Advanced Clouds

Tired of using the same old clouds (FILTER...Render...Clouds) which rely on the Foreground/Background colors? Here's how to get some variation...

This is a fabulous tutorial which will introduce you to many new techniques, Actions etc etc.

Open a new image (FILE…New) 400 pixels x 400 pixels, 72 dpi, White Background.

Create a new layer (Layer 2).

Change the Foreground/Background colours to a dark blue/light blue.

Select the Linear Gradient Toollinear gradient tool and, with Shift pressed down, drag a vertical gradient from the top of the image to the bottom (dark blue at the top, fading to light blue at the bottom).

Create a new layer (Layer 3). Press D on the keyboard to return the Foreground/Background colours to their default of Black/White.


IMAGE…Adjust…Auto Levels to increase the contrast of the clouds.

Click on the Layer Mask icon layer mask icon(at the bottom of the Layers palette) to give the clouds layer a Layer Mask.

Click on the first thumbnail on the layer (red square, to the right).


IMAGE…Adjustments…Auto Levels.

LAYER…Remove Layer Mask…Discard

Experiment with the Layer Blend Modes (in the box at the top of the Layers palette - it normally says "Normal" until you click the drop-down arrow), Hard Light (stormy!) and Lighten (summery!) can be effective.

If you like, go to IMAGE…Adjustments…Hue/Saturation
and, with the Colorize box checked, move the Hue/Saturation sliders until you like the result.

Depending on the image you are using these clouds in, you may want a panoramic-vista type effect. Link layers 2 and 3 and go to EDIT…Transform…Perspective and drag one of the top-corner handles way out.

finished clouds

layer mask
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