How to Make Water Reflection Effect on Photoshop

In this Photoshop photo effects tutorial, we’re going to learn how to easily add a realistic water reflection to any photo. It’s a very easy effect to create and you can add it to any photo you like, although it tends to work best with images that don’t already contain water in them.

We’ll be using a simple filter and a displacement map to create the water ripple effect, and a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to give our water a little color.

Here’s the photo that I’ll be working with throughout this tutorial:

Photoshop Water Reflection: The original image.

And here’s what our image is going to look like after adding the water reflection:

Photoshop Water Reflection: The final result.

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Duplicate The Background Layer

With our image newly opened inside Photoshop, we can see in the Layers palette that we currently have one layer, the Background layer, which contains our image:

Photoshop Water Reflection: The original image on the Background layer in the Layers palette.

We need to duplicate the Background layer, and we can do that using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J (Mac). Now when I look in my Layers palette now, I can see that I now have two layers – my original Background layer on the bottom and a new layer, “Layer 1″, above it which is my duplicate:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Press “Ctrl+J” (Win) / “Command+J” (Mac) to duplicate the Background layer.

Step 2: Add More Canvas Space To The Bottom Of The Document

We’re going to add our water reflection below the image, so let’s add some canvas space to the bottom of our document to make room for our reflection. To do that, go up to the Image menu at the top of the screen and choose Canvas Size. This will bring up Photoshop’s “Canvas Size” dialog box. The easiest thing to do here is to add twice as much canvas space as what we currently have, but we only want it to appear at the bottom of the document, not above it or on either side, so we need to tell Photoshop exactly where we want this extra canvas space to go.

First, enter 100 for the Height and set the measurement to percent, as circled in red below. Leave the Width option set to 0. Then make sure the Relative option is checked, which tells Photoshop to give us 100% more canvas space than what we already have. Below the “Relative” option is a 3×3 grid of squares. This is where we tell Photoshop where we want to place our additional canvas space. Click inside the square in the middle of the top row (again as circled below). This tells Photoshop not to place any of the extra canvas space above the document and instead to place all of it at the bottom:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Add more canvas space using the “Canvas Size” dialog box.

Click OK to exit out of the dialog box, and Photoshop will add the extra canvas space to the bottom of the image:

Photoshop Water Reflection: The height of the document has now been doubled with the extra canvas space added to the bottom.

 

Step 3: Flip The Top Layer Vertically

In order to create our reflection, we need to flip our image upside down, so let’s do that.

With the top layer selected in the Layers palette, go up to the Edit menu at the top of the screen, choose Transform, and then choose Flip Vertical.

Photoshop will flip the image upside down in the document:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Go to Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical to flip the image on the top layer upside down.

Step 4: Drag The Flipped Image To The Bottom Of The Document

We need the flipped image to be at the bottom of the document, so grab your Move Tool from the Tools palette, or press V on your keyboard for the shortcut:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Select the Move Tool.

Then, with the Move Tool selected, click inside the document and drag the flipped image down to the bottom until the top of it is lined up with the bottom of the original image above it. Hold down Shift as you drag to make sure you drag down in a straight line:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Drag the flipped image down below the original.

Step 5: Add A New Blank Layer

Now that we have our flipped image in place, we can begin to create our water ripple effect. First, we need to add a new blank layer at the top of the Layers palette, so with “Layer 1″ still selected, click on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Add a new blank layer to the document.

Step 6: Fill The New Layer With White

We’re going to fill our new blank layer with white. If white is not currently your Background color, press D on your keyboard, which will reset Photoshop’s Foreground and Background colors, making black your Foreground color and white your Background color. Then use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Backspace (Win) / Command+Delete (Mac) to fill the new layer with the Background color (white). Your document will be filled with solid white.

Photoshop Water Reflection: The entire image is now filled with white.

