How To Easily Create Clouds In Photoshop

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Ever wanted to know how to create clouds in photoshop? It’s an easy yet effective way to perk up any old boring sky and bring more life into your work. They’re obviously not going to be “real” clouds, but hopefully once you’re finished creating those magnificent, big, and fluffy clouds, nobody will notice.

No doubt there’s a bunch of methods out there to get this accomplished, but if you’re looking for what is perhaps the simplest and quickest way to bring clouds into your photos, this tutorial is for you.

As always, Photoshop makes it easy! Let’s get right to it and find out how to create clouds in Photoshop.


First, we’re going to need a photo, preferably one that has a sky present somewhere. I’ll be using this beautiful shot from Hong Kong.

Next, select the area that you want to add the clouds to. I used the Magic Wand Tool (located in the tools palette) to quickly select the sky itself and not the buildings. Just hold down the Shift key and click to add the “marching ants” to areas you want selected.

how to create clouds in photoshop

Now, we’ll need to set the foreground and background colors. In your tools palette, click on the foreground color to open up the color picker. Feel free to experiment with other colors, but for now, this is going to be the color of the actual clouds, so select white (R: 255, G: 255, B: 255). Now hit the background color in the tools palette. This is going to be the color of the sky, so let’s pick a light blue.

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how to create clouds in photoshop

Go up to the menu bar and click on Filter. Scroll down to Render and hit Clouds.

how to create clouds in photoshop

The filter simply uses random values between the foreground and background colors you chose to generate a soft cloud pattern. You can reapply the filter (Ctrl + F or Command + F on a Mac) for a slightly different pattern of clouds until you’re happy with the results. For a more stark look, just hold down the Alt key (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) as you select Filter > Render > Clouds.

how to create realistic clouds in photoshop

Feel free to now make any adjustments to the effect by going into Levels (Ctrl + L or Command + L) and moving the input or output level sliders to your liking.

how to create realistic clouds in photoshop

That’s about all there is to it. Pretty simple, huh? Here’s how mine came out:

how to create realistic clouds in photoshop

Again, there’s plenty of ways to do this in Photoshop. If the pattern of clouds the filter produces isn’t exactly what you’re looking for or just doesn’t match your photo, another great method would be to simply download a couple of cloud brush sets from the Web and put them in yourself.

Be sure to check out the 6 Best Sites To Download Free Photoshop Brushes for some excellent resources to help you get started. Don’t forget to also read our Idiot’s Guide to Photoshop.

How did this method work for your photos and how do you go about creating clouds in Photoshop? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credits : tipiro, swisscan

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Comments (10)
  • Anonymous

    Well actually. The original sky looks way more beautiful to me than the artificially created one.

  • Gooya IT

    Is very interesting and informative
    Thank mentioned on your site with published sources, we

  • Gooya IT

    Is very interesting and informative
    Thank mentioned on your site with published sources, we

  • Scorpion

    What this picture needs is more lens flare. facepalm.jpg To be honest though, I don’t see any point of this so called article. Why not show the technique with the cloud brushes instead of showing off something a 3rd grader could have done?

  • Shtoink

    This is the most inaccurate way to add clouds. The light angle needs to be correct, etc. Gather a collection of clouds and use paste into.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.