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Blood Water in Photoshop

Posted on 25th October 2018
For this tutorial, we will use the image of a person inside a tub or any body of water to apply this effect to. (It’s better is the water is transparent or as clear as possible).

1 - In Photoshop, open the image you chose to work with and create a “Duplicate” (Command/Control + J).

2 - Right-click on top of the duplicate and choose “Convert to Smart Object”. If you want to adjust your image, go Image > Adjustments > Brightness & Contrast… and change the values (we used -15 for “Brightness” and 50 for “Contrast”).

3 - Next, go to Select > Color Range… use “Skin Tones” and check the “Detect Faces” box, then adjust the “Fuzziness” value until the white areas in your “Preview” image are as defined as possible, then click “OK”.

4 - Make sure that your “Smart Object” is selected and add a “Layer Mask” by clicking on the “Add Layer Mask” button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel”. Use the “Brush Tool” (B) with a medium brush, make sure you are working on the “Layer Mask” and use white as “Foreground” color to bring back the areas of the subject that where erased and shouldn’t be.

5 - You can temporarily “Turn Off and On” the Background Layer to have a better view using the small eye icon on the left side of the Thumbnail. You can also, “Option/Alt-click” on the mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to view only the Mask.

6 - Click on the little arrow on the Top-Right of the “Foreground” and “Background” color swatches to change the top one to Black and fill in the “Grey” areas that should be completely erased. Go back and ford from the different vies until you are satisfied with your outline. Your edges don’t need to be smooth for now and you need to leave a visible portion of the surrounding water (about 5 mm).

7 - Double-click on the “Layer Mask” to enter editing mode, choose a “View” mode that lets you see the mask properly and play around with the settings until your Edges are smooth and closer to the person’s body. Choose “Output to Layer Mask” and click “OK” once you are satisfied. You can tweak the “Feather” a bit further in the “Properties Panel”.

8 - Click on the small black and white circle at the bottom to add a “New Color Adjustment Layer” fill it with a dark red (we used #8b0505) and change the “Blending Mode” of the layer to “Linear Burn”. Move your “Smart Object” on top of the “Color Fill” Layer.

9 - Double-click on your “Smart Object’s” Mask again and finish up refining the edges to make them look more natural. Check if there are spots that need to be erased (or filled with red) and use the “Brush Tool” (B) with a medium and soft brush (60 px, 0% “Hardness” and 40% “Opacity) to do so. In our image, the edges of the Bathtub are covered with red and we need to fix this. Let’s Turn On the visibility of the “Background” layer (if it was Off).

10 - Duplicate the “Color Fill Layer” (Command/Control + J) and change the “Blending Mode” of the duplicate to “Vivid Light”. Select the “Layer Mask” of the “Girl” Layer (the top-most one) and using the “Brush Tool” (B) with a large and soft brush (99 px, 0% “Hardness” and 100% “Opacity) and White as “Foreground” color, erase the Bathtub sides to bring them out. Duplicate the “Girl Layer” (Command/Control + J) and change the “Blending Mode” of the duplicate to “Soft Light”.

11 - Head to the “Adjustments Panel” and create a “New Vibrance Adjustment Layer” on top of everything. Lower the “Vibrance” to -20 and give the “Saturation” a value of 10.

12 - Back to the “Adjustments Panel” and this time create a “New Color Lookup Adjustment Layer” on top of everything. Choose “HorrorBlue.3dl” as “3DLUT File” and lower the “Opacity” of the Layer to 90%.

13 - Your image should be similar to this.

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