Photoshop - Blending Horse Hooves in Water - Part 3
 By T W I   •   30th Aug 2011   •   5,776 views   •   6 comments
Horse GraphicsOnce the horse is positioned and blended into the water, it’s ready for the splashes. Only make splashes if the horse is running or trotting in a way that would kick up water. If the horse is standing in turbulent water, I like to just add some foam around the hooves instead of water actually breaking the surface. This tutorial will cover how to do both.

Note: Please don’t confuse foam with ripples. Ripples are added when the water’s surface is calm and the horse is in a stationary position.

Look for splash stock where the background consists completely of water. If it’s a splash in front of a rock, you’ll have to cut the whole splash out which will give you unrealistic, choppy results. A good alternative is a splash is where there is a clear contrast between the water and the background. If the splash is a blueish-white color and the background is a pale blue sky with white clouds, you’ll have a terrible time attempting to cut it out. But if the splash is light color and the background is dark colored, it will require no cutting, as you will see in a later step.

If you can’t find the splash you’re looking for, instead of throwing up your hands in frustration, why not try your own stock photography? Head to the nearest body of water with a camera and some stones to make sploosh and you should be set!

If you are using a splash with only water in the background, there’s no need to cutout the splash individually. Erase the unwanted water around the splash then use a fuzzy eraser to soften the edges of the whole thing, blending it in nicely with the rest of the water.

If the splash has a contrasting background, you won’t need to touch it with an eraser. Just change the blending mode to lighten. This will take care of all the cutting, leaving you with a perfect splash.

If the splash is a different shade from the original water, just press 'CTRL' + 'L' to bring up the levels box. Move the little sliders around until you find a contrast that you like. And that's all you have to do to make a splash!

Making foam
If the water is turbulent enough that ripples would look out of place, but not flowing fast enough to cause actual splashes on the standing horse, foam is the way to go! (See sample manip)

Find a stock piece with some white water, basically just big splashes that are breaking the surface. If possible, you can even take the splashes straight from the background you are using in your manip to save yourself the extra credits.

Take the circular marquee tool and make a selection, right in the middle of the white water. Copy and paste it, making a new layer. Move to it your desired location, ideally right around the horse’s hooves. Take a fuzzy eraser and erase the edges, blending them into the rest of the water.

If you like the way it looks, you can leave it at that. Usually though, the opacity needs to be pulled down to around 60%. Blending modes are also helpful, my favorite being “soft light” and “screen”.

Horse Graphics
Great Article really helpful!
  Aug 30, 2011  •  4,316 views
All That Jazz  
Woah, cool graphic :o
  Aug 30, 2011  •  4,322 views
RoyalCrownEstates  MOD 
Thanks for the totrial !
  Aug 30, 2011  •  4,343 views
Im loving the graphic!!
  Aug 31, 2011  •  4,344 views
Awesome graphic! What's it called
  Aug 31, 2011  •  4,357 views
WOW thanks for the help!!! Love the graphic but I just hate the thought of fire burning somthing. LOL well its great! :D
  Sep 1, 2011  •  4,330 views
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