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- Use Color Range to select the water splash.
- Paste the water splash into our document.
- Desaturate and apply a Curves adjustment to lighten it up.
- Position the splash using Free Transform (Ctrl + T).
- Use a layer mask to get rid of unwanted pixels or obvious lines.
Let’s make the back of the horse. Place “Water Splash 3” like shown below
Duplicate “Water Splash 3” layer by pressing Ctrl + J and move rotate it slightly to the left.
Place “Water Splash 4” on the back of the horse.
Duplicate “Water Splash 4” by pressing Ctrl + J and make it smaller. Place it on the back foot.
Duplicate the layer you just placed on the foot one more time and position it on the other foot.
Duplicate on the foot layers and place it on the front foot.
For the elongated foot duplicate one of the water layers you used on the feet but use Warp to stretch it a bit. Also make it a little bigger. To use Warp with the Free Transform press Ctrl + T inside the box that encompasses the layer and choose Warp.
Place “Water Splash 5” on the chest of the horse with some water coming out from his mouth.
“Water Splash 6” goes on the belly. Notice that this has a gray color and it is not very bright. That’s because we need something to fill in that big area and a very bright splash would be in conflict with all the other splashes.
“Water Splash 7” goes on the rear foot. It adds some nice random water drops
“Water Splash 1” goes on the back and on the head
Make a duplicate of “Water Splash 1” and use Warp to fit it on the head
Duplicate the original “Water Splash 1” again and place it somewhere on the chest to fill in the gaps. It looks too bright so use a Curves Adjustments to lower it’s brightness (drag the curve downwards).
Now that the water horse it is done let’s put the original harness over. To do this turn off all the layers except the original background layer and using the pen tool select all the bigger parts of the gear
After you’ve finished with paths press Ctrl + Enter to make selection from path. Now press Ctrl + J to make a new layer from selection and now you should have the harness on a new layer.
Move the harness layer above all layers then turn back on the visibility of all the layers. You should have something like the image below. It looks pretty nice but it not quit complete yet. Because we can see objects through water some of the harness on the other side of the horse should be partially visible too. The problem is that we don’t know how the back of the harness looks and we don’t have any photo reference of the same harness. In these situations it is good to remember that the elements in a photoshoped should look real but they don’t necessarily have to be from a real reference. When you’re doing a scene like that you’re selling an illusion so any tricks to make the illusion look real will do.