Shark in a bottle using Photoshop

I am often asked about the tools and methods that I used in this composition. More precisely, how I created the effect of water splashes. So I decided to write a lesson to answer these questions right away and show you how to apply these methods in a completely different environment.

Here is a list of the images we are going to use in this lesson:

Final image

Step 1

First, let’s get rid of the white background. Open our bottle file.

Double-click on the background layer to convert it to a regular layer. Change the name of the layer to “bottle”. Circle the bottle using the tool Pen (Pen) (make sure you have selected Paths (Contour) in the top toolbar). Then press Ctrl + Enter to make a selection. Invert the selection (Ctrl + Shift + I) and press the Delete key. Now go to Image -> Image Rotation -> 90 °CW (Image -> Image Rotation -> 90 ° clockwise), and move the bottle down a bit.

Press Ctrl + G to create a new layer group, name it “Bottle”.

Step 2

Now we need to hide some parts of the bottle to make it more like a clear glass. I want to warn in advance, this process may seem a bit boring for some of you, but we still have to do it.

In order to create our mask, you need to copy the highlights and some dark areas from the original bottle. Let’s copy the highlights first.

Create a new layer Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N, place it under the bottle layer and fill it with black. Call it “background”. Now duplicate the original layer with the bottle (Ctrl + J) and change the name to “Glare”. Hide the layer with the original image of the glass bottle.

Switch to the tab Channel (Channels) in the layers palette and duplicate the blue channel by dragging it onto the icon Create New Channel (Create a new channel) at the bottom of the palette. Name the new layer “main layer mask”. Press Ctrl + M to open the dialog box. Curves (Curves), and adjust the curve as in the image below, then click OK. This setting will help us highlight all the brightest areas on the bottle.

Now, let’s apply a small amount of Gaussian blur to the mask of the main layer on the alpha channel. Go to menu Filter-> Blur -> Gaussian Blur (Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur) and set the blur radius to 2px. Click Ok.

We need to adjust the “base layer mask” a little more. Go back to the layers palette and make the main layer with the bottle active. Let’s load the selection first. Go to menu Selection-> Load (Select -> Load Selection). Select the “main layer mask” channel and click OK. Then click on the icon Add layer mask (Add layer mask). This will add a mask to the “Glare” layer, so we can adjust the visibility of certain parts of the bottle without damaging the actual pixels.

Select a layer mask by clicking on its thumbnail in the layers palette. Take the tool Brush tool (Brush) and, switching between black and white and different levels of opacity, draw over the mask. You need to achieve a similar result, as in the image below:

Glare on the bottle:

Now add dark details from our original bottle image. It will be quite easy to do. Make the bottle layer visible again and set the blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication). Lower Opacity (Opacity) layer up to 70%. Do not worry if you do not see the difference, it is because our background color is black. Let’s fill our background layer with white. Set the foreground color to white and press Alt + Backspace.

We are almost done with the bottle. But before we start working on its content, let’s change our background from white to something more interesting.

Step 3

Create a new layer group called “background”. Move the background layer inside this group and fill it with color # e9edf0. Add about 2% noise Filter-> Noise-> Add Noise (Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise).

Then create a new layer on top of the background layer. Set foreground color # afb7bc and using Gradient tool (Gradient) Fill the upper part of the canvas with this color, as shown in the figure below. Press Ctrl + F to add the same amount of noise.

Use Rectangular marquee tool (Rectangular area) to make a selection, as shown in the image below.

Create a new layer. Set foreground color # 9ba4aa and fill the selection Gradient tool (Gradient). Then using soft Eraser (Eraser), erase the top of the gradient. Press Ctrl + F, lower Opacity (Opacity) up to 75%, and set the blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication).

Do not worry if the bottle still looks floating in the air. We will add a shadow at a later stage.

Step 4

Now it’s time to work on the contents of the bottle. Create a new group above the group of background layers and name it “Content”. Inside this group, create a new group called “Water”. Load the selection of the original bottle, Ctrl + click on the layer icon. Make sure the “Water” group is active, then click on the icon Add layer mask (Add layer mask).

Open the image with the first splash of water.

Let’s remove the white background. Switch to the tab Channel (Channels) and duplicate the red channel. Press Ctrl + M and adjust the curve as in the image below.

Take the tool Brush tool (Brush) and paint over the desired parts of the burst, including them in our selection. Also, use white to mask bubbles. You should get a mask similar to the image below.

