Articles, Blog

How to Create Raindrops on a Frosted Window in Photoshop

November 1, 2019

Hey, everyone! Howard Pinsky here back with
another Photoshop tutorial! If you caught my recent vlogs, you’re probably aware that
I’m now living in Los Angeles, where we just got a ton of rain. Well, for most parts of
the country it would just be considered a bit of rain, but California definitely needed
it. To go along with the theme of lovely weather,
let me show you a pretty simple way of adding raindrops to your images, to make it seem
as though you’re looking through a wet window. The girl in this photo looks like she’s thoroughly
enjoying being out in the rain, so we’ll keep her out there, while we keep ourselves dry
behind a window. Let’s begin by creating the brush that will allow us to paint in the rain
drops. Grab your Brush Tool, shortcut B, and choose
a standard hard brush from the Brush Picker, with the size set to around 70 pixels. Depending
on the size of your image, the size of your brush may need to be adjusted to get the perfect
raindrop size. Now in order to customize the brush, let’s
open up the Brush panel, which can be found under the Window menu. In the Brush Tip Shape section, the only option
you’ll need to change is Spacing. To ensure that the raindrops are not all clumped together,
increase the spacing to 1000%. Next, hop into Shape Dynamics, and set the
Size Jitter to around 75%. This will randomize the size of the raindrops as you’re painting,
so that the drop are not all the same size. All the other values can remain at 0%. Finally, turn on Scattering to allow the raindrops
to scatter across the document when you’re painting them in. Make sure Both Axes is on,
and set the Scatter value to 1000%. If you’d like more drops as you’re painting, you can
turn up the Count a touch. Perfect. The brush is now ready to go! Make
sure to create a new layer so that you’re not painting directly on the background image.
As you start brushing on your document, you’ll notice that the raindrops are scattering nicely
around the image. Keep brushing until you’re happy with the amount of rain that will be
present on the window. I’m going to fill the image with a nice amount of drops. Now you may be noticing, as the raindrops
are being added, that they’re all very round. Of course, this isn’t how they would look
in real life. To randomize the drops even more, let’s add a few filters, but before
doing so, you’ll want to convert the layer into a Smart Object. This will allow you to
edit those filters even after they’ve been added. The first filter to be added, will be a Wave
distortion, located under the Filter>Distort menu. For the values, number of generators
will be set to 2, the Wavelengths will be 10 and 200, and the Amplitudes will be 5 and
30. Everything else can stay as is. When the Wave is applied, the once round raindrops
will start to appear, well, not so round. Finally, to rough up the edges a touch, a
Ripple filter can be added, again, under the Filter>Distort menu. For these settings,
the amount will be -55%, and the Size set to Large. Perfect. So now that the shape of the raindrops
is looking better, it’s time to give it an updated look, which will be done using Layer
Styles. Double-click on the raindrop layer to open up your Layer Styles, and the first
setting you’ll want to change is the Fill. To allow the styles to be seen, and to allow
the raindrops to be transparent, set the Fill to 0%. Make sure you don’t adjust the Opacity,
as that will effect the Layer Styles, as well. The first Style that will be added, will be
a Bevel and Emboss to give our raindrops the depth they need to start looking like raindrops.
Start by increasing the Depth to 200%, and the Size to 25 pixels. If you’re working with
larger or smaller raindrops, these values may need tweaking. Down below under Shading, turn off Use Global
Light, then set the Angle and Altitude both to 60. Of course, if you want the light to
be coming from a different direction, you can adjust the Angle accordingly. Now to give our drops a bit of shine, set
the Gloss Contour to Cone – Inverted, set the Highlight Mode’s Opacity to 100%, then
change the Shadow Mode to Soft Light, with an Opacity of 100%, as well. The raindrops now have a bit of depth, but
they’re still a bit too dark. Let’s add an Inner Shadow, which will actually act as a
highlight. Start by switching the Blend Mode to Soft Light, with the color set to a pure
white, and the Opacity set to 100%. Next, turn off Global Light, and set the Angle to
-120 degrees, the distance to 20 and the Size to 25. Finally, set the Contour of the shadow
to Cone. That’s starting to look a bit better. To finish
off the Layer Styles, a Drop Shadow can be added to give the drops a little bit more
depth. Set the Blend Mode to Soft Light, the color to black, and the Opacity to 100%. Next,
turn off Global Light, set the Angle to 60 degrees, the distance to 2, and the size to
6. Perfect! That will do it for the Layer Styles,
but the overall image still doesn’t look complete. If you were to be focusing on raindrops on
a window, the background would certainly be blurred out. Let’s make that happen! Select
your background image from the Layers Panel, and before you do anything, convert the layer
into a Smart Object. Again, this will allow you to edit any filters you may add along
the way. As we’re looking to blur out the background,
Gaussian Blur, found under the Filter>Blur menu, is our best bet. The amount of blur
is up to you, but for this example, 25 pixels should work well. Right away, that brings
the focus to the raindrops in the foreground, but there’s still more we can do. With the background image still active, duplicate
it. This can quickly be done with Command/Ctrl + J. You’ll see why it’s duplicated in a moment.
On this layer, we’re going to add a slight frosted texture to the nonexistent window.
Within the Filter Gallery, there’s a nice Glass distortion which will work well. Head
up to the Filter menu, then open the Filter Gallery. Once launched, expand the Distort category,
and choose Glass. For the settings, set the Distortion at 15, Smoothness at 2, Texture
to Frosted, and the Scaling to 100%. Of course, you can tweak these settings to your liking. Once the filter is applied, your window will
now have a frosted look to it. So why was this filter applied to a duplicated layer,
you may be asking? Having the frosted texture on a separate layer will allow you to mask
out portions of it to make it look like the moisture was rubbed away. Instead of using the Layer Mask for the filters,
you’ll want to apply one to the overall layer. Press the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of
your Layers Panel. Now, grab your Brush Tool, and find a nice
rough brush, like the Round Bristle Brush. Then with the foreground color set to Black,
paint in the area that you want to hide. At first, you may not be able to see through,
which you can correct by adding an Adjustment Layer right above the previous layer. For
example, you can add an Exposure Adjustment Layer, then increase the Gamma slider, which
will create a nice contrast between the two layers. And that will just about do it! If you want
to give your images a rainy look, you now know how it can be done! Thanks for watching everyone! If you enjoyed
this tutorial, make sure to give it a thumbs up, subscribe to receive future content, and
if you want to support my work, head over to to set up a small
monthly contribution. Take care!


