Tag Archives: PHSH

Tear Drops (PHSH Effect #28)

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Technically, this Photoshop effect isn’t strictly for making tear drops, you can use it to create any other clear liquid drops – sweat, condensation, big rain drops, etc. But since I first learned this technique because I needed to make a tear drop – for the creation of my 6th book cover, Broken – that’s the name I’m sticking with.

Like most of the other effects I show you, there’s multiple ways you can create tear drops in Photoshop, and again, like most of the other effects, it’s not nearly as hard as it may seem.

Step 1

As always, you’ll need to start with an image you’d like to add the effect on. Since I’m going to be showing you this for a tear drop – and since I already had the picture on hand – I’m going to be using the same sad girl face I used on my book cover.

Feel free to use the picture above, or you can choose your own sad person, or water bottle, or forehead if you’re going to be creating sweat or condensation. Though I will say, it might be easier to follow along with the tutorial in the same way first. Just so that you have the steps down before you start deviating from the tutorial. I’ll add example pictures of condensation and sweat at the end of the tutorial, so you can see what it looks like on those images, too.

Okay, so once you have the picture you want to add the effect to, we’re going to make a New Layer, and then on that New Layer, use the Pen Tool to draw a shape. Preferably, a tear/water drop shape. (Or as close as you can get) If you’d like, you can also rename this layer to something simple yet identifying, like Pen Tear Drop.

If you’ve never used the Pen Tool before, the way to use it is by clicking multiple times, which are called Anchor Points, to create the shape you want. It’s similar to the Polygonal Lasso Tool (which I showed you in this tutorial), except the line doesn’t hold until you create the next Anchor Point.

Each one of those squares are the Anchor Points where I clicked. If you don’t use multiple Anchor Points to create your shape, you won’t end up with a shape, but you’ll instead just have a dot. Or if you click once to ‘start’ the tool and once to ‘stop’, you’ll get a line.

For example:

So you’ll want to make sure to use the Anchor Points to create the shape, otherwise the Pen Tool won’t appear to work. If you need to, you can also zoom in on your picture to make creating the shape easier. To zoom in, use the CTRL and + buttons on your keyboard. (Zooming out is CTRL – , makes sense, right? Clicking ‘+’ brings you more/closer and ‘-’ minuses/moves you farther away)

 

Step 2

Once you have a shape you’re happy with, you’re going to right-click on the shape and then select Make Selection from the drop-down Menu that appears.

In the Make Selection Dialogue box that appears, you shouldn’t need to change anything from the default, but this might depend on your version of Photoshop, so I’ll list what the values should be below. Once you finish changing them, or if you didn’t need to change them at all, just click the Okay button.

Feather Radius: 0 pixels

Anti-Aliased Check Box should be Check-marked

New Selection for Operation (in my version of PHSH, the other options are greyed out)

After you click the Okay button, you should notice that the shape you drew is now now shows the dotted selection lines, instead of the Anchor Point square dots.

Once you finish that, you’ll want to Fill the shape with white. To do this, you can use the CTRL + Delete buttons on your keyboard, or if you switch from the Pen Tool to the Selection tool and then right-click on the shape, select Fill from the drop-down menu, and then pick White from those options.

If you noticed my Layers panel has an extra layer, this is because I created 2 tear drop shapes. The first one I forgot to fill with white, and then wondered why Step 3 wasn’t working. I had to go back and re-draw the tear, so it will be a different shape for the rest of the tutorial. Also see? Even us pros mess up!

Once your shape is filler with White, you can now Deselect it (right-click using the Pen or Selection tool and choose Deselect) to get rid of the dotted outline. After this, go on over to the Layers Panel and change the Fill to 0%. You can either do this by sliding the slider all the way to the left, or simply type the number 0 into the box.

 

Step 3

Next, you’re going to right-click on the Tear Drop layer and bring up the Blending Options Dialogue Box. From there, you’re going to check-mark the Bevel and Emboss option, and then change the following values:

Bevel and Emboss:

Inner Bevel

Smooth

Depth: 530

Direction: Up

Size: 50

Soften: 0

Angle: -90,

Altitude: 0

Highlight Mode: Screen (White)

Opacity: 50%

Shadow Mode: Multiply

Opacity: 75%

After you change the Bevel and Emboss values, you’ll also want to add an Inner Shadow, with the following values:

Inner Shadow:

Linear Burn (Leave Black)

Opacity: 30%

Angle: -63 (Uncheck Global Light)

Distance: 4

Choke: 0

Size: 16

And finally, a Drop Shadow, with the following values:

Drop Shadow:

Multiply (Leave Black)

Opacity: 55%

Angle: 127

Distance: 7

Spread: 0

Size: 8

At this stage, your tear should actually look like a tear. If however, you’re in the same boat as I am and it’s not looking even remotely close, don’t panic!

I discovered through creating yet another tear (yes, I ended up making 3 for this tutorial) that you need to do the steps not only in order, but without breaking between them, especially between making the selection, filling with white and first applying the Bevel and Emboss effect.

I have no idea why, but for some reason, the Bevel and Emboss effect just won’t look the same if you take breaks between those steps. I know it makes no sense, but sometimes Photoshop is just… let’s say finicky.

My 2nd tear drop ended up looking badly because to make these tutorials, I’m writing the steps while I’m also doing the effect in Photoshop. This is not only in case I need to make any tweaks to the steps I already have written, but also so I can get the screenshots used in the tutorial.

Unfortunately this breaking up of the steps seems to make the Bevel and Emboss effect act weird, so I had to make another tear and do the first steps up to the Bevel and Emboss values a second time.

I’ll admit it you can’t tell that the shape looks better in that picture, but you can clearly see the difference between the third tear and the second one at the same stage.

After seeing the Bevel and Emboss wasn’t acting wonky, I went ahead and applied the Inner Shadow and Drop Shadow.

