The creation of “A Life Of Aquatic Sounds”

The creation of “A Life Of Aquatic Sounds”

In this tutorial I will show you how I created “A Life Of Aquatic Sounds”. We will realize it using a variety of blending mode tricks, photo filters and other useful Photoshop techniques. At the end of this process we will have a beautiful photo manipulation, realized in a short  time and a very easily way.

Preview:

preview

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Step 1

In this step we will cover the beginning of our manipulation, simple document creation and placement of the base stock image as well as the hue change.
To start off the piece, we will need to create a new document and grab our base stock. So, firstly  create a new document at 1600×2400 pixels. Once created the document, we need to grab  the image of the bottle with the glass. Even though our first stock is from Flickr, we are able to use it since it falls under the Creative Commons license.

Once you have your stock, go ahead and place it into your document as I have done below. This way the border is no longer visible.

We will change the hue of the liquid from red to blue. To do this press CTRL+U on your keyboard and set your screen up as mine is in the screenshot below:

Our image now looks like the this one:

Step 2

In step two, we will drop our background in, and use a few simple blending modes and techniques to simplify the isolation process so it takes no time at all.
To start off we will need to grab our next stock, a mexican beach.

Once you have the stock, paste it into your document and free transform (CTRL+T) it. The main idea here is to cover the entire canvas with the image.
Then we need to apply the Gaussian blur filter (Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur). Enter a radius around 10px.

Our composition should now look like this one:

Next we need to move this layer below the bottle one. Once done that change, set the blending mode on the bottle layer to multiply and leave it at 100% opacity.

Now it looks much better! But, if you closely look at the bottom left hand corner, you can see that the floor is not 100% opaque! It’s showing pieces of the background, which is something we do not want.

To fix this we need to create a new layer. Place it between the blurred background and the bottle+glass layer. Grab the Brush tool and set it up as I have done in the screenshot below:

Set the foreground color to white and paint over the floor (on your new layer). You will see that where you paint, the bottle layer becomes opaque!
Go ahead and fill up the entire wooden floor.

We could leave the isolation as it is, or we can go ahead and create a new layer to clean up the insides of the glass and bottle.

I decided to clean up the isolation a step more. If you want to do the same, create another layer and set the opacity somewhere between 20-35%. Then use the brush tool as we made before and just fill up the bottle and glass.

Once done this (if you chose to) we can finish up this step by adding a little bit more contrast to the entire image. Duplicate your bottle layer (right click the layer and select “duplicate”) and then desaturate the image (CTRL+SHIFT+U on your keyboard).

Set the blending mode to overlay and reduce opacity to around 30% or contrast will be too strong.

Step 3

Now we can move on to coloring. In this step we will enrich our manipulation by creating a few color layers that will help to better blend the background and bottle layers.
So to start off this step we need to create a new layer, a photo filter layer to be exact. To create a photo filter layer select the Layer tab>Adjustment layer>Photo filter layer. Then set up your filter as mine:

Switch the layer blend mode to “soft light” and reduce the opacity to 25-30%, I chose 28% but it’s up to you.
Here is how my image looks now:

We can continue on by creating another layer. On this layer use whatever brush you like and just doodle all over the canvas. Any brush will work fine for this, we will blur the layer so it doesn’t really matter the way you doodle.

Next apply a Gaussian blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 200px. Once done this, simple change the blending mode to overlay and set the opacity to 50%.

Step 4

It’s time to start the real photo manipulation;-) Download this photo of a dune.

Once pasted your sand in, remove the background. You can use the technique you prefer. I used the pen tool.

Now we scale it down so it nicely fits the bottle. This layer – as all the layers to come – will be underneath the photo filter layer and above the bottle. If will be necessary, use the Smudge tool to modify the send dimensions so it will perfectly match the ones of the bottle. I had to do this because I sized the sand down to much, but looking back I think it helped the over all appeal. Finally duplicate the layer and set it to overlay.

Now select the sand (ctrl+click on the layer thumbnail). Next go back to your bottle (with the selection still active) and copy the selection of the bottle. Paste the selection into a new layer (ctrl+J), drag it above the sand layer and set it to overlay.

