Create an unreal underwater scene in Photoshop

In this tutorial I`ll show you how to create an unreal underwater scene using Photoshop.

Along the way,we`ll use some brush sets,blending techniques,layer masks,filters and some elements like fishes or birds.

Have a look!

This is how the final image looks:

Materials needed:

Underwater image

VW beetle



Underwater vegetation brush

Bubbles brush



Sea star

Step 1:Loading the background

Open Photoshop and load the underwater image.

Step 2:Make the image more colourful

Duplicate the image layer 2 times and set the blending mode for the first duplicated layer to Soft light and for the second to Overlay.

Select the last layer and go to Filter->Blur->Radial blur and apply the next settings:


Now we have a nice image more colored and with a motion effect.

Step 3:Insert the car image

Load the image into Photoshop and with the Pen Tool(P) make the selection of the car like in the picture:


Cut the selection and paste it into the main project.

For the car layer,create a Layer mask(Layer->Layer Mask->Reveal All) and with a soft brush erase a little bit the bottom of the wheels to create a sink in the sand effect.


Step 4:Adding a shine effect

Go to Layer->Layer Style->Blending Options and give the car an Outer glow effect with the settings:

The image should look like this:

Step 5:Adding underwater plants

Download the Underwater plants brushes from the top list and start creating vegetation along the image margins.


Step 6:Adding fishes

Download the psd fishes and move them into the main image resizing them to have small and real fishes.


Step 7:Placing the fishes

Place the fishes to create the impression that they`re hiding into the plants.

Step 8:Creating the parrot path

Download the parrot image and using the Pen Tool(P) create the path of the bird.


Step 9:Inserting the parrot into the main image

With the selection of the parrot made,cut it and paste it into the main project.

Place the layer under the plants layer and if you didn`t make the parrot path perfect,create a layer mask and delete the white areas around the bird.

Step 9:Delete the stick on which parrot stays

Using the Clone Stamp tool(S) try to make the stick disappear.Then with the Erase Tool(E) delete the plants from the bird`s claws to create the effect of sitting on the plants.

Step 10:Adding the Sea star

Download the Sea star image and with the Pen Tool(P) Create the path of the image.


Step 11:Warping the star

Paste the image into the main project,resize it and go to Edit->Transform->Warp and warp the star to make it as it floats on the water.

Step 12:Adding an outer glow effect

Double click on the sea star layer and apply a glow effect to make it more lighter.The main image looks now almost as an underwater scene.

Step 13:Adding the balloons

Download the balloons image and with the Pen Tool(P) make a selection around them.

Add them to the main image and place them in the right of the rear mirror.

Duplicate the balloons layer and change the Hue/Saturation to create different colored balloons.Rotate them and place them like in the image:

Add an outer glow effect for the balloons to make them shine.

Step 14:Bubbles

With the bubbles brushes just downloaded from the beginning of the tutorial,create some bubbles of different sizes.

Step 15:The butterfly

Download the butterfly image,make the selection using the Pen Tool(P) and add it into the big bubble.

Then add an Outer glow and inner glow effect to make it shine.

The image looks quite finished but I`ll add a gradient over the entire image to make it more colored.I`ll use a blue gradient to create an underwater effect.

Step 16:The Gradient

Go to Layer->New Fill layer->Gradient and apply the next settings:


Set the blending mode for the gradient layer to Overlay and Fill it up only with 40-50% of the color.


Final Result

Hope you learned some new techniques and had fun doing it.Enjoy it and see you next time.

You can view the final image below.


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Madalin Tudose

A web developer with a crush on SEO. Having my skin in the game of website development and digital marketing for more than 10 years already, you might consider me an expert. At least this is what people call me. Honestly, I HATE that term. I prefer to describe myself as a person who takes action and risks. I test every hypothesis, document every step of the process, and implement what works.

Join the discussion

  1. munish on May 11, 2009 at 4:37 am

    nice tutorials keep it up …..

  2. shiv on May 11, 2009 at 8:40 am

    it really imaging

  3. TILMIDBERKANE on May 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    I LIKE IT.

  4. TILMIDBERKANE on May 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    nice tutoriel

  5. TJ on June 8, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Thank you for making Photoshop use realistic, I struggle to become familiar with actions

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