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Add Rain to images in Photoshop

Posted on 28th June 2018
For this tutorial, we will use the image of a landscape and one of a dark cloudy sky.

1 - In Photoshop, open the landscape image you chose to work with. Open the cloudy sky image you want to use and drag it into your canvas, resize it if needed using “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T).

2 - Rename your Layer “Clouds” and lower its “Opacity” a bit (75%) to see how your two layers work together. Double-click on top of your “Background” Layer to unlock it and give it a name.

3 - Use “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T) again to make both horizons coincide as much as you can. You may need to squeeze or deform your image a little to make it fit and look better.

4 - Use the “Quick Selection Tool” (W) to select the portion of your “Background” image you want to cover with the cloudy sky. Once you are happy, click the “Select and Mask” button from the top menu and refine the edges a bit, make sure you chose “Output to Selection” and click “OK”.

5 - Make sure you are in your “Clouds” Layer and click the “Add Layer Mask” button at the bottom of the “Layers” Panel. Choose the lighter image and go to Image > Adjustments > Match Color. Use your current File as “Source”, “Clouds” as “Layer” and play around with the “Image Options” settings until your colors look homogenous. Select your two Layers and “Group” them together by clicking on the small folder icon at the bottom of the Panel.

6 - Go to the “Adjustments Panel” and create a “Color Lookup Adjustment Layer”, check the “3DLUT File” radio button and choose “Fuji F125 Kodak 2393”.

7 - Use the “Polygonal Lasso Tool” (L) to make a selection of the ground that should be wet if it was raining (the dock in our case). Create an empty “Folder” on top of your two background images (but under the “Color Lookup” Layer) and create a “Mask”. Duplicate your “Dock” Layer (Command/Control + J) and place the duplicate inside the new Folder so the “Mask” can be applied to it.

8 - With the duplicate selected, go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Sketch > Bass Relief and use the following values (Detail: 15, Smoothness: 1, Light: Bottom).

9 - Create a “Curves Adjustment Layer” on top of your image, and move your curve until you get a good contrast and a darker image. Click on the small button at the bottom of the “Properties Panel” to “Clip” this Layer to the one underneath. Change the “Blending Mode” of the “Dock copy” Layer to “Color Dodge” and lower the “Opacity” to 60%.

10 - Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur and use an “Angle” of 0° and a “Distance” of 5 Pixels. Create a New Layer by clicking on the small button at the bottom of the Panel and go to Filter > Render Clouds.

11 - Use “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T) to pull down the top handle and make your layer start slightly where the Dock begins. With the “Free Transform” still active, go to Edit > Transform > Perspective and move the handles until it roughly covers the are masked in the Folder.

12 - Select All (Command/Control + A) “Cut” (Command/Control + X). Create a “Layer Mask” for your “Dock copy” Layer, check the “Channels Panel” that the “Copy Dock Mask” Channel is visible (little eye icon on the left) and head back to the “Layers Panel”.

13 - Make sure the “Mask” is selected and go to Edit > Paste Special > Paste in Place (Shift + Command/Control + V). The selection should be pasted inside the “Mask”. You can delete the Layer you created for the “Clouds” Filter if you want.

14 - Create a New Layer on top, name it “Fog” and reduce its “Opacity” to 50%. Select the “Brush Tool” (b), use a large and soft brush (800 px and 0% “Hardness”), use a light gray as “Fill” color (#bbbbbb) and while holding the “Shift” key draw a horizontal line from side to side in the spot where the Horizon is.

15 - Duplicate your Layer and using “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T) enlarge the fog to cover a bit more. Check the results and see if changes are needed, we decided to reduce the “Opacity” of the “Fog” Layer to 20%.

16 - To darken everything a bit more, lets create a “Levels Adjustment Layer” on top and experiment with the placement of the levers to achieve the look of an upcoming storm.

17 - For the rain, create a “New Layer”, fill it with Black, go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and use the default settings. Use “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T) and scale your image 600%.

18 - Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur and use and “Angle” of 60° and a “Distance” of 200 Pixels. Bring out the “Curves Adjustment Panel” (Command/Control + M)*. Change the “Blending Mode” to “Screen” and lower the “Opacity” if you think it’s needed (we used 55%).

19 - Repeat the last couple Steps twice to create two more “Rain” Layers but change the values a bit. For “Rain2” scale your “Noise” 250%, use and “Angle” of 79° and a “Distance” of 280 Pixels and keep the “Opacity” at 100%.

20 - And, for “Rain3”, scale your “Noise” 400%, use and “Angle” of 72° and a “Distance” of 200 Pixels and keep the “Opacity” at 100%. Once you are ok with your “Rain” Layers, you can “Crop” the scaled images to your canvas size to make your document less heavy.

21 - Finally, create a “New Layer”, fill it with Black, go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and use the default settings. Bring out the “Curves Adjustment Panel” (Command/Control + M) and make it really dark.

22 - Lower the “Opacity” to about 20%. Move this layer under the “Rain” ones. To tone down this new Layers, add a “Layer Mask” to each, select the “Mask” Thumbnail and apply a “Render > Clouds” Filter to all.

*The values used with these adjustments will depend on the images you are using as “Background”.

by @lornacane

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