  • Reply Howard Pinsky March 3, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    NEW #Photoshop tutorial! What crazy weather we had here in LA these past few days! Looking to add raindrops on a frosted window to your images? Here's how it can be done!

    Subscribe for more:

    Thanks for all the support, everyone!

  • Reply Cory March 3, 2014 at 10:30 pm


  • Reply Frederico Batista March 3, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    Even though I'm quite experienced with photoshop, I couldn't do so great looking drops, thanks!

  • Reply Bruno Monteiro March 3, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    you make photoshop tutorials now? 😉

  • Reply MisterG3O March 3, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Brilliant tutorial mate, will definitely try to find a use for this!

  • Reply Karl Piper March 3, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    I just tried to do this the other day, perfect!

  • Reply Michael Smit March 3, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    That is an awesome tutorial Thanks

  • Reply Piero Vera March 3, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    I'm always baffled as to how you come up with ideas like these. Amazing tutorial.

  • Reply tzouzi March 3, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    amazing tutorial Howard!! thank you! I  missed these a lot 😀

  • Reply sdhpCH March 3, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    The Pinsky is back! 🙂

    Thx Howard, those drops are amazing. Just not sure if frosted window and the drops in combination are physically correct as they should be frosted too, while they would be expected to be outside – but over all I just LOVE this tutorial!
    Wish you good luck at the new job in the new town 🙂
    Don't forget your PS-Tut-fans…

  • Reply themplar March 3, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Thanks that sure helped me learn new stuff. Very nice!

  • Reply sara meachel March 3, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    AWESOME !!! 

  • Reply cnlupo March 3, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Nais 🙂

  • Reply Mhmd N March 3, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Thnx Howard.

  • Reply Mohammed Redwan March 4, 2014 at 2:17 am

    great video bro!

