Ok, lets do this. First of all, you can do this with every Photoshop version. I'm 100% sure every CS version will work, i don't know anything about Photoshop 8 and below.
For this tutorial, you require at least a bit knowledge about Photoshop. I will try to be as detailed as possible, but this is no beginner Project, so you either already worked with Photoshop or at least know how to work with it.
Here you have three versions I made. The last one is the one made in the tutorial. It may be not the best but it serves the purpose.
What you will need
- Photoshop (any version)
- a mouse
- a little bit of knowledge
- patience - always take your time, redo steps 40000 times.
We will need a reference first, in order to know how to make our Dolphin. Go google some Dolphin. i found mine:
Lets get started:
1. Start with a black background.
2.Create New Layer. Go to Filters -> Render -> Lighting Effects. First copy my Settings, then play around with the Size of the Spot and all the other stuff. EXPERIMENT!
3.Insert your Dolphin reference into your Photoshop document, ROUGHLY remove all the edges and unnecessary picture data.
4. CTRL+T (Transform) your Fish into the right position, warp it, mirror it, you get the idea. Again, play around.
5. Create a new Layer. Prepare your Brush. Pick White Foreground color. Set the Brush size to about 3 px and the Hardness TO THE MAX. After that, pick the Pen tool, and set the settings like i did.
6. Most important part. Pick the Pen tool, start by creating a curved line around the body of the Dolphin. But do so in small steps. As you can see in the Picture, I only do one side at a time. After you're happy with your Curve, press right click -> Stroke Path. MAKE SURE SIMULATE PRESSURE IS SELECTED! :D And don't forget to choose the Brush tool. Voila! Your first Brush stroke has been created. Press Enter to remove the Path. Draw a new one. Repeat Step.
7. Do this several time. After you got the outside parts, do some strokes inside of the Dolphin. Remember to get some Variety going! Change the Brush size for awesome randomness and make it look even realisticarellierer.
8. When you're happy with the result and think theres enough of the pathing, remove or set the reference to 0% Opacity.
9. Duplicate the layer with the Strokes. Select one of 'em, go to Filters - > Blur -> Gaussy the sexy Blurrer.
Choose a setting you like, or pick mine.
10. Next important part. Create a new Layer. Pick the Polygonal Lasso tool. Try to select a curve right inside your white brush path, then just make a rough selection of the rest. Doesn't have to be perfect in any kind of way, as we are going to blur the shit out of it.
11. Pick the Gradient Tool. Pick white foreground color. Pick the second preset, or do it manually. Try to get a Gradient that goes from White to transparent.
12. Play around with the gradient tool until it looks like this. Looks stupid, but if you press CTRL + D and pick the Eraser tool and remove all the edgy, unnecessary parts, it should look better.
13. Happy? Good. Not happy? Do it again. Play around with the transparency of the layer. Smudge it. Blur it. Do whatever you want. Just give it more volume and dynamicicicity.
14. Next important step. Add da Bubblez. Select your Brush tool. Try to find the preset Manager, there should be an icon to click in the right upper corner of your photoshop window.
There, set following things:
- Brush Tip Shape:
Pick a normal round Brush.
Diameter: 4px, 1px, 3 px, whatever
Hardness: 0% . 50% 100%, chose your own. I picked 0%
Spacing: Try to get enough space. Not too much. I picked about 80 - 120 %.
- Shape Dynamics:
Look at the picture.
Count: 1 or 2
Count Jitter: 100%
- Other Dynamics
Opacity Jitter: 100%
Flow Jitter: 100%
15. New Layer. Randomly spread your bubbles until you like it.
16. New Layer. Select the whole dolphin with the polygonal lasso Tool. Do it rough, try to stay in the white lines. Then, hold CTRL + SHIFT and LEFT CLICK on the Layer which contains the white stroke paths of the Dolphin. You won't see much difference, but it'll make the selection nicer. Color in the new selection with a white Color. In the Layer Settings, set it to OVERLAY.
16. Adjust Color Hue, Saturation, add details, experiment with the layers, make it look more fancy and eye - Cancery. Enjoy.