With fall just around the corner, designers are looking for ways to complement their work with fall imagery like water droplets, rain on leaves and fall rain showers. Including rain or water drops in a scene can be a nice effect because water is a very compelling element. As you’ll see in the tutorials below, water drops and rain can completely change the dynamic of a design or photo.
Adding the illusion of water and rain to photographs using Photoshop can be a bit tricky. Many times the effect feels forced and cheesy, as if you’re looking at a grainy picture instead of an authentic rain shower. The tutorials below will give any designer inspiration for incorporating water scenes in fall designs and showcase some amazing water work by excellent designers. You’ll learn how to create realistic photos.
Here are other collections of Photoshop tutorials from Smashing Magazine:
- 50 Photoshop Tutorials for Sky and Space
- Adobe Photoshop Tutorials: Best Of
- Adobe Photoshop Video Tutorials: Best Of
- 70 Beauty-Retouching Photoshop Tutorials
Water Drop Tutorials Link
Basic water drops
An excellent tutorial showing how to make artistic, realistic water drops.
Designing a war movie poster
A step-by-step tutorial that teaches how to design a dark movie poster with water drops.
The Making Of “Our Future”
It is not really a tutorial, but the designer’s description provides some insight into how this poster was designed.
Artistic rain on an illustration
Beautiful example of adding rain to a dark illustration.
Alien Water Photoshop Tutorial
With this Photoshop tutorial you learn how to make realistic alien-looking water.
The Rain Photoshop Tutorial
A simple Photoshop tutorial that will teach you how to embed water drops in dark sci-fi image.
Displacement Water Photoshop Tutorial
The following tutorial shows how to create a relatively simple displacement map and how to create a water surface with it. This method does not adjust for wave height and distances, but it produces good results if the water is calm and if the surface is not intersected by other elements.
Water effect photo montage
An extremely creative way to turn a person into water.
Creating a Gisele Bundchen water dress
Waterdrops Photoshop Tutorial (video)
“In this video I’ll show you how to make realistic water drops. This is nothing original as I have learned this from other tutorials. I have
made some slight adjustments to suit my taste. Very simple to do. Have fun.”
Waterdrops in 5 Minutes
The basic idea to keep in mind when creating water drops is that they are a bit complex and they have highlights, shadows, transparencies, inner shadows and inner highlights. The best way to achieve these effects is by using the Layer Styles in Photoshop. You’ll be using shadow, inner shadow, inner glow, glow, bevel and many more.
Leaf drop tutorial
Big stylized leaf drops.
Add A Rainbow To A Photo
In this Photoshop photo effects tutorial, we’re going to learn how to easily add a rainbow, even a double rainbow, to a photo. Of course, as with most photo effects, it helps if you start with the right type of image.
Create Silky Smooth Waterfalls
In this Adobe Photoshop tutorial you are going to look at how to give waterfalls a silky smooth appearance, as if the photo was taken with a longer exposure which would normally require the use of a neutral density filter.
The Ocean’s Freshness Photo Effects
This tutorial teaches how to create a wallpaper in a fresh “ocean” style.
So realistic, these water drops (and optional ice drops) are also simple to do anywhere, anytime.
Rainy Day Animation Using Photoshop
“Today let’s try to make something special like an artificial rain drop using our Adobe Photoshop. Just follow the simple steps. Hope that you will enjoy the tutorial.”
Create Water Droplets Tutorial
Here are visual step-by-step instructions to quickly create realistic
water droplets. This tutorial assumes a basic knowledge of how to use Photoshop layers.
“This is a technique I came up with when Photoshop version 6 came out. I was experimenting with some of the more advanced features of the Layer Styles dialog box and discovered some very handy techniques that can be used when you are creating transparent effects.”
Create a Waterdrop
Older tutorial for Photoshop CS1
Water Drops! (YouTube video)
Drops on a Coke bottle.
Add A Snow To A Photo
This very easy tutorial will tell you how you can add snow to your photo.
Realistic water droplets on leaves.
Adding water drops to waves
Excellent tutorial on spicing up an action photo, like of surfing, with water.
Reflective writing with water
A great tutorial on how to write with reflective water lines.
Ripple Tutorials Link
Great tutorial on how to create water ripples in Illustrator, but not Photoshop unfortunately.