Step 7: Apply The “Halftone Pattern” Filter To Create Black And White Horizontal Lines

Go up to the Filter menu at the top of the screen, choose Sketch, and then choose Halftone Pattern. This brings up Photoshop’s Filter Gallery (in Photoshop CS and higher) set to the “Halftone Pattern” filter options on the right, with a large preview of the effect on the left. We’re going to use this filter to add a series of black and white horizontal lines to the image. These lines are going to become our water ripples . The more lines we have, the more ripples we’ll have. First, we want to make sure we’re creating lines and not dots or circles, so set the Pattern Type option to Lines. We control the number of lines by adjusting the Size option. Lower values give us more lines, since we’re lowering the size of each line, and higher values give us fewer but thicker lines. I’m going to set my Size value to 7, which I think works best for my image. You may want to experiment with this value on your own. The Contrast option below it determines how sharp the edges of the lines are. Lower values give you softer lines, white higher values give you hard edge lines. Set this value all the way to 50 to give your lines sharp edges. We’re going to soften them ourselves with the Gaussian Blur filter in a moment:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Adjust the Halftone Pattern filter options to create a series of black and white lines through the image.

Click OK when you’re done to exit out of the dialog box, and Photoshop will fill the image from top to bottom with your black and white lines:

Photoshop Water Reflection: The image is now filled with black and white horizontal lines.

 

Step 8: Apply The “Gaussian Blur” Filter To The Lines

Before we can use our black and white lines as water ripples , we need to smooth them out and create nice, smooth transitions between them. To do that, go up to the Filter menu once again, choose Blur, and then choose Gaussian Blur, which brings up the “Gaussian Blur” dialog box. Keep an eye on your image and drag the slider at the bottom of the dialog box to increase the Radius value until the lines have a very soft edge to them. I’m using a small image for this tutorial, so for me, a Radius value of about 4 pixels works well. If you’re using a larger, high resolution image, you’ll need to set yours to a higher value:

Adobe Photoshop Tutorials: Use the Gaussian Blur filter to smooth out the edges of the lines.

Click OK to exit out of the dialog box and apply the blur to the lines.

Step 9: Duplicate The Lines Layer As A New Document

We’re going to create a brand new document out of our lines layer, which we’ll then use as our displacement map for our water ripples . With the lines layer selected, go up to the Layer menu at the top of the screen and select Duplicate Layer, which brings up the “Duplicate Layer” dialog box. In the “Destination” options, click on the down-pointing arrow to the right of the Document option and set it to New, which will create a new Photoshop document out of our layer:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Set the “Document” option in the “Duplicate Layer” dialog box to “New”.

Click OK to exit out of the dialog box, and your layer will open up in a new document on the screen.

Step 10: Save The New Document And Close Out Of It

This new document that we’ve created is going to become our displacement map, but before we can use it, we need to save it. We’re also going to close out of it after we’ve saved it, since we won’t need it open anymore, and the easiest way to accomplish both of those tasks is to simply close out of the document. When you try to close out of it, Photoshop will as you if you want to save the document before closing it. Click Yes:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Choose “Yes” when Photoshop asks if you want to save the document before closing it.

Photoshop will bring up the Save As dialog box. You can name your new document anything you like. I’m going to name mine “water-ripples”. Make sure you save it as a Photoshop .PSD file, since those are the only files that Photoshop can use as a displacement map. You’ll probably want to save the document to your Desktop, since we’ll need to find it again in a moment.

Step 11: Delete The Lines Layer

Now that we’ve used our black and white lines to create the file we’ll be using as our displacement map, we can get rid of it. To do that, simply click on it and drag it down onto the Trash Bin icon at the bottom of the Layers palette:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Click and drag the lines layer (“Layer 2″) onto the Trash Bin at the bottom of the Layers palette to delete it.

Step 12: Merge The Two Layers Onto A New Layer

Before we can add use our displacement map, we need to merge our two image layers onto a new layer above them. To do that, with “Layer 1″ selected, use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E (Win) / Shift+Command+Option+E (Mac). Nothing will appear to have happened in the document, but if we look in the Layers palette, we can see that both layers have been merged onto a new layer at the top:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Both layers are now merged onto a new layer, “Layer 2″.

 

Step 13: Use The “Displace” Filter To Create The Water Ripples

We’re ready to create our water ripples using the displacement map we just created. With the new merged layer selected in the Layers palette, go back up to the Filter menu at the top of the screen, choose Distort and then choose Displace .

This brings up Photoshop’s “Displace” filter dialog box. This is where we determine the strength of our ripple effect, and we do that with the Horizontal Scale option at the top. I’m going to set mine to a value of 4, which will give me a realistic ripple effect. You may want to experiment with this value with your own image. Setting it too high though will create too much of a horizontal distortion and you’ll lose the realism.

