Welcome to the first Photoshop tutorial of the new year!
I hope you’re well rested and ready to tackle the 5 new effects I’ll be showing you throughout this year.
First of which, will be this cool rain effect!
Now, obviously, this effect will look best on a photo that looks like it would have rain on it, like in the picture above. That said, you can use this effect on any picture, though it might not look as realistic over a sunny day.
This effect, like many of the others I’ve shown you, isn’t that complicated once you break it down, and, is actually pretty easy.
Let’s get into it!
To start, pick a picture you’d like to make it rain on. It can be any image you want, but, as said above, this effect will look better on certain images than others.
Once you have your picture picked out, create a New Layer (you can do this by using the New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel). Next, we’re going to fill the new layer with the colour black. You can do this one of two ways: you can either go up to Edit – Fill, and then select Black and click Okay, or, you can use your Paint Bucket and dump black onto the layer.
Either way, the layer should be completely black.
You can also rename the new layer to something you’ll remember what it is, like ‘Rain’ – naming your layers is always helpful when working, but especially important the more you start working on more complicated projects.
Once the layer is filled with black, go up to Filter – Noise – Add Noise. In the dialogue box that comes up, you can fill in the following values:
Amount of Percent: 25%
Distribution Mode: Gaussian
And, make sure the Monochromatic box is checked.
Once this is done, click Okay to add the Noise. At this point, the black layer should have white speckles all over it – like the ‘fuzz’ that used to show up on an old TV when you went to a channel you didn’t get.
Now that you’ve added noise, you’ll need to go back to Edit – Transform – Scale. Then, in the Width/Height values that appear in the top menu (on the same line used to change a Brush size/hardness), change the values to either 200/200 or 400/400, depending on the size of your document.
Alternatively, you can just click and drag the layer’s bottom corner to make it larger, in the exact same way you scale a picture to fit your document/work size. The layer doesn’t have to be specifically that big, just make sure it’s slightly bigger than your work area.
Once you resize, the Noise/dots should (slightly) resemble falling snow.
This is to ensure a more realistic look – because rain is coming down from the sky, if you take a picture when it’s raining, the drops won’t be perfectly lined up with the top/sides of your picture – the rain began way above the scope of your lens. This helps ensure there are ‘half’ raindrops.
Now we’ve got our rain the correct size, we’ll need to make our picture/image viewable through it!
To do this, go to the Layers panel, and click on the Blend Mode drop down menu, and select Screen. This should allow you to see your image through the Noise layer.
If this doesn’t work, make sure your Noise layer is on top of your image layer in the Layers panel. If it’s listed underneath your image, just drag it above, so it’s the first layer in the list.
Next, to make those dots look more like falling rain. To do this, go back up to Filter – Blur – Motion Blur.
The values you input here will depend upon the image you’re using, as well as what you want the final image to look like. If for example, you want it to look like it is heavily raining on your image, you’ll want to go with a more dramatic angle, and a larger distance.
On the other hand, if you want there to be light rain, you can go with a less dramatic angle, and a smaller distance, as I did in the image.
That said, I’ve noticed a Distance of 75 seems to be the lowest that works while still looking like ‘rain’. Go ahead and play around with both values until you’re happy with what it looks like, though.
Once you’re happy with what your rain looks like, click Okay.
If you really want an image to look stormy, I also recommend using this Noise/Motion Blur effect more than once, with varying Distance/Angle attributes, so it will give the impression of a much heavier rain fall.
And that’s it!
If you notice your image has become too bright after applying the Rain, you can go ahead and either try lowering the Rain layer’s Opacity, or, you can go to the Adjustments panel (should be sitting on top of the Layers panel), and click on the Brightness/Contrast option, and change those values until you’re happy with them.
Once you’re totally happy with what your rain looks like, don’t forget to Save both a PHSH file (.psd), and a JPEG, or PNG of your work! Saving a PHSH file will allow you to go back in and make changes if you ever need to, without having to start all over.
And, while this effect isn’t too time consuming, or hard, it still sucks to have to start from scratch when wanting to change a Photoshop project.
Go ahead and practice this effect until you become comfortable with it, because in April, I’ll be keeping with this rainy theme, and showing you how to make Puddles:
Like this tutorial? Check out the rest of the series here!