In this tutorial we’ll show you how to make a realistic rainy window effect using basic Photoshop tools, filters, brush and layer styles.

This is what we ‘ll be creating:

Realistic Rainy Window Effect in Photoshop

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Photoshop
  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Estimated Completion Time: 10 -15 minutes




Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial.



Step 1

Open your model picture. You can use your own image if you can’t download this image from Photoxpress. I crop this picture to make a better effect (for this tutorial purpose). Hit C to active this tool and grab a square around the part you want to take then hit one button to complete this action.


Step 2

Press W to active Magic Wand Tool with settings below. Use Magic Wand Tool to click inside white background of this picture :

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Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+I to inverse this selection and we have selection for model:


Right click this selection, choose Layer via Copy and we have a new layer with extracted model. Name this layer as “model”:

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Step 3

Duplicate model layer we have “model copy”. Go to Filter-Blur-Gassian Blur and set radius as 1,5 px (it depends on the sharpness of your photo):

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Add layer mask and use soft black brush with opacity and flow about 50% to make some parts of model more visible:


Step 4

I want to change color of model so I use a Curves layer. Choose Layer-New adjustment layer-Curves:

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Step 5

I use a Hue/Saturation layer to reduce red and magenta tone of model:

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Step 6

Hit Cmd/Ctr/Shift+N to make a new layer. Choose Edit-Fill with color #605a4b:

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Lower opacity of this layer to 30%:


Make a new layer fill again but with color #043157 and opacity 40%:


It’s only my favorite color choice and you’re free to make color you like.

Step 7

In this step we will make a glass window effect. Create a new layer with method used above. Set foreground and background color to white ( #ffffff) and #3a4755.


Go to Filter-Render-Clouds:


We have :


Choose Filter-Distort-Glass:

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Change the mode to Soft light 80%:


Add layer mask and use soft black brush with opacity and flow 40% to blur glass effect on model face, hands:


Step 8

In some next steps I’ll show you how to make realistic rain drops. Make a new layer on the top and set foreground color to white. Hit B to active Brush tool, choose size with 3 px then press F5 to make settings of this brush as shown below:


Use brush to paint over the picture:


Name it “small drops”. Right click this layer, choose Blending Options:

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Lower opacity of this layer to 50%:


Step 9

Create a new layer and use white brush with same settings but increase brush size to 9px. Paint on the pic as shown below:


Apply layer style like in step 8 but add more Drop Shadow effect:


Change opacity to 30%:


Step 10

To make rain traces on window, I use white brush with changed settings:


Make some random traces on window:


Apply same layer style done in previous step ( Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, Bevel and Emboss) but set opacity to 20%:


Step 11

The model hands pulsing the window so them need to be clearer, darker, more visible. Come back to model layer, make selection for model hands as shown below ( don’t need to be so precise with these selections):


Copy them into a new layer ( right click, choose Layer via Copy like we did in step 2) and place this layer on the top. Call it “hands”:


Lower opacity to 10% and use layer mask to hide the edges of them:


Step 12

Click Filter-Distort-Ripple:

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Then Filter-Stylize-Diffuse:

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Step 13

Choose a Hue/Saturation layer above hands layer with Clipping Mask options:


Down the lightness to -100:

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Step 14

To darken the hands more, I use a new layer (non-Clipping Mask) and brush with color #3a4755. Paint on right hand with brush 100% opacity and 30% for the left (as it’s darker than the right already). Put the mode as Soft light 50%:

rainy14 rainy14

Step 15

To change the light of picture, I use Gradient layer. Make a layer and hit G to choose Gradient Tool (with default color : black and white) with settings below:


Drag a line from bottom right to top left:


Change the mode to Soft light 100%:


Step 16

To change color and contrast of picture, I add a Curves layer:

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Step 17

I use a Gradient Map layer:

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Set the mode of this Gradient Map layer to Soft light 100%:


Step 18

To increase a bit contrast, I use Brightness/Contrast:

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This step is optional.

Final Result

rainy18 final
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