We make an aquarium from a bulb in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to combine several stock images to create an underwater scene inside an electric light bulb. We will also apply the deformation to the images and perform a simple color correction.

The final result:

Note: The source of the lesson is missing some images. In the archive you will find an alternative version of the materials for the lesson.

Step 1. Preparing the Light Bulb

Open the original lightbulb image in Photoshop. Create a duplicate layer (Ctrl + J), and then mirror the duplicate layer with a light bulb, press (Ctrl + T), then right-click on the transformation area and select the option in the menu that appears. Flip by vertical (Flip Vertical). Next, go Picture – Correction – Brightness / Contrast (Image> Adjustaments> Brightness / Contrast). Set the value Brightness (Brightness) at +25.

Step 2. Remove the Inside of the Bulb

Choose a tool Brush (Brush tool (B)), set the brush color to # f1f1f1. Paint over the area highlighted in red in the screenshot below.

Step 3. Add Water Texture

Open the original texture of Water 1 in Photoshop. Copy / paste this texture onto our working paper. Next, go Editing – Transformation (Edit> Transform) or press the keys (Ctrl + T) to transform, flip the water texture vertically, and zoom out. Position the texture of the Water as shown in the screenshot below.

Turn off the visibility of the texture layer of Water 1, and then use the tool Pen (Pen / lessons / tools (P)), create an outline as shown in the screenshot below. As soon as you close the contour, right-click on the created contour and in the appeared window select the option To form a selected area (Make selection), and then in the settings window that appears, set Shading radius (Father selection) 0.5 px.

Next we go Selection – Inversion (Select> Inverse) or press the keys (Shift + Ctrl + I) to invert the selected area, and then press the ‘Delete’ key. Change the blending mode to Darkening basics (Color burn) and also reduce Opacity (opacity) layer to 41%

Step 4. Add a Second Water Texture

Let’s add a second Water texture. So, open the second texture of Water 2 in Photoshop, move this texture to our working document. Next, go Editing – Transformation (Edit> Transform) or press the keys (Ctrl + T) to transform the texture, as shown in the screenshot below.

Hold down (Ctrl) + click on the thumbnail of the previous layer with the Water texture to load the active selection, and then go Selection – Inversion (Select> Inverse) or press the keys (Shift + Ctrl + I) to invert the selected area, and then press the ‘Delete’ key. Change the blending mode to Multiplication (Multiply) and also reduce Opacity (opacity) layer up to 45%.

Step 5

Using tool Oval area (Eliptiqual Marquee Tool), create a small oval selection while being on a layer with a texture of Water 2, as shown in the screenshot below. Press the keys (Ctrl + C) to copy the selection, and then press the keys (Ctrl + V) to paste the selection to a new layer. Shift the created oval shape up, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 6. Add Sand Texture

Open the texture of Sand 2 in Photoshop. Select the entire image (Ctrl + A), and then copy the selected texture (Ctrl + C). Go back to our working paper to paste in the copied sand texture (Ctrl + V). Next, go Editing – Transformation (Edit> Transform) or press the keys (Ctrl + T) to transform the texture. Zoom out the texture as shown in the screenshot below.

Hold down (Ctrl) + click on the thumbnail of the layer with Sea background (aqua background) to load the active selection, then press the keys (Shift + Ctrl + I) or go Selection – Inversion (Select> Inverse) to invert the selected area, then go Editing – Clear (Edit> Clear).

Step 7. Add Shadow to Sand

Choose a tool Dimmer (Burn tool), set the brush size to 83 px, value Exposure (exposure) on mode Shadows (Shadows). Using the settings that are shown in the screenshot below, darken the sand along the bottom contour of the light bulb.

Step 8. Give the sand texture a 3D look

Open the texture of Sand 1 in Photoshop. Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool (P)) to create a selection, as shown in the screenshot below. As soon as you close the contour, right-click on the created contour and in the appeared window select the option To form a selected area (Make selection), and then in the settings window that appears, set Shading radius (Father selection) 0.5 px.

Copy the selected image of the sand dunes (Ctrl + C), and then paste the copied image onto our working document (Ctrl + V). Next, go Editing – Transformation (Edit> Transform) or press the keys (Ctrl + T) to transform the image of the dunes, as in the screenshot below.

Step 9

Choose a tool Oval area (Eliptical Marque Tool) to create an oval selection with a feather radius of 0. Next Selection – Inversion (Select> Inverse) or press the keys (Ctrl + Shift + I) and at the end press the ‘Delete’ key.

Step 10

Next, go Editing – Free Transformation (Edit> Free Transform) or press the keys (Ctrl + T) to activate the transformation mode, and then go Editing – Transformation – Deformation (Edit> Transform> Warp). Deform the dunes, to do this, pull the anchor points in the same order as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 11

Hold down (Ctrl) + click on the thumbnail of the layer with Sea background (aqua background) to load the active selection, and then go Selection – Inversion (Select> Inverse) or press the keys (Shift + Ctrl + I) to invert the selected area, and then press the ‘Delete’ key.