We can leave it as it is, but I think it’s not quite blue. So we will create a new photo filter layer just as before, but this time leave the opacity at 100% and set the blending mode to normal.

Just repeat this process on your glass using this second image of a desert dune

Step 5

We can start including other stocks images into the composition. To start off this step we will paste in a jumping man:

As with our previous stock, isolate the man using whatever method you prefer.

Now we can drop him into the bottle. Scale him down to a size you like, then you need to apply the same technique used with the sand in our previous step, so the man will look as if he’s inside the bottle.

Step 6

Let’s paste in a fish. To start off this step we need the image of a tropical fish. Isolate it from the background and paste it into the canvas. Re-apply the usual technique to put the fish inside the bottle.

Now we can put in a jelly fish!

We need to adjust the image: let’s start desaturating the jelly fish by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+U on your keyboard. Then press CTRL+L on your keyboard and set your level editor up as mine:

Once you have done this our image should look like the screenshot below, but if you still see floating particles, just increase levels values or erase these out with the Eraser Tool.

Press CTRL+U on your keyboard to open the hue/saturation window and use the following settings:

Here is the result of our efforts:

Now just set your layer on screen and place it wherever you prefer.

Now just continue adding more details! Simply paste in all the fishes and jellyfishes you like! You can find lots of free images surfing through sites like stock.xchng, DeviantArt or Morguefile.



Step 7

Step seven is an extension of the previous step. Take in mind that every element of the composition need to be modified in according with its colors and dimensions. If you use duplicated layers set on overlay to increase the contrast of fishes and other details, try experimenting with layers opacity until you obtain satisfactory results.

Here is my outcome after added several details:

Step 8

It’s time to add the last details. Download the image of a gondolier.

Isolate and place him on the wave of the glass. Since he’s not in the water, we do not need to apply the effects used with prior images.

Next we can plaste in a star fish.

Extract the star fish and place it on top of the glass. Again since there is no water in that area, no effects need to be applied.

Ok guys, there’s no need to continue. At this point you know how to include other marine elements and how to modify them so that they look inside the bottle/glass. I added in some seagulls, a ladybug, a treasure and other nice things.

Finished!

Well that’s all for my tutorial! To finish off my piece I sized the image down, sharpened it and applied some slight color adjustments.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and learned a thing or two! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!
preview

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soad2K

I'm soad2k or Joe Moore. I enjoy abstract art in all forms, experimenting with forms, colors and textures, designing, doing just about anything creative, being by myself and going out to eat around 2am. You can see my works here: soad2k.deviantart.com/

110 Comments

(+add yours)
  1. Francesca

    nice job!!! ;D

  2. Nice one Joe, tho I think the birds either need DOF blur or larger size :P

  3. Well done !!! I love it so much

  4. very nice work..!

  5. Muito bom o tutorial, ñ sou muito bom de inglês mais deu para entender muito bem, vlw e te mais.

  6. Jens

    I’m getting stuck with the photo filter layer! It seems nothing happens! And my sanddunes are not getting the proper result! Please help!

    • Addstar

      I was having the same problem with the dunes and then I made a copy of the coloured wine glass and bottle and put it at the top of the layers and set opacity to about 27, leaving it on multiply. Looks much better now.

  7. Yo Joe – fresh piece…

    really like the final piece ;)

  8. Very good and well explain tutorial! I loved the outcome

  9. Brilliant. Love the finished result.

  10. Gorgeous end result and tons of fun. Thanks for sharing!

  11. marvin

    how did you changed the color from red to blue?!! i press CTRL+u and nothing happens! :s

    please help me out

    • Hi Marvin,
      Go to Images>Adjstment>Hue/Saturation (ctrl+U is the shortcut)

      • marvin

        thanks man!

    • meee

      hi m8 you have to duplicate the layer first, and than merge the 2 (same) layers togethre and than it should work.

  12. nice work…thanks for sharing…..