I noticed however that while this third tear was looking closer, it still wasn’t quite as accurate as I thought I could make it, so I also changed the values for the effects to the following:

Bevel and Emboss:

Style: Inner Bevel

Technique: Smooth

Direction: Down

Depth: 530

Size: 10

Soften: 0

Angle: -124 (Uncheck Use Global Light box)

Altitude: 0

Highlight Mode: Screen (White)

Opactiy: 68%

Shadow Mode: Mulitple (Dark Grey #373737)

Opacity: 75%

 

Inner Shadow:

Blend Mode: Linear Burn (Lighter Grey #525252)

Opacity: 30%

Angle: -145 (Make sure Use Global Light is un-checked)

Distance: 4

Choke: 0

Size: 8

 

Drop Shadow:

Blend Mode: Multiple (Dark Grey #1e1e1e)

Opacity: 55%

Angle: 127

Distance: 4

Spread: 0

Size: 3

If your tear isn’t looking quite like a tear, try these second set of values to see if that helps. A lot of the time in Photoshop, trial and error is the only way to get an effect to look right. This is because of a lot of different factors, but the main one will be the image you’re applying the affect to. If you’re not using the same picture I am the colours, lighting, shadows, etc. are all going to be different, so the values you choose to create your effect will vary.

This is why I always recommend playing around with values, to see if you can find different ones than what I use to get the effect to work on your image.

 

Step 4

Yes, there’s still another step to the tear process! However, these last two steps are completely optional. This step, which involves warping your tear shape to make it look more realistic really only needs to happen if you didn’t draw the shape exactly how you wanted it to look the first time around.

If you’re already happy with the shape of your tear, feel free to skip ahead to Step 5!

If you’d like to try changing the shape of your tear, follow along. This is called Warping, which I may have talked about before, but off the top of my head I don’t remember, so I’ll just explain it again.

To Warp your shape, right-click on the shape and then select Warp from the drop-down menu that appears. If the first time you right-click the only options that come up say the current layer name (in my case, Tear 3) and Layer 1, you’ll first need to click on one of the squares that’s outlining the shape. (The ones you’d use if we were going to resize it)

After clicking the resize square, then right-clicking should bring up the drop-down with the Warp option.

You should notice after selecting Warp that a box/grid shows up over your tear, with little circles at certain points around it. These circles are the points you’ll use to warp the image.

I’d suggest starting out small, because over-warping could ruin all your hard work. Try at first if you can, to just slightly warp the tear so it looks like it’s moving over the bottom of the eyelid. This should mean slightly adding a curve to the top part of the tear.

Once you’re happy with your warped tear, click Apply in the dialogue box, or the Enter button on your keyboard to keep the changes.

 

Step 5

The final step (aside from saving) is to add a highlight to your tear. This is also an optional step, since the Bevel and Emboss effect should’ve added at least a slight highlight to your tear. But if you want to add another one, here’s how:

You’re going to make a New Layer and can rename it something identifiable (I called mine Highlight). Then, use your Pen Tool to draw another shape. This one should be smaller than your tear, and a skinny, almost banana shape. Once you’re happy with the shape, the process is the same: Right-click to Make Selection and then CTRL + Delete to make it white.

After this, you can change it’s Opacity so it’s not as stark white, or rotate it if you didn’t draw it exactly the same bend as the tear.

Once you’re done fiddling with the highlight, or if you didn’t think you needed one, go ahead and zoom out and take a look at your masterpiece!

If you’re happy with how it looks zoomed out, the only step left to do is save your file! Don’t forget to save both a .psd (Photoshop) file and a picture (.jpeg, .png, etc.) file so that you have a work file, just in case you need to come back to it. (Or to remember how you created the effect)


Like this tutorial? Check out the rest of the series here!

Sunsets (PHSH Effect #27)

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I was going to say I chose to do a sunset so we could get over our winter blues, but we actually had a pretty mild winter where I am, so not too sure how well that works. Whether or not you also had a mild winter, learning to make a sunset effect in Photoshop can still be fun!

This tutorial is one of the simpler ones, so you’ll have plenty of time to practice, and might pick it up faster than some of the others!

For this tutorial, it’s going to really help you out if you choose an image that’s almost a sunset, anyway. I initially tried this effect myself (as well as some Youtube tutorials) using a picture that had high-noon sun lighting and it just did not work. At all. I’ll show you that disaster at the end of the tutorial, so you can see.

Now normally, I’d consider using a picture that’s already close to what you want to achieve as ‘cheating’ – if you were going to just use the pre-made picture as-is, you might as well go all the way and just find a full sunset picture – but seeing the difference between the high-noon picture and the one I ended up using was so drastic, I’m giving it a pass. (Also because I couldn’t figure out how to make it work on the high-noon picture)

This is the picture I ended up using:

Step 1

After re-sizing your picture to fit your new work document, you’ll want to make a Gradient Layer.

You’re going to have to create your own sunset colour gradient for your image. The specific colours you use will heavily depend on the colours your image already has. If you don’t pick colours that are already somewhat close, it won’t tint the image correctly and will end up looking very fake.

You’ll want to use 4 sunset colours, and then the last colour you’ll need to make light grey.

For my image, these are the colours I used:

1st: Pale Yellow: Colour Code #fffac4

2nd Brighter Yellow: Colour Code #fcf38d

3rd Pale Orange: Colour Code #ffbb5b

4th Brighter Orange: Colour Code #ff8b2e

If you plan on using this effect often, feel free to Save this Gradient by giving it a name and then pressing the New button to add it to your Gradient Presets.

Once you have the correct colours, you’ll want to click on the colour bar to make one of those pointer things show up on the top of the bar, and then change it’s Opacity to 75%. Or, you can just drag the pointer that’s already at the top on the left side (over the pale yellow) over until it’s over the Pale Orange and change that ones Opacity.

You’ll also want to change the Opacity of the pointer that’s over the Grey to about 30%.

Once you’ve changed those Opactities, click the Okay button.

Then once you’re back in the Gradient Fill dialogue box, change the Style to Radial, change the Angle to 130 and change the Scale to between 120-135, depending on what works best with your image. (Mine was 135)

 

Step 2

Now we’re going to change the Brightness of the picture. To do this, go back to the Create New Fill/Adjustment Layer at the bottom of the Layers Panel and select Brightness/Contrast from the menu.

In the Panel that pops up, you’ll either want to slide the Brightness slider down or just replace the value by typing in -26.

After you successfully lower the Brightness, just click on the double arrows at the top right-hand side of the panel to close it.

 

Step 3

Now we’re going to add a filtered look to the whole picture. To do this, we’re going to add 2 Solid Colour Layers.

To make the 1st Colour Layer, go back down to the Create New Fill/Adjustment Layer at the bottom of the Layers Panel and click on Solid Colour.

The first colour we’re going to pick is going to be a darker colour. For my image, I had to choose a shade of Brown (#644503), however in one of the tutorials I saw on Youtube, the person made this colour a pinky Red. This will depend entirely on the image you chose.

