How to Create Water Droplets in Photoshop

posted by Audee | Saturday, December 22, 2007

It’s been quite a while since my last Photoshop Tutorial guys :), anyway I spent my long holiday to write another tutorial, which is how to create water droplets in Photoshop.

I also included the photoshop action to create this water droplets effect, and there are two kinds of action for creating: bigger water droplets and the smaller one.

This tutorial is very easy for photoshop beginners, but actually there are also another ways of technique to create water droplets using Photoshop. The problem is sometime the water droplets won’t appear to be natural or realistic on the first attempt of applying some filter effect. Filter effects are would likely produce uniform artificially look of water droplets on an object surface. Therefore, as need to do the retouch to finish this effect. Lets begin now!

Step 1 – Working with a New File

Open a new file of image that has any object, it could be leaf, flower, glass of water or any interesting objects to practice this file.

Add new layer and place it above your image object layer. Activate this layer (work on this layer) from now on.
How to Create Water Droplets in Photoshop

Press “D” key to set the color palette into black and white or find the color palette on the Tool Box to set it
How to Create Water Droplets in Photoshop

And fill the new layer with the foreground color which is black.
How to Create Water Droplets in Photoshop

Step 2 – Working with Filters Effect

Go to the menu Filter > Render > Fibers and set the value in the dialogue box (Variance: 16.0 ; Strength: 4.0) just like being shown here:
How to Create Water Droplets in Photoshop

Then look again to menu Filter > Texture > Stained Glass, set the value in the option box: Cell Size: 6 ; Border Thickness: 10 ; Light Intensity: 1:
How to Create Water Droplets in Photoshop

Find menu Filter > Sketch > Plaster and set the value in the dialogue box: Image Balance: 20 ; Smothness: 8 ; Light Direction: bottom:
How to Create Water Droplets in Photoshop

Step 3 – Using Magic Wand Tool to Clear the Black Background

How to Create Water Droplets in Photoshop

On the ToolBox, click on magic wand tool and set its Tolerance value: 32.
How to Create Water Droplets in Photoshop

Back to your workspace, working still in new layer that now almost show water droplets; click the black background of your water droplets layer.
How to Create Water Droplets in Photoshop

Press Delete and to remove the selection, just go to menu Select > Deselect or “Ctrl + D”.

Step 4 – Finishing Retouch

Go to the Layers Panel and set the Blending Mode from Normal to Overlay and set the Opacity to 73%.
How to Create Water Droplets in Photoshop

As I told you in the beginning, to create almost realistic water droplets effect on a surface, you need to do the finishing retouch. You can chose to use layer masking technique or simply erasing the unwanted spot water droplets to do it. Somehow using both of those techniques together would also help ;)

  • Layer Masking Technique
On the layer panel, you can find Layer Mask icon and click it to add layer mask. Click the layer mask which created right next to your water droplets.
How to Create Water Droplets in Photoshop

Find the Brush Tool on the Tool Box, set the opacity somewhere between 35% – 55% and wipe the brush on your workspace, pick some random spot so your water droplets won’t look uniform in shapes again.
How to Create Water Droplets in Photoshop

If you want to make them look almost disappear, especially outside of your object surface, set the opacity of your brush to 100%.

Layer masking gives you easy way blend the water droplets to the object surface without really making them disappear.

  • Eraser Tool
 If you wish to use eraser tool, inactivate the layer mask by clicking on the original water droplets layer which is placed on the left side of the layer mask.
How to Create Water Droplets in Photoshop

Set the opacity and brush tip as you want, the more it gets close to 100% value, then your eraser tool can absolutely erase the water droplets without a trace.

Water Droplets Effect in Photoshop Action

Want to do it quick ;), download this water droplets effect photoshop action to apply on an object surface. There are actually two actions in single file, one is to create bigger water droplets, and the other one is to create the smaller one.

All you need is an image file on a new layer, install the photoshop action and play it. Wait in about 50 secs, and you’ll get these droplets instantly.

Do the Finishing Retouch in Step 4 above to create nice and realistic water droplets effect, and you’re done :)

If you don’t know what Photoshop Action is and how to install it, you can go to my previous tutorial post about Photoshop Action.

Graphic Identity - water droplets.atn (3 KB)
Download Water Droplets in Photoshop Action

Graphic Identity - water droplets.rar (798 B)
Download Water Droplets in Photoshop Action

How to Create Water Droplets in Photoshop

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  • i love this feature! for contoured objects i liquify the droplets to make it take on the shape. thanks for the tutorial :)

    By Blogger eetyng, At May 7, 2008 at 12:41 PM  

  • I think this tutorial needs sort of improvements...and if you can apply it for another purpose, that will sounds great!
    Glad we can help you a bit ;)

    By Blogger A u d e e, At May 7, 2008 at 1:08 PM  

  • LOOOOOVE ITTTTTT. Followed instructions to the letter and then tweaked brightness and fade and the results? spectacular.

    Been hunting for this for ages. i want to put "water" on a skin image i works great.

    Thanks for taking the time to post the tutorial - much appreciated

    By Blogger Dug, At June 16, 2008 at 1:19 AM  

  • I had a marvelous time going through your tutorial to make my own Water Droplets and Water Droplets Action. Thank you for your generous offer.

    By Blogger Flash Buddy, At February 17, 2009 at 9:04 PM

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