14. Abstract paint in tanks

Is this shot CGI? Is it actually in water? Is it even paint that’s used? The results from this simple technique can be incredible but how can you make a shot like this work? In this chapter Karl talks you through creating this shot from start to finish and explains how patience, practice and good lighting can be key to making these shots successful and really work.


  1. Hi Karl,

    Enjoying your videos so far. Just wanted to add a note and say if you want the perfect coloured cloud, use acrylic paint, thinned down with some water then injected into the tank.


    1. Thanks Ryan, also another great one is cows cream with printer ink mixed in. Cool it down in the fridge after mixing and then when ready pour it into water for gorgeous puffy clouds of colour.

  2. Hi Karl,

    Awesome shots as always, I particularly liked the Champagne bottle. I was thinking of getting a fish-tank, actually making one myself with some help , for various shots but after having seen your videos I had to reconsider the size of the fish-tank. What dimensions (approximately) is the one you are using? Would you say it is a good size or should i make a smaller/larger one?

  3. just overwhelmed by the preparation and the result. loving how you go through ALL the detail to get the shot; priceless education on patience and preparation. Thank you.

  4. hello sir
    i think its been a long time that you did this video and many more ways are there in industry to do this shot with more control over colour its request to please do this video again with new technique so that we could know how that cloud kind of look we could get with colour which people are doing nowdays.

    1. Hi Raman, this technique is still used another way for different results is to mix double cream with a small amount of printer ink and pour into the tank. Chill the cream first.

  5. Hi Karl, I joined your education course yesterday and loving it. I attempted a similar technique a few months ago using fresh cream and food colouring. It’s a lot thicker than milk and not as messy as paint.

    1. Hi David, that method also works well with printer inks (that you buy in bottles) and mix a little with the cream. Cool the cream in the fridge for better coagulation first. Cheers Karl.

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