We don’t need any vertical distortion to create our effect, so set the Vertical Scale option to 0. Also, make sure that Stretch To Fit and Repeat Edge Pixels are selected:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Go to Filter > Distort > Displace to bring up the Displace dialog box.

Click OK in the top right corner of the dialog box, and Photoshop will ask you which file you want to use as your displacement map. Choose the file that you just saved a moment ago, which I saved to my Desktop as “water-ripples.PSD”, and then click Open. Photoshop will then apply the displacement map to the entire image, creating our water ripples:

Photoshop Water Reflection: The image after applying our displacement map with the “Displace” filter.

Step 14: Hide The Ripples On Top With A Layer Mask

Of course, we have a slight problem at the moment. We’ve added our water ripple effect to the entire image, and we only wanted it in the bottom half. We can fix that easily though using a layer mask. First, Ctrl-click (Win) / Command-click (Mac) directly on the thumbnail for “Layer 1″ in the Layers palette to place a selection around the flipped image at the bottom of the document:

Photoshop Water Reflection: “Right-click” (Win) / “Control-click” (Mac) directly on Layer 1’s thumbnail in the Layers palette to place a selection around the flipped image.

You’ll see a selection appear around the bottom half of the image in your document. Now, with the merged layer still selected, click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Click on the “Layer Mask” icon to add a layer mask to the merged layer at the top of the Layers palette.

Photoshop will add a layer mask to the merged layer, and because we had a selection around the bottom half of our document when we added the layer mask, only the bottom half of the merged layer remains visible. The top half becomes hidden from view, removing the unwanted water ripples from that part of the image:

Photoshop Water Reflection: The ripple effect is now hidden from the top half of the image after applying the layer mask.

We’re almost done. Let’s finish things off by adding a hint of color to the water, which we’ll do next.

 

Step 15: Apply The “Gaussian Blur” Filter To The Layer Mask

Before we add our finishing touch by colorizing the water , let’s soften the edge of the layer mask a little so there isn’t such a harsh dividing line between the image on top and the water below. We’ll use the Gaussian Blur filter for that, and since we want to apply it to the layer mask, we’ll need to first select the mask. We can do that by clicking on the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers palette:

Adobe Photoshop Tutorials: Click on the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers palette to select the layer mask.

You can tell that the layer mask is now selected by the white highlight box around its thumbnail. We’re going to apply the Gaussian Blur filter to the mask, so go back up to the Filter menu, select Blur once again, and then select Gaussian Blur. When the dialog box appears, simply click OK to apply the same Radius value we used previously.

Step 16: Colorize The Water With A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer

Let’s finish things off now by adding just a hint of blue to our water, and we’ll use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer for that. We want the adjustment layer to only affect the bottom half of the image where the water ripples are, so hold down your Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key, click on the New Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette, then select Hue/Saturation from the list of adjustment layers:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Hold down “Alt” (Win) / “Option” (Mac), click on the “New Adjustment Layer” icon, then drag your mouse to “Hue/Saturation” to select it.

By holding down “Alt/Option”, this tells Photoshop to bring up the New Layer dialog box before adding the adjustment layer. Select the Use Previous Layer To Create Clipping Mask option by clicking inside the checkbox to the left of it:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Select the “Use Previous Layer To Create Clipping Mask” option in the “New Layer” dialog box.

This option tells Photoshop that we want the adjustment layer to affect only the layer directly below it in the Layers palette, and since the layer below it is the layer containing our water ripples , only the water ripples will be colorized, which is what we want. Click OK to exit out of the dialog box.

This will bring up the Hue/Saturation dialog box. We want to colorize our water, so the first thing we want to do here is select the Colorize option in the bottom right corner. Then select the color you want your water to be by dragging the Hue slider at the top. I’m going to drag my slider to the right to a value of about 218, which I think is a good color for my water:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Use the Hue/Saturation dialog box to colorize the water .

Click OK to exit out of the dialog box , and you’ll see that your water on the bottom has now been colorized, but the color is much too strong at the moment.

Step 17: Lower The Opacity Of The Hue/Saturation Layer

To reduce the intensity of the color we just added to the water , all we need to do is go up to the Opacity option in the top right corner of the Layers palette and lower the opacity value. I’m going to lower mine all the way down to about 25%, which adds a much more realistic amount of color to the water:

Photoshop Water Reflection: Lower the opacity of the adjustment layer until the water has only a hint of color to it.