If you find it easier, feel free to use the colours I’m using in this tutorial, and then once you’ve gone through all the steps, go back and see if changing the colours will make the image look better/more realistic.

The next colour layer we’re going to add is going to be a bright colour. For my image, I found a bright Orange (#ff7200) worked well. The Youtube tutorial person made this colour a pale yellow.

 

Step 4

Now that we’ve got both the colour layers, it’s time to incorporate them into the image!

Still being on your bright colour layer, change the Opacity to 35% and change the Blend Mode to Soft Light.

Next, go back to your darker colour (Brown) layer and change it’s Opacity to 27%, and then change this one’s Blend Mode to Vivid Light.

 

Step 5

At this point, you should see your image looking sunset-y. If you don’t and you’ve been following the tutorial colours, don’t worry. You might just have to change the colours to suite your own image.

For this step, we’re going to go back to the Gradient layer, and change it’s Blend Mode to Hard Light.

It doesn’t look like my image colour changed because I already had the Gradient layer’s Blend Mode to Hard Light. If it was on Normal (like yours should be), this should be what it looks like:

 

Step 6

Can you believe we’re already at the last step? Yep, it’s true!

The last thing you need to do is drag your darker colour (Brown) layer so it’s sitting underneath the Gradient layer.

To do this, just click on the layer in the Layer’s Menu and then drag it until it’s under the Gradient layer. Once it’s in the right place, take your finger off the mouse button.

Once you’ve got the darker colour under the Gradient, all you need to do is save because this effect is now done! Don’t forget to save both a PHSH file (.psd) and a picture file (.png, .jpeg, etc.), this way you can go back if you need to adjust something and/or to just play around with colours or layers later.

Also, as promised, here are my failed attempts at creating a sunset on a picture with high-noon lighting.

First, the original picture:

And now the first failed attempt. This attempt was the one I did by following a Youtube tutorial.

And this is the failed attempt from after I changed colours to see if that would help.

The 2nd attempt was closer, but no matter how I tweaked the colours – whether making them more red, more orange or more yellow – I just couldn’t make it work with the lighting. No matter what I did, it just kept looking fake/edited. I also had to add the sun to the image, and I feel like that also contributed to the failure of it.

So yeah, in case you didn’t know: just because I make these tutorials doesn’t mean I don’t also still fail at making effects! This is why I always try to remind you guys not to feel bad or get down on yourselves if you try an effect and it doesn’t work. There are many factors that go into making an effect work – the picture you choose, your version of Photoshop, and sometimes I swear just if you’re having a lucky day.

Keep practicing and fiddling around and you should get it eventually!

Also I don’t remember if I’ve ever said, but if you guys ever have questions about any of the effects I share, please feel free to reach out and ask! The whole reason I started this tutorial series was to help people (mainly indie authors) and it wouldn’t be very helpful if you found the tutorial confusing, or come away with more questions than answers.


Like this tutorial? Check out the rest of the series here!

Scars (PHSH Effect #26)

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Important: This is the 4th last article for 2023. I’ll be taking the last half of December and first half of January off from posting.

I’ll be back January 12th, 2024 with the first short story of the new year! (The first article will go up January 15th)


This month, I’ll be showing you guys how to add a scar to a picture. That’s right, I’m bringing you yet another ‘creepy’ tutorial to perfect just in time for Halloween!

As with most other tutorials, this one may seem complicated at first, but once we break it down, it’s actually not too hard to execute. And, like all the other tutorials: it’s fun!

Let’s get started.

Step 1

As always, Step 0 is to open a new PHSH document and to pick a base picture. Because this is a… let’s call it ‘dark’ tutorial, a picture that matches will make the effect look better. Look for something where a person is screaming, in some kind of pain or otherwise terrified.

I for example, found this one.

Feel free to use this same image, or one you find yourself. The steps should be the same, with maybe just a slight tweak of colours depending on the base picture. But don’t worry, we’ll get to that.

Once you find a picture you like, you’ll need to decide where you want the scar to be. On my picture, I’m going to put it on the left side of her forehead. After you decide on the placement, we’ll be drawing the scar.

To do this, first you’ll need to set the Foreground Colour to a faded red. #984A48 will work for the tutorial.

 

Step 2

Once the Foreground Colour is set, create a New Layer, then go over to your Brush Tool. With the Brush Tool selected, go up to the Brush Settings at the top and change Mode to Dissolve.

You’ll also want to change Flow to 50% and leave Opacity at 100%.

Once you’ve changed the Flow, you’ll want to also change the Size of your brush. The size of the brush will be the width of your scar, so make sure you choose one that isn’t too thick or too thin. 6 Pixels should work for today. But once you have the technique down, you can always experiment with different sized brushes to see how the different sized wounds look.

You can leave the Hardness of the brush at 100%. (Or, if it’s not currently set at 100, change it to that)

Now that we’ve got the brush set up, it’s time to make the cut!

Draw a line where you want the scar to appear on your model. Don’t forget that human faces (or bodies) aren’t completely flat, so your scar shape should reflect that.

For example, if you’re drawing the scar on the person’s cheek, the line should follow the curve of the cheek bone.

If you don’t like how your mark comes out, erase it and try again until you’re happy with it. This is why we’re drawing on the New Layer we made and not directly on the model picture.

You can also zoom in on your picture (using the CTRL and + buttons) if needed to help you get the shape you want. (To zoom back out, it’s CTRL – )

 

Step 3

Next, we’re going to draw over the mark again, but with an altered Brush. This time, change your Brush Mode back to Normal, double the brush Size (if you used 6px, make it 12px) make the Opacity 50% and change the Flow to 100%.

You also do not need to trace over the previous line perfectly! Having it a little skewed will help with the end effect. Scars are never perfect, right?

 

Step 4

In the Layer’s Menu, right-click on the scar layer and open Blending Options. Once opened, check-mark Bevel & Emboss to apply the style to the layer.

Once you apply the effect, click on it to open the options. We’ll be changing them to make the scar more life-like.

You’ll also want to apply the Contour and Texture boxes by check-marking the boxes next to them.

Now we’re going to start changing the Bevel & Emboss options. To start, change:

– Style to Inner Bevel

– Technique to Smooth

– Depth to about 285%

– Size to 5px

And Soften to 0px

 

After making these changes, your scar should look like a welt with a nasty line in the middle.

