Magical Whale Wallpaper – Photoshop Tutorial

I will be showing you how to create this stunning wallpaper using two stock images, a set of free brushes and Photoshop’s own built in tools, filters and resources.

Magical Whale Wallpaper

Resources:

Speedboat image from stock.xchng

Whale image from stock.xchng

Sparklies Brushes from obsidiandawn.com


Step 1

Open the Speedboat image and the Whale image

Working on the Whale image

Image>Image Size – apply the following settings:

Image Size Settings

Step 2

Select the Rectangular Marquee tool and drag out a selection as shown below:

Rectangular Selection

Edit>Copy (Ctrl + C)

Make the Speedboat image active

Duplicate the background layer and rename the duplicate ‘water

Edit>Paste (Ctrl + V)

Step 3

Reduce the layer opacity of the whale’s tail to about 75% – so you can see through it

Ctrl + T to transform the object

You will need to rotate it slightly and move it to line up with the wake from the boat, then restore the layer opacity to 100%:

Place Whale

Rename the layer ‘whale

Step 4

Add a layer mask to the whale layer by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the layers palette.

Select the Brush tool and a soft, round brush, around size 65px, foreground colour black

Mask out the everything except the tail and the water falling off the tail. When you mask around the tail, you will have to change to a hard brush as the edge needs to be sharp.

It should end up looking like this:

Masked Whale

Step 5

Apply an adjustment layer to the whale layer as follows:

Hold down the Alt key and click on the adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette. Keep the mouse button held down and navigate to Solid Color.

Check the box for ‘Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask’:

Add Adjustment Layer

Set the colour to blue #0D348E, click OK

Set the layer mode to Overlay and reduce the opacity to 29%

Merge the whale layer and the adjustment layer together

Step 6

Make the water layer active

Select the Rectangular Marquee tool and drag out a rectangle of water as shown below:

Water Selection

Edit>Copy (Ctrl + C)

Edit>Paste (Ctrl + V)

Duplicate this new layer

Turn off the visibility of the top of these 2 layers and make the one below it active

Step 7

Select the Move tool and move the piece of water over the boat – make sure you leave plenty over the water area so you can blend the edges

Add a layer mask to this layer by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the layers palette

Set black as the foreground colour and select a soft, round brush, around size 65px and run the brush around the edges to blend the images together

Restore visibility to the other duplicate layer, move it to cover the remaining part of the boat and add a layer mask and blend as before

Merge these two layers with the water layer

Step 8

With the water layer active

Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast – apply the following settings:

Brightness/Contrast

Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation – apply the following settings:

Hue/Saturation

Step 9

Create a new layer above all other layers

Filter>Render>Clouds

Filter>Render>Fibers – apply the following settings:

Fibers Settings

Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur – apply the following settings:

Gaussian Blur Settings

Set the layer mode to Overlay

Step 10

Apply a layer mask to this layer by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the layers palette

Set black as the foreground colour

Mask out all areas of the image except the wake from the boat and the water falling from the tail

TIP: To ensure you have not missed any bits that should be masked, double click on the layer in the layers palette to bring up the blending options and apply a Stroke – the red on the image will show anything that shouldn’t be there. When you have cleaned it all up, right click on the layer in the layers palette and click Clear Layer Style.

Reduce the layer opacity to 44%

Step 11

Create a new layer

Select the Gradient Fill tool and Spectrum gradient from the default gradient set

Set to Linear gradient

Drag the cursor from the bottom left corner to the top right corner

Set the layer mode to Soft Light

Add a layer mask as previously

Ctrl + Click on the layer mask of the previous layer to select the unmasked area

Select>Inverse

Make sure the layer mask on the gradient layer is active and that black is the foreground colour

Edit>Fill>Foreground Color – click OK

Optional Step

Create a new layer

Select the Brush tool and Sparklies brushes

Set the foreground colour to white

Select any of the brushes and add some sparkles to the water – use different brushes at different sizes

Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur – set to a radius of 0.5px

Reduce the layer opacity to around 85%

The finished project:

Magical Whale Wallpaper

Carol

I love using and learning Photoshop, and I also enjoy creating resources to share with the world. I am at my happiest when I have free time to further explore all that Photoshop has to offer and learn more about its powerful built-in tools. I hope people enjoy either using or learning from my free resources, and welcome any hints and tips - and of course, if you would like to offer a free resource on this site, please don't hesitate to contact me (top right of the page).

1 Comment

Finjabunjes

about 5 years ago

wow was für ein tolles Tutorial.

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