Photoshop Tutorial: Create a Colorful Deep Water Scene



In this tutorial you will find an easy way to turn an ordinary stethoscope into attractive underwater scene using Adobe Photoshop.

You will see how easy is to create sparkly colorful fish and dancing and glowing jelly fish by means of Warp Tool, Blend Mode change and Actions.

For the purpose of this tutorial we'll need a nice picture of a stethoscope by Jaskier from pxleyes.com stock: Download here


End result:
Create a Colorful Deep Water Scene Final Image

Author:
avatar CorneliaMladenova

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Practice tutorial

Tags:colorfulfishsceneunderwaterwater

Step 1

Download the Stethoscope source image in < high resolution > and open it with Adobe Photoshop.
Create a new layer above your background image and name it < Water >. Fill it with < # 010d0e > then go to < Layer, Group Layers > and call the new group < Background >.

On my screenshot you won’t see the layer with the original image as I deleted it not to distract you. Keep the original Stethoscope image at the bottom of your layers palette as you’ll continuously need to select parts of it in the course of the tutorial.


Step 2

Select the metallic part of the stethoscope head and by means of < Edit, Free Transform (Ctrl + T) > enlarge the selected shape to cover about 1/3 of your canvas. Name its layer < Background Shape 1 > and change < Blend Mode > to < Color Dodge >.


Step 3

Duplicate twice the previous layer < (right click on it and choose Duplicate Layer) >, rotate and move the copied shapes to the upper right hand and bottom right hand side of the image. Rename them < Background Shape 2 > and < Background Shape 3 > respectively (see the screenshot). Don’t change Blend Mode and Opacity. You should get a nice glowing effects. We are going to add more shiny shapes in the next steps to make our Background really enticing.


Step 4

Let us enrich our deep waters with sea weed. Select a tubular portion from the stethoscope, scale it up by means of < Edit, Free Transform > and place it at the bottom part of the image. Both edges of the weed shape should go out of the image borders. Name the layer < Background Shape 2 >, bring down its < Opacity > to < 15% > and change < Blend Mode > to < Luminosity >.

Duplicate the layer and move the copy to the upper part of the canvas. Slightly broaden it using again < Edit, Free Transform > and this time set < Opacity > to < 25% > and < Blend Mode > to < Linear Dodge >. This duplicated layer will automatically be named < Background Shape 2 copy >.

Let’s add the third sea weed shape placed at the bottom right hand side of the canvas. Duplicate the last created layer, use < Free Transform > to narrow its length then apply < Edit, Transform, Warp >, in < Options Bar > choose < Flag > Warp and set its < Bend > to < 80% >. Press < Enter > twice to apply this type of transformation, then go to < Edit, Transform, Distort > in order to give the shape some perspective.

Leave the < Blend Mode > and < Opacity > of this layer to < Linear Dodge > and < 25% > respectively.


Step 5

We are going to add more sea weed, this time simple line shaped. Select again a tubular portion of the stethoscope, and only use < Free Transform > option from < Edit >menu to enlarge its length. Name the layer < Line 1 > and place the shape so that it extends from the upper side to the right side of the image. Set the layer’s < Blend Mode > to < Color Dodge > and < Opacity > to < 50-52% >.

Duplicate the layer and place the duplicated line shaped weed to cross the original. Name the layer < Line 2 >, leave its < Blend Mode > to < Color Dodge > and < Opacity > to < 50% >.

Duplicate the last layer and rename it as < Line 3 >. Move the shape to the bottom part of the image, set its < Blend Mode > to < Overlay >, < Opacity 100%> .


Step 6

Grab < Elliptical Marquee Tool > and select a small oval part from the stethoscope tube. Duplicate it a few times then change the size of each part using < Edit, Free Transform >. Place the bigger particles below the smaller ones. When you are satisfied with the result, merge all oval shapes layers and call the new layer < Circles >. Change < Blend Mode > to < Overlay > and move this flock of different sized ovals to the bottom left hand part of your image. They should look like a tiny transparent water creatures. Place < Circles > layer on top of Background group.


Step 7

Select the head and one of the stethoscope tubes, fix the tube to the head and merge both layers. Use < Liquify Filter > to make the tube edge thinner and also scale the shape down with < Free Transform >. Name the layer < Left Upper Algae > and place it on the upper left hand side of the canvas. Set the < Blend Mode > to < Linear Light >. Later we’ll turn this shape into lovely glowing seaweed.

Duplicate the last layer, scale it down more and place the shape on the bottom left. Rename the layer < Bottom Algae > and change < Blend Mode > to < Hard Light >.


Step 8

In this step we are going to add some nodes sticking out of the newly created algae.

Select again a portion of the tube, shape it with < Filter, Liquify >or < Edit, Transform, Warp > in order to make the edge pointed. Darken the edge with < Burn Tool >. Duplicate the shape seven times and arrange them like jellyfish arms and tentacles. When satisfied with the result, merge all these shapes into one layer called < Nodes >, set < Blend Mode > to < Color Dodge > then place this < Nodes > layer below < Left Upper Algae > layer. Try to fix it to < Left Upper Algae > shape so that to make a lovely weird sea flora. Duplicate the layer, set < Blend Mode > of the new one to < Linear Dodge > and reduce its < Opacity > to < 55% >. Now the sea weed really gets luminous.

Let’s add the same nodes to the Bottom Algae. Duplicate the Nodes layer (the duplicate should automatically be named < Nodes copy 2 >) and place it below Bottom Algae layer. Decrease the size of the shape with < Free Transform > and fix it to Bottom Algae without changing Color Dodge Blend Mode. Duplicate the last layer (now you should have < Nodes copy 3 > layer) and reduce its < Opacity > to < 59-60% >.

For now we’ll end with our work in Background group but later we’ll return to it to add more details.


Step 9

Grab < Polygonal Lasso > from your Tool Bar and use it to select a part of the chest piece and the tube making the tube edge sharp. Rotate the selected shape to be placed vertically and duplicate it. While the duplicated layer is selected, go to < Edit, Free Transform >, hold down < Shift > and press < Right Arrow > Key < four > times then press < Enter > to apply the Transformation.