You can also change the Direction and Angle if needed, though 120 should work for a face. You’ll want to change these values depending on the lighting the picture you chose has.

Once you’re happy with how the scar looks, click “Ok” to apply the changes.

 

Step 5

Next we’re going to use the Smudge tool to get rid of any pixelated edges on our darker line.

Set the Strength to 50% and smudge the edges very lightly. We need just enough smudging to get rid of the pixelation. If you smudge it too much, the mark will end up looking more like a smear than a scar.

If needed, you can zoom in closer to help you complete this step.

 

Step 6

After you’re done smudging, make a duplicate of the model layer. The easiest way to do this is to hold down the ALT button on your keyboard while clicking and dragging the model layer in the Layer’s Panel.

If you were zoomed in on the scar to smudge, you can also go ahead and zoom back out now.

Once you’ve made the duplicate, you’re going to Merge the scar layer with it. To do this select both layers (hold down CTRL and then click on each layer) then right-click and select Merge Layers from the drop-down menu.

The option Merge Layers shouldn’t be greyed out if you have both selected. My option is greyed out because my computer is dumb sometimes and won’t show a click drop-down menu when I want it to. The picture above is my options while only having 1 layer selected.

 

Step 7

Now that the layers are merged, go to the Layers Panel and change the Opacity for the layer. You’ll want something fairly sheer so the scar looks faded. Something around 10% should work. For my picture, I made the Opacity 18%.

If you want the scar to look more pronounced, change the opacity to something higher.

Here’s how my scar looked when I changed the Opacity to 30%.

And this is what it looked like at 60%.

As you can see, the higher the Opacity is, the more pronounced the red is but that’s the reason it will start to look fake if it’s too bright.

If you think the dark line in the center of the scar still looks too pixelated, you can go ahead and use the Blur tool on it to smooth it out. Just like with the Smudge tool, you’ll want to do this carefully.

Though it is Halloween, so if you wanted to, you could throw subtly out the window and go in the complete opposite direction.

It all depends on the look you’re trying to achieve.

That’s it for this tutorial! Don’t forget to save your file both as a PHSH file so you can continue to practice and as a picture (JPEG, PNG, etc.) so you can share it with your friends and family.


Like this tutorial? Check out the rest of the series here!

Cracked Skin (PHSH Effect #25)

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Since it’s summer, I thought I’d stay on theme and show you how to make a cracked skin effect.

Not only is this effect relatively easy (and fun) but it can also serve as a good reminder to wear sunscreen and lotion!

Step 1

As always, you’ll want to make sure you’re starting in a New Document. You’ll also want to use a picture of a person for this tutorial as well as a cracked texture of the ground. If you missed the first tutorial in this series, you should be able to find either of these pictures on a royalty free image website such as pixabay.com. You’ll need to make sure you’re using royalty free images if you plan on using them for your book’s cover or promotional posters.

If however you’re here just for fun or practice, you can use a search engine to find the pictures you need.

For the cracked ground picture, you’ll want to use one that has no obstructions, many cracks, and is more or less level.

For the person picture, you can use any picture you’d like, as long as there is a clear spot of skin somewhere. I haven’t tried this effect on clothing, but I’d imagine it would still work. Any picture with a clear spot of skin will do.

To keep things simple, these are the pictures I’ll be using.

Once you choose what pictures you’d like to work on and have them in your work document, go ahead and Duplicate the person layer. If needed, you can also rename the layers to keep things straight. I renamed the original person picture “Woman”, the cracked texture “Cracks” and the duplicate layer “Duplicate”.

 

 

Step 2

Now that you have yourself all set up, change the Cracks layer Opacity to about 50% or lower. You’ll want to be able to see the face underneath, but you’ll also want to be able to see the cracks. If needed, you can also Hide the original person layer by clicking the eye next to it’s thumbnail in the Layers panel and/or rearrange the layers so the Cracks one is on the top.

Once you’ve changed the layers Opacity, go ahead and align it over your person picture if you haven’t already done that. If needed, you can also rotate and/or resize the picture. The goal here is to get the best looking cracks over the person’s face.

Make sure you don’t resize the cracked texture picture too much, you’ll want to keep it slightly bigger than your person for the following steps. Don’t forget you can always erase what you don’t need at the end.

 

Step 3

Next, using the Polygon Lasso Tool, select the parts of the cracked photo that are NOT over the face (the ones you don’t need) and then Delete them.

You can Delete your selections by hitting the Delete button on your keyboard.

You’ll also want to make sure you leave some of the texture over the hair and neck (for example) because we’ll need a bit of wiggle room to work with in the next few steps.

 

Step 4

Once you’ve removed most of the unneeded parts of the Cracked picture, right-click on it, and select Warp from the drop-down menu.

Next, Warp the Cracked layer to fit the face on the below layer. Do this part as slowly as you need to, doing a little at a time. If you warp the cracked texture too much, you may end up doing so to the point it doesn’t look good.

Once you’re happy with the amount of warping, click Enter to apply the changes.

 

Step 5

Bring the Opacity of the Cracked layer back up to 100% and change it’s Blending Mode to Multiply.

 

Step 6

Next, you’re going to create a New Adjustment Layer by going to the Adjustments box that’s on top of the Layers panel, and clicking on the Levels button.

In the Properties panel that pops up, check mark the square at the bottom (next to the eye) this will Clip to Layer. (Meaning the effects will only affect the Cracks layer, instead of the whole project)

After that’s checked, drag the Midtones arrow toward the left. You’ll want to drag it until the Cracks are roughly the same shade as the skin of your person. For me, this was about 2.24.

You’ll also want to drag the Highlights arrow to the left to even out the lighting. Again, this will depend on the picture you’re using, but for me, it was 158.

Once you’re happy with the adjustment, go ahead and close the Property panel. Do this by clicking on the double arrow at the top right corner of the box.

 

Step 7

Next, we’re going to create a Layer Mask for the Cracks layer. To do this, head to the bottom of the Layers Panel, and click the Layer Mask button.

Once you have a Layer Mask, make sure your Foreground colour is set to Black, then use your Brush tool to mask the areas of the Cracks picture you don’t want. You’ll want to make sure the Brush Opacity is at 100% and the Hardness is semi-hard. (Anything over 50% Hardness would work)

You can also use this method to get rid of extra cracks that are on the persons face. (If you feel there are too many)

Alternatively, you could just use the Eraser tool for this, but you’d have to be more careful when erasing the cracks over the face.

