How to create a rain effect on Photoshop

rain effect

You might someday be working on a poster design or probably anything and you really need it to rain, and hey you really do not know what or how to go about it. Adding a rain effect is just as simple as ‘now let’s add rain to this design’ or probably like now it’s time for it to rain. There’s never a miracle involved, sit back and relax and let me show how simple it is to make it rain in your designs courtesy of I will be using Photoshop CS3.

Step 1

So the field and the sky you see there at the background is one of those collections of pictures on my PC. You don’t necessarily have to use same thing though it never still matters, it will surely rain at the end. You can either create a new document or just add it to your existing document. But here I will be showing you how I turned this beautiful sky picture below to what you are seeing up there.


I duplicate the background layer using Layer > Duplicate layer and then I changed the duplicated layer to black and white (Image > Adjustments > Black and White) using the below settings

change copied to black and white 2

And after this I changed the blend mode to Multiply by right clicking on the layer and click on blending options and below is the result after changing the blend mode.

outcome 1 after multiply effect

So that’s how my background was achieved. Now to the main tutorial. i.e. The Rain Effect.

Step 2

Now create a new layer (Layer > Create new) or simply use (Ctrl+Shift+N) and name the new Noise or Rain. After this fill the new layer with #FFFFFF using the Paint Bucket Tool. Make sure this Noise or Rain layer is above all other layers. After filling, your document will look like below.

noise filling outcome

Step 3

Now click on Filters > Add Noise and use the settings shown below or you are free to use more, the higher the amount of the noise, the more the rain. So be careful never to spoil everything with too much rain and be careful to add enough rain.

add noise to the noise layer

Step 4

Now after adding the noise, you then must apply a motion blur. So you can use the very same settings I used or not. What motion blur does exactly is that it determines the direction of your rain, so if you are adding wind effect to your design then you have to make sure they blend well. Below is the settings I used to achieve the rain effect for my design.

add motion blur to the noise layer


Step 5

We are almost there, it’s about to rain. Now, go to Image -> Adjustments -> Levels. Set the black point level to 180-197 or until you see the white areas in the image look like rain. If you see too much rain, increase the value, if it is too little reduce the value. Use a 1.00 value for the grays and a 255 for the whites.

changing the levels

Step 6

This is the final step, all you need to do now to see your rain is to change the blend mode of this layer to screen.

change blend mode to screen

And that’s all. I hope it was actually that easy for you to grab? You might as well give it a trial and let us see your final image. Like I said earlier, it will rain anywhere, no matter what the background you choose. I look forward to see how you made it rain too. Below is the final Image.

rain effect

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