Pressing Right Arrow key while holding down Shift gives you opportunity to nudge the shape 10px at each pressing.

Now hold down < Ctrl + Alt + Shift > and press < T > seven times. You should have eight copies of the shape including the original one.

Highlight all duplicated layers together with the original and merge them < (Layer, Merge Layers) >. Apply < Edit, Transform, Distort > so that to shrink the bottom part.
In the next steps we’ll be using the so created shape to make fish fins and tail. For now just name the layer as < Fin >. Duplicate it twice, highlight both duplicates (holding Shift) and scale them down together. Then rename the first duplicate < Tail Left Part > and the other- < Tail Right Part >. Warp the shapes one after the other to make both tail parts.

Let us prepare the main part of the fish body. Select a rectangular portion of the blue chest piece duplicate, flip vertically and merge both shapes. You must have a lovely blue rectangle with two bright strips in the middle. Scale up this shape by means of < Free Transform > and curve it using < Warp >. Try to achieve the fish body shape you see on my screenshot.
Create also the mouth opening- for the purpose use < Polygonal Lasso > and press < Delete >.


Step 10

Our task here is to turn the shapes we prepared in the previous step into something looking like fish.
Fix both tail layers (Tail Right and Tail Left Part) to the fish body.
Select the Fin layer, duplicate it and apply < Warp > transformation to shape the big fin. Name the layer < Upper Fin >.
Scale down Fin layer with Free Transform and place the shape to fit the fish belly. Duplicate the layer again and rename it as < Back Fin >, scale down and place the small fin close to the tail.
The biggest fish on our canvas is almost ready all it needs is some refining and certainly- well arranged layers.
Highlight all fish layers, go to < Layer, Group Layers > and call the new group < Blue Fish >. The layer order within this group should be like this:
At the bottom is placed < Tail Left Part > layer, above it is < Tail Right Part >, next comes < Body > layer, above it is < Upper Fin > layer, then comes < Front Fin > layer, next is < Fin > layer, above it < Back Fin > layer is placed and on top of Blue Fish group is < Eye layer >.


Step 11

We continue our work in Blue Fish group.
Highlight Back Fin, Fin and Front Fin layers. Duplicate them and merge the duplicates then rename the new layer < Opposite Side Fins > and place it below all layers in Blue Fish group. Scale and warp these fins to achieve effect of moving.

Let us give a better form to the mouth. For the purpose I selected a random part from the fish body including the brighter line (see the screenshot) then used < Smudge > and < Blur Tool > to refine it, duplicated, flipped vertically and merged both layers. After you perform it, rename the layer < Mouth > and place it above < Back Fin >. If you like to make the fish mouth more noticeable, apply < Blending Options >,

< Bevel and Emboss >:

Style: Inner Bevel
Technique: Smooth
Depth: 100%
Direction: Up
Size: 9px
Soften: 0px;
Angle: 30 degrees
Use Global Light- checked
Altitude: 30 degrees
Gloss Contour: Linear
Anti-aliased: unchecked
Highlight Mode: Screen
Highlight Color: # 286fb8
Opacity: 75%
Shadow Mode: Multiply
Shadow Color: Black
Opacity: 36%

Well, the fish already has a mystic Mona Lisa’s smile. We’ll continue our work on the eye and body.

Select Eye layer, right click on it, highlight < Blending Options > and check < Bevel and Emboss >:

Style: Pillow Emboss
Technique: Smooth
Depth: 256%
Direction: Up
Size: 27px
Soften: 0px;
Angle: 30 degrees
Use Global Light- checked
Altitude: 30 degrees
Gloss Contour: Cone
Anti-aliased: unchecked
Highlight Mode: Screen
Highlight Color: # 22908c
Opacity: 49%
Shadow Mode: Multiply
Shadow Color: Black
Opacity: 23%

Check also < Stroke > in < Layer Style > window and change settings like this:

Size: 7px
Position: Outside
Blend Mode: Normal
Opacity: 47%
Fill Type: Pattern
Bubble Pattern (the first one in Pattern Picker)
Scale: 165%
Link with Layer- checked

After applying both layer effects you see that the eye looks deeper. To add more volume duplicate the Eye layer. Leave the name of the new layer as < Eye copy > but change the settings of both previously applied layer styles:

< Bevel and Emboss >:

Style: Inner Bevel
Technique: Smooth
Depth: 100%
Direction: Up
Size: 21px
Soften: 0px;
Angle: 30 degrees
Use Global Light- checked
Altitude: 30 degrees
Gloss Contour: Cone
Anti-aliased: unchecked
Highlight Mode: Screen
Highlight Color: # 73efeb
Opacity: 49%
Shadow Mode: Multiply
Shadow Color: Black
Opacity: 19%


< Stroke >:

Size: 1px
Position: Outside
Blend Mode: Normal
Opacity: 52%
Fill Type: Gradient
Rust, Green, Gold Gradient (From Color Harmonies 2 Gradient set in Gradient Picker)
Style: Linear
Align with Layer- checked
Angle: 90 degrees
Scale: 116%

The eye looks pretty good now and all we need is to make the fish more unique.

Create a new layer placed above Body layer and call it < Circle 3 Brush >. Select < Brush Tool > and append < Assorted Brushes > set then choose < Circle 3 Brush >. Change the < Foreground Color > to nice pastel shade- < # d5d6b0 >. Play with the brush size and create circles of < 15px >, < 20px > and < 35px > size. You must cover the fish belly with these circles. If some of them exceed the belly’s sides, while Circle 3 Brush layer is highlighted, load a selection on Body layer (Ctrl + Left Click on its layer thumbnail) then go to Select, Inverse and press Delete. If you are satisfied with the fish belly pattern you already created, change < Blend Mode > of Circle 3 Brush layer to < Vivid Light > and reduce < Fill > to 59%.

I have shown the fish belly put on white background on my screenshot.

Optional: If you like to darken the blue fish, duplicate the whole Blue Fish Group and merge it. Leave the name as Blue Fish copy but move the layer on top of Blue Fish group. Change Blend Mode to Multiply and reduce Opacity to 90%. Apply Layer Mask, i.e. click on Add Layer Mask icon in Layers palette. While the Layer mask is selected, use Soft Black Brush of 50% Opacity to brush over the parts you would like to highlight- I brightened the middle parts of the body, tail and fins.