 

Step 8

After you finish that, we’re going to add another New Adjustment Layer. This time, it’ll be a Hue/Saturation layer.

Just as before, make sure the box on the bottom of the Properties panel is selected so the Hue/Saturation layer is Clipped to the Cracks layer.

You’ll want to change the Saturation to something low (mine looked best at -66) so the Cracks layer is almost indistinguishable from the skin colour of the person on the other layer.

 

Step 9

The next step is to Merge our layers. To do this, hold down Control on your keyboard and click on: the Duplicate, Cracks, Levels and Hue/Saturation layers, then right-click and select Merge Layers from the drop down menu.

After you’ve Merged these layers, you may want to change the Layer name again so you know what it is. I went with Cracked Person, to differentiate it from the original person picture that’s still in the file. However, the name can be anything you want.

And after you’ve done that, you’re done!

You may be wondering: why did I ask you to duplicate the person picture if we didn’t end up using the original?

That’s a good question!

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it in past tutorials, but duplicating your “base” image is a great hack when you’re learning new PHSH skills. In case you mess up, you can just delete the duplicated (messed up) layer, and start over with the original. Keeping it in the work file allows you to keep working without having to stop what you’re doing to go digging through your cache of pictures to find it again.

Don’t forget to save a PHSH file (.psd) of your work, as well as a .jpeg/.png. That way, if you want to go back and edit or change anything (or remember what you did) you can use the PHSH file to help jog your memory.

I hope you had fun with this tutorial. The next one isn’t coming until October, so you’ll have plenty of time to practice!


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Puddles Way 2 (PHSH Effect #24)

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As I said in the first puddle tutorial, I found different ways to make puddles using Photoshop. Today, I’ll be showing you the 2nd way I discovered to make them.

Similar to snowflakes, not every puddle is created the same. This means that you’ll need to use different techniques to get different types of puddles. This technique will show you how to make puddles that work better in a post-rain image. (Apposed to the first way, which works great for active-raining puddles)

Luckily though, none of the techniques are hard to accomplish. As long as you follow the steps carefully, you’ll soon be a master puddle maker!

 

Step 1

For this technique, we’re going to need to start with a picture. You’ll want to use a picture that has a clear foreground object – whether it be a person, building, car, etc. – and you’ll also want to make sure it has a clear view of the ground.

I’ll be using this picture, but as always, feel free to use any royalty free image you have. (As long as it fits the parameters)

After you’ve chosen your picture, you’ll want to go ahead and pull it onto your new work document. Make sure the blank page as space underneath the picture. (We’ll be adding the puddles to this part)

 

Step 2

Now that you have the picture and document set up, you’re going to use your Polygon Lasso tool and select part of the image. This will be the part used as the puddle’s reflection. Since my image doesn’t have too much going on in it, I just decided to make my selection a rectangle.

And since the selected line is hard to see, I’ve outlined my selection for you using red.

Don’t forget to bring your line all the way back to the first point you created. This will ‘close’ off the selection for you. If needed, you can also use a Guide Line to help you.

If you have trouble using the Polygon Lasso tool, don’t have one in your version of Photoshop, or if your image is nice and simple (like mine), you can go ahead and just use the Rectangle Marquee Tool, instead.

 

Step 3

After making your selection, you’ll need to right-click then select Layer Via Copy from the drop-down menu.

Once you’ve made the selection it’s own separate layer, go to the Layer’s Panel (on the right-hand side) and right-click on the selection layer and select Convert to Smart Object.

 

Step 4

Next, using your Transform tool, you’ll want to right-click on the selection again, and this time, you’re going to select Flip Vertical. Do not press Okay after you’ve done this!

Once it’s flipped upside down, you’re going to Skew the layer to make it align under the picture better. If you’re using an image like I am, where you’re not making the reflection in sections, you can just go ahead and Skew the reflection to one side of the document.

Skewing the reflection off to one side will make it appear like it’s spread across the invisible ground of the image, instead of like you Photoshop-ed it in.

 

Step 5

Now that the reflection has been flipped and skewed, you can go ahead and lower it to it’s position under the image.

If you need to reflect multiple parts of your image, you’ll want to do that now. Once you’ve done that, you can Merge all the reflection layers into one layer by selecting them all from the Layers panel (hold down CTRL while clicking on them) then right-click and select Merge Layers from the drop down menu that appears.

Once all your reflections are on one single layer, you’re going to right-click it from the Layers panel again, and select Convert to Smart Object.

 

Step 6

Now we’re going to start the process of making the puddle look realistic. To do this, we’re going to add an Inverted Layer Mask by clicking the button in the Layers Panel.

After you click the button, your reflection layer might disappear – this is okay! It’s not actually gone, as you’ll see in the Layers Panel, we just can no longer see it. But don’t worry, because the next step will show you how to get it back.

 

Step 7

Now we’re going to use the Brush tool. Make sure you’re using a large brush size, and it’s soft. To do this, go up to the top menu that shows you the Brush options, click on it, and then drag the Size arrow to the right-side of the screen, and the Hardness arrow closer to the left-side of the screen.

You’ll also want to change the Brush’s Opacity to 50. (You can also do this in the top Brush options menu)

Now that we’ve got our Brush set up, comes the fun part. Brush over the part of the image you want the reflection to appear over.

It was at this point that I realized the image I chose wasn’t the best option to use for the purposes of this tutorial.

However, instead of starting completely over with a brand new image, I decided to keep this mistake in the tutorial to show you guys that sometimes mistakes happen.

And when they do, you just say “oh, crap” have a little chuckle, make a mental note to not do it again, and then fix it.

In this case, ‘fixing’ my mistake just meant I had to do Steps 1-7 on a new, more appropriate image.

So that’s exactly what I did. And I think you’ll agree, this one came out a lot better.

For reference, this was the original picture.

 

Step 8

Now that we’ve gotten an appropriate picture, let’s continue, shall we?

By this stage, depending on the lighting in your image, the reflections should be looking more or less closer to a mirrored reflection than a puddle.

If you chose an already dark image like my bench picture, you can go ahead and skip this step.

If you didn’t, you’ll want to head to the Adjustments panel and use the Levels Adjuster to darken the reflection.

The actual level you’ll want to adjust will be the Middle Input Slider. To make it darker, you’ll want to go ahead and slide it to your right. You’ll also want to make sure you’re only darkening the one reflections layer and not the entire image.

