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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe Photoshop
Design

How to Create a Fog Effect Photoshop Action

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create an action in Photoshop. We are going to create a fog effect Photoshop action to add amazing fog photo effects to your photos. I will explain everything in so much detail that everyone can create it, even those who have just opened Photoshop for the first time.

The photo effect shown above is the one I will show you how to create in this tutorial. If you would like to create the even more advanced fog effect Photoshop action result shown below, using just a single click and in only a few minutes, then check out my Fog Photoshop Action.

action final result

What You'll Need

To recreate the design above, you will need the following resources:

1. How to Start Creating an Action

Step 1

First, open the photo that you want to work with. To open your photo, go to File > Open, choose your photo, and click Open. Now, before we get started, just check a couple of things:

  1. Your photo should be in RGB Color mode, 8 Bits/Channel. To check this, go to Image > Mode.
  2. For best results, your photo size should be 2000–4000 px wide/high. To check this, go to Image > Image Size.
  3. Your photo should be the Background layer. If it is not, go to Layer > New > Background from Layer.
checking image mode and size

Step 2

Now go to Window > Actions, and in the Actions panel, click on the menu icon in the top right-hand corner. Choose New Set to create a new set, and name it Fog. Then, click on the same menu icon again, choose New Action to create a new action, and name it Fog as shown below:

creating new action

2. How to Create the Base

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create the base that determines the subject in our photo. Go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer and name it Base.

creating new layer

Step 2

Now choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush over your subject. It doesn't matter what color you use.

brushing onto layer

3. How to Create the Focus

Step 1

In this section we are going to create the focus. Control-click on the Base layer thumbnail to make a selection of this layer and hide the Base layer. Then, select the Background layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using the selection.

creating new layer

Step 2

Now name this layer Subject.

naming layer

Step 3

Press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate this layer. Then, press Control-Shift-U to desaturate this new layer, go to Filter > Other > High Pass, and set the Radius to 2 px.

adding high pass filter

Step 4

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Vivid Light. Then, name this layer Subject Sharpening.

changing blending mode

Step 5

Select the Background layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate this layer. Then, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 15 px.

adding gaussian blur filter

Step 6

Now name this layer Background Blur.

naming layer

4. How to Create the Lighting and Fog

Step 1

In this section we are going to create the lighting. Select the Subject Sharpening layer, go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer and name it Light Source.

creating new layer

Step 2

Now set the foreground color to #f1ebbc and choose the Brush Tool (B). Then, pick a soft brush, adjust the Size and Hardness of the brush as you like, and brush where you want to create a light source.

brushing onto layer

Step 3

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Screen and set the Opacity to 87%.

changing blending mode and opacity

Step 4

Now select the Subject Sharpening layer, go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it Shadow, and choose the color #000000.

creating new fill layer

Step 5

Set the foreground color to #000000 and select the layer mask of this layer. Then, Control-click on the Light Source layer thumbnail to make a selection of this layer. After that, go to Edit > Fill, and set Contents to Foreground Color, Blending to Normal, and Opacity to 100% as shown below:

filling layer mask

Step 6

Now press Control-D on your keyboard to deselect the selection. Then, change the Opacity of this layer to 20%.

changing opacity

Step 7

Now select the Subject Sharpening layer, go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it Fog, and choose the color #ffffff:

creating new fill layer

Step 8

Change the Opacity of this layer to 31%.

changing opacity

Step 9

Now Alt-click and drag the layer mask of the Shadow layer over the layer mask of the Fog layer to replace it.

filling layer mask

5. How to Make the Final Adjustments

Step 1

In this section we are going to make final adjustments to the design. Select the Light Source layer, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves to create a new curves adjustment layer, and name it Color Look.

creating new adjustment layer

Step 2

Now Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, enter the settings below:

adjusting curves

Step 3

Press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches. Then, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map to create a new gradient map adjustment layer and name it Overall Contrast.

creating new adjustment layer

Step 4

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light and set the Opacity to 14%.

changing blending mode and opacity

You Made It!

Congratulations, you have succeeded! You've learned how to create a fog and fade effect Photoshop action to add amazing photo effects to your photos. Here is our final result:

final result

If you would like to create the even more advanced fog effect Photoshop action result shown below, using just a single click and in only a few minutes, then check out my Fog Photoshop Action.

With this action you can create this soft-looking fog and glow effect from your photos with no work at all. The action works so you simply brush over your photo with a color and just play the action. The action will do everything for you, giving you fully layered and customizable results.

The action comes with a detailed video tutorial that demonstrates how to use the action and customize the results to get the most out of the effect.

action final result

Do you like photo effects and photo filters? Then check out these Photoshop action and Photoshop filter tutorials:

Do you like light Photoshop effects? Would you like to learn how to create a matte and fade effect Photoshop action? Then, check these ones out:


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