Step 12

In this step we’ll perform the final works on beautifying our big blue fish. Select the brighter line extending from the mouth to the tail of the fish, press Ctrl + J to copy it on a new layer and name it < Body Line 1 >. Go to < Image, Adjustments, Brightness and Contrast > then increase < Contrast > to < +100 > and reduce < Brightness > to < -75 >. Change < Blend Mode > of this Body Line 1 layer to < Soft Light > and use < Blur Tool > if the edges look rough.

Duplicate the layer and change the name as < Body Line 2 >. Scale down the shape using < Free Transform > to make it thinner. Nudge this thinner line below the original one- to extend along the whole length of the body- from mouth, through the belly and reaching the tail. Change < Blend Mode > to < Luminosity > and reduce < Fill > to < 77% >. This Body Line 2 layer is to add more relief to the fish body and the belly in particular. Apply layer style to this layer: < Layer, Layer Style >, tick < Bevel and Emboss > and set as following:

Style: Pillow Emboss
Technique: Smooth
Depth: 100%
Direction: Up
Size: 18px
Soften: 0px;
Angle: 30 degrees
Use Global Light- checked
Altitude: 30 degrees
Gloss Contour: Linear
Anti-aliased: unchecked
Highlight Mode: Screen
Highlight Color: # 107c86
Opacity: 29%
Shadow Mode: Multiply
Shadow Color: # 000000 (Black)
Opacity: 38%

What is a fish without gills? Create a new layer named < Gills > and place it above Body layer. Draw the Gills using < Hard Round Brush > with black color and apply < Bevel and Emboss >:

Style: Pillow Emboss
Technique: Smooth
Depth: 215%
Direction: Up
Size: 16px
Soften: 0px;
Angle: 30 degrees
Use Global Light- checked
Altitude: 30 degrees
Gloss Contour: Linear
Anti-aliased: unchecked
Highlight Mode: Screen
Highlight Color: # 196268
Opacity: 54%
Shadow Mode: Multiply
Shadow Color: # 000000 (Black)
Opacity: 28%

At last the first fish on our canvas is ready.


Step 13

It is time to add more fish to our Deep Waters image.

Using < Polygonal Lasso Tool >, select a portion of the blue chest piece, as well as a portion of the tube. Increase their length with < Edit, Free Transform > trying to make their size equal. Merge their two layers and set up the shape straight < (Edit, Transform, Rotate) >. Duplicate the layer, place the copy below the original and switch it off for now. We’ll need it for the next step.
Duplicate the original layer again, go to < Edit, Free Transform > hold down < Shift > and press < Right Arrow > key < eight > times to move the duplicated shape 80 pixels to the right. Press < Enter > to apply the transformation then hold down < Ctrl + Alt + Shift > and press < T > key < five > times. You should have seven layers- the original and six duplicated. Highlight them, right click and select Merge Layers. This is the striped rectangle from which we are going to shape the head.

While the layer is highlighted, go to < Edit, Free Transform >, in the < Options Bar > set < Angle of Rotation > to < 90 > degrees then click on the upper node and move it downwards to squeeze the shape. Press < Enter >to apply the Free Transform options.

More Transformation is to be applied, boring. :(

Keep the layer-to-be-fish-head highlighted and go to < Edit, Transform, Warp >, from Warp drop down menu on the < Options Bar > choose < Squeeze > and set < Bend >option to < 20% >. Press < Enter > twice to apply the < Squeeze Warp >. Go back again to menu, choose < Transform >, < Warp > and move upper and bottom right nodes closer to each other. After applying this Warp Transformation you’ll get a shape resembling open mouthed fish head. Let us add it some color and volume. Double click on the fish head layer and tick < Bevel and Emboss > in < Layer Style > window. Change the settings like this:

Style: Inner Bevel
Technique: Smooth
Depth: 100%
Direction: Down
Size: 207px
Soften: 0px;
Angle: 30 degrees
Use Global Light- checked
Altitude: 30 degrees
Gloss Contour: Half Round
Anti-aliased: unchecked
Highlight Mode: Hard Light
Highlight Color: # 73a586
Opacity: 57%
Shadow Mode: Multiply
Shadow Color: # 000000 (Black)
Opacity: 8%

Name the layer < Head > and place it in a new group called < Colorful Fish >. Leave the group above Background group.


Step 14

It’s time for Actions. In the previous step you prepared a duplicate of the blue-silver rectangle you created from parts of the chest piece and metal tube. Switch its layer on and move into Colorful Fish group below Head layer. From this part we are going to shape the fish body.
While the layer is selected go to < Window, Actions > to open your < Actions panel >. Click on < Create New Action > button at the bottom of the panel. In the New Action dialog box which will appear on your screen leave the name as default- < Action 1 > and press < Record > button. < Duplicate > the layer, go to < Edit >, < Free Transform > and while holding down < Shift > press seven times < Right Arrow > key to nudge the shape < 70px > to the right, then set < Angle of Rotation > to < 4.5 > degrees and press < Enter >.

Keep the duplicated layer highlighted!

We performed the first step in our Action 1.


Step 15

While the duplicated and already nudged and rotated layer is highlighted, go to < Edit, Transform, Warp >, move the upper left and right node slightly to the right, move also second and third right nodes to left to curve the shape. Press Enter to apply this Warp transformation.

Look at my zoomed in image on the screenshot to this step to see how have I warped the duplicated shape.

In the next three steps we’ll continue our Actions work in the same layer.


Step 16

Go to < Image, Adjustments, Hue/Saturation > (hot keys Ctrl + U) and move the Saturation slider to +1 and Hue slider to -31, press OK button.


Step 17

Let’s add more changes: go again to < Image, Adjustments > but this time select < Brightness and Contrast >. Reduce Brightness to -20 and increase Contrast to 40. Click OK to close Brightness/Contrast dialog box.


