Surreal photo manipulation on the sea in Photoshop

In this lesson, we will create a surrealistic picture of the water world in the form of a cube. This lesson is of average complexity, but also for novice masters under the force to perform this lesson. So let’s get started!

Stages of the lesson

We will create a water world in the form of a cube using various images. You will need Photoshop CS3 or higher to complete this tutorial.

Final result

Step 1

Create a new document 1500? 1581 px. Set the foreground color to light blue (# 4eaeeb) and the background color to white. Choose a tool Gradient (Gradient Tool (G). Drag the gradient from top to bottom.

Step 2

Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N), select the tool Brush (brush tool (B). Increase the brush size to 300px, and also reduce the brush opacity to 20%; the brush color is white. Click the brush once in the center of the image to create a background highlight.

Step 3

Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool). With this tool, create a shape as shown in the screenshot below. Press the keys (Ctrl + Enter) to convert the outline to the active selection. Set the foreground color to # 484222. Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N), and then fill the active selection with the foreground color by pressing the keys (Alt + Backspace).

Step 4

Duplicate the layer we created in Step 3 (Ctrl + J). Press the keys (Ctrl + T) to activate the tool. Free transformation (Free Transform). Right click on the selected area and in the window that appears, select the option Flip by horizontals(Flip Horizontally). Move the duplicate layer to the left until you have two sides of the cube, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 5

Select both layers that you created in Steps 3 and 4 and further, press the keys (Ctrl + G) to group the selected layers. To the layer with the created group, add a layer mask, go Layer- Layer Mask – Hide All (Layer> Layer Mask> Hide All). Now you will see that the two layers have disappeared. Next, hold down the keys (Ctrl + Shift) + click on the thumbnail of each of the two layers to load the active selection. Release the keys (Ctrl + Shift), then press the (D) key to set the default colors. Click once on the layer mask of the group layer, and then press the (Alt + Backspace) keys to fill the active selection with white. Name the group “Texture”.

Step 6

Open the original image “Sand Texture”. Select the entire texture (Ctrl + A), copy the selection (Ctrl + C). Go back to our working paper and paste the copied texture (Ctrl + V). Convert this layer of sand texture into a smart object (right-click on the layer and in the window that appears, select the option Convert to Smart Object (Convert To Smart Object). Place this layer inside the group we created in Step 5. Apply scaling to the texture as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 7

Duplicate the sand texture layer (Ctrl + J); move the duplicate layer to the right.

Step 8

Open the original image “Sand Texture 2”. Copy / paste texture onto our working paper. Discolor the texture go Image – Correction – Discolor (Image> Adjustments> Desaturate), and then transform the layer with the texture of the smart object. Position the texture as shown in the screenshot below. Change the blending mode for the texture layer to Soft light (Soft Light). This will make the ground texture a little more interesting.

Step 9

Create a new layer, select a standard soft round brush. Reduce the opacity of the brush to 10%; the color of the brush is black. Paint the edges of the earth with a brush. Create another layer, add more shadows on the left side of the ground.

Step 10

Create a new adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), (all adjustment layers can be found through the menu Layer – New corrective layer … ..(Layer> New Adjustment Layer> … ..). Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below. Place this adjustment layer inside the “Texture” group.

Step 11

Next, add an adjustment layer. Photo Filter (Photo Filter). Install a Warming Filter (85) to add warm color to the ground. Also place this adjustment layer inside the “Texture” group.

Step 12

Create a new layer, select a standard brush. a piece of chalk (chalk) Reduce the size of the brush to 2px, as well as the opacity of the brush to 50%. Draw a straight white line along the edge, as shown in the screenshot below. To draw a straight line, first click the brush where the line begins, then hold down the (Shift) key + click where the line ends.

Step 13

Create a new layer. Using a standard brush a piece of chalk (chalk), brush opacity 50%, brush size 10px, brush color dark grayish brown (# 73634e), paint along the edge, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 14

Create a new layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay). Reduce the layer opacity to 56%. Using a soft round brush with an opacity of 10%, paint along the edge to add some volume.

Step 15

Create a new adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to enhance contrast. Set the curve as shown in the screenshot below. Also position this adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) within the “Texture” group.

Step 16

The saturation of the earth is a little too high, so let’s reduce the saturation. Create a new adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), in the settings, reduce the saturation value to -19.

Step 17

Open the original image with cracks. Select black cracks, for this we go Highlight – Color Range (Select> Color Range), click anywhere on the white area. Click the (OK) button to exit the settings window. Color Range (color range) and further, press the keys (Ctrl + Shift + I) to invert the active selection. Copy / paste the highlighted cracks onto our working paper. Place the cracks on the right plane of the earth image. Next, duplicate the cracked layer (Ctrl + J) by placing a duplicate cracked layer on top of the left plane of the earth image.

