Deke’s Techniques: Making a model emerge from water in Photoshop

Published by | Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

This week’s Deke’s Techniques tutorial demonstrates how to take an otherwise land-locked model and make her appear to emerge from water. The key to this deceptively simple technique is to create a properly aligned, reflected version of the model’s image, that is based on a common smart object so that any changes to the original are reflected in the duplicate.

After you flip the duplicate upside down, your first step is to create a soft transition between the two images. In this video, Deke shows you how to set up a gradient transition in the intersection between the rightside-up and upside-down versions, so that no seams are visible between the two. Once you reduce the opacity of the reflection and add a water layer (adjusted to taste with a color overlay), you’ll arrive at the refreshing effect on the left below.

Girl reflected in water in Photoshop.

To make the properly wavy reflection on the right above, members of can watch this week’s exclusive movie titled in which Deke shows you how to create a progressive ripple pattern that you can use for any Photoshop image.

See you back here next week when Deke will return with another versatile, reflective technique.


Interested in more?
• The entire Deke’s Techniques weekly series on
• Courses by Deke McClelland on
• All Photoshop courses on

Suggested courses to watch next:
• Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
• Photoshop Masking & Compositing: Fundamentals
 Photoshop CS6 Essential Training

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