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40 Photoshop Tutorials On Rain Showers and Water Drops

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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:

Water Drop Tutorials Link

Basic water drops5
An excellent tutorial showing how to make artistic, realistic water drops.

finaldrip.jpg

Designing a war movie poster
A step-by-step tutorial that teaches how to design a dark movie poster with water drops.

Screenshot

The Making Of “Our Future”6
It is not really a tutorial, but the designer’s description provides some insight into how this poster was designed.

Screenshot

Artistic rain on an illustration
Beautiful example of adding rain to a dark illustration.

picture.jpg

Alien Water Photoshop Tutorial7
With this Photoshop tutorial you learn how to make realistic alien-looking water.

Screenshot

The Rain Photoshop Tutorial8
A simple Photoshop tutorial that will teach you how to embed water drops in dark sci-fi image.

Screenshot

Displacement Water Photoshop Tutorial9
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.

Screenshot

Water effect photo montage
An extremely creative way to turn a person into water.

20.jpg

Water Dress10
Creating a Gisele Bundchen water dress

20.jpg

Waterdrops Photoshop Tutorial 11 (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.jpg

Waterdrops in 5 Minutes12
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_drop1.jpg

Leaf drop tutorial13
Big stylized leaf drops.

leaf_drop1.jpg

Add A Rainbow To A Photo14
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.

Screenshot

Create Silky Smooth Waterfalls15
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.

Screenshot

The Ocean’s Freshness Photo Effects
This tutorial teaches how to create a wallpaper in a fresh “ocean” style.

Screenshot

Water Drops16
So realistic, these water drops (and optional ice drops) are also simple to do anywhere, anytime.

finaldrip.jpg

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.”

Screenshot

Create Water Droplets Tutorial17
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.

Rain Drops
18“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.”

Screenshot

Maple Water Drop19

Screenshot

Water Shower Out of an Elephant’s Trunk20

20.jpg

Create a Waterdrop21
Older tutorial for Photoshop CS1

Water/Liquid Effects Tutorial Using Adobe Photoshop CS322 (video)

Water Drops!23 (YouTube video)
Drops on a Coke bottle.

waterdrops.jpg

Add A Snow To A Photo24
This very easy tutorial will tell you how you can add snow to your photo.

Screenshot

Water drops on a spiderweb. Great effect for creating dewy spiderwebs.

Leaf drops25
Realistic water droplets on leaves.

005.jpg

Adding water drops to waves26
Excellent tutorial on spicing up an action photo, like of surfing, with water.

final-result1.jpg

Reflective writing with water27
A great tutorial on how to write with reflective water lines.

image21.jpg

Ripple Tutorials Link

Illustrated water ripples28

Great tutorial on how to create water ripples in Illustrator, but not Photoshop unfortunately.

ripple-04.jpg

water-ripple.jpg

Water Ripples29

This tutorial is contained in a single picture.

water-ripple.jpg

Creating Water In Photoshop30
“This is going to be a quick tutorial on how to create a water effect in Photoshop. This tutorial doesn’t take long and you can get a really awesome effect that does surprisingly look like water. Hopefully by the end you should end up with something like this.”

water-ripple.jpg

Running Water Tutorial Link

How to create running water31

Create incredibly realistic flowing water.

tap_water_20.jpg

Realistic water running on tap32
“Through this tutorial, we will learn how to use a combination of Photoshop filters to create a realistic effect of water running from a tap. Requires Photoshop CS2 or later.”

tap_water_20.jpg

Water Running Effect – Photoshop CS3 Tutorial33
“In this tutorial we will show you how to create a water running effect in Photoshop CS3.”

tap_water_20.jpg

Seamless Water Texture
“In addition to using it for image backgrounds, this texture makes a great reflection map for more complicated works such as chrome objects.”

tap_water_20.jpg

Rain Tutorials Link

Transform a daylight image into a dark and stormy night34
Amazing tutorial that shows how to modify a perfectly sunny image into a night picture with nasty elements.

final_large.jpg

Filtered rain effect
Learn how to use several filters to get a rain effect in photos.

final-result-2.jpg

Photoshop tutorial make rain cloud lighthouse

final-result-2.jpg

Rain Effect35
Learn how to create an artificial rain effect. Follow this simple tutorial that shows how to add a rain effect to any image using Photoshop CS.

final-result-2.jpg

Rainy streets
Take a perfectly dry street and make it look rain-soaked.

rainy_day23.jpg

Photoshop Brushes Link

water_photoshop_brushes.jpg

Besides: Vector Water Drops in Adobe Illustrator36, Rain – Tear Drop Brushes37

Here are some other tutorials and Photoshop tutorials from Smashing Magazine:

Glen Stansberry writes for the web development blog Web Jackalope42 (feed43).

