Create a Waterfall Between Two Rock Faces Composite in Photoshop

Rating: 5.00 based on 2 Ratings
  By Julian
Create a Waterfall Between Two Rock Faces Composite in Photoshop

Hi and welcome to another amazing Photoshop Tutorial were I’m going to be creating a masterpiece of Photography out of a few different images.

What I want to do today is add a waterfall to an image that doesn’t have one and recreate a cool image I had a glance at on Instagram.

I’ll also be adding a few other effects as I go along and as I see fit.

This is a creating process people so let you creative selves lose and let’s see what we end up with.

First things first I’m going to take a look at Pixabay (a Free Stock Image Site) for an image that I like and feel it will take the waterfall well.

So take a few minutes to find something you like.

This is the image I choose below.

Ok, so my thoughts here is I might if I can get away with it add a waterfall to either side, um let’s see if it is plausible!

First thing I do is to create another layer, I do this by going to Layer – Duplicate Layer.

This is so I will have a back up in case I mess up.

Always a good practice to have.

Ok, so my next step now is I’m going to have to find suitable waterfalls.

So when I looked I found one that I thought would look great going in the middle of these two rock faces.

My mission now is I’m going to use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to select a wide area then I’m going to copy and paste it into my main Image.

I’m going to try to blend this in first so what I’m going to do is Drop the opacity on my layer in the layers panel, you will find this on the right-hand side because you have just pasted it in you will see the layer highlighted with a thumbnail of the newly cropped image.

You may also need to use Free Transform which you can activate by keying in Ctrl + T

This tool will let you click and drag the ends of the copied image.

When you hold shift it will constrain it so it will scale down, a good idea before you do this though is to right click on the layer so that a panel appears, look in there and you will see convert to smart object, click that so when you scale your image it will never lose definition.

Awesome, my waterfall fitted pretty good!

Now I’m going to create a mask to start to blend it in.

I do this by first returning the opacity to 100% and then going to Layer-Layer Mask – Reveal All

Then I use the Brush Tool with a soft Brush (You can find this by right-clicking on screen to activate the Brush Options, it’s the first on that list)

On the left-hand side at the bottom you will see two colour boxes, double-clicking on these will activate the colour options, the little circular arrow beside them will help you switch between white and black when activated and any other colour that’s being used, for now, we are just using Black and White, you can activate this by clicking on the little boxes icon beside the circular arrows.

Now on the layer panel you will see a little white box beside your thumbnail of the picture, click that to activate the mask, then you can paint black on your image to hide the parts on the layer you paint on and white to unhide them.

You will have to take a little bit of time with this, I use the – and + keys on the keyboards to zoom in and out and when you hold the space bar you will be able to move around by clicking and dragging your image on the screen using your mouse cursor.

A few things I did here: I dropped the opacity of my Brush back and forth from 80% to 100% as I seen fit if I wasn’t a softer blend.

I also in some parts followed the angles of the rock.

I’ve created the Waterfall and it looks pretty good but I think there is still a lot that we can do with this, the first being is I think I should add some sort of shadow behind the water to give it some sort of depth and to ground it a little bit better.

The way I’m going to do this is first to click on the middle layer which will be your background copy.

Then go to Layer-New – Layer.

Now select your Polygonal Lasso Tool.

Now I’m going to create a selection all the way around my Waterfall on the layer below.

What I’m trying to do here is to follow the shape of the rocks, and create a shadow that would be realistic looking and interesting at the same time.

I took a little bit of time to do this and while doing this I would go back by keying in on my keyboard Delete to redo areas I wasn’t happy with.

Then when I was happy I joined the points and created my selection.

When this had been sorted I then choose my Brush Tool with Black on it and painted all over my selection do the inside of it was completely Black.

Now we’re going to use Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur to soften the edges.

For this I had to go to the extreme of 25 Pixels on my Radius, depending on your image you may have to go either further or less, just try to determine for yourself what looks good and go with that.

As long as those edges are soft you’ll be looking good.

Now I’m going to drop the opacity of the layer down to about 50% give or take so the dark isn’t as harsh and so that you can see through it and see the rocks.

Then I’ll use the eraser tool to tidy up around the top where there would be more light and less shadow in reality.

For this, you don’t have to use any sort of mask or anything like that because you can easily paint back in with a Black Paint Brush.

It’s all guesswork and what looks good to your eye so no big deal really.

Now I’m thinking I’d like to add a little bit of motion to my water, not around the top but I would like to add some sort of motion to the bottom half and give my overall image a bit of extra life.

ok so what I have to do is to create a duplicate of my top layer, this is good because it takes the mask with it.

Once I have my duplicate I then go to Filter – Blur – Motion Blur

I set my Distance to 100 Pixels, but again this is subjective so whatever looks good for you and makes you happy.

I’ll set my angle to 90 Degrees so it’s exactly vertical.

Now I’m going to paint over my mask just as I did before.

I’ll drop the opacity of my Brush as well to around 50% and just work on removing the top part of my image in such a way that it blends in nicely.

Once this is done I’m going to create a new layer, and using the exact same Brush settings I’m going to paint white everywhere I think water spray would be.

Then just as we did before I’m going to add a Gaussian Blur to it and drop the layers opacity to 50%

Cool, now let’s add some Curves Adjustments to our image.

Go to Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Curves

Ok where you see Presets in the panel that has just appeared, below that click the drop-down box where it says RGB

This will activate the channels, now what you have to do it go through each one Red, Green and Blue and click and drag that line to roughly where I have them in the images below.




And there we have it, complete, hopefully, you will have a nice looking transitioned waterfall.


Rating: 5.00 based on 2 Ratings
The following two tabs change content below.


Graduated from college in 2002 with a degree in Art & Design, I started exploring my way in Graphic Design and Professional Post Production. Full-time freelancer since 2011.

Comments (0)

There are no comments yet.

Sign me up for a weekly summary of the best articles published on the blog

Your email is safe with us. Pinky swear