Once you’ve lowered the opacity of the adjustment layer to reduce the color intensity of the water , you’re done!

Here once again is my original image for comparison:

Photoshop Water Reflection: The original image once again.

And here is my final “water reflection” result:

Photoshop Water Reflection: The final effect.

How to Make Blur Effect in Photoshop

In this Photoshop tutorial, we’re going to look at how to recreate the same color and motion blur effect used in the movie poster for the biggest action movie of the 2007 summer, the Bourne Ultimatum. We’ll be using Photoshop’s Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to colorize the image using a color I’ve sampled directly from the poster itself.

To create the motion blur, we’ll be using Photoshop’s classic Motion Blur filter, and we’ll be finishing off the effect with a couple of layer masks to bring back just a hint of the flesh tones from the original image, as well as to remove the blur effect from the main subject.

To complete this Photoshop tutorial, you’ll need a photo of Matt Damon walking towards you looking a little upset about something and carrying a gun. If you don’t happen to have a photo like that (and hopefully you don’t), any photo of someone walking towards you on the street will do.

Here’s the image I’ll be using for this Photoshop Effects:

Photoshop Tutorials: The original image.

And here’s the same image after applying the “Bourne Ultimatum” color and motion blur effect to it:

Photoshop Tutorials: The final result.

 

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Duplicate The Background Layer

As is often the case with many of our Photoshop tutorials (and also a good habit to get into), the first thing we want to do in creating this effect is duplicate our Background layer. Photoshop’s Layers palette is currently showing us that we have only one layer, the “Background” layer, which contains our original image:

Photoshop Tutorials: The Layers palette showing the original image on the Background layer.

Let’s duplicate the layer using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J (Mac). When I look in my Layers palette now, I can see that Photoshop has copied my Background layer and has named the copy “Layer 1″. The copy is also above the original Background layer:

Photoshop Tutorials: Press “Ctrl+J” (Win) / “Command+J” (Mac) to duplicate the Background layer.

Step 2: Set The Color You Want To Colorize The Image With As Your Foreground Color

We’re going to use a “Hue/Saturation” adjustment layer to colorize the image in a moment, but to make things easier, let’s choose the color we’re going to use first by setting it as our Foreground color. This way, we won’t have to fumble around with any sliders in the Hue/Saturation dialog box trying to find the color we want. To do that, click on the Foreground color swatch in the Tools palette:

Photoshop Tutorials: Click on the Foreground color swatch near the bottom of the Tools palette.

When you click on it, Photoshop’s Color Picker will appear. You’re of course free to use whichever color you want for your effect. I’ve gone ahead and sampled a color directly from the movie poster, so if you want to use the same color I’ll be using, look on the bottom right side of the Color Picker for the RGB options and enter 48 for the R value (which stands for Red), 94 for the G value (Green), and 116 for the B value (Blue):

Photoshop Tutorials: Use the Color Picker to choose the color you want to colorize the image with.

Click OK when you’re done to exit out of the dialog box.

Step 3: Colorize The Image With A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer

Now that we’ve selected the color we’re going to use to colorize the image, this next step is going to be easy. Click on the New Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette:

Photoshop Tutorials: Click on the “New Adjustment Layer” icon.

Then choose Hue/Saturation from the list that appears:

Photoshop Tutorials: Choose “Hue/Saturation” from the list.

This will bring up Photoshop’s Hue/Saturation dialog box. Since we’ve already chosen the color we want to colorize the image with, all we need to do here is select the Colorize option in the bottom right corner of the dialog box:

Photoshop Tutorials: Check the “Colorize” option.

As soon as you check the option, Photoshop goes ahead and colorizes the image using our chosen Foreground color:

Photoshop Tutorials: Photoshop colorizes the image with our chosen Foreground color.

Click OK to exit out of the Hue/Saturation dialog box.

Step 4: Select Your Brush Tool

In the movie poster for the “Bourne Ultimatum”, the entire image is colorized except for Matt Damon’s face and hands, which have some of his original flesh tone showing through, and we can do the same thing with our image very easily. First, we need the Brush Tool, so either select it from the Tools palette or press B on your keyboard:

Photoshop Effects: Select the Brush Tool.