Hold the (Ctrl) key + click on the thumbnail of the sand dune layer to load the active selection, and then select the tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Tool), set the settings as mine, and then create a selection, as shown in the screenshot below. Next, go Selection – Inversion (Select> Inverse) or press the keys (Shift + Ctrl + I) to invert the selected area, and then press the ‘Delete’ key.

You should have it, as in the screenshot below.

But not so.

Step 12

Open the original texture of Sand 1 in Photoshop. Using tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Tool), create a rectangular selection, as in the screenshot below. Press the keys (Ctrl + C) to copy the selected area.

Press the keys (Ctrl + V) to paste the copied image onto our working document. Next, go Editing – Free Transformation (Edit> Free Transform) or press the keys (Ctrl + T). Apply the transformation as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 13

Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool). Create an outline as shown in the screenshot below. As soon as you close the contour, right-click on the created contour and in the appeared window select the option To form a selected area (Make selection), and then in the settings window that appears, set Shading radius (Father selection) 0.5 px. Press the keys (Shift + Ctrl + I) to invert the selected area, and then press the ‘Delete’ key.

Next, go Image – Correction – Brightness / Contrast (Image> Adjustaments> Brightness / Contrast). Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 14

Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool). Create an outline around the sand castle, as shown in the screenshot below. As soon as you close the contour, right-click on the created contour and in the appeared window select the option To form a selected area (Make selection), and then in the settings window that appears, set Shading radius (Father selection) 0.5 px. Now press the keys (Ctrl + C) to copy the selected sandcastle image.

Step 15

Press the keys (Ctrl + V) to paste the sand lock on our working paper. Next we go Editing – Free Transformation (Edit> Free transform) or press the keys (Ctrl + T). Zoom out the image of the castle by placing it as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 16

Next we go Image – Automatic color correction (Image> Auto Color) or press keys (Shift + Ctrl + B).

And now the sand castle should look like in the screenshot below:

Step 17

Hold down (Ctrl) + click on the thumbnail of a layer with a lock to load the active selection.

Click on the layer Water reflection (aqua reflexion), and then press the keys (Ctrl + C) to copy the selected fragment of the texture. Next, press the keys (Ctrl + V) to paste the copied texture fragment. Change the blending mode for the layer with fragments of water texture to Lightening (Screen), and also reduce the value Opacity (Opacity) layer up to 28%

Step 18

Open the original image with a seashell in Photoshop. Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool). Create a contour around the seashell, as shown in the screenshot below. As soon as you close the contour, right-click on the created contour and in the appeared window select the option To form a selected area (Make selection), and then in the settings window that appears, set Shading radius (Father selection) 0.5 px. Now press the keys (Ctrl + C) to copy the selected image of the seashell.

Step 19

We return to our working paper. Press the keys (Ctrl + V) to add a seashell to our scene. Next we go Editing – Free Transformation (Edit> Free transform) or press the keys (Ctrl + T). Zoom out the shell image, placing it where you want it.

Step 20

Hold the (Ctrl) key + click on the thumbnail of the sea shell layer to load the active selection. Move the selected area 1 px down.

Step 21

Create a new layer below the shell layer and then press the keys (Shift + F5) or go Editing – Fill (Edit> Fill) and in the appeared window select the black color as the fill color. Click the ‘OK’ button. Reduce value Opacity (opacity) for a layer with a shadow to 49%.

Step 22

Once again, hold down (Ctrl) + click on the thumbnail of the seashell layer to load the active selection.

Click on the layer Water reflection (aqua reflexion), and then press the keys (Ctrl + C) to copy the selected fragment of the texture. Change the blending mode for the layer with fragments of water texture to Lightening (Screen), and also reduce the value Opacity (Opacity) layer up to 33%

Step 23

Duplicate all the seashell related layers. Press the keys (Ctrl + T) to transform the shell. Reduce the scale of the duplicate shell, placing it where you want.

Step 24. Add Fish

Open the original image with a fish in Photoshop. Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool). Create a contour around the fish, as shown in the screenshot below. As soon as you close the contour, right-click on the created contour and in the appeared window select the option To form a selected area (Make selection), and then in the settings window that appears, set Shading radius (Father selection) 0.5 px. Now press the keys (Ctrl + C) to copy the selected fish image.

We return to our working paper. Press the keys (Ctrl + V) to add a fish to our scene. Next we go Editing – Free Transformation (Edit> Free transform) or press the keys (Ctrl + T). Zoom out the fish by placing it where you want it.

Step 25

Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool). Create an outline as shown in the screenshot below. As soon as you close the contour, right-click on the created contour and in the appeared window select the option To form a selected area (Make selection), and then in the settings window that appears, set Shading radius (Father selection) 0 px. Next, go Layer – New – Cut to New Layer (Layer> New> Layer via Cut) or press the keys (Shift + Ctrl + J). Cut the selection to a new layer. This fragment should be transparent, therefore, decrease the value Opacity (opacity) layer up to 80%

Step 26

Hold down (Ctrl) + click on the thumbnail of the fish layer to load the active selection. Next, go to the layer Water reflection (aqua reflexion), and then press the keys (Ctrl + C) to copy the selected fragment of the texture. Then paste the copied texture fragment (Ctrl + V) onto a new layer. Change the blending mode to Lightening (Screen) and also reduce Opacity (Opacity) layer up to 65%.

