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Photoshop Tutorial : Making Fog/Mist

You may want to add some atmosphere to an image in the form of fog/mist and we can do this quite easily in Photoshop.

First I’d like to thank MARK GERMAN for letting me use his Silence Lane image in this tutorial. If you don’t have an image to try this tutorial out on, you will have to contact Mark to ask his permission to use it.

Here is our start image

Our image with one application of fog/mist

And I added another layer of fo/mist because I wanted to cover the bottom right of the image a little more.

A larger view of the finished image is available HERE

So lets get started. Open your image, duplicate and close the original. I want you to click on the new layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette, or you can go to the top menu bar and go Layer>New>Layer, or press Ctrl+Shift+n. Making sure the new layer is active and that your foreground/background colours are set to the default of black/white (press d on the keyboard if they aren’t, or if white is the f/ground and black the b/ground, press x on the keyboard) go to the filter menu in the top tool bar and choose Render>Clouds.

In this tutorial I have applied Render>Clouds once, if you would like some variation on this press Ctrl+f on the keyboard to repeat but you will also notice that the clouds appear differently each time. To get some rather different effects, instead of pressing Ctrl+f – press Ctrl+Alt+f ……. try it and see 🙂

So now we’re going to give the clouds a little blur. Go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur and you can set the same amounts as I have in the image below.

Most of what you do from now on will vary according to each image, and what it is you are trying to achieve. At the bottom of the layers palette you will see a little icon with FX on it, 2nd from left, I want you to click on that and choose Blending Options from the menu – alternatively you can go to the top menu bar and choose Layer>LayerStyle>Blending Options – and a dialogue box will appear like the one in the image below, I’ve highlighted the part of the dialogue box that we will be using next – ‘Blend If’

Make sure that ‘Blend If’ in the highlighted red area is set to gray. You’ll notice that the sliders have a triangle at each end (black and white) we will be concentrating on the black end, so don’t worry about the white slider. You’ll also notice that the triangle shape has a small white area in the middle of the slider, this is so that we can split the slider, which we are going to do now. Hold down the alt key (option for mac) and put your cursor to the right of the white area then click and drag the slider, it should now have split into a half triangle. Looking at the image below, move this half of the traingle to 125, then come back and move the left part of the half triangle to 25. When you’ve done that, click ok.

Now I want you to press Ctrl+t on the keyboard to bring up the Transform tool, or you can go to Edit>Transform>Scale – you will have to decide at this point where you want the fog/mist to be and bring the top down accordingly, as I’ve done in the next image.

What you will have to do next is throw in a gradient to take away the harsh transition. Making sure your f/ground and b/ground are set to the default, select the gradient tool and on the top menu bar make sure that black to transparent is selected. You need to do the gradient from the top to the bottom, BUT not from the top of the image, from above the harsh line of the clouds layer. You may have to do this more than once, just keep trying until you get a nice transition. In the image below I did the gradient 4 times till I got it how I wanted it. I then took the opacity of the layer down to 70%.

I then duplicated the clouds layer by dragging it to the create a new layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette and with that layer selected I grabbed my move tool from the side menu bar and moved it up until it was were I wanted it. Now I have a harsh transition at the bottom of this clouds layer, so do the same as above except start at the bottom of the harsh line and work upwards with your gradient. A bit of practice will make this a very simple task. I changed the opacity of this clouds layer to 60%. The image below shows the final work, which btw is different from the image at the top of this tutorial because I couldn’t remember what I had done LOL 🙂

And the larger image HERE

Remember that all of these steps can be used in various ways on different images, not just to create fog/mist and they can be adapted to create the type of fog/mist you want – it is the process that is important.

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