  • Reply travz21 March 4, 2014 at 2:37 am

    Wow. Brilliant.

  • Reply javyer58 March 4, 2014 at 2:47 am

    Patreon logo looks like a mirrored version of Griffin Technology logo, LOL. Nice tutorials, now I can take full advantage of PS CC, my new Nikon D5200 and your tutorials. 😀

  • Reply Shane Pikelin March 4, 2014 at 3:43 am

    Wow, this is pure genius. Great job

  • Reply goo6 March 4, 2014 at 4:07 am

    Amazing as always. i just think that wouldn't the drops be facing downwards though not random?

  • Reply Max Sun March 4, 2014 at 6:31 am

    Hey Howard. Can I ask what is the Paper Crane thing on your Mac menubar between Adobe CC and Twitter? Just curious, it's been in a few of your tutorial. Really appreciate if you can answer me. 

  • Reply drew2pac March 4, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Howard, you are magical.  Every time I think 'oh I wonder how to do that on photoshop', you release the exact tutorial within days.  You are my Fairy (so to speak).  Thanks! 

  • Reply wocypke March 4, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Solid, high quality tutorial (as always). Thanks!

  • Reply Fotografie Tipps von Christian Adams Photographer March 4, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Awesome tutorial. Layer styles seem to be such a magic tool. How do you know which combination is the right one? How long are you testing until the final result appears on your screen?

  • Reply RockingPuccini409 March 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Great tutorial! I was trying to follow it on my photoshop (CS5) but unlike your version, the 'raindrops' are showing up as black on the brush setting and when I created new layer to paint over the image I chose, it does not show up. Am I doing something wrong?

  • Reply Amro Virday March 4, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    nice work ..  🙂 

  • Reply Marie Marina March 4, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Amazing!! So going to do this tutorial!! Thank you fir sharing your awesomness! Xox

  • Reply Brittany Bradley March 4, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    woowwwww amazing!

  • Reply GKOALA7 March 5, 2014 at 4:20 am

    This was actually a rather convincing result. It does look like a frosty window. I would've added a layer mask on the original layer and used the "raindrops" to mask out to original unfiltered image so you could see the original coming through clearly. Then, again using the raindrops as a selection, gone into Liquify to distort the "clear" original layer to show refraction coming through the drops. Just a suggestion.

  • Reply GKOALA7 March 5, 2014 at 4:50 am

    Also, Howard, I've lived my entire life in L.A. It's a totally different experience than any other place. However, you do come to love it. It's not as "violent" to live here as you made it seem in your vlog. I go out at night with no trouble. And, yes, gated communities can get burglarized now and again, but for the most part, life here is safe as long as you live smart. That's the case with any large city, county, etc. Personally, I would never even visit NY if I could help it, but I'm sure a native New Yorker would go off on me for even mentioning that I have no desire to visit it. You've just moved here from what I'm sure are two very lovely towns — Toronto and Boulder. To me, the concept of not locking your doors seems very 1950's, but that may sound like an outdated stereotype to you. (I apologize for any offense I caused you with my statement.) My point is danger lurks wherever you are in the world. If you just push that to the back of your mind, you'll come to love L.A. as well. Try visiting 3rd Street Promenade, Shoreline Village, Irvine Spectrum, Downtown Disney, Old Town Pasadena, or, if you're willing to drive a ways, Temecula's Wine Country and Tom's Farm. L.A. has plenty of shows and concerts all year round. Oh, and as far as the traffic on the freeways, I actually love it! That's when I listen to good music in the car and I'm alone with my thoughts. I get a lot of my artistic inspiration during those drives. Ironically, when I'm with someone in traffic, that's when I grow closer to that person because we can actually talk more intimately. My point to all of this, don't judge the city by a few square miles. Have an awesome adventure getting to know L.A!

  • Reply PRANK NATION March 5, 2014 at 4:53 am

    tld sent me 🙂

  • Reply PRANK NATION March 5, 2014 at 4:57 am


  • Reply Spootrick March 5, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    wow amazing! you're the best Howard!!

  • Reply lifesbeauty0 March 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    I really enjoy your tutorials!! Thanks so much for sharing these.  I would be so lost without them and your help.

