Adobe Photoshop Tutorials

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Clouded Sky

1. Create a new image however big you'd like. If you'd like to make a wallpaper than make it 1024x768 or 800x600. I chose 800x600 for tutorial purposes. Make the background Transparent and the Resolution 72.

2. Rename "Layer 1" to "background" (it just makes things easier). Now press CTRL + D to reset your color palette. Now click on your foreground color and type in the following... "H: 210, S: 100" and put the "B:" anywhere from 100-85. 100 is lighter and 85 is darker. I chose 85. Press "OK". Now select your background color. Type in the following... "H: 210, S: 85-60, B: 100". For "S:" 85 is darker, 60 is lighter.

3. With your two blue foreground and background colors selected, grab the gradient tool and click at the very top of your image (on layer "background"), hold SHIFT, and drag down to the very bottom of your image. This should make a gradient that looks something like this (but a lot bigger of course):

4. Create a new layer. Call this layer "clouds". Put it above the layer "background". Press CTRL + D to reset the color palette. Now go to Filter > Render > Clouds. Now go to Filter > Render > Difference Clouds. Press CTRL + F until you see something like this (I pressed it about 8 times):

5. Now Press CTRL + L to change the Levels. Use settings that look something like this:

6. Duplicate layer "clouds". Call this layer "extrude". Go to Filter > Stylize > Extrude with these settings: "Type: Blocks, Size: 2 Pixels, Depth: 30; Level-based, Solid Front Faces: checked, Mask Incomplete Blocks: unchecked".

7. Change the blending modes of both layers "clouds" and "extrude" to "Screen". Now select layer "extrude", and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur with the settings 1.5 to 2.0. I used 1.7.

8. You may stop here if you'd like, you should have real-looking clouds, but if you want more realistic-looking clouds, than I suggest you read on.

9. Grab your brush tool and put it's radius to about 45 (the smooth brush) with a flow of about 10%. Now create another layer above the ones you have now, and call it "shadows". Now use the brush tool and apply brush strokes to the bottoms, and maybe the tops, of your clouds. The trick is to make them look 3D. You're clouds should come out looking something like this.

10. Make sure you're on your layer "shadows" and go to Select > Color range. Change the "Fuzziness" to "100-120". I used 120. Now click on the box that should look black. An image should appear. Press "OK".

11. You should have a selection selected. Make sure you're on your "shadows" layer and press BACKSPACE. Now change the layer "shadows"s' opacity to 50-75%. Choose whichever looks best for your image, but make sure you can still see the shadowns partially (I used 75%).

12. Create another layer above the layer "shadows", call it "darken". Grab the brush tool again and start brushing the clouds again. Be sure not to brush the top of your clouds, and don't click on a certain area more than once, because you'll get a really dark shadow that won't look very good.

13. Now go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur with a radius of 6-7. I used 7. Feel free to change this layer's opacity to whatever looks best for your image.

14. You are done!

(Click the image to make it bigger)

15. Repeat step 8 (Just kidding, no one's perfect... ;P)

Thanks for listening. Hope you've learned something. Thanks.

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