How To Make Pool Water In Photoshop? [Expert Review!]

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There are lots of Photoshop articles online, tutorials, and blogs about the program, but few of them cover an often requested feature – how to make pool water. So let’s dive into it. We’ll use the Sun tool to cast light onto the surface of the water, and the Misty Water effect for the pool’s reflection on the surface.

Step 1: Download the Water Tool

If you’re reading this, then you probably know how valuable the water tool is in Photoshop. The developers at Adobe made this tool primarily for use in shots where you want to add a little bit of water flavor. The trouble is, the tool is so useful that you’ll probably end up using it for everything. Fortunately, there is a way to limit the damage. You can download the Water Tool from the Adobe Labs website. This tool is not free, but the cost is offset by the quality of the effects it produces – perfectly placed ripples, realistic and shiny surface details, and more.

Step 2: Switch to the Greed Tool

The default Photoshop setting for the sun’s angle is 45 degrees. If you happen to be in a country with a warm climate, then setting the angle to 0 degrees will make the sun appear smaller and more prominent.

You can also drag the top layer to the left or right to move the horizon. Just remember that the more you zoom in, the more you’ll notice aliasing on the image. This is especially noticeable in the corners of the image, where you can see the pixels.

Step 3: Create the Sky Background

One of the most difficult parts of this tutorial is creating the perfect sky for our pool. We’re using the Hazy Sky filter with a Brightness of 100% and a Clarity of 20% for the perfect hazy blue sky. It should be noted that this is a very bright sky – about as bright as the sun at its peak. Any changes you make to the brightness or clarity of the sky will result in a darker or lighter version of the pool’s water. This is especially important if you plan on using a lighter color for your pool’s water, as you won’t be able to see the results of your changes clearly in the small pool. For the best results, use large images so you can test out the changes as you go along.

Step 4: Place the Sun and Sky

After creating the perfect sky behind the pool, it’s time to add the sun. The best place for it is behind the horizon line, as the rays of the sun will then be cast onto the pool’s surface. To get the exact position of the sun, you can either use Geometry (straight edges), or you can use the Pen Tool to draw a box around the part of the sky that you want to illuminate. The size of the box should be a little larger than the horizon line. The rest of the sky should remain untouched.

Step 5: Create the Reflection

Last but not least, we have the reflection. There are many ways to achieve a shiny, perfect pool surface, but the easiest and the most popular way is to use the Reflection effect. This effect makes it easy to add a subtle reflection to the surface of the water. The best thing about this effect is that it doesn’t require any additional software or plugins. Just load up the Water Tool and click on the Reflection icon to apply it to your pool water.

There, now you have a nice, clean pool. The end. Right? Wrong. There are a few steps missing here that would help this tutorial make it perfect. Let’s take a look.

Adding Flair

To start with, let’s add a little bit more flair to the scene by using a brighter color for our pool’s water. Most pools are yellow or blue, but there are many other colors that look perfect if you know how to use them correctly. We’re going to use the Hue tool to add more yellow to our pool. Just like with the brightness and clarity of the sky, the hue of the water can be adjusted to get the desired effect. In our case, we’re going to make the water appear more like a reflective surface by increasing the Saturation and Value. To add more value to our pool’s water, all we have to do is click on the color wheel icon located next to the Hue tool. Doing this adds more yellow and orange tones to our water, giving it more life and warmth. Don’t worry, we didn’t go the same direction as the sun – we didn’t make our pool appear more yellow, but it did get brighter. This is a direct result of adding more saturation and value to our orange-yielding water.

Also, don’t forget to add more foliage around your pool to give it that extra natural looking pool vibe. Just remember to stay away from trees that are too close to the pool itself. They may end up shading out the light that is bouncing off the water, creating an artificial look to your pool.

Adding Texture

Now that our pool scene looks complete, it’s time to add some texture. There are many ways to do this, but one of the most effective and popular methods is to use textures on our water’s surface. To add some realism, we’re going to use the built-in Grass texture that comes with Photoshop. Just remember that this texture is going to make your water look like it has more depth – it does. For added effect, you can use the Displacement Map for the pool’s surface.

Finishing Touches

Last but not least, we have a few finishing touches to make our image perfect. Adding a few more drops of water on the surface of the pool will help it look more like a realistic scene and will give the illusion of depth. Just make sure that the additional fluid is not too close the camera’s vicinity or else it will get pixelated when rendered. Also, it’s a good idea to add a few more leaves to give it that extra naturalistic look. Adding a few sun rays coming from the top of the image is also a great way to tie the whole scene together. Just make sure that these rays are not too much in the foreground – you don’t want to cover up the reflection on the surface of the water completely. To add another layer of realism to the image, you could also add a few fish or plants around the pool. If you’re feeling particularly creative, you could even add a few more pools or a water feature.

That’s it! We now have a fully functioning pool that doesn’t look like it was just made on a computer. Now, if we were to make this tutorial video into a movie, we’d have to use some shortcuts to achieve that perfect film look. First, instead of using several different textures for our pool’s surface, we could use a seamless texture instead. Doing this will help eliminate those visible seams that appear when different textures are overlaid. Another thing we could do is add a few more layers to the image to give it more depth. You can also use various filters to add more flair to the scene, like the Solarization or the Sepia Toning filter. These filters will add more color to our scene, making it appear more realistic.

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