Step 18

It’s time to apply our Actions. Firstly press < Stop Playing/Recording > button in Actions panel and after that press < Play Selection > button 13 times. You should have 15 layers as a result of the action- the first shape, its first duplicate when opened Actions and on which we applied transformations and adjustments plus the additional 13 duplicates.

Select all these 15 layers and merge them. Name the layer < Back Scales >. Its place is below Head layer in Colorful Fish group.


Step 19

We should start to shape the body of the Colorful Fish.

Duplicate Back Scales layer, flip it vertically < (Edit, Transform, Flip Vertical) >, highlight the original and duplicated layer, right click and select Merge Layers. Fix the Back Scales shape to the fish head.


Step 20

In this step we are going to shape the fish tail.

Create another blue-silver rectangle from the chest piece and the metal tube. Merge the blue and metal parts, rotate the shape at 90 degrees clockwise < (Edit, Transform, Rotate, Set Angle of rotation to 90 degrees) >, duplicate the layer and apply < Edit, Transform, Flip Horizontal >, move the duplicated part so that its left side to fit the right side of the original shape, then merge both layers. Duplicate the last created rectangle and move the duplicated part in the way that both right and left side of the rectangles to fit each other. Merge both layers.

Once you have got a nice blue-silver stripped rectangle, go to < Edit, Transform, Distort >and move bottom left and right nodes closer to each other.

Above all have a look at the screenshot to see the sequence of the steps.

Name the layer you just created as < Tail > and place below Back Scales layer.
Certainly we don’t want our gorgeous fishy to be left blind so let us create its eye.

Use < Polygonal Lasso > to select a half-ellipse shaped part of the head of the stethoscope. Duplicate its layer, flip vertically < (Edit, Transform, Flip Vertical) > and move the copied shape so that its upper side to fit the bottom part of the first ellipse. Merge both layers and name the new one < Eye >. Place it above Head layer.

Now we are ready with the nice almond shaped eye of the fish.


Step 21

We continue to shape our colorful fish.

Firstly scale down the eye shape we created in the previous step and place it on the fish head.

Duplicate the eye once again and place it so that to look as a connection between the tail and back scales. Rename this layer as < Scale 1 > and place above < Tail > layer. Duplicate twice Scale 1 layer then name the new ones < Scale 2 > and < Scale 3 > respectively. Reduce the size of the two duplicated shapes and place them in the empty space of the Back Scales shape. Change < Blend Mode > of Scale 1 – Scale 3 layer to < Luminosity >.

Go back to Eye layer, right click on it, select < Blending Options >, tick < Bevel and Emboss > and change settings like this:

Style: Pillow Emboss
Technique: Smooth
Depth: 562%
Direction: Down
Size: 18px
Soften: 0px;
Angle: 30 degrees
Use Global Light- checked
Altitude: 30 degrees
Gloss Contour: Cone
Anti-aliased: unchecked
Highlight Mode: Screen
Highlight Color: # a1ecf3
Opacity: 27%
Shadow Mode: Multiply
Shadow Color: # 000000 (Black)
Opacity: 39%

There is yet something missing about the fish eye.

Select one of the ear tips, scale it down, rename its layer as < Pupil > and place above Eye layer. Place the tiny pupil in the middle of the eye. Apply to it Layer, Layer Style, Bevel and Emboss and leave the settings as by default.

Go again to < Layer, Layer Style > but this time select < Stroke >. Change only its size to 1px.


Step 22

Create a new layer called < Fish Back > and place it at the bottom of Colorful Fish group. Use < Pen Tool > in < Fill Pixels > mode and < Black > Foreground color to draw the body of the fish. When you are satisfied with the shape, right click on the layer and choose < Blending Options >.

Firstly check < Inner Glow > and change the settings as:

Blend Mode: Screen
Opacity: 56%
Noise: 0%
Set Color of Glow: # 1424c0
Technique: Softer
Source: Center
Choke: 4%
Size: 125px
Contour: Linear
Anti-aliased- unchecked
Range: 50%
Jitter: 0%

In < Layer Style> window check also < Bevel and Emboss > and change its settings as follows:

Style: Inner Bevel
Technique: Smooth
Depth: 100%
Direction: Up
Size: 62px
Soften: 0px
Angle: 30 degrees
Use Global Light- checked
Altitude: 30 degrees
Gloss Contour: Linear
Anti-aliased: unchecked
Highlight Mode: Screen
Highlight Color: # 3a99fa
Opacity: 50%
Shadow Mode: Multiply
Shadow Color: # 000000 (Black)
Opacity: 24%

The last < Layer Style > to be applied to Fish Back layer is < Color Overlay >:

Blend Mode: Normal
Set Color of Overlay: # ff0000
Opacity: 19%

To make the fish more attractive we should create an illusion of semi-transparent fish body.

Duplicate twice Back Scales layer. Leave the first duplicate above the original and call it < Fish Bones>. Move the second duplicate below the original Back Scales layer and call it < Fish Inside >. To see what you are doing, switch off Back Scales layer for a while.
At first scale down and warp Fish Bones layer to give it arrow head shape. Place it at the right end of Fish Back. Change its Blend Mode to Color Dodge.
Secondly, scale down the Fish Inside and place it in the middle of Fish Back. Change Blend Mode to Linear Dodge and reduce Opacity to 40%.
Now you can switch on Back Scales Layer. You have achieved the illusion of semi- transparent fish body.
The only thing we have to do is to give the fish some fins. I made the big upper fin by duplicating the head layer and warping it to achieve sharp front edge.
Name the layer < Upper Fin > and place it above the Head layers. Change its < Blend Mode > to < Luminosity > and < Opacity > to < 30% >. Duplicate the last layer, slightly increase the < Opacity > to < 50% > and set < Blend Mode > to < Hard Light >.
In order to add some color to the upper fin, press Ctrl + right click on Upper Fin copy layer to load a selection. Create a new layer above, name it < Upper Fin Gradient > and fill it with < Rust, Green, Gold > Linear gradient from < Color Harmonies 2 > Gradient Set. Set < Blend Mode > of the Gradient layer to < Soft Light >.

Duplicate Upper Fin layer, set its < Blend Mode > back to < Normal > and scale it down with < Free Transform > to turn it into tiny back fin. Place it near to the fish tail. Call the layer < Small Back Fin >.

