Special Effects

How to Create an Underwater Abstract Art in Photoshop


Step 7 – Darkening the background

Darken the surrounding by using a black soft brush with the same technique.

At the end of it you should have something more refined like this.


Step 8 – Main focus

I always add the main focus before everything else so that I can get a clear direction on the next steps. We’ll use a C4D render for this tutorial. Head over to stinky666’s DeviantArt or follow the links above to download packs of free abstract C4D renders. He’s one of the few kind guys who uploads generously without asking for much in return. In fact, his renders are sufficient for most of my pieces.

Anyway, we’ll use this.

17 c4d

We’re going to need a smaller version of this, but instead of resizing. Erase the right half of it, resize, and place it on the seabed. Rotate slightly in clockwise direction. In case you have problem doing this, hit Ctrl+T for Free Transform. You can adjust the size by dragging on the corners. To rotate, move your cursor outside the image until you see a curved and doubleheaded arrow. Just move your mouse around and you’ll see what I mean.

17 transform

Do the same thing again, but this time erase the left half. Place the second layer closer to the first to reduce the gap in between. Set both layers to Hard Light.


Step 9 – C4D Craze

The next step is my favourite part – spamming renders. Be careful not to overdo it, and try to use just a small part of the render instead of the whole piece. Little at a time, layer by layer.

I picked this awesome-looking render (by stinky666) to start off with.

20

Cool isn’t it? But sadly we’re just going to use a small part of it, the spheres. Scale, rotate, erase, and set it toHard Light. Just like this.

You can try distorting it if you like (Filter > Distort > Wave/Twirl/etc), but I didn’t for this case. Place it below the two main C4D renders and you’ll have this.


Step 10 – Continue adding C4Ds

Repeat the previous step. This time I picked this render (by stinky666 as well).

23

I did it twice, using two layers. Erase unwanted parts and set both layers to Hard Light.

Combining with what we have so far:


Step 11 – The additional ‘flavors’

Of course we’re not going to just deal with C4Ds all day long. To make photomanipulation piece more interesting, you need different types of resources. Since we’re underwater now, the most appropriate image would be bubbles/droplets. Download the water droplets stock by RaeyenIrael-Stock at DeviantArt using the link above.

26 droplets

Place this layer below all the C4Ds and set it to Screen 70%. You’ll realize that with Screen, the water droplets stock is a little too bright against the dark background and seems out of place. Lighten, however, seems a little too sharp. If that’s case, increase the contrast. I increased straightaway to 100.

Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast.

26

Select the parts you want, erase the rest. Place them on both ends of the C4D. And you should have something like this.


Step 12 – Vintage texture

I don’t know if this seems a little random to you, but I think it makes the piece look better. I used a vintage texture which can be downloaded for free at Lost & Taken (link above).

28

Place this layer below the C4Ds and set it to Overlay. You’ll need to decrease the Brightness and increase the Contrast a few times until you achieve this result. The procedure is similar to the previous step.

28 contrast

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