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Footnotes Link

  1. 1 /2008/08/07/50-photoshop-tutorials-for-sky-and-space-effects/
  2. 2 /2008/01/10/adobe-photoshop-tutorials-best-of/
  3. 3 /2008/03/28/adobe-photoshop-video-tutorials-best-of/
  4. 4 /2008/07/15/70-beauty-retouching-photoshop-tutorials/
  5. 5 http://pshero.com/archives/water-drops
  6. 6 http://fun-g.deviantart.com/art/the-making-of-quot-our-future-quot-72087541
  7. 7 http://www.andreibilan.blogspot.com/2006/09/alien-water.html
  8. 8 http://morteque.deviantart.com/art/The-Rain-Tutorial-88030743
  9. 9 http://photoshopcontest.com/tutorials/26/displacement-water.html
  10. 10 http://bwebi.com/water-dress.html
  11. 11 http://digitalphenom.deviantart.com/art/Waterdrops-Photoshop-Video-Tut-46856878
  12. 12 http://www.abduzeedo.com/water-drops-photoshop-5-minutes
  13. 13 http://blog.cizalstudios.com/?p=6
  14. 14 http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-effects/rainbow/
  15. 15 http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-effects/waterfalls/
  16. 16 http://www.n-sane.net/effects/water-drops/index.php
  17. 17 http://www.creativetechs.com/tips/quicktips_57_tutorial.html
  18. 18 http://www.photoshoptechniques.com/texp2/dropsptk.php
  19. 19 http://www.rnel.net/tutorial/Photoshop/11577
  20. 20 http://www.invano.com/tutorials/photoshop/elephant.php
  21. 21 http://www.13dots.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=4913
  22. 22 http://www.ethanadam.com/FAQ/ethanTutorial/photoshopWaterEffects/index.php
  23. 23 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzcbQW7hKqs&feature=user%20%28Video%29=
  24. 24 http://www.dphotojournal.com/photoshop-tutorials-adding-snow-to-a-photo-easy/
  25. 25 http://www.lunacore.com/photoshop/tutorials/tut006.htm
  26. 26 http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-effects/water-drops/
  27. 27 http://www.photoshopcafe.com/tutorials/liquid-type/liquid-type.htm
  28. 28 http://vectortuts.com/designing/create-a-cool-water-ripple-effect/
  29. 29 http://omertariq.deviantart.com/art/Water-ripples-tutorial-31630734
  30. 30 http://great-design.blogspot.com/2007/10/creating-water-in-photoshop.html
  31. 31 http://www.fierydarts.com/photo-effects/creating-water-from-a-tap.htm
  32. 32 http://www.tutorialwiz.com/water_on_tap/
  33. 33 http://www.designertoday.com/Tutorials/Photoshop/4588/Water.Running.Effect.Photoshop.CS3.Tutorial.aspx
  34. 34 http://psdtuts.com/photo-effects-tutorials/transforming-a-daylight-image-into-a-wild-night/
  35. 35 http://www.entheosweb.com/photoshop/rain_effect.asp
  36. 36 http://whitesandsdigital.com/wordpress/2008/04/17/vector-water-drops-in-adobe-illustrator/
  37. 37 http://skeiator.deviantart.com/art/Rain-Tear-Drop-Brushes-49288737
  38. 38 /2008/08/07/50-photoshop-tutorials-for-sky-and-space-effects/
  39. 39 /2008/01/10/adobe-photoshop-tutorials-best-of/
  40. 40 /2008/03/28/adobe-photoshop-video-tutorials-best-of/
  41. 41 /2008/07/15/70-beauty-retouching-photoshop-tutorials/
  42. 42 http://webjackalope.com/
  43. 43 http://feeds.feedburner.com/WebJackalope
SmashingConf New York

Hold on, Tiger! Thank you for reading the article. Did you know that we also publish printed books and run friendly conferences – crafted for pros like you? Like SmashingConf New York, on June 14–15, with smart design patterns and front-end techniques.

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Glen Stansberry is the editor at Web Jackalope, a blog about creative Web development.

