Could this be the first Dagger Bay FX tutorial???
I wanted to share this to help others but also because I am curious to know if anyone can improve on the technique??? I have experimented and experimented trying to create realistic water effects in Photoshop and it is very difficult! The closest I have got is by using a "solarisation" trick using one of the filters in Nik Software Color Efex Pro 4 and then tweaking the blending modes.
I want to show you how I created this entry which was my last on Worth1000
The original is here and as soon as I saw it, it inspired me because it is already in the close form of a creature. Good source choice is always key!!! I cannot stress that enough
I basically knew I wanted to create a "water" lion but I suck at painting! and water reflections and details are so intricate.
If I was to use a picture of a real lion this would have been too detailed to convert to a water scene with all the strands of fur etc, so I knew I would be onto a winner if I used a lion statue source and this is the one I went with:
I then created a solarisation effect of it using Nik Software Color Effex Pro - Solarisation and it was option 1 of the B&W collection. All I had to do was bring the elapsed time down slightly like so:
And this is what I got:
I then pasted it over the original water image, moved it in place and masked out the parts I didn't what like so and I set the blending mode to HARD LIGHT at 100% opacity:
You can see more clearly how I masked it here:
It still didn't quite blend seamlessly with the rest of the image so I painted some of the areas with a soft brush and a light grey colour on a transparent layer (example shows on white background so you can see it)
I then set this to COLOR BURN at 63%
Finally I wanted to add a bit more reflection / displacement to the image so I took a sample of some of the existing water and used the distort filter to ripple it out
I also painted in some more of the orange reflection from the hand and coloured some of the lion parts in blue to match the real waters reflections
This was the final result:
Earlier on I used the same effect above on another composition which I never considered good enough to enter but just to show you as an example:
So that's it! However I realise that Color Efex Pro is not cheap to buy.. I did try and recreate the effect in PS, but was unable to come close, however I believe it could be achieved using gradient maps or shifting the channels. Threshold wont do it as it just goes black and white.
Thanks for reading I hope this is useful!
EDIT to add I used the same technique on these following images as well:
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