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Now check the Inner Glow box and use the settings you see below. Noticed that I chose a light cyan-blue color that will best suit our water horse. Once you are done press Ok.
You can see below that now we have a foundation on which we will build our water structure. In the next step I will explain you haw to select drops of water and we will start building the water horse.
Open file “Splash2” and choose Select > Color Range. Click once in the area pointed below until the preview in your little screen on the Color Range window looks like mine below. Basically we are trying to select as much as possible of the white water splash without selecting other stuff. The preview in the little screen shows us what selection we have made by using the same principle as a layer mask: white reveals and black conceals. So everything white will be selected and black will not be selected. Gray means that the selection will be partial. The Color Range works by selecting pixels based on the place you click. So if you clicked in the area shown below it will try to select only the white splash without the green water surface or the plants. Don’t be afraid to click multiple times until you obtain the desired effect. Once you’re done click Ok and you will have a selection.
Press Ctrl + C to copy the selection and Ctrl + V to paste it into our document. You can see that it looks yellow and a bit dark. We will correct this in the next step.
Press Ctrl + Shift + U to desaturate the splash. This will get rid of the ugly yellow color. Still, the image look pretty gray. To increase the luminosity and contrast let’s use a Curves Adjustment. We won’t use adjustments layers for this because we will have a lot of water splashes and the multitude of clipped adjustments layer will clutter the document without offering a real advantage. I am all for non-destructive editing and I usually use adjustment layers as much as possible but sometimes a good old simple Curve will do just fine. So choose Image > Adjustments > Curves and drag the curve upwards to increase the lightness. Also drag the right slider a little towards the left to increase contrast. You can see that the splash it is already looking better.
Now it’s time to position the water splash. Press Ctrl + T and rotate the splash to match the picture below and press Enter.
If you will take a closer look at the splash you will notice some unwanted pixels from our Color Range selection. To get rid of them we will use a layer mask.
Choose Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All to add a layer mask. I strongly advise you to assign a keyboard shortcut to this very useful command so you can have at you fingertips all the time. Choose a round black soft brush tool and paint in the layer mask the highlighted areas from above and any other unwanted residual pixels. Also if you have any straight lines try to paint over them so the image doesn’t look fake. Now the splash look nice and tidy.
I will not repeat all the steps above for each water splash – this will take a lot of useless writing. Instead I will only show you the placement of each water splash. If you will follow the recipe from the above steps you should be fine. To recap: