Fog/Mist Effect

April 17th, 2013

Here is one way to create a foggy or misty effect over a graphic. It takes advantage of the cloud effect in Photoshop.


Fog/Mist Effect - original

Finished Result
Fog/Mist Effect - finished result


  1. Open the image you’d like to add a fog/mist to, and create a New Layer . I will be naming mine, fog base.

    Fog/Mist Effect - #1

  2. Make sure your foreground and background colors are black and white. You can hit D to reset them to this.

    Fog/Mist Effect - #2

  3. On layer fog base, create some clouds by going to Filter >> Render >> Clouds.

    You want a pattern that doesn’t have too much white or black but a nice balance of both. You can keep rendering clouds until you’re satisfied.

    Fog/Mist Effect - #3

  4. In your Layers window, set the Blending Option of layer fog base to Screen.

    Fog/Mist Effect - #4

    It should now look like this.

    Fog/Mist Effect - #4

  5. Now we’re going to give it a bit of texture. Go to Filter >> Artistic >> Poster Edges. The default options are fine (Thickness at 2, Intensity at 1, Posterization at 2).

    Fog/Mist Effect - #5

  6. Select the Smudge tool . (If you only see the Blur or Sharpen tool, hold that down for more options.) Select a fairly large brush and set the pressure to 50%.

    Fog/Mist - #6

  7. Smudge the fog around! Simply hold down on an area and then move your mouse to the side. Do this to several areas in horizontal motions until it’s smoothed out.

    Fog/Mist Effect - #7

  8. Select the Eraser tool and choose a brush with faded edges (like an airbrush). Erase off any areas you don’t want covered by the fog. (I erased the fog over her face.)

    Fog/Mist Effect - #8

  9. Make another New Layer . I will name it fog overlay.

    Fog/Mist Effect - #9

  10. Render clouds on fog overlay by doing Filter >> Render >> Clouds again.

    Fog/Mist - #10

  11. This new cloud layer will break up the fog/mist more. In your Layers window, set the Blending Option of layer fog overlay to Soft Light. (Overlay might also work.)

    Fog/Mist Effect - #11

  12. And that’s it! You can smudge it around more or erase some areas until it’s to your liking.

    Fog/Mist Effect - finished result

Image credit: code1name at Freeimages

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