How to Create a Magical Flowing River Effect in Photoshop

By September 8, 2012February 14th, 2013Photoshop Tutorials

Have you seen those nice and magical river pictures where the flowing river looks so soft and flowy? Well, usually this effect is reached while you are actually taking the picture using the tripod and playing around with the shutter speed of your camera. But what if your camera is not fancy enough to allow to change the shutter speed, you do not how to or you already made a picture in the past and would now want to change it? This tutorial will show you how to create that effect inside Photoshop.

01. Open a picture of a river.

02. Duplicate your picture layer by right clicking on the original layer and choosing Duplicate Layer. Then go to Filter – Blur – Motion Blur. There set the Angle on the direction your water is moving. The larger distance you put, the faster the river movement will look. Press Ok.

03. Now take the Eraser tool and erase the parts that you do not want the motion blur on. Erase out the rocks, trees etc and leave the water as it is.

04. Set the colors to white! and then go to Filter – Filter Gallery. A new window will open.

05. From the new window, go to Distort and there pick the Diffuse Glow Box. Set the Graininess to 0 and raise the other values according to how much glow you’d wish to add. Press Ok when done.

06. If your picture’s background is lacking some vibrance in colors, then go to Image – Adjustments – Hue/Saturation and raise the Saturation a bit. Press Ok.

07. And your river has a magical flow!