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  1. 1

    first :) nice trick….

    -4
  2. 2

    Aww, Water effect photo montage looks like Shinybinary’s tutorial for DA, but it is more detailed :) Nice collection of tutorials, good job. ;)

    Second :proud: =D

    -1
  3. 3

    yep, really nice techniques! thanks 2 Smash 4 a post!

    -2
  4. 4

    A good selection of tutorials here…
    11:53am? In the UK its 9pm.

    -3
  5. 5

    Nice post. I love how easy some of these effects are. They give each photo a totally different feel. I love the Andrei Bilan under water effect. The water effect photo montage is also very cool – great detail.

    onwired.com

    -2
  6. 6

    Some are cool but others are lame. The “waterdrops to waves” looks like a 3rd grader did it.

    -1
  7. 7

    I cannot say anything more but its a great article. with lots of resources as always.

    After gone through few of the examples I feel I need to learn a lot of new things. lol

    http://www.instantshift.com/

    -1
  8. 8

    Cool stuff. lulz

    -2
  9. 9

    Wonderful effect on the “Water Dress”. It’s a good effect in web design

    -1
  10. 10

    Great! thank you!

    -1
  11. 11

    The very classical source material, thanks

    -1
  12. 12

    非常喜欢。
    I like it very much!
    thanks

    -2
  13. 13

    Hey! You might also like a couple of my water drops tutorials:

    http://www.vladstudio.com/photoshoptutorials/?40

    http://www.vladstudio.com/photoshoptutorials/?37

    -1
  14. 14

    Muito boa a galeria de Tutoriais….^.^)

    Great Job, thank you !!!!!!!!!!!! In Brazil now its 11pm.

    -2
  15. 15

    Ronald@naldzgraphics.com

    September 25, 2008 8:16 pm

    great tutorials and collection.thanks a lot

    Ronald

    -1
  16. 16

    Really nice collection.

    http://www.williambiwer.com

    -1
  17. 17

    yeah, I’d say mixed bag. There are definitely some decent ones here, but I’d rather see consistent quality rather than a big selection with a bunch of unimpressive tuts mixed in.

    0
  18. 18

    Smashing delivers. good job :)

    -1
  19. 19

    Jani blog for a living

    September 26, 2008 2:16 am

    Wow, these are great! I want to learn Photoshop, just have to get one :D
    I think my school gives it for free, I go now and check it out

    0
  20. 20

    You guys are God to US… :)

    Cheerios …

    -1
  21. 21

    Awesome tutorials, more food for thought at lunch!

    -2
  22. 22

    Whoa…fantastic list. Thankyou!

    -1
  23. 23

    Excellent article ! Thanx

    -1
  24. 24

    Rather unimpressed by the whole bunch… none (or at least a majority) of them appear realistic or well done in my opinion. I look forward to an explosion of terrible looking water effects on the internet. :(

    -1
  25. 25

    Apologies Smashing, I do love you guys, but there are some very bad tutorials there.

    -2
  26. 26

    very impressive i must say..

    -1
  27. 27

    haha spot the typo!

    -1
  28. 28

    i seriously can’t stand the stuff posted on this site.

    nobody has any criticisms? everyone just praises everything.

    -2
  29. 29

    excelent compilation as usual!

    -1
  30. 30

    very classical source material, thanks

    -1
  31. 31

    Nice tutorials!

    -1
  32. 32

    thanks, now i have some stuff to do and lear to keep me occupied for the next month. peace.

    0
  33. 33

    smashing magazine always have interesting articles and this one doesn’t disappoint. There’s always a need for good photoshop tutorials

    0
  34. 34

    I naturally liked the water dress tutorial the best, hehe.

    -1
  35. 35

    Thks ! Cool effect :D

    0
  36. 36

    The Ocean’s Freshness Photo Effects, the result of doing an extremely shitty job ripping off someone else (http://mosk.deviantart.com/art/Fruit-43854159).

    0
  37. 37

    Wow. Great collection. These will definitely be of use to me.

    0
  38. 38

    Another fantastic post… I’m your fan!

    Beat & Soul Records

    0
  39. 39

    www.geeksbr.com

    September 28, 2008 12:12 pm

    mto bom o blog!

    0
  40. 40

    The one with the asian girl in the bonnet, in front of the castle-like building looks horrible. Some of these look horrible too, some are okay.

    -1

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