish in Photoshop
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Step 62

And that’s the result of two steps above. The difference may not be very noticeable but in my opinion subtle effects and details make a scene better.
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Step 63

To increase the contrast of the mountains and the sky add a Gradient Map adjustment layer and select the default Black to White Gradient.
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Step 64

Change the layer Blend mode to Soft Light and lower the Opacity to 60%.

Step 65

In the layer mask use the Linear Gradient Tool to limit the effects of this layer to the upper part of the scene. Take a look at my layer mask below. Remember that in a layer mask white reveals and black conceals.
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Step 66

And here is how the image is looking now.
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Step 67

To shift the hue to a cooler blue add a Color Balance Adjustment layer and use the settings shown below.
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Step 68

Here is the effect of Color Balance Adjustment from above.
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Step 69

Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and drag the saturation slider towards left to decrease the saturation.
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Step 70

Use the Linear Gradient Tool in the layer mask to limit this effect to the lower part of the scene (where the bottom of the sea it is supposed to be).
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Step 71

Below is the effect of the Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer we did in the steps above.
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Step 72

The surface of the sea seems a bit too dark and too blue and it doesn’t really match the underwater color. Let’s correct this by adding a Color Balance Adjustment layer .
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Step 73

Paint with a round soft white brush tool in the layer mask to apply this effect only to the surface of the water. By now you should appreciate the effects of selective masking and be quite familiar with the use of layer masks. That’s a good thing because layer masks are invaluable to a non-destructive editing technique.
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Step 74

And here’s the result of our Color Balance adjustments.
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Step 75

The image look very nice and unified but I decided to add a little hue contrast by making the scene above water more orange. Orange is the opposite of blue on the color wheel so we will have a nice contrast and some beautiful colors. Add a Color Balance Adjustment layer with the settingsh shown below.
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Step 76

In the layer mask use the Linear Gradient Tool to limit the effect only to the upper part of the scene. This is how my layer mask looks.
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Step 77

And this is how the scene looks now. One more step and we are done.
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Step 79

As a final adjustment I decided to make the underwater color a little more cyan and intense so I added another Color Balance Adjustment Layer.
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Step 80

…using the Linear Gradient Tool and the layer mask I limited the effect only to the lower part of the scene.
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Step 81

And this is where I decided to step with my adjustments. Off course you can continue to add little details and elements to improve your image but in my case I consider the scene looks complete.
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Final Results

Download the PSD

Tutorial by Adrian Scheff

image082 Thanks for following this tutorial. I hope you learned some useful stuff and improved your Photoshop skills. You can see some of my other art deviations here. Have fun photoshoping!!

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25 comments on “Create an Underwater Scene of a Giant Goldfish in Photoshop”

  1. Either I'm blind and don't see what happened to the "ripples" layers after Step 25 or there are steps missing. There's no way they go from the jagged-edged difference render to smooth realistic ripples by just blending the edge in with a brush. Clearly there is more manipulation needed to make that layer looks like it does in Step 26.

  2. What's the point of having the already-completed project available for download? I can't access DeviantArt and would love it if the zip file just contained the images and brushes so that I can actually DO the project. Thanks

  3. TRYING to learn the basics, here bro.

    The eye was not hidden. I know to check that much.

    An explanation WHY something works is how a lot of people learn, not just me. I wasn't complaining or blaming, just wishing there was more to it.

  4. I wish you could say WHY certain things are done (so I can understand when I might need to use them in the future) and so I can understand what the outcome is supposed to look like.

    For instance... I don't understand why we need a layer mask in Step 18 and why we are painting in white over the top of it...

    Since it doesn't seem to want to let me do it as stated (I get an error, "Could not use the brush tool because the target layer is hidden"), I have no idea what the outcome is supposed to be and can't figure out how to get to the next step without just skipping Step 18.

    1. your fault for not knowing the basics. Dont blame the tutorial bro. You can't paint because your layer is hidden. Click on the EYE icon. Layer mask is like a mask to show\hide what is visible on the layer.

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