Duplicate the tail layer and scale it down with < Free Transform > to shape the fin fixed to the fish belly. Use < Edit, Transform, Warp > to make concave the wider side of the fin. Name the layer< Fin >.

Place another small silver fin fixed to the fish Head. For the purpose select a small shell shaped portion with < Pen Tool > or < Lasso Tool > from the metal part of stethoscope’s head. Add some darker strips with small size < Burn Tool >. Name the layer < Front Fin >.

To make the Colorful Fish looking 3D, duplicate Fin, Front Fin and Small Back Fin layers, move the duplicates at the bottom of the group, rotate and warp them to make them visible and to add effect of movement.



Step 23

A fish is not a fish without gills. Create a new layer on top of Colorful Fish group and call it < Gills Opening >.
Select < Brush Tool > and choose < Hard Round Brush > of < 6px > size and Black foreground color.
Go to < Pen Tool >, choose < Paths > mode and draw a short curve. Right click on the path, select < Stroke Path >, in Stroke Path dialog box choose < Brush > from the drop down menu and check < Simulate Pressure >. Click OK button. The first Gill is ready, use < Move Tool > and < Free Transform > if necessary to make it fit the fish head. Right click on the Gills Opening layer, select < Blending Options > then < Bevel and Emboss >, change it to < Pillow Emboss > and change < Direction > to < Down >. Leave all other settings as given by default.
Duplicate Gills Opening layer and use < Move Tool > to place the shape in parallel with the original.
We are ready with the gills work.
To add more relief to the fish, highlight the whole Colorful fish group, duplicate and merge it (right click on the group, select Duplicate Group then right click on the duplicate and select Merge Group). The new layer is automatically named < Colorful Fish copy >. Move it on top of Colorful Fish group, change its < Blend Mode > to < Soft Light > and reduce < Opacity > to < 30% >.


Step 24

Now we are going to put more life into our Deep Waters image by creating another vintage looking fishy.

For the purpose select half of the stethoscope head, duplicate the selected part, Flip Horizontally < (Edit, Transform, Flip Horizontal) >, fix both halves using < Move Tool > and merge the layers.

We need an elliptical part taken from the metal surface of the stethoscope’s head to shape the new fish body. Select the part using < Elliptical Marquee Tool >, click twice Ctrl + J to copy it on two new layers. Switch off the first ellipse, we’ll need it later. Rotate the second ellipse so that both light parts to be on the left and right part of the ellipse. While its layer is highlighted, go to < Edit, Transform, Warp > and choose Fish from the drop down menu in Options Bar. Set the < Fish > Warp Bend option to 80 %.

The shape now slightly resembles a fish. We’ll continue to work on it in the next steps. The only thing to be done now is to move both layers- the one with the fish warped shape and the other with the ellipse on top of your Layers palette. Still don’t name or group them. Just, for your convenience, place the layer containing the fish warp shape below the layer with the ellipse- this one should still be kept switched off for now.


Step 25

In this step firstly we are going to sharpen the fish fins. Select the fish warp layer, use < Pen Tool > in < Paths > Mode to draw elliptical paths on both fins sides, then right click, choose < Make Selection > and click OK button. Go to < Select, Inverse > and press < Delete > key. If you prefer to use instruments easier than < Pen Tool >, you can do the same with < Elliptical Marquee Tool > to make selections and press < Delete > to give the fish fins an arc shape.

Well, we are ready with the tail and fins but the main work to be done is to shape the fish body.

Switch on and highlight the layer with the ellipse we created in the previous step. Keep it placed above the fish warp layer. Firstly resize it (Edit, Free Transform) to decrease the ellipse and to make it fit the main shape- the fish warp shape with fins and tail. Use < Polygonal Lasso Tool > to select a small rectangle in the middle right part of the ellipse and press delete. Thus you’ll make the mouth opening. The fish body base is ready now. On the screenshot the elliptical shape is called < 1ST PART >.

Duplicate this elliptical body layer and with < Eraser Tool > (Soft Brush) clean the right 1/3 of the shape (including the mouth opening). Have a look at the screen shot, the shape is marked as < 2ND PART >. This shape will help us to give the fish body more volume. Right click on the layer, select < Blending Options >, check < Bevel and Emboss > and change the settings:

Style: Pillow Emboss
Technique: Smooth
Depth: 337%
Direction: Up
Size: 9px
Soften: 0px
Angle: 30 degrees
Use Global Light- checked
Altitude: 30 degrees
Gloss Contour: Linear
Anti-aliased: unchecked
Highlight Mode: Screen
Highlight Color: # a99898
Opacity: 84%
Shadow Mode: Multiply
Shadow Color: # 0a152d
Opacity: 100%

Duplicate the last layer and scale it down using < Edit, Free Transform >- move some of the nodes in inner direction while holding < Shift >. < Warp > the shape to narrow its upper and bottom left sides. Right click on the layer and change only a few of the previously applied < Pillow Emboss > settings: change direction to < Down >, < Gloss Contour > to < Sawtooth 1 > and decrease < Shadow Opacity > to < 48% >. On the screenshot the shape is marked as < Third Part >.

Duplicate the last layer too. Squeeze the shape more using < Free Transform >and also slightly lengthen it by means of the same type of transformation. The shape should start from the tail of the fish and almost reach its mouth. Keep the last applied < Pillow Emboss > layer style settings. On the Screenshot the shape is called Fourth Part.

Select also one of the Stethoscope’s binaurals (ear tabs) to shape the fish eye < (Edit, Free Transform to scale down) >. Move it to fit the fish head and to give it some deepness, apply < Layer, Layer Style, Bevel and Emboss > and only change the < Style > to < Pillow Emboss >, reduce < Depth > to < 83% > and increase < Size > to < 15% >.


Step 26

We have to perform some final touches on the fish we created. Use < Polygonal Lasso > to select the mouth outline, press < Ctrl + J > to separate the mouth on a new layer and apply to it < Layer, Layer Style, Bevel and Emboss >- leave all settings as by default.
To add a small back fin simply select the fish tail, press Ctrl + J to have it on a new layer, scale it down using < Edit, Free Transform > then go to < Image, Adjustments, Brightness and Contrast > and reduce brightness the way you prefer to darken the back fin.

