May 1, 2016

Transform Someone Into a Water Elemental

I am going to run you through a tutorial on how to take a regular picture with a person in it and make them look like a water elemental.

First download this picture of a woman in a bathing suit.

Next download these 2 images of splashing water

Now that you have your supplies for the image we will get started.

So open up your picture of your woman in a bathing suit, resize it to your liking.

I resized mine down just a little from its original size so it would fit in my screen

First thing you need to do is select the girl in the picture, I am going to use the
pen tool for this task, you can use the tool that is best for you. This is the most
time consuming part of the tutorial so just be patient and make it neat!

Now with your selection made copy her with ctrl+c and paste her back in the image
with ctrl+v.

Next I am going to use the plastic wrap filter on her by going to filter>>artistic>>
plastic wrap.

Use these similar settings:

Ok now she should already look a little liquefied

Next start new layer above her and hold down ctrl while clicking on the little icon
beside our cut out girl and it should make a selection around her.

Then fill in the selection with any color because we are going to add a gradient
overlay to it.

In your gradient overlay settings choose linear and click on the gradient. I picked
colors from the image as my gradient colors. I chose 4 different colors from the
bottom of to match the image

Ok now we want to make that image editable without the gradient so we can add the
overlay blending mode to it. So create a new layer under the one we just did with
the gradient and then click merge down or ctrl+E keyboard shortcut.

Now click back on your girl layer and go to image>>adjustments>>desaturate or the
keyboard shortcut shift+ctrl+u.

Here is my result from the previous steps

Now grab your water splash image one and cut out the top part of the water, with all
the smaller bubbles.. I am going to use my rectangle marquee tool for this. Make
sure when you put the image on your canvas it is below our gradient layer.

Drag the image into your canvas, rotate it so it fits over both legs, and size it down
to fit over them.

Now take your opacity down on the splash image to about 30 percent and zoom in real
close to erase the part we don’t need with a soft eraser brush.

Here is what I have left

Set its blending mode to hard light. Hit ctrl+u on your keyboard so we can adjust
the hue/saturation of the layer. On this layer just take the saturation down to
-79 but mess with it to get your desired result.

Then set your opacity on the layer to about 70 percent.

Now grab your other splash image and cut out the top part with your rectangle marquee
tool and fit it over the stomach area.

Set that layer to pin light and erase the parts you don’t want yet again.

Once you get that layer fitted hit ctrl+L on your keyboard to bring up the levels
adjustment. Take your middle slider and move it to the right

Then use your hue/saturation tool to effect it more.

Continue this process on the neck, face, and arms.

Now to make this image really stand out and look more realistic use the ctrl+click
technique on the preview icon to cut out our girl from the original image and then move it to
the left beside our water girl picture.

In your layers palette click on your original image with the water and mountain to select that layer. Then
hold down ctrl+click on the preview icon beside the image we just moved to the left. This will make a
selection around her like before except this time copy the selection from the original
image and paste it back on your canvas.

Move it above all your other layers but wait you don’t see it right? Well that is because
you haven’t moved the actual layer yet.

Move the layer on the actual canvas

Place it so it fits exactly over top of her. Set its blending mode to overlay.

After that you should start to see how we are going to make her see through since
she is made of water.

You see how the mountain does not look right in the picture we just cut out. Well
just erase that part because we will putt it back in.

Choose your original image again in your layers and grab the portion of the mountain
on the left of her with the pen tool or however you want.

Once you copy that move it above her and fit it to look like it goes with the other
mountain. Do the same with the mountain part on the right of her.

Now merge how many layers you made for the mountain together and add quite a bit of
blur to it. I am doing this because it would look blurry if you were looking through
water at something.

Set it to overlay and here is what I got

Do the same thing with the little patch beside her left arm.

That should finalize the cool look of this tutorial. I am going to add some
water dripping off her hands and be done! Thanks for reading!


About John Overbee 40 Articles
John Overbee is a graphic designer for the iEntry Network.

43 Comments on Transform Someone Into a Water Elemental

  1. Many Thanks for this Tutorials I’m going to be give it a go as soon as I get some free time.

    I have been looking for something like this for about a week as I have an photo that I want do this too.

    great help.

  2. Thanks for your comment, I decided to make this tutorial because I hadn’t seen too many like it. Good luck, let me know how your result turns out and if you have any questions.

  3. well my first try die I must have done something in the gradient overlay part. as It did look how yours look it just went like a normal gradient look so must have stuff it up.


    going to give it a try again tonight if I get time.

  4. HI John

    thanks for that I got the gradient step more or less work out.