  13. Great Job, thank you!

  14. graphicalsandeep

    very nice work and extra ordinary thinking superb man

  15. Cindilb

    Keep coming back to this and trying to make the Underwater Living Nature but am having trouble with getting the bottle of wine to be the correct size to fit into the beach picture, the dunes to fit into the wine bottle and glass, making the sea creatures to be the correct size, etc. Can you help me???? GreenHorn to Photoshop but having FUN. Thanks, Cindi

    • Hi Cindi,

      To re-size an object, select it from the layers window then press ctrl+T (cmd+T if you use a Mac) to activate the free transform tool, finally re-size the object.

      • cindilb

        Thanks I’ll give it a try.

  16. Designesus

    it is very nice …thanx 4 sharing !!!

  17. Suzanne

    Hey,
    I really like the tutorial! but i’m getting stuck at the point i’ve to make an photo filter. I can’t adjust the settings in step 3 in the photo filter because that frame isn’t showing up..
    And now the dunes wont really work because of not having the photofilter….
    Really love the tutorial:D it looks so cool!!

  18. Ana

    Can anyonle explain to me how to move the second picture below the first one? :( I’m trying but its not working

  19. Ana

    thank you ;)

  20. phabloIII

    AWESOME!! that’s wonderful dude
    nice job!! u rock

  21. Gina

    im really having a hard time with the sand and getting it into the bottle… when i put overlay the sand just bleaches out and then nothing works …. please advise!!

    Great TuT!!

    • Hi Gina,

      Can you specify which is the tricky step?

      • geo

        i use cs4. the whole step with the sand doesn’t work.

  22. Rachel

    beautiful colours <3!!

  23. Antoine

    Thanks for the nice work and the explanation.
    At least a site where the step by step are clear ; a nice way to learn the dos and don’ts of photoshop.
    I’m having a little problem at step 2 though : after changing the content of the bottle to blue (hue -160), draging the backgound pic below the bottle and blending the two pics : the background sky turns orange. whatever change I do in the layers or filters position, it won’t come out blue.
    Can you advise me? Thanks a lot for your help!

    • Hi Antoine,

      Try applying a hue/saturation adjustment to the background too. In Photoshop you have always full control on color combinations with the help of color adjustments tools

      • Antoine

        YES!!!!!! It does work. Thanks a lot Sebastiano.

  24. heyy well im having Trouble with the part where you put the dunes into the bottle, when i overlay it it DOESENT look like yours?
    pleese help!

  25. Corey

    I can not figure out how to move the beach layer under the wine bottle. I try moving the order but then I just see the wine bottle with out the beach as the background.

    If im right I am taking the wine bottle as one layer then pasting the beach on top of that.

    • Hi Corey, try changing the blending mode from normal to overlay

      • Corey

        Thanks, that sort of worked. With the over lay I got it to show up in the glass and bottle but thats the only place. the rest is white.

  26. Jacob

    When I put the beach layer under the wine and the color blue, the beach looks all funky! I need help please!

  27. Jacob

    In step 3. how do you ‘black out’ in the dune picture?

  28. Marie

    This is absolutely brilliant- a creative idea followed through with a perfect execution! Thanks for sharing!

  29. The Assassin

    hi i have a problem to do the send that way.
    i cant make it to be realistic :(
    i tryed alot but nothing halped please help me to!

    • Hi mate,

      Only experimenting day by day you will learn how to make your works more realistic! Try following the other awesome tuts you can find on WeGraphics ;-)

  30. Bob2

    I’m having trouble getting the sand to look like it is inside the bottle like you have, how are you getting it to look like it’s inside? Are you merging the layers after you do it???

  31. Bob2

    Also… sorry for double posting but what kind of tool are you using to get it to look correctly curved like the bottle? Warping or what? Then finally how do you get the sharp edges to go away? Smudge tool or something in specific? Perhaps just a softer brush?

  32. I just love your work Sebastiano. I’ve read the comments and you have already answered my concerns. Thanks for the tutorial.