Now highlight all of our still unnamed fish layers, right click and select Merge Layers. Name the new layer < Flat Fish Body >. Change its < Blend Mode > to < Linear Dodge >and reduce < Opacity > to < 50% >.
Duplicate the layer and change < Blend Mode > to < Multiply >.

Our semi-transparent grayish fish is ready. Let us call it < Flat Fish >, i.e. highlight both layers- < Flat Fish Body > and < Flat Fish Body > copy, go to < Layer > menu, < Group Layers > and name the new group < Flat Fish >. The group should be on top of layers palette.


Step 27

In the previous step we finished with our fish work. Now we have to create a glowing jelly fish to enrich the deep water space.

Select a part of the blue chest piece. I preferred the portion where the chest piece is connected with the metal tubular part. Duplicate the layer containing the already selected shape and apply < Edit, Transform, Flip Vertical > on the duplicate then fix its upper side to the bottom side of the original shape. Merge both layers and scale the shape up < (Edit, Free Transform) >. In the next step we’ll create the jelly fish bell from this blue shape.
Select also a portion of the metal tubular part as we’ll be using it for the jelly fish tentacles and lappets.


Step 28

Take < Ellipse Tool >and select with it the end portion of the blue rectangle we previously created from the chest piece. Reshape it using < Edit, Transform, Warp > and < Distort > to widen the bottom side of the jelly fish bell.
Call the layer < Jelly Fish Body >, keep the layer highlighted, go to < Layer > menu and choose < Group Layers >. Name the new group of layers < Jelly Fish >and place it above Colorful Fish group.
Change < Blend Mode > of Jelly Fish Body layer to < Color Dodge > then go to < Layer, Layer Style >, select < Stroke > and change some of its settings:

Size: 1px
Position: Inside
Blend Mode: Soft Light
Fill Type: Gradient (Black to White gradient type)
Reverse is checked

Leave all other Stroke options by default.

Duplicate Jelly Fish Body layer, place the duplicate below the original and call the copied layer < Jelly Fish Body 1 >. Use < Edit, Transform, Warp > to change the shape so that its bottom side to be visible behind the original Jelly Fish Body part.
Keep the < Stroke > layer style and add a new one: go to < Layer, Layer Style >, select < Inner Glow > this time and change the settings:

Blend Mode: Screen
Opacity: 23%
Noise: 0%
Set Color of Glow: # 8097ee
Technique: Softer
Source: Edge
Choke: 0%
Size: 207px
Contour: Linear
Anti-aliased- unchecked
Range: 50%
Jitter: 0%

The jelly fish bell or hood is almost ready now. To make it look more realistic, let us create something resembling a stomach pouch.
For the purpose, duplicate three times the Jelly Fish Body layer. Highlight the three duplicated layers and by means of < Edit, Free Transform >, scale them down to look like a tiny buttons.

Firstly arrange with < Move Tool > and < Free Transform > the three button-like shapes on top of Jelly Fish Bell.
Place two of the duplicates below Jelly Fish Body layer and call them < Upper Part >and < Upper Part 1 >. Change < Blend Mode > of Upper Part layer (placed directly below Jelly Fish Body layer) to < Hard Light >. With < Move Tool > move < Upper Part 1 > shape so that its bottom half to be seen behind Upper Part.
Change also the Blend Mode of < Upper Part 1 > layer to < Color >.
Name the third duplicate < Glow Part > and leave it above Jelly Fish Body layer. Change its < Blend Mode > to < Linear Dodge >. Glow Part should look as a tiny cap on top of Jelly Fish Bell.

We have only to add tentacles.
Select the metal tubular part of the stethoscope and place it horizontally on your canvas. In order to make it wavy as a moving jelly fish tentacle, go to < Edit, Transform, Warp >, choose < Flag > type of warp and set < Bend > to the < 100% > (the maximum). Name the layer < Tentacle 1 > and place it between Jelly Fish Body 1 and Upper Part 1 layer. Change < Blend Mode > of this Tentacle 1 layer to < Hard Light > and using < Edit, Free Transform > move and rotate it to fit the Jelly Fish Bell.
Duplicate six times Tentacle 1 layer and place all duplicates below the original. Rename them as < Tentacle 2 , Tentacle 3, Tentacle 4, Tentacle 5, Tentacle 6 and Tentacle 7 > from top to bottom. Using < Move Tool > arrange randomly all seven tentacles to fit the Jelly Fish Bell.

If you are satisfied with the Jelly Fish looking like this, proceed to the next step. In case you prefer a thicker bunch of tentacles, duplicate all seven Tentacle layers and merge the duplicates. Place the new layer below the originals and call it < Tentacles >. Scale it up by means of < Edit, Free Transform > to make these tentacles longer than the originals and change < Blend Mode > of the layer to < Difference >. Well, we have already lovely glowing tentacles of different shades.

Finally we are ready with the first Jelly Fish. How about to create another one even more attractive than this?


Step 29

Let us add a bigger and ghostly looking Jelly Fish to our Deep Waters masterpiece.
Select one of the metal tubes together with a small portion of the blue chest piece. Increase its contrast and make it slightly darker by means of < Image, Adjustments, Brightness and Contrast >- change < Contrast > to < 50 > and Brightness to < – 40 >.
Duplicate the layer and with the duplicate highlighted go to < Edit, Free Transform >, hold down < Shift > and press < Right Arrow > key four times to nudge the shape < 40px > to the right, rotate also at < minus 1.6 > degrees (in Options Bar set < Angle of Rotation > to < – 1.6 >degrees). Press < Enter > to apply this transformation then hold down < Ctrl + Alt + Shift > and press < T > twenty times. Highlight all layers- the duplicated ones and the original and merge them. The merged shape still has nothing to do with jelly fish bell. Use < Edit, Transform, Warp > to turn it into something resembling umbrella. Name the layer < Body >.
Duplicate < Body > layer, resize the bell using < Edit, Free Transform > (hold down Shift while transforming to keep the proportions) and place the shape on top of the original jelly fish bell. Name this layer < Upper Part >.


