How to Make Waves in Photoshop

Updated April 17, 2017

Many graphic designers look for a way to add visual complexity to their images, and adding a wave effect can help add visual complexity and elegance to an otherwise dull image. When using a wave effect, you can create waves in multiple different patterns and colours that can blend with the rest of the image. Using Adobe Photoshop, you can make waves that will enhance the overall design of your project easily by using simple tools and filters.

Open Adobe Photoshop. Press and hold the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard and press the "N" key to open the "New" image window. Type "400" in the width field and "100" in the height field. Click the "Color Mode" drop-down menu and select "RGB Color" from the list. Press "OK" in the upper right hand of the "New" window to create your new image.

Press the "L" button on your keyboard to select the lasso tool. Click and hold on the lasso tool icon on the left navigation menu. Roll your cursor over the "Polygonal Lasso Tool" and release the left mouse button.

Click the far left of the image 50 pixels from the top. Click the image at the top left. Click the image at the top right. Click the image on the far right of the image 50 pixels from the top. Click an angled wave pattern from the right side of the image to the left side of the image.

Press the "Q" key on your keyboard to open the Photoshop "Quick Mask" tool. Click "Filter" in the top navigation menu and roll your cursor over the "Noise" option. Click "Median..." from the drop-down menu to open the "Median" editor. Type "45" in the radius field to smooth the wave edges. Click "OK" to apply the filter.

Press the "Q" key to go back to the regular editing mode. Click the "Create a new layer" icon at the bottom of the layers palette. Click the paint bucket tool from the middle of the left navigation menu. Click the "Set foreground colour" box at the bottom of the left navigation menu. Click and drag your cursor along the colour palette to choose a colour and click the "OK" button. Place your cursor in the middle of the selection area in your image and click the left mouse button to fill the wave with colour. Press and hold the "Ctrl" key and press the "D" key to deselect the wave.

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About the Author

Jered Slusher, born in 1987, has been writing online articles since 2005. His poetry and academic essays have appeared in The Ohio State University at Lima "Hog Creek Review." He holds a bachelor's in English from The Ohio State University.