photoshop creative

4 steps to silky smooth water

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
September 16, 2014

Convey the beautiful movement of water with a simple blur

1. Rough selection

Use the polygonal Lasso tool with Feather set to 10px. Roughly select an area where the water is all going in the same direction. The selection doesn’t have to be exact, just a rough shape surrounding the target area should be fine.

2. Create a layer

Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to copy the selection to a new layer. Doing this will also cancel the selection, but you need to get it back. Ctrl/Cmd-click the new layer thumbnail to create the same selection again. Also, make sure the copied layer is active.

3. Smooth things out

Go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur and set the angle to match the direction of the water, or alternately, head to Blur Gallery>Path Blur, and draw out the exact path of the water.

4. Repeat

Repeat the first three steps wherever you’d like a new direction. You should end up with a few layers of blurred water: select them and merge them into a single layer, and then liquify to blend any seams of blurring.