Step 30

Highlight both Body and Upper Part layer, go to < Layer > menu and select < Group Layers >. Name the new group < Big Jelly Fish > and place it above Background group.
Change < Blend Mode > of Body layer to < Color Dodge > then highlight Upper Part layer and set its < Blend Mode > to < Hard Light >.
Highlight both layers now, duplicate them and place the duplicates below the original ones.
Rename the first duplicate < Body_Multiply >, change its < Blend Mode > to < Multiply > and set < Opacity > to < 16% >. Go to < Edit, Transform, Warp > and drag the bottom nodes so that a portion of this back placed shape to be visible behind the Body layer.
Rename the second duplicate < Body_Linear Dodge > and reduce its < Opacity > to < 16% > too. < Warp > it the same way you did with the previous layer.
Within Big Jelly Fish group create a new < subgroup > called < Tentacles >. Make the tentacles the same way you did them for the first Jelly Fish. Select one of the metal tubes, squish it with Free Transform to make it thinner and apply < Edit, Transform, Warp, Flag (type of Warp), Bend 100% >. I duplicated the layer 12 times and arranged each tentacle with < Move Tool > also used < Warp > to make them looking different from one another.
Use < Blend Modes > as < Overlay >, < Soft Light >, < Hard Light > and < Luminosity > for the tentacles layers to make them look glowing and semi-transparent.
If you want thicker tentacles, duplicate the whole Tentacles group, merge the duplicate, move the new layer on top of Tentacles group and change its < Blend Mode > to < Soft Light >.
Above Tentacles Group create a new layer called < Light >, take < Soft Brush > of < 250px > size and < Foreground Color: # dcfffa > then click with the brush in the middle of the jelly fish bell. Reduce < Opacity > of the layer to < 25% >.
Create a new layer called < Blue Shine > and place it between Tentacles group and Light Layer. With the same < Soft Brush >(change only < Foreground Color > to < # b8edfd >) draw an elliptical shape which covers half of the fish bell and part of the tentacles going out of the bell. Set < Blend Mode > of the layer to < Hard Light > and < Opacity > to < 25% >.
To add more glow, duplicate < Body layer >, name the new one < Glow > and change its < Blend Mode > to < Luminosity >. Add < Layer Mask > and use < Soft Black Brush > of < 200px > size, < 70% Opacity > to clean the edges of the jelly fish bell.
Move the Big Jelly Fish to the upper left of the canvas.


Step 31

The last created Big Jelly Fish is too noticeable, isn’t it? Highlight the whole Big Jelly Fish group of layers and lower its < Opacity > to < 51% >. Add < Layer Mask > to the Group and use < Soft Black Brush > of < 20% Opacity > to make the tentacles area more transparent.


Step 32

In this step we’ll be using again a part of the blue chest piece and metal tube, this time to create more sea weed.
Place the selected part diagonally on your canvas. With its layer selected (name it < Weed >) go to < Actions > Panel (Window, Actions), click on < Create New Action > button at the bottom of the panel and when < New Action dialog box > appears on your screen, just click on < Record > button.

Go to Layers panel and duplicate the selected Weed layer on which we are now going to apply some actions. With the duplicated layer (Weed copy) selected, choose < Edit, Free Transform >, slightly scale down the shape making it a bit shorter than the original, move it to the right and < Set Angle of Rotation > at between < 8-9 degrees >. It is still not necessary to press Enter to apply the transformation as we’ll continue to transform the shape in the following steps before finishing with the Action.


Step 33

In this step we’ll proceed to the next transformation in < Actions > panel. Go to < Edit, Transform, Distort > then catch the left upper node with your mouse and move it slightly upwards.
See how it all looks on my screenshot and still don’t press < Enter > as one more transformation is to be done.


Step 34

It is time to use the powerful < Warp > again. Go to < Edit, Transform, Warp > and move the second (from top to bottom) right node to the left. Just squish the shape a bit (see my screenshot) and press < Enter > to apply all three types of transformation- Free Transform, Distort and Warp.

We have one more step to perform in order to complete our work in Actions panel.


Step 35

We should change the color of the duplicated and already transformed shape (Weed copy layer). With its layer highlighted, go to < Image, Adjustments, Color Balance > and change only the < Color Levels > of the < Midtones >:

Cyan/Red: -9
Magenta/Green: +9
Yellow/Blue: -9
Preserve Luminosity is checked


Step 36

A fun part is coming again. Let’s get down to < Actions >.

Firstly press the rectangular button < Stop Playing/Recording > at the bottom of < Actions > panel then click the triangular button- < Play Selection > and press it till you have about < 32 > copies in your Layers palette. You see on my screenshot that my last layer name is Weed copy 32.

Select all duplicates plus the original, right click and choose Merge Layers. Leave the name of the new layer as < Weed >.


Step 37

We could add a stem to the seaweed. Create a new layer above Weed layer.
At first change < Foreground Color > to green (#3d8810), select Brush Tool and choose < Soft Brush >, size < 25px >.
Take < Pen Tool > in < Paths Mode > and draw a twisting path. Right click on the path and select < Stroke Path >, choose < Brush > in the dialog box and check < Simulate Pressure >.
When the path appears stroked with nice green color, right click on its layer and choose < Blending Options, Bevel and Emboss >. Leave all settings by default and change only the < Direction >- check < Down > option.
Use < Move Tool > and < Warp > (if necessary) to fix the weed stem to the fern-like weed leaf.
Duplicate both Weed and stem layers, merge these duplicates and switch off the new layer.
We’ll need it again in Step 39.
Duplicate Weed layer again and go to < Edit, Transform, Flip Horizontal >. By means of < Move Tool > fix the duplicate’s bottom edge to the bottom edge of the original weed shape then merge both layers.
Merge also Weed and its stem layer.


