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Create Water Texture in Photoshop
Tutorials Textures and Patterns 28685 November 3rd, 2018

Learn how to create realistic water surface texture in Photoshop from scratch using some basic PS filters and adjustments. You can easily make your own water texture with the desired canvas size. This texture can be used for creating water reflection effect using this texture as a displacement map.

Realistic Water Texture Photoshop Tutorial

How To Create Realistic Water Texture Photoshop Tutorial

How To Create Water Surface Texture In Photoshop

Create a new document 1500px/1000px. Name the first layer Water Surface. Fill it with color white. Make sure the Foreground Color is white and the Background Color is set to black. Convert this layer to a smart object(right click and choose Convert to smart object). Go to Filter>Noise and choose the Add Noise filter.

Create Noise For The Water Photoshop

The water texture needs to have some ripples. But, the noise created too harsh details. Let's soften them up using some blur.

Go to Filter>Blur and choose the Gaussian Blur filter.

Blur Noise To Create Water Ripples Texture In Photoshop

Now we need to create some variance in the water surface texture. You know, like the water waves created by the wind on the surface of the water.

Go to the Filter>Sketch and choose the Chalk and Charcoal filter to create an abstract effect like this.

Use Chalk And Charcoal To Create The Ripples For Water Texture In Photoshop

Add again a Gaussian Blur smart filter with these settings.

Photoshop Smart Filter With Gaussian Blur

The Water Photoshop Texture Needs Ripples

To finalize the water ripples textures in Photoshop you have to go to Filter>Sketch menu and choose Bas Relief.

Photoshop Bas Relief To Create Realistic Water Ripples Effect In Photoshop

This starts to look more like realistic water texture. But, it looks like it's shown from above. We want the ripples of the water texture to be horizontally longer. So, we smudge the water ripples horizontally using some motion blur.

Time to add another filter effect. Go to Filter>Blur and choose the motion Blur filter.

Photoshop Motion Blur Applied On Water Textures Ripples

Again, the result is a bit to sharp. Add one more Gaussian Blur effect.

Black And White Water Texture Photoshop Texture

This really starts looking like an awesome water texture. But, it's black and white, so we need to add color. We will make the water texture blue by adding a Photoshop Gradient Map.

Add The Water Texture Photoshop Gradient Map

Now add a Gradient Map using the Create a new fill or adjustment layer button from the layers tab.

Color Water Texture Photoshop Texture Using Gradient Map

Here are the colors for making a blue water texture with Photoshop Gradient Map: #18548b and #5394b9

Blue Water Texture Photoshop Gradient Map Settings

How To Make The Water Texture Realistic

Our Photoshop water texture looks good and you could really use it like this. But, if you want, you can improve it.

How do we do that?

Well, if you look in the distance over a body of water, you will see that the riples on the surface of the water have some higlights - light reflected from the sun. Let's see how we can add those hightlights to our water texture in Photoshop.

Create a new layer and call it for example Water Texture. Fill the layer with white color and convert it to smart object. We will add similar smart filters so let's do it quickly. Use the Add Noise filter.

Photoshop Gaussian Noise

Add Filter>Sketch>Halftone Pattern.

Photoshop Halftone Filter To Create Hightlights

To create the water texture ripple highlights add Filter>Sketch>Bas Relief.

Bas Relief Photoshop Filter To Create The Water Texture Ripple Hightlights

Then add Filter>Blur>Motion Blur to soften those water ripple highlights and reflections.

Use Photoshop Motion To Create Water Waves Reflections And Highlights

Add Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur to make the ripples in the water longer on the horizontal.

Photoshop Motion Blur For Longer Water Waves

Set the blend mode of the Water Texture layer to Soft Light as this will accentuate the water wave highlights and reflections.

Use Soft Light Photoshop Blending Mode For The Water Texture

Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer just for the Water Texture layer using a clipping mask. Right click on the adjustment and choose Create Clipping Mask.

Create Clipping Mask For The Water Texture Layer

Because we made the water texture using a blue gradient map the result has a cold color. We can warm up a bit the water texture color by adding a dark to yellow(ish) Gradient Fill adjustment with these color tones: #070605 and #fbf4cd.

Warmer Water Texture Colors Using Photoshop Gradient Fill

Set the blend mode of this gradient to Soft Light, opacity 50%.

Setting Soft Light Blend Mode With Warm Gradient

Change The Water Texture With Photoshop Perspective

Let's adjust the perspective for our water texture in Photoshop. For the final perspective touches, select the Water Surface layer and the Water Texture layer and go to Edit>Transform>Perspective.

Water Texture Photoshop Perspective

So, here is the final result for our realistic water Photoshop texture made from scratch. Hope you enjoyed reading our new tutorial. Check out our huge collection of already made water textures for free.

Water Photoshop Texture
4.9 ( 127 votes)

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2 comment(s) for "Create Water Texture in Photoshop"

4:09 AM Thursday, July 14, 2016
Here is my Photoshop water texture ... I am pretty pleased with the result. Thank you for this useful tutorial :) reply
2:21 AM Saturday, November 11, 2017
Thank you!
it was so useful :) reply

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