 

Step 9

If your reflection still seems too opaque, you can go ahead and change it’s Opacity in the Layers Panel. Again, this will depend on the lighting of the image you’re using. Use your best judgment for how low to go. Stop at whatever value makes it look closest to a real reflection.

 

Step 10

The final step to make these reflections look real is to make them blurry. There’s actually three different ways to do this. Which way you’ll want to do will depend on the image you’re using, your comfort level with playing with the different settings, and whichever way you find easiest.

The first way, is to go up to the Filters menu and add a Gaussian Blur.

The second way is by going to the Properties Panel and adjusting the Feather setting.

And the last way, is to just use your Blur tool on the reflections layer.

I personally used all three to see which one gave me the effect I wanted, but ultimately I decided on using the Blur Tool technique.

Feel free to play around with all three to see the different effects they have on your image.

Once you find a method you’re happy with, and the reflection is blurred to your desire, go ahead and save that puppy, because you’re done!

If you made a mistake, or the reflection didn’t come out quite how you thought it would, don’t worry. Just keep practising and you’ll eventually get the hang of it.


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How to Make Water (PHSH Effect #23)

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In this month’s tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make water.

From scratch.

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It may seem impossible, but don’t worry – I’m not talking miracles. This tutorial is a little harder than some of the previous ones, but as long as you follow through the steps (and practice) you shouldn’t have any problems creating water from nothing.

No resurrections required.

Step 1

Create a blank PHSH work document. Yep, we’re not going to be using a picture for this one!

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Step 2

Create a New Layer, then call the layer Water Surface.

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Make sure your Foreground Colour is white, and the Background Colour is black. Also make sure your new layer is white, and not transparent. If the layer is automatically transparent upon creation, don’t worry! You can use the Paint Bucket and dump the white foreground colour onto the layer.

 

Step 3

Next, right-click on the layer and Convert to Smart Object.

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You’ll know the Layer is a Smart Object when this symbol appears in the corner.

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Once the layer’s a Smart Object, go up to the top menu and go to Filter – Blur, then choose Gaussian Blur. The Radius size should be 5.0.

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Step 4

Next, go back up to Filter and this time, click on Sketch, then choose Chalk and Charcoal from the list. If you don’t see Sketch in the drop-down menu (like mine), click on Filter Gallery, then Sketch.

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On the right-hand side, the values for the Chalk & Charcoal effect should be as follows:

Charcoal Area: 6

Chalk Area: 6

Stroke Pressure: 1

Once the values are correct, click the Okay button to apply the effect.

After applying Chalk & Charcoal, you’re going to add a 2nd Gaussian Blur, and make this one’s Radius 7.4.

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Step 5

Now that we’ve got the base done, we can start to make this actually look like water!

To begin the waterfication process, we’re going to add some ripples. To this, go back to the Filter Gallery, Sketch menu and this time, we’re going to use Bas Relief.

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For the Bas Relief, make sure the values are as follows:

Detail: 2

Smoothness: 2

Light: Bottom

Once you’ve added the ripples, we’re going to go back up to Filter – Blur and add a Motion Blur.

For the Motion Blur, the values it should be:

Angle: 0

Distance: 118

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We’re also going to add one more Gaussian Blur, with the same value as before (7.4).

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Step 6

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Hopefully by now you’re starting see the water take shape. Which is good, because the next step is to turn it water colour!

To do this, we’re going to add a Gradient Map. You can do this one of two ways.

The first way is to create a New Fill Layer by using the option at the bottom of the Layers panel.

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Once the Gradient Map Properties panel opens, double click on the Gradient to bring up the Gradient Editor. From here, you’re going to change the white and black colours to the following two blues.

Light: #5394b9

Dark: #18548b

To change the colours to the above, click on the little arrow (called a Colour Stop), then double click on the colour in the below Stops menu. This will bring up the Colour Picker, and allow you to input one of the two blue colours.

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AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - How to Make Water PHSH Effect #23 - Step 6 3 - phsh, photoshop, photoshop tutorials, indie author, books, writing tips, authors, Canadian authors, author tips, book covers, book cover helpDouble click Colour Stop to bring up Colour Picker

Once you’re in the Colour Picker you can copy/paste the above numbers into the # bar to get the correct colours. Then click Okay to make the colour change take affect.

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Copy/paste the # values into the box in the Colour Picker

Make sure to this for both colours. Once done, you can click Okay in the Gradient Editor for the change to take affect or you can save this Gradient into your presets by giving it a name.

This will allow you to easily add this gradient to future projects without having to add the colours manually.

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If the darker blue is at the top of the gradient instead of the bottom, you can either manually change the colours again so the dark blue is the first Colour Stop on the gradient or, you can check the little Reverse button in the Gradient Map Properties panel.

Whether or not the dark blue is on the top will depend on what you’re adding this Water effect to. The lighter shade of blue is to represent the direction the light is coming from.

 

Step 7

This is looking pretty good, and again, depending on the picture you’re using this water could be done. But, if you’d like to make it look a bit more realistic, we can add some ‘sun’ highlights.

To do this, you’ll need to create a New Layer and call it Water Texture. Just like with the Water Surface layer, you’ll be filling this layer with white, then converting to a Smart Object.

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Step 8

We’re going to add some Noise to the Water Texture layer now, so go on up to Filter – Noise – Add Noise. Make sure the values for Add Noise are 73.02% and Uniform.

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Next, we’re heading back to the Filter Gallery for more Sketch fun! This time, we’re going to select Halftone Pattern from the Sketch menu. The values for Halftone Pattern should be:

Size: 1

Contrast: 50

Pattern Type: Dot

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Step 9

Now we’ve got that done, we’re going to actually create the highlights.

To do this, go back up to Filter Gallery – Sketch – Bas Relief. For this Bas Relief, the values should be the same as before (2, 2, Bottom).

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Once you’ve applied the Bas Relief, we’re going to add another Motion Blur. Adding this will soften the highlights/reflection.

Again, for this Motion Blur, the values can remain the same (Angle: 0, Distance 118).

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Step 10

If you’d like to make the ripples in the water longer, you can do that by applying yet another Gaussain Blur. Then, set the Blend Mode to Soft Light.

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Once you change the Blend Mode to Soft Light, your water should look like this:

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Step 11

Now, we’re going to add a Brightness/Contrast layer to just the Water Texture layer by using a Clipping Mask.

To do this, right-click on the Water Texture layer, then choose Create Clipping Mask.

