Sanjeev Kumar Blog on Web Design and Technologies
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Let's start from the beginning. Create new document (I used 960x1280px) and fill it with #909090. Now using Blending option apply Gradient Overlay for Layer 1. Reveal effects for this layer, click right mouse button on Gradient Overlay and select Create Layer. Now holding Alt key click between Layer 1 and Layer 1's Gradient Fill (cursor will change to padlock). Move Layer 1 on top, change blending mode for this layer to Overlay, lower Opacity to 75%, use Filter > Noise > Add Noise (Amount about 5,5) and then Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen twice. Change Layer 1's Gradient Fill name to "background gradient", and Layer 1 to "background shrapen", and place them in one group called "background".
Now let's find a model which will wear our Water Dress. I found one on sxc.hu, You may see her here. Separate her from image using any method You want (I used Pent Tool (P) for contours, and Filter > Extract (Alt+Ctrl+X) for hairs) and place her on our document (Image bellow Is resized and I don't recommend to use it for further work - it's only example how it should to look). You may name this layer "Lady".
Tip: It's a good practice to create new layer over our "Lady" layer and with Sample All Layers setting checked paint on this new layer. This will save our oryginal image. I made this way, and named this layer "Lady panties mask".
Now let's find a material for Water Dress. As You may think - we need a water splash photo. I found one on sxc.hu and You can get it from here. We only need a top part of this image (which by the way looks like a dress). Using Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) cut this part, and using Free Transform (Ctrl+T) place it like on image bellow. You may name layer with this splash as "dress" and place it in "water dress" group.
Tip: It doesn't have to fit perfect, we will match this later.
Grab Magic Wand Tool (W), set Tolerance to 5 and delete blue background (select areas and hit Delete). After this there will be some blue dots, which You can erase using Eraser Tool (E).
Tip: If You use different splash image, You may have to use higher/lower Tolerance (depends on image) or even different selection method. Use Ctrl+Z as many times as You have to untill You will be satisfied.
Change "dress" layer Blending Mode to Luminosity. Now use Filter > Liquify (Shift+Ctrl+X) to make this splash to look more natural as a dress. You have to use Forward Wrap Tool (W) to do this.
Duplicate "dress" layer, set Blending Mode to Overlay and lower Opacity to 40%. Make sure, that You have "dress" layer active, and click on "Lady" layer holding Alt key to make a selection. Now using Burn Tool (O) paint on her legs behind water untill You will get nice effect. After You finish, You may deselect.
Tip: Try to experiment with Burn Tool (O) brush size and Exposure setting. If You are using different splash/lady images You may experiment with Opacity for "dress copy" layer too.
It's almost finish. Select Sharpen Tool (R) and using different brush sizes paint on "dress" layer. After few clicks You will understand Why - water will start to look more ... sharpen.
Tip: Try to experiment with Sharpen Tool (R) brush size and Exposure setting. Don't paint over whole dress, just pick some places. Sharpening water drops will be nice idea too.
I have to say, that figuring how Gisele Bundchen Dons Water Dress was made was verry productive for me. I've learned some new things. When I started I even haven't got an idea how to do this. After 5 hours everything became simple. Ofcourse Gisele dress was made from thousands of great quality water images. Im my case, I had to use free stock photos. If You can get good quality water images You can make better dress than I've done (by the way - I wish You do something better).