Step 5: Set Your Foreground Color To Black

In order to bring back some of the color from the original image, we’re going to use our brush to paint with black on the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer’s layer mask. Anywhere we paint with black is going to hide the effects of the adjustment layer and bring back our original color. In order to paint with black, we need black as our Foreground color, and we can get that easily by pressing D on the keyboard, which resets Photoshop’s Foreground and Background colors, making black our new Foreground color (white becomes the Background color). We can see this if we look at the Foreground and Background color swatches in the Tools palette:

Photoshop Effects: Reset the Foreground color to black by pressing “D” on your keyboard.

Step 6: Lower The Opacity Of The Brush To About 30%

We only want to bring back a subtle amount of color, so we need to lower the opacity of our brush before we begin painting. To do that, with the Brush Tool selected, go up to the Opacity option in the Options Bar at the top of the screen and lower the opacity of the brush to around 30%:

Photoshop Effects: Lower the opacity of your brush to around 30%.

This way we’ll only be bringing back 30% of the original color rather than the full amount.

Step 7: Select The Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer’s Layer Mask

As I mentioned, we’re going to paint with black on the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer’s layer mask, rather than on the image itself, so let’s select the layer mask by clicking on the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers palette:

Photoshop Effects: Select the layer mask by clicking on its thumbnail in the Layers palette.

You’ll know that the layer mask is selected because it will have a white highlight border around the thumbnail, as we can see in the image above.

Step 8: Paint On The Image To Bring Back Some Of The Skin Tone

We have our Brush Tool with our Foreground color set to black, we’ve lowered the opacity of the brush to 30%, and we’ve selected the layer mask for the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer in the Layers palette. All we need to do now is paint over any areas where we want to bring back some of the color from the original image. I want to bring back some color in the skin tones of both people in my image, so I’m going to paint over their faces and hands to bring back some skin color. To resize my brush as needed, I’ll use the left and right bracket keys on my keyboard. The left bracket key makes the brush smaller and the right bracket key makes it larger. Here’ I’m painting over the guy’s face and you can see that his skin tone is showing through:

Photoshop Effects: Paint with black to reveal some of the original skin tone.

If you accidentally paint over an area you didn’t mean to paint over, simply press X on your keyboard to switch your Foreground color to white and paint over the mistake, then press X again to switch back to black and continue painting.

Photoshop Effects: The image after bringing back some of the skin tones.

At this point, we’re done colorizing our image. Next, we’re going to add the motion blur effect.

Step 9: Apply The Motion Blur Filter To The Background Copy Layer (“Layer 1″)

We’re going to add our motion blur effect to the image, and we’ll use Photoshop’s classic and appropriately named “Motion Blur” filter to do it. We want to apply the motion blur to the copy of the Background layer that we created back at the beginning of this tutorial, so click on “Layer 1″ in the Layers palette to select it. You’ll know it’s selected because it will appear highlighted in blue:

Photoshop Tutorials: Click on “Layer 1″ in the Layers palette to select it.

Now that we have the correct layer selected, let’s go up to the Filter menu at the top of the screen, choose Blur, and then choose Motion Blur. This will bring up the Motion Blur filter’s dialog box. Set your Angle to around -40°. Then drag the slider at the bottom to adjust the Distance of the motion blur. The value you set this to is going to depend a lot on the size of your image. I’m using a small image for this tutorial, and for me, a value of about 35 pixels gives me roughly the same effect used in the Bourne Ultimatum movie poster:

Photoshop Tutorials: Set the “Angle” to -40°, then adjust the blur distance with the slider at the bottom.

If you’re using a large, high resolution image, you’ll want to set your Distance value higher. Use my image below as a guide for the blur distance you’re aiming for:

Photoshop Tutorials: The image after applying the Motion Blur filter.

Step 10: Add A Layer Mask To The Motion Blur Layer

What I’m going to do next is allow the two people in the image to show through the motion blur effect, and I’m going to once again use a layer mask for that. With “Layer 1″ still selected, I’m going to click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette:

Photoshop Tutorials: Click the “Layer Mask” icon.

This adds a layer mask to our motion blurred layer, and it also adds a layer mask thumbnail in the Layers palette. I can tell from the white highlight border around the thumbnail that the layer mask is already selected for me:

Photoshop Tutorials: The Layers palette now showing the layer mask thumbnail on “Layer 1″.

I can now use this layer mask to hide the motion blur from in front of the two people in my image, which I’ll do next.