Step 38

With the Weed layer selected go to < Layer, Group Layers > and name the new group < Weed >. Place it between Jelly Fish and Blue Fish groups (keep the duplicated and still switched off Weed copy and stem layer out of this group).
Firstly rename Weed layer (the layer within Weed group) as < Front Weed >. Scale it down with < Free Transform > and reduce < Opacity > to < 40% >. Place it below the blue fish on your canvas.
Duplicate the layer and scale it down more then move it to the right of the original (middle down side of the canvas) and increase its < Opacity > to about < 60% >. Name the layer < Weed_Middle >.


Step 39

We are going to add more details to the background so our work will continue in Background group.
Duplicate Front Weed layer from Weed group, scale it up with Free Transform and place into Background group above Water layer. Change its < Blend Mode > to < Color Dodge >, < Opacity 100% > and move it at the left hand side of the canvas. Name the layer < Left Weed >.
Go back to the reserve switched off Weed layer you created in Step 37. Move it into Background group below Left Weed layer. Use Move Tool to place the weed in such way that only its upper part is seen at the middle down part of the canvas. Rename the layer as < First Weed > and change < Blend Mode > to < Soft Light >.
Duplicate last layer and rename the new one < Second Weed >. Place it to the left of the original and move it so that the whole leaf and part of the stem to be visible. Change its < Blend Mode > to < Multiply > and reduce < Opacity > to < 25% >.

Duplicate Jelly Fish group and merge the duplicate. Leave its name as < Jelly Fish copy >. Duplicate this layer too and leave the name as < Jelly Fish copy 2 >. Move both duplicates to Background group and place them above Background Shape 1 layer. With both layers highlighted, go to < Edit, Free Transform > and scale down the jelly fish. Press < Enter > to apply the transformation. Now highlight only Jelly Fish copy 2 layer and scale it down a bit more using < Free Transform >. Place this tiny jelly fish at the bottom right hand corner of the canvas. Change < Blend Mode > of the layer to < Pin Light > and set < Opacity > to < 57% >.
Highlight Jelly Fish copy layer and place it between the colorful fish and the original jelly fish. Set < Blend Mode > of the layer to < Soft Light > and < Opacity > to < 35% >.
Now select Colorful Fish group, duplicate it and merge the duplicate. Leave the name as < Colorful Fish copy > and move the layer into Background group above Jelly Fish copy 2 layer.
With Colorful Fish copy layer selected, go to < Edit, Free Transform > and scale down the fish. Place it between the seaweed near the jelly fish. Reduce < Opacity > to < 32% >.
It’s the Flat Fish turn now. Highlight the Flat Fish group, duplicate it and merge the duplicated one. The name of the layer is < Flat Fish copy >. Move it to Background group and place above Background shapes layers. Scale down Flat Fish copy layer, reduce its < Opacity > to < 39% > and place the flat fishy in the empty space between the Jelly Fish and Colorful Fish.


Step 40

At last we are close to the end of this tutorial. Highlight Flat Fish group which should be on top of your Layers palette.
Go to < Layer, New Adjustment Layer > and from the pop-out menu choose < Color Balance >. This new layer will appear above all in Layers palette.
Change the Color Balance settings as below:

Midtones:

- Cyan/Red: - 9
- Magenta/Green: - 16
- Yellow/Blue: - 26

Highlights:

- Cyan/Red: +27
- Magenta/Green: +13
- Yellow/Blue: + 31
Shadows:
- Cyan/Red: +1
- Magenta/Green: - 15
- Yellow/Blue: - 30

Preserve Luminosity is checked.

Change the < Blend Mode > of Color Balance layer to < Screen > and reduce < Opacity > to < 40% >.

One more adjustment layer we need.

Go again to < Layer menu >, select < New Adjustment Layer > but this time choose < Photo Filter >. From Filter drop down menu select < Underwater > and set < Density > to < 40% >. Close Adjustments dialog box.
Change the < Blend Mode > of < Photo Filter > adjustment layer to < Darken >.

As you see there is an empty space in the middle of the canvas. Let us fill it with another sea creature.
Duplicate Big Jelly Fish group, merge the duplicated one and leave the name < Big Jelly Fish copy >. Place it in Background group above Water layer and reduce < Opacity > to < 5% >. Scale down the jelly fish with Free Transform.


Step 41

If you have performed all 40 steps of this tutorial your image should resemble mine given below.
Thank you very much for reading.



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18 Comments:

avatar Alan2641
Alan2641 says:

Super detailed -- well written -- some great ideas for new techniques -- well done

(5 years and 1253 days ago)
avatar CorneliaMladenova

Thank you very much for the kind words on my tut, Alan!

(5 years and 1252 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Lovely result.

(5 years and 1240 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

so much details an it soooooooo nice iam from egypt and in arabic I will say
جمدة مووووووووووووووت حلوة بتجنن

(5 years and 1239 days ago)
no avatar
pankaj [banned] says:

Thanks for this tut. It will always help me to learn.

(5 years and 1238 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

wOw Amazzzzingggg!!! superb tut..thank you!!!

(5 years and 1237 days ago)
no avatar
Achalarox says:

This is unbelievable
great work man
keep it up

(5 years and 1236 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

wow wonderful very nice job

(5 years and 1235 days ago)
avatar George55
George55 says:

Cornelia, I have not seen a tutorial that well explained, written, and detailed, as you have done. I am a tutorial writer, and I can understand all the time and brain thinking, to put all of these things together, to teach us a way to make something beautiful with a single image. I have learned a lot from you and your tutorials. Thank you!

(5 years and 1223 days ago)
avatar CorneliaMladenova

Thank you very much, George!

(5 years and 1222 days ago)
avatar hereisanoop

oooooooo... great and very very helpful.... thanks a lot for sharing...

(5 years and 1213 days ago)
avatar CorneliaMladenova

Thank you, my friend!

(5 years and 1213 days ago)
avatar niks1351
niks1351 says:

superb....

(5 years and 1208 days ago)
avatar nishagandhi

wow awesome Cornelia

(5 years and 1208 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

I like it and very good.

(5 years and 1206 days ago)
avatar birdhm
birdhm says:

Fantastic!

(5 years and 1173 days ago)
avatar locale
locale says:

Nice use of actions. Wonderful..

(5 years and 1139 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

it's really great work in Photoshop, like it tutorial,,,

(5 years and 516 days ago)


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