Rendering Clouds in Photoshop

If you’re a photographer like me, a large part of Photoshop goes untouched. Brushes… I rarely use them unless I need to erase something! It’s time to go beyond photos and fonts, and learn how to effectively create whatever I want!

I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve sat on a magical tool for years and still haven’t learned all its secrets.

During the Photoshop Course I took yesterday, I learned how to make clouds. The first thing the instructor showed us was the Cloud Preset that comes standard with Photoshop.

Filter > Render > Cloud … Here’s what you get with the Built-In Photoshop Cloud Render Preset: What the Photoshop Cloud Preset looks like


Did I mention the class is FREE!

The instructor taught us how to use layers… which luckily I am already very familiar with (but if you’re not that’s okay, it’s super easy, just follow along with the course or you can skip it all and go straight to the tutorial section you want!)

It took about an hour to create my custom cloud brush, 5 layers; each with clouds of different sizes and levels of transparency. Add in a blue/grey drop shadow on 2 layers and merge together.

He also advised using a lens flare… I didn’t like it, so I left it out.  Unless it comes out of camera naturally, I think they almost always look fake. However once I master creating directional lighting effects then I may change my tone!

Learning to see directional light in photography was easy for me to learn, it comes natural to most people … but in art and graphic design it’s much more challenging! If this tutorial lacked in any way it was that it is a beginner level course.

It was very helpful for creating fire and clouds, but I am in need of a more advanced technique to give these clouds more 3-Dimensional qualities!

Overall, not bad for extremely basic digital clouds of the fluffiest variety! Maybe a bit too soft … but I’m always up for creative feedback.
Designing Fluffy Clouds in Photoshop CS6

Take the class and learn to create clouds and more at


3 thoughts on “Rendering Clouds in Photoshop

  1. Pingback: Trials in Typography I: Water | Crawling Out

  2. Pingback: Trials in Typography I: Water | Crawling Out

  3. Pingback: Trials in Typography II: Wind | Crawling Out

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s