photoshop creative

Add creative speed effects

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
December 7, 2016

Create this intense speed effect using adjustment layers, motion blurs and layer masks


1. Apply motion blur


Open your start image and press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate the Background layer. Go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. Enter an Angle of -30 and Distance of 50px and click OK. Double-click the layer name in the Layers palette and rename it Blur.

2. Mask the blur


Add a layer mask to the Blur layer. Select the Brush tool and use a large black airbrush to mask out the blur on the front section of the car. Reduce the brush’s Opacity to 50% and use it to partially mask the blur over the foreground.

3. Select Colour Range


Open an image of an ocean and go to Select>Colour Range, set the Fuzziness to 40 and click on an area of white sea spray. You want to make a selection that includes the top strip of white sea spray as shown. Click OK.

4. Enter Quick Mask mode


Press Q to enter Quick Mask mode. Use a white airbrush to add some of the blue wave below the spray to your selection. Switch to a black brush and remove the rest of the canvas from your selection. Press Q to exit Quick Mask mode.

5. Paste in the wave


Copy the wave and paste it into the car image. Rename it Bonnet Edge. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T, right-click and choose Flip Horizontal, then rotate, resize and position so it reaches from one side of the bonnet to the other.

6. Warp the edge


Use the Freeform Lasso (L) to select the left section of the wave. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T, right-click and choose Warp. Drag within the bounding box and the sides, corners and handles in order to curve the left side downwards as shown. Press enter. Press Cmd/Ctrl+D to deselect.

7. Bend the wave


Press Cmd/Ctrl+T, right-click and choose Warp, then edit the shape of the wave so that it is lower in the middle and curves up over the lights. Drag the top handles up and left to make the spray appear to be flowing in that direction.

8. Colour Fill


Click the Foreground colour palette and choose a colour of R:0 G:88 B:82. Hold Cmd/Ctrl and click the Bonnet Edge layer’s thumbnail in the Layers palette to select its contents. Press Shift+Backspace, and choose Use: Foreground Color and Blending Mode: Color. Click OK.

9. Hue/Saturation adjustment


Press Cmd/Ctrl+D to deselect. Add a Hue/ Saturation adjustment layer, right-click its name in the Layers palette and click Create Clipping Mask from the fly-out menu. Enter values of Hue: +176, Saturation: +5 and Lightness: +21.

10. Mask the edge


Add a layer mask to the Bonnet Edge layer and use the Spatter Edge brush at 20px with black to mask along the bottom edge of the wave. Use short quick brush strokes and follow the form of the car’s bonnet and lights.

11. Add shading


Add a new layer at the top of the layer stack (press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N). Tick ‘Use previous layer to create clipping mask’, set blending mode to Multiply and Opacity: 50%, and name it Shading. Use the airbrush with a colour of R:44 G:0 B:1 to paint along the bottom of the wave.

12. Brighten up


Add another new layer, again tick to create a clipping mask, name it Brighten and set its blending mode to Soft Light and Opacity: 50%. Use the airbrush with R:168 G:0 B:4 to add some more colour to the top areas of spray.

13. Inject some shadow


Add a new layer below Bonnet Edge, set it to Multiply and 60% Opacity, and name it Shadow. Use the airbrush with a colour of R:0 G:10 B:58 to paint a thin shadow beneath the edge of the wave.

14. Copy the wave


On the Bonnet Edge layer, use the Lasso tool to select a small area near the middle, including the particles of spray above. Copy (Cmd/Ctrl+C) and paste (Cmd/Ctrl+V) it at the top of the layer stack and rename it Side Edge.

15. Position and warp


Press Cmd/Ctrl+T and rotate it so it’s vertical, and move it over to the left side of the car. Right-click and choose Flip Vertical. Right-click and choose Warp. Click and drag handles, edges and corners to create a curved shape as shown.

16. Mask and colour change


Add a layer mask and use a black airbrush to blend it in. Apply all the same changes (Hue/Saturation, shading, brighten and shadows) to this layer as we did previously with the Bonnet Edge layer in steps 9, 11, 12 and 13.

17. Paste a third wave


Copy and paste in another section of wave to add to the roof of the car, Transform and Warp it to fit and apply the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, but do not add the shading, brighten or shadow layer to this section. Again, mask with an airbrush to blend it in.

18. Change the colour


Duplicate the Background (Cmd/Ctrl+J), rename it Colour Change and drag it above Blur. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, create a clipping mask. Enter Hue: -148, Saturation: -142. Add a Levels adjustment layer, create a clipping mask, and move the grey slider to 1.07 and the white slider to 234.

19. Apply an airbrush


On the Colour Change layer, hold Alt and add a layer mask. Use a white airbrush to bring back the Colour Change layer over the areas of car from which the red paint has come away (on the bonnet and next to the wheel).

20. Add Motion Blurs and Curves


On the Side Edge layer, go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur and enter Angle: -39, Distance: 10px, click OK. Apply a Motion Blur of Angle: -22, Distance: 24px to the wave on the roof. Finally, add a Curves adjustment layer and use it to boost the final appearance.