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How To Create A Sinking Object In Adobe Photoshop

Hello, in this tutorial you will learn how to create an underwater scene in Adobe Photoshop. To be more exactly, you will create a sinking object(in our case, a word) plus a water splash and some air bubbles. Ok, let’s get creative.

Final image


First of all, start by making the background black (make sure it’s black otherwise the effect won’t work). I’ve searched on the for free water stock and the upper water splash (where the text in entering the water). Make your text 3D and save with a black background. You can do that in Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Illustrator (any version) or in Cinema 4D. Save the text and open it in Photoshop.


Open the water upper splash in Photoshop as you can see below. Now we are going to add the text so we can see how it looks like. Change the layer style of text to Screen and also the layer of upper splash to Screen.


Now we are going to add the splashes.  Now that we are done with the text splashes.

Play with some water bubbles and water splashes so your picture can fit with your taste.

Make sure your water splashes are on a black background and change the layer style to Screen.  Also feel free to duplicate each layer to make more visible the splash or you can play around with the opacity of each layer, it’s up to you.

Group the splashes layers into a group named SPLASHES and the text in another group named TEXT.


Duplicate the SPLASHES group and change the opacity of it to 7%.


Now we are going to add some textures to our text. Search for some dirty walls or for some rocks textures on Open them into Photoshop and place it above the text. Press CTRL+click on the thumbnail to make a selection around the text and press CTRL+SHIFT+I to invert the selection and press DELETE to erase to texture around the text. Play with the layer style of the texture layers to make it look nice. Group the texture layers and name it TEXTURE. Duplicate the TEXTURE group and change the opacity between 40%-50%.


Add a few more layers above the other groups with water splashes and change the layer style of them to Screen.


Add a new layer and make sure your Foreground Color is set to white and your Background Color set to black. Go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

Set this layer to Screen and start erasing the black parts of this layer that you don’t like.

Use different brushes sizes and opacities to accomplish that. Now duplicate the layer and place it in a different spot so you can cover the whole underwater part.


The photo is mainly done but we have to do one more thing, add color to the photo. Go to Image > Adjustments > Color Balance, make sure you check Preserve Luminosity and use the following settings:

Cyan & Red (-16)
Magenta & Green (-2)
Yellow & Blue (0)

Cyan & Red (-55)
Magenta & Green (-10)
Yellow & Blue (-1)

Cyan & Red (-9)
Magenta & Green (0)
Yellow & Blue (-1)


This is the final image of this tutorial, hope you liked it as much I did making it. Feel free to use your imagination to accomplish the final result, play with the settings and layer styles.

Tutorial by Tudoran Alexandru

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Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.