Step 27. Add the Second Fish

Open the original image with the second fish in Photoshop. Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool). Create a contour around the fish, as shown in the screenshot below. As soon as you close the contour, right-click on the created contour and in the appeared window select the option To form a selected area (Make selection), and then in the settings window that appears, set Shading radius (Father selection) 0.5 px. Now press the keys (Ctrl + C) to copy the selected fish image.

We return to our working paper. Press the keys (Ctrl + V) to add a fish to our scene. Next we go Editing – Free Transformation (Edit> Free transform) or press the keys (Ctrl + T). Zoom out the fish.

Step 28

Hold down (Ctrl) + click on the thumbnail of the fish layer to load the active selection. Next, go to the layer Water reflection (aqua reflexion), and then press the keys (Ctrl + C) to copy the selected fragment of the texture. Then paste the copied texture fragment (Ctrl + V) onto a new layer. Change the blending mode to Lightening (Screen) and also reduce Opacity (Opacity) layer up to 65%.

Step 29

Open the original starfish image in Photoshop. Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool). Create an outline around the star image, as shown in the screenshot below. As soon as you close the contour, right-click on the created contour and in the appeared window select the option To form a selected area (Make selection), and then in the settings window that appears, set Shading radius (Father selection) 0.5 px. Now press the keys (Ctrl + C) to copy the selected image of the starfish.

Step 30

We return to our working paper. Press the keys (Ctrl + V) to add a starfish to our scene. Next we go Editing – Free Transformation (Edit> Free transform) or press the keys (Ctrl + T). Zoom out the star and also reduce the value. Opacity (Opacity) layer with a star up to 62%

Step 31

Once again, hold down (Ctrl) + click on the thumbnail of the starfish layer to load the active selection. Move the selected area 1 px down.

Create a new layer below the starfish layer, then press the keys (Shift + F5) or go Editing – Execute Fill (Edit> Fill) and in the appeared window select the black color as the fill color. Click the ‘OK’ button. Reduce value Opacity (opacity) for a layer with a shadow to 29%.

Step 32. Enhancing the Lighting Effects of the Bulbs

Turn off the visibility of all layers except the light bulb. Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool). Create an outline as shown in the screenshot below. As soon as you close the contour, right-click on the created contour and in the appeared window select the option To form a selected area (Make selection), and then in the settings window that appears, set Shading radius (Father selection) 0.5 px. Next we go Layer – New – Copy to New Layer (Layer> New> Layer via Copy) or press the keys (Ctrl + J). Move the duplicate layer to the top, placing it on top of all other layers.

Step 33

Next we go Image – Correction – Brightness / Contrast (Image> Adjustments> Brightness / Contrast). Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below. Change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay) and also reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 20%

Step 34

Hold down (Ctrl) + click on the thumbnail of the lightbulb layer to load the active selection. Next we go Editing – Run Fill (Edit> Fill) or press the keys (Shift + F5). In the settings window that appears, set the following color tint to # 808080.

Step 35

Right-click on a layer to apply Overlay options (Blending Option). Install Fill opacity (Fill Opacity) 0%.

Next, apply a layer style. Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay). Set the gradient as shown in the screenshot below.

Change the blending mode for the Gradient to Overlap (Overlay). Install Opacity (Opacity) 50%, Style (Style) Radial (Radial), check the box Inversion (Reverse), Angle (Angle) 90 degrees and Scale (Scale) 97%.

Step 36

Create an active selection around the light bulb image, and then using a soft black brush, the size (size) brush about 200-300 px, draw the shadows at the bottom of the light bulb, as shown in the screenshot below.

Change the blending mode for the layer with the shadow on Soft light (Soft Light), and also reduce Opacity (Opacity) layer up to 45%.

Step 37

Press the button Create a new adjustment or fill layer (Create new Fill or Adjustment layer) and in the appeared window select the option Photo Filter (Photo Filter).

In the filter settings window, select the “Underwater” filter. Set the value Density (Density) by 75%.

Step 38

Hold down (Ctrl) + click on the layer thumbnail Sea background (aqua background) to highlight the texture of water, and then go Selection – Inversion (Select> Inverse) or press the keys (Ctrl + Shift + I). Click on the thumbnail of the adjustment layer mask. Photo Filter (Photo Filter (See screenshot below)).

Next we go Editing – Run Fill (Edit> Fill) or press the keys (Shift + F5) and in the appeared window select the black color as the fill color. Click the ‘OK’ button.

That’s all. I hope that you liked this lesson, and you will create your magical underwater world.

The final result:

PSD lesson

By Chitea Viorel Costin

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