Ctrl + click on the Alpha channel icon to load the selection. Return to the tab Layers (Layers) and remove the background.

Now repeat the same steps for another splash.

Create a new Photoshop document large enough to put two layers with splashes in length.

Using the free transform, move the layers so that they form one continuous burst.

Merge both spray layers by selecting them and pressing Ctrl + E. Paste the combined splash into the Water group of the main document. Scale the splash and create a new layer on top of it. Set the blending mode Color (Chroma) and press Ctrl + Alt + G to create a clipping mask. Fill in a new layer with blue color (#377c9f).

Create a new layer under the splash layer and fill it with # 0d73a8. Further using the tool Pen tool (Pen) remove the top of the fill.

Double-click on this layer to open the dialog box. Layer style (Layer styles). Then apply the parameter Gradient overlay (Gradient overlay) and set its blending mode Overlay (Overlap).

Create a new layer in the bottle group, just above the layer with the original bottle. Set the blending mode Color (Chromaticity). Then Ctrl + click on the bottle icon to load the selection. Click on the icon Add layer mask (Add layer mask) to add a mask to the newly created layer. Now, using a soft brush, paint in blue on the areas shown below.

Your bottle should look like this:

Step 5

Now let’s add a shark. Open the shark image in Photoshop. Using Pen tool (Pen), create a selection and delete the background, as we did before.

Create a new group at the top of the Water group and name it Shark. Insert a shark into it. Press Ctrl + T and change the size of the shark, as shown in the image below.

Ctrl + click on the splash layer thumbnail to load the selection. Invert it by pressing Ctrl + Shift + I, and click on the icon Add layer mask (Add layer mask) (make sure the shark layer is active).

Go to menu Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Hue / Saturation (Layer-> New Adjustment Layer-> Hue / Saturation) and add a new adjustment layer. Install Hue (Color tone) 7, Saturation (Saturation) 50, Lightness (Brightness) leave as is (it should be 0).

Now let’s add another adjustment layer, this time Curves (Curves) through the menu Layer-> New Adjustment Layer-> Curves (Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Curves). Adjust the curve as in the image below.

Make a layer mask Curves (Curves) active by clicking on its thumbnail. Using a soft brush, go over the top of the shark to lighten it.

Create a new layer and set its blending mode. Color (Chromaticity). Press Ctrl + Alt + G to group it with the previous layers. Set the foreground color to dark blue (# 0f476b) and using Brush tool (Brush) Walk on the bottom of the shark.

Now let’s brighten the top of the shark a little more. Create a new adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) with the parameters shown below.

Make a layer mask Curves (Curves) active. Invert it by pressing Ctrl + I, and walk on the very top of the shark in white using a soft brush.

We are done with a shark, so now let’s move to the aquatic environment of the bottle.

Step 6

Create a new layer under the shark group. Center the composition on a relatively large spot of light blue using a soft brush. Set layer blending mode Color dodge (Lighten the basics) and lower Opacity (Opacity) up to 40%.

Now let’s add some rays of light. Create a new layer above the “shark” group, name it “rays”. Load the selection of the original bottle, Ctrl + click on the layer thumbnail and click on the icon Add layer mask (Add layer mask). Fill the “rays” layer with a gradient using Gradient tool (Gradient) with the parameters listed below.

Discolor the rays and invert the colors by pressing Ctrl + I. Set the blending mode for the layer Overlay (Overlap) and Opacity (Opacity) up to 40%.

Take Eraser tool (Eraser) and erase some rays at the top and some at the bottom.

Step 7

Let’s add a shadow now. Create a new group right below the content group and name it shadow. Create a new layer and set its blending mode. Multiply (Multiplication). Set foreground color #48545b and, using a soft brush of different opacity, draw a shadow, as shown in the image below.

Now let’s add a reflection from the water in the bottle. Create a new layer on top of the shadow layer and set its blending mode. Color (Chromaticity). Take a soft brush and, varying the color from medium to light blue, draw a reflection.

Our final step is to add reflection from the entire bottle. Click the eye icon next to the background and shadow groups to temporarily hide them.

Press Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E to copy all visible layers to a new one. Go to menu Edit-> Transform -> Flip Vertical (Edit -> Transform -> Flip Vertically). Move the reflection down. Make hidden groups visible.

Lower Opacity (Opacity) up to 20% and add a layer mask. Use a soft brush to hide the bottom of the reflection.

Here is the final image:

I hope that you have learned some new methods and, as usual, if you have any questions, just use the form of comments, and I would be happy to help you.

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