In this video I’ll show you how to create a road swimmer on concrete. You can use any Photoshop version to create this effect. We will use blend modes to create the ripples and simple low opacity brush masking.
Creating a Road Swimmer in Photoshop
I saw this effect on Instagram in a number of occasions and it’s not difficult to create as long as you have the right stock images. For this tutorial I used free images from unsplash.com but you can use your own photos if you want.
The key to creating an asphalt swimmer in Photoshop are blend modes. Using the correct ones will help you to create realistic ripples on the concrete or the surface you’re working with. For this particular effect I used the Overlay Blend. I created a copy of the girl inside the water first
The reason why I did it is that when I turned the photo of the girl to Black and White, it is close to neutral gray which combined with the Overlay Blend mode turns it almost invisible and only the ripples will remain.
I left the other copy of the girl on normal and masked the water. Select the girl using the Quick Selection Tool (Q) and create a layer mask hiding the water. Then you can mask the hair and reveal parts around it using a soft brush and low Opacity. About 50 for Opacity and 20 for Flow.
With a few adjustment layers, you can integrate your road swimmer a bit better on the background. In this case, I used a Brightness/Contrast Adjustment as a clipping mask to add more contrast. Also, with a few global adjustments, you can create a better looking final image. Check the video for more information.