    I’m now not have much luck wit the

    “Then hold down ctrl+click on the regular girl image we have cut out. This will make a
    selection around her like before except this time copy the selection from the original
    image and paste it back on your canvas.”

    I don’t seem to be able to get her to have the back ground in the image of her now.

    I get it so I can see her with the water look and the real one to the right of that just does want to do the next step for me.

    driver me mad but I give it ago again when I get time [work takes too much time :( ]

    I had ago tonight but keep getting stuck there. i get it to work if it kills me lol

    plus do you have a easy tutorial on the pen tool it drivers me around the bend try to use it. I see how good it can be to use but ever time i use it things don’t work out at all.

    many thanks for help me out with this.

  5. So what is the trouble you are having? When you hold down ctrl + clicking on the icon beside the girl does it make a selection around her? Once you do that you need to make sure to have the main background layer selected and copy the part from the background. I hope this helps, if not please help me understand your problem. Thanks

  6. Hi John

    Thanks got it to work at last.

    I think I’ll have to go back and start it for the start when I have more time. I now have a better understanding of what I was doing wrong now. I let you know how it works out when I get time as I’m of on a holiday in just under a week so will not get time to I’ll get back.

    If I need any help I’ll let you now (Hope I don’t)

    Many thanks for taken the time to help me out with this.

  7. Nice one matey !! Been searching high and wide on t’interweb trying to find Tuts on turning someone into water (glass). Works a treat.
    Many Thanks

  8. i cant get it from………………………..Next start new layer above her and hold down ctrl while clicking on the little icon beside our cut out girl and it should make a selection around her……………………..

    so tell me which icon you are telling about????………………..and we have to start new layer above her …………then what we should do???????

  9. The icon I am talking about is in your layer’s palette right beside each layer. Instead of “icon” maybe I should say preview image. You should see one beside each layer.

    Make sure you are in your newly created layer above her then hold down ctrl then click on the preview image beside the layer below it. When you do that it should make a selection around the cut-out. Once you see the selection fill your new layer with your fill tool using any color.

    Hope this helps. I will post a link at the end of this tutorial to the .psd file. Thanks!

  10. Many thanks for this template! It is simply great! The final result is just amazing and the step-by-step with the screenshots helped a lot. Great work, and again…. Thanks, mate.

  11. i have dwnloaded the psd……..but i m unable to understand …….how to do this l make a
    selection around her like before except this time copy the selection from the original
    image and paste it back on your canvas.

    how to select that watery image which we have to put on our image …………..tell me with context to psd like select layer 2 and then layer 3 please tell me like this it would be a great help………….thanks fr the psd file……………explain me the steps in context of the psd step wise please……….

  12. Thank you for this tutorial. I have a new story I am working in which I have to transform a character into a waterfall. This was a much needed tutorial for me. Thanks again.

  13. I have gotten down to the step that is throwing everyone off. I drag the real woman from the background layer beside the water lady. Now when I let go of my mouse, the girl sits there, with the line still around her, selected you might say. When I hit “cntrl+click” on the real girl (the one I just let go of with my mouse), nothing seems to happen. She is still outlined, and if I click I can drag her around. No selection area appears. I’ve tried and tried but I can’t figure this one out. Should I still have the move tool selected? When you say “Then
    hold down ctrl+click on the regular girl image we have cut out.” do you mean hold control and click on the girl picture we have just moved beside the water girl? If so, why might my selection area not be appearing?

  14. Okay, when I looked at your psd, I realized the first thing that would have been helpful would have been to use a plain white background instead of using the original image as the background.

  15. Sean I could have been more clear in that part of the tutorial, sorry about that. I tried to clarify what I mean within the tutorial. I should have said CTRL+CLICK on the preview icon beside the image of the girl we just moved to the left. Basically I just want to copy the shape of the woman from the main image with the water and mountains.

  16. Hi John,
    wow its a great work, but i have seen water hand which one is more realistic than your work have you seen the same there is (Edberry_02.jpg) can you send me the tutorial or link the tutorila for the same please I am very very keen to know about this tutorial please tell me

  17. wow cool… is very good.

    although I like to learn by video esta muy bueno el tutorial, although I do not go exactly the same as yours

  18. Pen tools and gradients.. well i can’t do curves with pen tools but 15 mins clicking isnt too bad.

    What i don’t get is the gradient step. im a total tutorial screwup.. very good with vid tutorials but hopeless at txt based tutorials..

    That aside.. Excellent work.. is nice to see someone proving the 100’s of people wrong who say Water people cant be done !!

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