Step 11: Paint With Black On The Layer Mask To Hide The Motion Blur

With black still as my Foreground color and the layer mask on “Layer 1″ selected, I’m going to use my Brush Tool again to paint over the areas in the image where I want to hide the motion blur, which in my case is in front of the two people. I want to use a soft-edged brush for this, so I’m going to hold down my Shift key and press the left bracket key on my keyboard a few times, which will give me a nice soft edge for my brush. Before I begin painting, I’m going to go back up to the Options Bar and set the opacity of my brush back up to 100%:

Photoshop Tutorials: Set the opacity of the Brush Tool back to a full 100% in the Options Bar.

Once again, I’m going to resize my brush as needed using the left and right bracket keys, and I’m simply going to paint with black over the two people in my image, allowing them to show through the motion blur. As I approach the edges of the people, I’m going to keep my brush just inside the edge to give me a nice blend between the people and the motion blur around them. If I make a mistake and accidentally paint over an area I didn’t mean to, I can simply press X on my keyboard to switch my Foreground color to white, just as I did when painting on the Hue/Saturation layer mask, and paint over the mistake. Then I’d press X again to switch back to black and continue painting away the motion blur:

Photoshop Tutorials: Paint with black over areas to hide the motion blur.

I’m going to continue painting over the guy until I’ve removed all of the motion blur in front of him, leaving a nice effect around the edges:

Photoshop Tutorials: The image after painting away the motion blur effect in front of the guy.

And here’s my image after painting away the motion blur effect in front of the woman behind him as well:

Photoshop Tutorials: Both people are now showing through the motion blur.

 

Step 12: Add A New Layer At The Top Of The Layers Palette

At this point, our effect is pretty much complete. We’ve colorized the image, brought back some of the original skin tone, added our motion blur, and then painted away the motion blur in front of the two people. Let’s finish things off by adding a little grunge to the image. First, click on the Hue/Saturation layer in the Layers palette to select it so we can add a new blank layer above it. Then click on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette:

Photoshop Tutorials: Select the Hue/Saturation layer in the Layers palette, then click on the “New Layer” icon.

Photoshop will add a new blank layer at the top of the Layers palette, and will name it “Layer 2″:

Photoshop Tutorials: A new blank layer is added to the top of the Layers palette.

Step 13: Fill The New Layer With White

We need to fill this new layer with white, and since white is currently our Background color, we can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Backspace (Win) / Command+Delete (Mac), which tells Photoshop to fill the layer with the Background color. The image will now appear completely filled with white.

I won’t bother showing a screenshot, since a white image on a white background wouldn’t look very interesting.

Step 14: Apply Photoshop’s “Add Noise” Filter To The Layer

Go up to the Filter menu at the top of the screen, choose Noise, and then choose Add Noise. This brings up the “Add Noise” filter’s dialog box. I’m going to use the slider to set my Amount value to around 100% or so, giving me quite a bit of noise. You may want to set yours even higher if you’re using a high resolution image. Also, make sure that the Gaussian and Monochromatic options are both selected at the bottom of the dialog box:

Photoshop Tutorials: Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise to bring up the Add Noise dialog box.

Click OK when you’re done to exit out of the dialog box. Your image will now be filled with noise:

Photoshop Tutorials: The image after filling the top layer with noise.

Step 15: Change The Blend Mode Of The Noise Layer To “Color Burn”

Our image is filled completely with noise, which isn’t what we want. Let’s blend the noise in with the image by first changing the blend mode of the noise layer. Go up to the blend mode options in the top left corner of the Layers palette, click on the down-pointing arrow to the right of the word “Normal” and change the blend mode to Color Burn:

Photoshop Tutorials: Change the blend mode of the noise layer to “Color Burn”.

Step 16: Lower The Opacity Of The Noise Layer To 10% Or Less

The noise is now blending in with the image but it’s much too intense. To fix that and complete our effect, go over to the Opacity option in the top right of the Layers palette (directly beside the blend mode option) and lower the opacity of the layer all the way down to 10% or less. I’m going to set mine to 8%, leaving the noise barely visible but enough to add a little “dirt” to the image:

Photoshop Tutorials: Lower the opacity of the noise layer to 10% or less so the noise is just barely visible.

Once you’ve blended in your noise with the image, you’re done!

Here, for comparison, is my original image once again:

Photoshop Tutorials: The original image once again.

And here is the final “Bourne Ultimatum movie poster” color and motion blur effect:

Photoshop Tutorials: The final effect.