Water effect in photoshop

Create Water Effect in Photoshop

Water is an essential part of life! Have you ever looked around your area and wonder what it would look like with a lake by it? Or how about thinking of making a unique landscape but aren’t anywhere near a lake or a water source? Well in this tutorial I will show you how to create a water effect in Photoshop. 

What You’ll Need:
-A landscape picture you want to manipulate. I grabbed my image off of Unsplash.com

-Adobe Photoshop (I’m sure any version is fine. I am using Adobe Photoshop CC)

Let’s Get Started!

Free image from Unsplash.com

Open your landscape picture in Photoshop. Before you do anything to the image Save the image as a separate file name as not to accidentally save over the original. Save As (CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + S).

Duplicate your image layer

Now that we saved our working file as something different now for the manipulation fun! Go ahead and Duplicate the image in the layers panel by Selecting the Layer->Right Click->Duplicate Layer.

Double your Canvas size

Now let’s double the Canvas area (Function->Shift->C) increase the size of the canvas about double the height of the original image.

Flip layer vertical

Take the duplicated layer and Flip the image (Edit->Transform->Flip Vertical). This will be your lake layer! But we aren’t done yet. We still need to give the water more of a ripple effect.

Duplicate the water layer

Duplicate the Water Layer in the Layers Panel (Layer->Right Click->Duplicate Layer). The top layer will be your working layer.

Add Noise on the layer

Next we start getting some wavy texture on this water front! We are going to first add some Noise to the duplicated water layer Filter->Noise->Add Noise. In the dialog box make the noise set to 100%, Uniform, and Monochromatic. Click OK.

add motion blur for water effect

Now we are going to stretch out that noise with Motion Blend (Filter->Blur->Motion Blur). Make sure it’s angle is 0 degrees and the distance is 75 Pixels. Click OK.

multiply and drop opacity for a final subtle look

As you can see that water layer doesn’t at all look like subtle ripples. Fear not! Go into your Layers Panel and Switch from Normal to Multiply and drop the opacity down to about 90%.

final look at water effect

And here is the final look of the landscape with the water effect added to the scenery!

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