  33. Shoe

    I’m having a similar problem to a few people that have commented on this. After I get the dune to the right size and shape of the wine bottle, I duplicate the layer, and set this second layer to overlay, leaving it on top of the first dune layer. Then I Ctrl+Click on the thumbnail of the dune, making a selection, and go to my wine bottle layer, then Ctrl+J, making a copy of the wine bottle (only what’s inside my selection) on a new layer. All this goes without a hitch. However, once I put this layer above the two sand layers, then switch the mode to overlay… nothing happens. I did everything as you said, and clearly I’m not the only one with this problem (yet you haven’t answered anyone else’s query on this matter), so, did you make a typo, or… I don’t even know what else to think.

  34. pete

    tbh, the author messed the part with the dunes completely up. There’s no way you get the same result if u “just follow his steps”. He left out some other things too, like f.ex, that he smoothend the bottle or that he masked the dunes.

    Advice for further tuts: screenshot your layer window and describe “everything” you do.

    The final result of this tutorial is good – the tutorial itself is simply crap

    Greets

  35. Marina

    ??????? ??????, ???????!

    • Marina

      Thanks big!!! Beautifully!

  36. Mandie

    Thanks so much for this. It looks amazing!

  37. Rolando

    Hey how did you get the sand/dune pic to look like its in the bottle? stuck plz help

    • Use the normal desert pic more than once. Layer over another, and use eraser to erase a few parts until it appears like a sand-dune :)

      Even better, you can find a sand-dune stock for easier use! :)

  38. This is a really great tutorial

  39. Brad

    i might sound stupid but i got confused at the part where you put the sand in the bottles, help/ more details please?

  40. Rooster

    The sand doesnt seem to be working, i can get it to shape with the bottle but not look like its inside the bottle.

  41. Wow! It look’s fantastic and very unusual! It is far from the ordinary tutorials I managed to find surfing the Internet. Summer is coming and the picture is topical Thank you for your work! Well done!

  42. AAINA ADAM

    even workin on photoshop or any software .main think atreiction thats missing now 2012 advance idea should be power ful as well logical .back groud faded never love it color combination add the desk texture not neat nes on work bottel cap and glass shadow missing like 5th class student did black line no bubble all over some one did with out think and passionless.

  43. Peter Anthony

    I would like to use this image (wine and glass) in our online magazine “Aquatica”

    Would this be OK. I will of coures give you full credit.

    Thank you..!

  44. Omer

    I cant understand why you cant make a good tut with full explanation about everything you did??? you want to keep the knowledge to yourself, better dont make any tuts!!!!
    anyone succeed in putting the dune inside the bottle??

    • Badjoras

      Not really… It just doesn’t look as good as his, actually mine looks pretty bad… I’d also like some more details about how to put the sand in the bottle…

  45. Daryl Henbery

    What version of photoshop you using. I’ve got CS3 but the photo filter doesn’t have underwater filter so I had to skip that part. Great tut tho’ it’s cleared up a lot of things for me like layer masks and overall montages.

  46. Daryl Henbery

    If you experiment with highlight and shadows [in adjustment menu] you can easily get a more realistic effect by really strong shadow.

  47. Abhay

    resize your sand dune layer and place it on the bottle’s layer. change the blend mode to overlay with 43% opacity then duplicate the layer and as said by the creator but change the blend mode to hardlight with 62% opacity. Then (ctrl+click) on the thumbnail of the dune, making a selection, and go to my wine bottle layer, then (ctrl+J), making a duplicate layer of the wine bottle (only the portion in the selection) on a new layer and set the blend mode to overlay with 90% opacity. i found some similar results with the tutorial. thankyou for the tutorial. hats off to your creativity.

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  58. Seth

    When ever I put the blending mode for the bottle to multiply the colors get really weird it turns to orange and purple. I don’t know if you people are still answering questions but please help.

  59. Seth

    Never mind I made a hue/saturation adjustment layer and made it around +180

  60. Seth

    Also for anyone viewing this. I didn’t put the sand in because I have the feeling that the creator didn’t give us all the steps, and it looks alright. Much better than when I did have the sand thats for sure.

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