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For the Clipping Mask, the Brightness should be set at 9, and the Contrast should be 100. If the panel doesn’t come up automatically, go up to the Adjustments panel (it should be sitting on top of the Layers panel) then click on the sun icon.

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Step 12

Lastly, we’re going to add a Gradient Fill to give this water fake depth by adding a yellow tint. To add a Gradient Fill, go to the Solid Fill at the bottom of the Layers panel, then click on Gradient.

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For the Gradient Fill, you should use the following:

Light Yellow: # fbf4cd

Dark: #070605

Style: Linear

Angle: 90

Scale: 100

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Once all these values are correct, you’re also going to change the Blend Mode to Soft Light, then set the Opacity to 50%.

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You’ll also want to make sure this Gradient Fill is on top of all the other layers.

And there you have it!

A not-so-simple, but not-as-complicated-as-you-thought way to create water from scratch in Photoshop!

Don’t forget to save the project both as a PHSH file and flatten the layers before saving as a PNG/JPEG.

This one will definitely take some practice to perfect, but it’s a lot of fun to play around with! You can try changing the Opacity of the Water Texture layer for less intense looking ripples, or even play around with the colours.

Who says water has to blue, anyway?


Like this tutorial? Check out the rest of my series here!

Pointy Teeth (PHSH Effect #22)

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Now you can transform yourself into a vampire – just in time for Halloween! 🧛‍♂️

Step 1

Find yourself a picture that has a nice, clear view of the teeth. I was lucky enough to find one that already has a few pointed teeth on it.

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This is the picture I’ll be using. I’d like to note, your picture doesn’t have to already have pointed teeth, just a clear view of teeth, as this will make it a lot easier to attach the points will be making.

Once you have your picture, go ahead and open PHSH, and start a new project. Then, bring your picture onto it.

 

Step 2

Now that you’re ready to start, make a New Layer, and call it whatever you want. For the purposes of the tutorial, I’ll call this layer Tooth Outline.

On the new layer you just created, use your Brush Tool, and make an outline of what you want the pointed tooth to look like. Do this in a colour that is as close to the tooth colour as you can.

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To get the colour of the tooth, you can click on Colour Swatches in the left-hand side Tool Panel, then when the Colour Picker pops up, click on the part of the tooth you want to use the colour from.

 

Step 3

Once you’re happy with your outline, use the Pen Tool, and trace around the entirety of the tooth. Make sure you get both the pointed part you drew, and the tooth that was already there.

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After making the outline, go to the Paths section (one of the tabs in the Layers Panel), and turn it into a Selection by pressing CTRL while you click on the Work Path layer. You’ll know you’ve successfully Selected the outline when the line turns to a dotted, flashing line.

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Step 4

Now that you have the outline selected, make another New Layer. This layer, we’re going to fill in the rest of the tooth’s colour, so you may want to rename it to something appropriate, like Tooth Colour.

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Renaming your layers isn’t necessary – the effect will still turn out if you don’t name them – but I find it’s easier to keep track of which layer is which when you rename them. If that’s not your thing though, you can go ahead and disregard the renaming part of the steps.

 

Step 5

Once you have the entire tooth filled in, and it matches the colours of the tooth that’s already there, you can go ahead and Deselect the outline. (To do this, you can go to the Rectangular Marquee Tool (the tool directly under the Mouse in the left-hand Tools Panel), and right-click on the selection, then pick Deselect from the drop-down menu that appears.

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After you’ve deselected the outline, make another new layer. This layer is going to be the highlight for the tooth. Go back to your Brush tool, and use a very light white colour, then use that colour and paint a highlight down one side of the tooth.

You may have to change the size of the brush, so the highlight doesn’t look too out-of-place.

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Step 6

Once you’re happy with the highlight you made, you can switch back to the Tooth Colour layer. Next, go up to Filter – Blur – Gaussain Blur, and apply it to the layer.

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You’ll want to use something small, around 0.4 – so that it helps blend the colours, without making the tooth look like it’s fuzzy/blurry.

After you’ve applied that to your layer, go ahead and zoom out, to check out your handiwork from a not super close angle.

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Hopefully, the pointed part of the tooth will look like it’s part of the original.

If not, you may have to go back to the Tooth Colour layer and match more of the original tooth colours to the point.

Or, you may just need more practice!

But, not to worry – this is the last PHSH tutorial for the year, so you’ll have plenty of time to practice before the next one!

This was actually the 2nd tooth I vampire-ized on this picture. I used this one for the tutorial instead of the first, because I felt like this one turned out better.

What do you think?

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Lens Flares (PHSH Effect #21)

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This article was written 21.11.26, please excuse any joke/reference that’s no longer applicable.


I hope you practiced the Glitter effect well last month, because this month, I’m showing you how to make your glitter effects look a little more realistic with Lens Flares.

Step 1

For this tutorial, you’re gonna want to open the (unflattened) Glitter project you were previously working on. If you don’t have one, or missed the tutorial, check it out here, and then come back.

Once you have a Glitter-effect picture open, create a New Layer (using the button on the bottom of the Layers panel), and then select the Brush tool from the left-hand side.

Go up to the Brush settings and change the size to something pretty small, and change the Hardness to very low, as well.

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Step 2

Next, while making sure you’re on the New Layer, I want you to paint a dot somewhere on the picture you’ll be able to see it.

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Optionally, you can now make a smaller dot directly in the middle of this white one, by using the Eye Dropper tool and picking up a colour from your glitter. This can help the Lens Flare look more realistic, but it depends on the image being used.

For this tutorial, I negated the glitter-coloured dot, and the picture still came out fine. However, when I’ve done these effects on a more complicated image, the coloured dot in the center made a surprisingly big difference.

That said, since you’re just learning and most likely doing so in a simple picture, you won’t have to worry about that right now. Just keep it in mind for the future.

 

Step 3

Now, stretch the white dot vertically, elongating it.

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Then, copy the stretched out dot (by click/dragging the image while holding down ALT), or make another one.

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Step 4

Once you have 2 stretched dots, rotate one of them horizontally, and fit it over the first (still vertical) dot, so you make a T shape with them.

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Step 5

Next, in the Layers panel, select both stretched out dot Layers (hold CTRL while you click on both layers), then right-click, and select Merge Layers.

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This will merge the two stretched out dot layers together, making them 1 layer. This will make it easier to use throughout the rest of the tutorial. However, if you wanted to keep them separate, but use them together, you could either CTRL + click them every time, or, add them to a Group (the folder button at the bottom of the Layers panel).

