Saw a nice painting of shallow water which show the gravel under the crystal clear water, it give me an idea on how to paint clear water.
ArtworkThis is my test result and it look quite convincing. Continue reading for more info!
Gravel / River bedThe base layer are river bed which consist of stones and gravel. I color reference a photo I took and paint it with the distorted default round brush. Using different texture stone brush with help a lot.
If you find it too hard to paint gravel or river rock, you can use photo for it. Just make sure it is license under public domain. Here's a site you can download texture for free.
RippleThere are lots of way to paint water ripple, but I use the following method to quickly "generate" a water ripple.
- Filter > Render > Clouds To generate a black and white fractal image.
- Filter > Blur > Radial Blur or Filter > Distort > Twirl Convert the image into a ripple cirlce pattern.
- Image > Adjustment > Level (CTRL-L) Increase the contrast of the image.
Put the ripple image into another layer and set the layer blend mode to screen. In my case, I used this black and white image as a mask on a layer where I paint the color of the water.
ReflectionI believe this is the most important bit that make it look real. Just add another black and white image of plants and trees as a reflection for the water. Adding a bit of vertical motion blur to the tree images will help a lot.
GlowAdd another layer with screen or linear doge as blend mode, use a soft round edge to paint glowing area.
AnimationTo animate 2D water using AfterEffects. We can use Fractal Noise procedural texture and Displacement filter on the reflection layer.