Photo Manipulation

Create an Underwater Dreamscape in Photoshop

Learn how to emotional photo manipulation of an underwater dreamscape with Photoshop. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a fantasy underwater scene, place a girl in the dreamscape, then complete it with some bubbles. Throughout the tutorial, you’ll learn techniques that will help you create better matte paintings and photo manipulations.

What you’ll be creating

On this tutorial we will create an emotional scene of a girl in an emotional underwater dreamscape. We will use some essential techniques in doing photo manipulation. We will use masking, brush tool, some filter, color adjustments and textures all through the steps in this tutorial. Use Adobe Photoshop CC to fully follow this tutorial. Some filter used in this tutorial will not be available in photoshop CS. Don’t forget a glass of coffee and optionally a pack of cigarette for your companion. Ready..?

final result

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Let’s start by creating a document by opening the underwater image in photoshop (Ctrl+O). This image will be background layer in the document on which we will create the scene.

step1a

Change this background layer into a new layer by double clicking the background thumbnail to show the new layer pop up window. Name this layer, say, underwater.

step1b

We need to alter the direction of the image by positioning the light rays on the left side. To do this, hit Ctrl+T to activate the free transform tool. Right click on the image to show free transform option box. Choose flip horizontal.

step1c

Finally, go to image > image size. Alter its size to 1800 pixels wide and 1200 pixels high.

step1d

Step 2

Add the cathedral image into the document by hold-clicking and dragging the image from the folder in our PC where we have saved it to the open document in photoshop.

step2a

Change this cathedral layer to overlay blending mode. Scale its size to the size needed and move it to the position where the ceiling is on the light rays.

step2b

Finally, set the opacity of this layer to about 20%.

step2c

We need to hide some parts of the cathedral image. We will give this layer a layer mask. Go to layer > layer mask > reveal all to give it a layer mask. Take brush tool (B) and choose a very soft round brush (0% hardness) set to about 15-20% opacity. With black color, stroke the brush on areas around the window, lower parts and left side of the building, and the ceiling a bit as well to mask them. The red highlighted parts are area covered with mask.

step2d

Here is the result after being masked:

step2e

Step 3

Now we will alter the color of the underwater by giving it a bit blue tone. Create a new layer above the cathedral layer (Shift+Ctrl+N). Name this new layer, say, gradient. Set the foreground layer to #abd9f1 and background color to #3d87cb. Activate gradient tool (G) and choose foreground to background linier gradient. On this new layer, hold-click and drag the tool from the middle top point downward to the bottom to create gradient.

step3a

Set this gradient layer to soft light blending at 75% opacity.

step3b

Step 4

Next we will add water texture to the scene. Create a new layer above the gradient layer. Name this layer, say, texture. Set the foreground color to blue #155ea5 and background color to #a0d2ec. Go to filter > render > cloud to fill this layer with cloud.

step4a

Go again to filter > other > minimum to give this layer minimum filter.

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