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Photoshop - Blending Horse Hooves In Water - Part 2
 By T W I   •   19th Jul 2011   •   5,879 views   •   12 comments
Software: Photoshop Elements | Skill level: Advanced

Today we are going to learn how to create ripples in water. Stay tuned for part 3, on how to create splashes!

Take a look at the surface of the water you are blending the horse into. Is it the smooth, calm surface of a lake? Or is it a turbulent river? Check out the horse’s position. Is it standing in a way that wouldn’t create many ripples? Or is it galloping through a sunset sea?

We need to determine whether the water would simply be disturbed, causing surface ripples or whether it would be churned up enough to create splashes. If the water is already fairly turbulent, no matter the horse’s position, ripples would look out of place.

When the water's surface is calm, then you can add in ripples so long as the horse is in a position that would create them.

There are two main ways to make ripples. One is to draw them in and the other to use a special Photoshop filter. Since I am still working on my ripple-drawing technique, today we will learn how to add them using a filter.

Duplicate the background layer. Using a circular marquee tool, make an oval selection around one of the horse’s hooves, like in the screenshot below. Feather your selection to 15 pixels.

Create Ripples In Water

Go to filter - distort - zigzag.
Use the “+” and “-” buttons right below the preview screen to zoom into the area that will be affected by this filter.

Put the style on “Pond ripples”, the amount to 100 and the ridges to 10. Hit okay.

These will be your smaller ripples, the ones in the inside.

Create Ripples In Water

Making sure your marquee tool is still selected, right click and from the option box that appears, select “layer via copy”. Now your ripple is a separate layer.

Delete the background layer that you applied the filter to.

Take a big fuzzy eraser at 75% opacity and erase the edges of the ripple to blend it into the rest of the water.

Sometimes the ripple’s perspective will be off and you’ll have to adjust it. Each image is different, so I can’t give specific instructions for exactly how to adjust it.

I've found that the most helpful tool to edit the depth of a layer is the distort option. Hit “CTRL” + “T” to bring up the transform box. Right click and a box of options will come up, including the distort option.

Duplicate the background layer again. Make another selection, about twice as big as the first one.

Create Ripples In Water

Go to filter - distort - zigzag, again. Change the style to “Around center” and the number of ridges to five. Hit okay. Make sure that the new ripple's layer is below the first ripple.

Make a layer via copy and delete the background layer you applied the filter to, like in the previous steps.

Adjust the depth using the distort option if needed.

Create Ripples In Water

Eraser the edges of the big ripple with a fuzzy eraser to blend it into the rest of the water.

Pull down the opacity of the small ripple to 75%. Merge the two ripple layers.

If you would like to adjust the size of your ripple, just use the move tool to shrink or enlarge it.

Create Ripples In Water
Carpe Diem  
Wow! Great article and your very good at manips!
  Jul 19, 2011  •  3,762 views
 
Stay Untamed  
Good article! These pictures are really good,by the way )
  Jul 19, 2011  •  3,799 views
 
Simplicity  
Great article. It was helpful
  Jul 20, 2011  •  3,759 views
 
Laugh and Ride  
Great article! Wish I had PS still.....
  Jul 20, 2011  •  3,872 views
 
Aslans Roar  
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  Jul 20, 2011  •  3,767 views
 
kingfisher  
Nice article
  Jul 21, 2011  •  3,760 views
 
lovehorse  
Great article!
  Jul 21, 2011  •  3,758 views
 
FreeRein  
Ur amazing at manips!!
  Jul 22, 2011  •  3,760 views
 
FreeRein  
I am going to try this!!!!
  Aug 14, 2011  •  3,761 views
 
lovehorse  
Excellent article and really helpful!
  Aug 15, 2011  •  3,760 views
 
Mystic56  
Very helpful article.
  23 days ago  •  3,800 views
 
Diddy  
LOVE this! You're amazing at manips!
  Feb 4, 2012  •  3,792 views
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