Create a deep sea scene in Photoshop

Create a deep sea scene from scratch

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how create a sea scene from scratch, create lights and shadows using clouds and blending modes. This tutorial is good for beginners yet it’s worth to learn this effect.


Before We Get Started

For this tutorial you are going to need:


Step 1 Background

1. We need a blue Gradient for our background. Select the gradient tool and clic on the gradient for opening the Gradient Editor.

2. Create a Blue Gradient, use color #3567a6 for the lighter color and color #0d1c2f for the darker blue
Create a new layer and paint it with the gradient.

Step 2 Creating water surface

1. Create a new layer. Set the foreground and background color to black and white

2. Create a new rectangular mask

3. Create Clouds: Filter > Render > Clouds
4. Resize the clouds so it fits the art board: Edit > Transform > Scale

5. Apply plastic Wrap filter: Filter > Artistic > Plastic Wrap

6. Transform to add perspective. Zoom out. Edit > Transform > Distort. Distort the clouds so they appear to have a perspective.

7. Set the blending mode to linear dodge add to a 70% fill

8. Select the eraser tool, and with a big soft round brush, erase the border of the sea surface



Step 3 Creating lights in the surface

1. Select the surface layer

2. Select the layer style button and apply gradient overlay

3. Set the dialog box as follows


Step 4 Light Rays

1. Create a new layer.

2. Set the foreground and background color to black and white

3. Create a new rectangular mask

4. Create Clouds: Filter > Render > Clouds

5. Apply threshold: Image > Adjustments > threshold

6. Apply radial blur: Filter > Blur > Radial blur.

7. Aply the same filter again

8. Set the blending mode to Color Dodge with a 46% fill

9. Select the eraser tool and with a soft big brush erase the light that doesnt correspond with the sun reflection.


Step 6 Sea bottom

1. Duplicate the surface layer

2. Flip it: Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical

3. Drag the layer to the bottom of the image

4. Set the blending mode to Color Dodge with a 60% Fill.



Step 7 Dolphins

1. Open the dolphins image, cut the dolphins and drag and drop it to the main image

2. Scale the dolphins.

3. Create a new layer above the dolphins

4. Create a rectangular mask and create a cloud (Filter > render > Clouds)

5. Select the dolphins layer, then go to Select > load selection and select the dolphins layers

6. Select the cloud layer, invert the selection and erase it

7. Select the erase tool with a soft brush and erase those parts of the dolphins that wouldnt receive light

8. Set the blending mode to screen with a 60% fill

9. Duplicate the layer and set the blending mode to color dodge

10.Select the dolphins layer and the 2 layers you just created and merge them.

11. Apply a little Gaussian blur.

For a last touch you can create a little shadow in the bottom.


Thursday, September 1st, 2011 Tutorials

About The Author

Javier Cantero

I'm a graphic/web designer, entrepreneur and the founder of Designer Freelance. I hope we can share lots of information and ideas. You can follow me on Twitter @designerfree

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2 Comments to Create a deep sea scene in Photoshop

  1. Very Cool tutorial, this is seem in 3D! Great to learn such tutorial :) thanks!

  2. Logo Blog on September 29th, 2011
  3. Very much realistic underwater effect.

  4. rejis on October 19th, 2011




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