Photography studio, gallery and training complex

The Scooby Doo Effect – by Nick Shale (Part 1)

Now here’s a funky little Photoshop trick for you, as shown to me by my colleague at MAC, and leader of a forthcoming Advanced Photoshop Masterclass event at fotofilia, Nick Shale. I’ll hand you over to Nick to explain…

Photoshop tutorial: Adding a rain effect to images.

(or: Instant Scooby Doo house).

Your spiritual leader David Rann has very kindly asked me to submit one of my photoshop effect tutorials to the fotofilia group.  So I thought I’d introduce you all to an effect with is alot of fun to play around with in photoshop and can produce some really striking and atmospheric results. This is the technique for adding a rainfall effect to images in photoshop, or as I call it…instant Scooby Doo houses.

1.   Getting started. I’ll be doing this tutorial using Photoshop Elements 9 but the directions I’ll give can be replicated in any CS Photoshop version too.

Right, first off I did some google image browsing and found myself a suitably dilapidated Victorian house with which to add my effect.

2.   Next step was to give the image a quick spruce up and remove any elements I didn’t want with the clone stamp tool…in this case, the removal of the satellite dish on the side of the house.


3.   I then desaturated the picture to black & white. You can convert the image to greyscale if you wish, but I personally find desaturating it gives me more options to play with in terms of tone, contrast and depth.

4.   Next step was to add another layer to the image and fill it with black.

5.    Now go to ‘Filters’  and select  ‘Noise’ then ‘Add Noise’ The layer will now fill with what looks like TV interference. Make sure the Gaussian button in the filter pop-up screen is selected, set the amount to 72.13% then click ‘OK’.

6.  Go into the ‘Filter’ drop down menu again, and this time select ‘Blur’ then ‘Gaussian Blur’. Set the radius to 1.2 pixels, then click ‘OK’.

7.   Go to ‘Image’ in the drop down menu and select ‘Levels’. In the levels pop-up screen you notice three tab markers at the bottom, coloured black, grey and white. Move the black tab marker until it is in the middle of the black histogram hump, then start moving the white tab marker towards the left. You will notice the white noise speckles will start to stand out prominently against the black background. When you’re happy you have a suitably good contrast between the two, click ‘OK’.

8.  Now go to ‘Filters’ and select ‘Blur’ then ‘Motion Blur’. Set the angle to 70 degrees and the Pixel distance to 89, instantly you’ll see that the speckled noise effect is starting to look like heavy rain fall.

9.  Now reduce the opacity of this layer to 70% so the image of the house behind starts to become visible. We’ve now added our heavy rain element to this image. But theres a few more steps I want to add to make it a lot more atmospheric and sinister looking.

Come back in a couple of days for the second part of this post.


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