 

Step 6

Now that you have the lens flare, it’s time to add it to the picture! To do this, you can rotate it, until it looks like an X, then drag it so it’s sitting on top of the glitter-fied portion of the picture. If needed, you can also resize the lens flare, so it’s smaller.

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Step 7

Now all that’s left to do is add a few more Lens Flares, to make it look a little more realistic. You can rotate and resize them as necessary, just be sure not to add too many to your picture. Less is more with this effect.

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And that’s all there is to it! Once you’re happy with the number of flares you’ve added, don’t forget to save! Also, you’ll want to keep each Lens Flare on it’s own separate layer, just in case you want to re-arrange them.

This effect can also be used in more ways than I’ve shown here, but I think getting comfortable with adding them to glitter is a great way to start out, since glitter is naturally shiny. Once you get comfortable with the glitter, you can start experimenting with adding them to other reflective surfaces, like puddles/water, or mirrors.

You’ll have plenty of time to practice the effects you’ve learned thus far, as the next, and last tutorial for the year will be coming in October. But, don’t worry, it’s going to be well worth the wait!


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Puddles (PHSH Effect #19)

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Happy spring!

As I said in the last PHSH Tutorial, I’ll be keeping with the rain effect theme for this one as well, and show you how to make a wet road reflection/puddle.

There are actually 3 different ways I’ve discovered to to do this, but this one is the one that works best with the Rain Effect I showed you last time.

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See how much more realistic the rain effect looks when you pair it with this wet road reflection?

Let’s show you how to do it!

 

Step 1

For this effect, you’ll want to start with a picture you’ve already applied the Rain Effect to, or are planning to add the rain effect to.

If you are using a picture you’ve already done the rain effect on, the first step is to hide the rain layer. To do this, go to the Layers Panel, and you should see a little box in front of the layer thumbnail that has an eye on it. Click it, and you should notice the layer will be ‘hidden’, as well as, the eye disappeared.

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Once you hide the rain layer, you’ll want to duplicate the image you’re using. To do this, hold down ALT and click and drag the Layer either up or down. Once you have 2 image Layers, you’ll want to work with the one on top.

 

Step 2

Next, (making sure the top image Layer is selected), you’ll want to go over to your Lasso tool, and select Polygon Lasso Tool from the drop-down menu that appears.

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Now, you’ll want to use this tool to outline the road (or ground), being sure to not include the trees. To do this, you’ll want to start by clicking slightly outside your work document, and then you’ll notice you are dragging a line.

Drag this line along the road in your picture. If you have a not-straight line, you can click at any point to ‘fix’ part of the line to the picture. Do this until you have selected the whole road, and brought your line back to the beginning point of your selection.

I realize that might sound a little confusing, so I’ve shown you using a red line how I did this on my picture.

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Once you bring the line back to your starting point, the line you made should start flashing and be dotted, as if you used the Selection Tool to select it instead. (But you can’t use the Selection Tool, because that tool only allows you to select things in either a square/rectangle or circular shape)

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Step 3

Now, you’ll want to go down to the Layer Mask button, which is located at the bottom of the Layers Panel, to apply a Layer Mask to the layer.

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You’ll know the Layer Mask has been applied when a black and white thumbnail shows up next to the thumbnail of the image. Then, you’ll need to click on the Link picture that is between the two thumbnails. This will, (not surprisingly) un-link the Layer Mask.

 

Step 4

Once you’ve done that, make sure you click on the image thumbnail (the thumbnail that’s closest to the eye), and then you’ll want to Flip Vertically. To do this, you can click on one of the Transform squares that are around the image, then right-click and select Flip Vertically from the drop-down menu.

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After doing this, you should see the image is upside down, and is showing only in the road selection you made.

If not, or if the image is too high (as was in my case) you’ll want to just lower the image, until the edges of the road line up with that of the non-flipped image. Or, until you feel it’s low enough.

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Step 5

At this point, with the Layer Mask being aligned, the picture should look like a mirror perfect mirror image. Now, if you needed to add a mirror reflection to an image, you’d be done by this point.

However, we’re making a puddle, so we’ll need to use our Eraser tool. Go up to the top panel and change the Brush Size to about a Medium size, and set the Hardness pretty low. You’ll also want to change the Opacity to about 96%.

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Now that we have our Eraser set, it’s time to form the puddle shapes. To do this, you’ll want to just start erasing any part of the flipped picture you don’t want to keep.

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Do this for the entire flipped image, until you’re happy with the way your reflection is looking. You can erase as much, or as little of the image as you’d like – it all depends on what you want the final image to look like.

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Step 6

Once you’re happy with what you have left, go up to Filter – Blur – Motion Blur, and make the Angle 0, and the Distance something small, like 6. The Distance will entirely depend on your image, but try to keep it on the smaller side.

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You want to add just enough Motion Blur for the image to look slightly blurry, since we are creating this reflection for a lighter rainfall.

If, for example, you were adding this to a heavier thunderstorm picture, you could make the Distance greater, as that would make the reflection look more blurry.

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Step 7

Once you’re happy with the amount of blur your reflection has, you can go ahead and unhide your Rain layer, to see how the image looks with all the effects together.

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This looks pretty good, but see how un-hiding the Rain made the picture lighter? You could keep the image lighter if you wanted, but, to me, it doesn’t look as realistic, because it’s often cloudy/dark when raining.

To fix this, you can go up to the Adjustments Panel, which sits on top of the Layers Panel, and then click on the Brightness/Contrast icon, which is the icon that looks like a sun/moon.

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In the Panel that pops up, you can now lower the Brightness and/or Contrast of the image, until you’re happy with the final product.

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And that’s it!

You now have a great, more-realistic rain picture!

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As always, don’t forget to Save both a PHSH file so you can come back in and Edit things later, as well as a JPEG/PNG file for showing off on social media.

You’ll have 2 months to practice this Wet Road technique, before we pivot to almost the exact opposite side of the effects spectrum: Glitter!

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Make It Rain! (PHSH Effect #18)

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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!

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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!

Step 1.

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.

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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.

 

Step 2

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.

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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.

 

Step 3

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.

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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.

 

Step 4.

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.

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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.

 

Step 5.

Next, to make those dots look more like falling rain. To do this, go back up to Filter – Blur – Motion Blur.

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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.

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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:

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