  • Reply Dave Dube March 5, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Ha, sounds like you've been hanging around with Bert Monroy 'make it happen' :))

    Your connectivity seems bad as the image quality was very low?  Thanks for the great tut!

  • Reply Jason Steinman March 5, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Amazing tutorial as usual! Pretty cool how the rain drops changed from simple white circles into realistic looking rain.

  • Reply JamminSamurai March 6, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Awesome tutorial, very easy to follow! Thanks!

  • Reply Stormy Games CR March 6, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Excellent Tutorial !! Thumps up!!

  • Reply John McLachlan March 8, 2014 at 4:08 am

    Great tutorial!

  • Reply NIKO VAL March 9, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Great and simple tut my friend, thanks.

  • Reply LetsGetItStartedNow March 16, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Howard, I want to make a donation. Tips like this deserves it but I can only do it with bitcoin. Please get yourself a bitcoin wallet and post your QR code anywhere and anyone should be able to give you some funds. Pretty easy to do and if you need any help let me know.

  • Reply DreamDesigns March 20, 2014 at 1:35 am


  • Reply Numan Ghani March 25, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Genius and well tutored 😀 thanks Howard

  • Reply emma lissette alvarado vasquez March 26, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    excellent thank you

  • Reply Dương Đạt March 27, 2014 at 3:29 am

    thanks for sharing ! 

  • Reply Adem Nakbi March 27, 2014 at 11:22 am

    BIG THANKS 😀 !!

  • Reply Simo Simoco March 27, 2014 at 11:41 am

    amazing 😀 thanks a lot

  • Reply Raymond St Paul March 30, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Straight to the point without all the confusing of most tutorials.  Question how would I use this method to make it appear that its raining with raindrops on the ground?  Can you please explain step by step how I would do this effect?  I want to make it appear to be raining on a street from front to back in the distance. 

  • Reply BubuSnow93 March 30, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Pretty nice tutorial. the only thing I didn't like was the gaussian blur since the "lens blur" option looks much better and realistic for that kind of stuff. I know you can't apply it as a Smart object but you can always duplicate the background layer to do things safely 🙂

  • Reply Andrea Lawrence March 31, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Howard, Thank you for taking time out of your life to help people with these tutorials. I am 'self taught' and truly appreciate the extra doors you have opened up.

  • Reply Not the real spider man April 5, 2014 at 12:17 am


  • Reply Fuat Pordoğan May 10, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    ps level: god

  • Reply Amit Rathod May 16, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Awesome techniques, Thanks alot… 🙂

  • Reply TB8S May 21, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Awesome tutorial man! I may use this on my final project in my Photoshop class this quarter.

  • Reply Andrea-K-1003 May 29, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Is it possible to go back and adjust the brush size at the end? .. The rain drop size?

  • Reply Christianjay Khalifa June 16, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    you have a full effort here sir!

  • Reply Howard Pinsky July 21, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    It's time to get wet! What? I was talking about your pictures, silly! Add raindrops to your images in @Adobe Photoshop!

    Subscribe for more:

  • Reply Cikmalis September 10, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Awesome and extremely helpful!

  • Reply Joshua McConnell October 2, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    OMG man you are awesome.  This video has helped me tremendously.

  • Reply Joe Cardamuro October 29, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    fantastic tutorial…only time i got through i tutorial without at least 1 setback 

  • Reply Chaz Madge January 29, 2015 at 12:27 am

    Very good but you talk so fast……….

  • Reply Ira Divad March 8, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    good tut but WAY too fast and please name stuff next time, I still don't know what bristol brush is, a # would have been great. 

  • Reply Roseann Campos June 18, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Your videos are great!! I've learned so much from u:)

  • Reply krmax44 November 28, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Your voice is very nice!

  • Reply Ansuman Mahapatra January 6, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Awesome 🙂 Thanks

  • Reply azmi kaleciklioglu January 25, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Hello from turkey amazing tutorial thanks alot

  • Reply Tommy Laudani October 3, 2016 at 1:16 am


  • Reply Photographer January 24, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Thank you, you are a star….so easy to make

  • Reply lucky leo February 3, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    This was very helpful for my architectural presentation…thanks a lot.

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