by January 30, 2004 0 comments



In this article we will show you how to add water drop effects to an image using the default tools in Photoshop. You can add these drops regardless of whether you have a blank background or a background which has a colored image. Following is a step-by-step guide to do it. 

STEP 1
Open the document in which you want to add the effects. For the purpose of this article we have used Peppers.jpg from Photoshop 7 samples folder.

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STEP 2
Create a new layer by clicking the new layer icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette. Press D to set the foreground color to black & the background color to white. Now press Ctrl + Backspace to fill this layer with white.

STEP 3
Choose Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Drag the slider to 400. Choose Gaussian for distribution & check the Monochromatic check box. (See Fig 1) 

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STEP 4
Now, choose Filter>Blur> Gaussian Blur. Enter a value of 5 and click OK. 

This will create a gooey mess, but be patient. 

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STEP 5
Now, select Image>Adjustments>Threshold. Here adjust the value in such a way that black spots appear. That happens around 150. (See Fig 2)

STEP 6
Repeat step 4 and 5 till bigger black spots start appearing.

STEP 7
We suggest that you invert the colors. This can be done by pressing Ctrl + I. Press W for Magic Wand tool. Uncheck the ‘Contiguous’ check box. Click anywhere in the black area of the image. This will delete all black areas of the layer. The result is shown in Fig 3

STEP 8
Now, select Layer>Layer Style> Bevel & Emboss. Enter a value between 7 and 10 for size (Usually, 7 or 8 does the trick). (See Fig 4)

STEP 9
Then, click the Blending Options tab in the layer style box. In the ‘Advanced Blending’ options, change the ‘Fill Opacity’ to zero and click OK. Now the effect should come to light. (See Fig 5)

To make this water drop effect look real, simultaneously press Ctrl and click Layer 1. Choose Select>Modify>Border and enter a value of 2. 

This will create a 2 pixels wide selection border around the Layer 1 contents. Choose Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Enter a value of 1.5 and click OK. Press Ctrl + D to deselect. The finished result is shown. (Fig 6)

If you want to move these drops, then just drag them with the move tool. 

The effect we have created is quite similar to the effect created by Alien Skin Eye Candy 4000 Water Drops filter. The only difference being that in Alien Skin Eye Candy filter, the light effect on the drops can be created from any direction whereas in the above mentioned case the light effect is set by default. The filter also gives the option to add color to the drops, which can be done as follows.

Create a new layer. Change the layer mode from Normal to Color from the Layers Palette. Simultaneously press Ctrl and click the drops layer. Now, choose your desired color from the color picker box (click the foreground color to open the color picker). Press Alt + Backspace to fill the color. 

Decrease the opacity to about 75% to finish the effect. This technique is also a ‘turn anything transparent’ trick. Instead of the drops, it can be anything including brush strokes and text with a bevel applied. (Fig 7)

Arun Vasudevan

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