Step 18

Group both cracked layers (first hold down (Shift) + select both layers and then press the keys (Ctrl + G). To the layer with the created group, add a layer mask Layer- Layer Mask – Show All (Layer> Layer Mask> Reveal All). Now, paint over the black mask on the layer mask of the group to hide unnecessary areas of cracks – the result should be as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 19

Open the original Skeleton image. Select the entire image, copy / paste on our working paper. Position the image of the skeleton, as shown in the screenshot below. Do not forget to convert this layer with the skeleton into a smart object.

Step 20

Right-click on the skeleton layer and in the window that appears, select the option Overlay options (Blending Options). Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below. We will add shades of earth to the skeleton for realism.

Step 21

Using a standard brush a piece of chalk (chalk), draw pieces of earth around the cube of earth you are creating, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 22

Double click on the layer of ground to apply the blending options. Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below. Thus, we will add volume and 3D to pieces of the earth.

Step 23

On the new layer, using the same brush is chalk, the color of the brush is black, draw small details on top of the pieces of earth.

Step 24

Group all the layers related to the earth, name the new group “Earth”. To the created group, add a layer mask, go Layer – Layer-mask – Show everything(Layer> Layer Mask> Reveal All). Next, using a standard chalk brush, brush color is black, process the edges of the earth on the layer mask of the layer to create a tattered texture.

Step 25

Create a new layer. Choose a soft round brush, opacity 50%, brush size 200px. Place this layer below the layer with the “Earth” group. Draw the shadows as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 26

Open the “Underwater 1” image. Select the entire image, copy / paste on our working paper. Convert this layer to a smart object. Position the image with the texture of water, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 27

While on the image layer ’under water’, press the keys (Ctrl + G). To create a new group for this layer. Next, to the layer with the new group, add a layer mask, for this we go Layer- Layer Mask – Hide All (Layer> Layer Mask> Hide All) and using the tool Pen (Pen Tool), create an outline on the layer as shown in the screenshot below. Press the keys (Ctrl + Enter) to convert the outline to the active selection.

Step 28

Press the (D) key to set the default colors. While on the layer mask of the group layer, press the keys (Alt + Backspace) to fill the active selection with white, so the water texture will be visible within the outline of the selected area. Press the keys (Ctrl + D) to cancel the selection.

Step 29

Open the “Underwater 2” image. Select the entire image, copy / paste this image onto our working paper, placing it inside the new group ‘Water’. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light).

Step 30

Open the “Bubbles” image. Select the entire image, copy / paste this image onto our working paper, placing it inside the ‘Water’ group. Change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay).

Step 31

Create a new adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Place this adjustment layer inside the ‘Water’ group on top of all other layers. Reduce value Color tone (Hue) to -22 to change the color shade of water to a more pleasant one.

Step 32

Open the “Water Surface” image. Select the entire image, copy / paste this image onto our working paper. Discolor this image, let’s go Image – Correction – Discolor (Image> Adjustments> Desaturate), as well as, convert to a smart object. Position the image with the surface of the water. As shown in the screenshot below.

Step 33

On the “Water Surface” layer, press the keys (Ctrl + G) to create a new group for this layer. Next, add a mask to the group layer, and using the technique we used earlier in Steps 27 and 28, we will create the visible texture of the water surface only where it should be visible, as in the screenshot below. Name the new group ‘Water surface’.

Step 34

Create a new layer, place this layer inside the ‘Surface of water’ group. Set a beautiful blue tint as the foreground color (# 468ff2), and then press the keys (Alt + Backspace) to fill the new layer with the selected shade. Change the blending mode for this layer to Chromaticity (Color).

Step 35

Create a new adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), place this adjustment layer inside the ‘Surface of Water’ group. Reduce value Color tones(hue) to -14.

Step 36

Create a new layer. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay). Using a soft round brush with an opacity of 10%, the brush color is white, paint over the center of the surface to soften the texture.

Step 37

Using tool Pen (Pen Tool), create a selection, as shown in the screenshot below. Create a new layer (or more) to create light and shadow. Change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay) for layers with light highlights and on Multiplication (Multiply) for layers with shading. Using a soft round brush, gently paint with white in the center of the selected area and a black brush at the edges of the selection.

Step 38

Do the same with the left plane of the water. As you can see, I used quite a few layers to create this effect.

Step 39

Create a new layer. Using a chalk brush, brush size 2px., Draw a vertical line right along the edge of the water plane. Reduce the opacity of this layer to 49%. If you remember from the previous steps, in order to draw a straight line, you must hold down the (Shift) key.

Step 40

Create a new layer and using a soft round brush, the color of the brush is dark blue, draw curved lines where waves form on the surface of the water to add dynamics. Next, using a white brush, paint over the blue curved lines.

