Photoshop water splash

by Design Workshop Sydney

Creating a water splash image in Photoshop is a matter of working with several layers and their respective blending modes. We show you how it’s done in our Adobe Photoshop training courses.photoshop-water-splash
First create a new document of size 150 x 220mm, for example, with a resolution of 300 ppi. Next select the Gradient tool with the default colours, but change the white to 30, 110, 180. Next choose the Radial option and create a background gradient of blue to black.
Next we open the image of the skateboarder and copy it into the gradient background image. Then go to the Image drop-down menu to choose Duplicate. Next go to Image again to select Adjustments and HDR Toning. Change the Detail setting to 135, Saturation to minus 100, Radius to 95,  Strength to 1.3, Gamma to 1.2, Vibrance to minus 100, and Exposure to minus 0.6. Then choose Save Preset and name it Grunge and hit OK.
Note that a similar effect can be created by de-saturating the image, duplicating the layer, turning up the contrast on the bottom layer, and changing the layer blending mode of the top layer to Soft Light. You could also increase contrast slightly. Next return to the original skateboarder image. Choose the Quick Selection tool, select the skateboarder, then click the Refine Edge button at the top to  turn the Smart Radius on, and change the Radius to 1.5 and the Output to Selection. Then hit OK to apply the settings.
Next open a Water splash image like the one shown here. Open the Channels panel on the right, press Control (PC) and click on RGB composite channel. This loads the brightness/luminosity as a selection. Then invert the selection, go to the Layers panel options to Create a New Layer. Press Shift and Backspace, select White and deselect. Now select the background layer and press Shift and Backspace to fill with Black. You may now use the Move tool to drag the splash into the working layout. Name the layer Splash 1 and turn off the skateboarder layer. You may also wish to scale and rotate the layer.
Click on the fx button at the bottom of the layers panel and select Bevel & Emboss, Inner Bevel, Smooth, Depth of 800. Change the Direction to Down with a size of 5. Change Soften to zero and turn off Use Global. Change the Angle to 45, the Altitude to 55, and select the Highlight mode of Linear Dodge (Add), and the Shadow mode of Colour dodge, Opacity 100. Change the shadow colour to a light grey, hit OK and change the Layer blending mode to Overlay.
You could also add other minor splash layers and repeat the above technique. Then it’s often it’s simply a matter of experimenting with the various settings.
Many more tips and techniques can be found at the Adobe website. And see many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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