Creating a Realistic Water Texture in Photoshop

Water Effect

This is the first in a short series of tutorials on how to create some awesome textures in Photoshop by using just a few filters. This water effect essentially only takes 2 filters to get the desired effect. Of course, once you get the look you want, then it’s a good idea to start experimenting on how you can take the idea further and make it your own.

This texture is created using the following steps…

  1. Open up a new document in Photoshop, set the size to your needs, I used 500px by 500px and 300 resolution. Click OK.
  2. Set the Foreground color to white and the background color to black.
  3. Colors
  4. We need a base of two distinguishably different colors to get a starting point, so with this in mind, go to the toolbar at the top and click filter->render->clouds
  5. Clouds
  6. Don’t worry that the texture is black and white, we will add color to it at the end. The way sunlight reflects off of water if very distinguishable, to get the highlights and shadows, click filter->sketch->chrome. This will bring up the filters box, play around with the detail and smoothness sliders until you get the effect you like.
  7. Chrome Effect
  8. Let’s add some color back into the image by clicking image->adjustments->hue/saturation. Make sure to check colorize and preview, then adjust the sliders till you get a nice look. I went with a nice blue. Click OK
Hue Saturation Adjustment

That’s it! This texture is real simple to create, but very effective. I hope you can find a use for this is some of your own projects. If you come up with something cool, or have a different way to accomplish a similar texture, let me know.