Step 41

So, it’s time to settle our underwater world. Open the “Underwater Plants” image. Copy the corals, and then paste them into our working paper. Convert this layer to a smart object. Place the corals somewhere at the bottom of the underwater world. Reduce the opacity of the coral layer to 5%. Do the same with other elements of the underwater world: fish, diver, shark. Vary the opacity of the layers with the specified objects between 10% and 20%.

Step 42

Open the original “Boat” image. Select the entire image, copy / paste this image onto our working paper. Position the boat on the surface of the water and using a layer mask, slightly hide the bottom of the boat.

Step 43

Create a new adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Reduce value Saturation (saturation) to -46. Hold down (Alt) + click between the layer with the boat and the adjustment layer to create a clipping mask, this means that the correction of this adjustment layer will be applied only to the layer with the boat.

Step 44

Create a new adjustment layer. Curves(Curves). Pull the black slider to the right to increase the contrast. Also convert this adjustment layer to a clipping mask for the boat layer (hold the (Alt) key + click between the adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and adjustment layer Curves (Curves).

Step 45

Create a new layer, convert this layer to a clipping mask to the adjustment layer. Curves (curves), which is located below. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), and also reduce the layer opacity to 73%. Using a soft round brush with an opacity of 10%, add light highlights to the boat, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 46

Create a new layer. Select a standard chalk brush. Set the brush opacity to 30%; brush size 2px. Using curved lines, paint the areas where the boat touches the surface of the water with a white brush to create the feeling that the waves are hitting the boat.

Step 47

Open the original “Fisherman” image. Using tool Pen (Pen Tool), create a selection around the image of the fisherman, including his fishing rod. Copy / paste the selected image of the fisherman onto our working paper. Position the fisherman in front of the boat. Next, using a layer mask, hide the legs of the fisherman to create the feeling that he is in the boat. Remember to convert the image with the fisherman to a smart object before zooming.

Step 48

Create a new adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Reduce saturation to -84. Transform this adjustment layer into a clipping mask for the fisherman layer (Alt + click between the layers).

Step 49

Create a new layer, convert this layer to a clipping mask to the layer with the fisherman. Using a soft round brush, the brush color is black, paint over the back of the image of the fisherman, and with a white brush, the front of the image.

Step 50

Create a new adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Convert this adjustment layer to a clipping mask for the fisherman layer. Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below by changing the value Color tone (hue) to add warm red hues to the fisherman’s image.

Step 51

Create a new layer and with a chalk brush, draw a straight vertical black line from the tip of the fishing rod to a certain sea depth. You can hold down the (shift) key to draw a straight vertical line. To the layer with the drawn fishing line, add a layer mask and using a black brush with an opacity of 50%, paint over the layer mask the part of the fishing line that is under water, reducing the opacity of this part of the fishing line.

Step 52

Group all the layers related to the water part, name the group “Water”. To the created group, add a layer mask and with the help of a black brush, randomly process the bottom part, thus creating the bottom of the underwater world.

Step 53

Create a couple of new layers, change the blending mode for these layers to Overlap (Overlay) and Lightening basics (Color Dodge). On each layer, using a soft brush of very small diameter (2 pixels), the color of the brush is white, paint over the boundaries where the ground and water are in contact.

Step 54

Open image with birds. Add birds to our working paper, positioning as shown in the screenshot below. Now you can see that simple detail can liven up the scene.

Step 55

Create a new layer, load Brushes Clouds, for this we go Editing – Manage Sets (Edit> Presets> Preset Manager) or double click on the file with the extension .abr). Using the Clouds brush, draw a white cloud over the fisherman.

Step 56

Create a new layer. Draw an island of red-brown color. Also draw waves that hit the shore. If island saturation is too low, then you can use adjustment layers. Curves (Curves) or Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation).

Step 57

Open the image with a palm tree. Add a palm tree to our working paper. Place a palm tree on the island, add a palm shadow on a separate layer, creating a new layer below the palm tree layer. To the palm tree layer, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to make the palm tree look greener.

Step 58

Create a new layer. Using a standard chalk brush, the brush color is black, draw a rope connecting the boat with a palm tree.

Step 59

Press the keys (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E) to create a merged layer from all visible layers. To merged layer, apply filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), blur radius 20px, let’s go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur). Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), and also reduce the opacity of the layer to 39%. This will enhance the contrast a bit and add a fabulous look to the whole scene.

Step 60

Open the original image with nebula. Move the image with the nebula to our working paper. Change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft Light), and also reduce the opacity of the layer to 39%. To the nebula layer, add a layer mask to hide the central part of the nebula.

Thank you for being with me! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

Final result

Link to the PSD file of the lesson

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