How To Create a Smoke/Fog Brush In Photoshop

In this Photoshop tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a smoke/fog brush using a photo of clouds.

Using this technique, we can take a photo of a sky with clouds and use one of the clouds to create a brush that will paint smoke or fog.

This brush comes in very handy when working with composites that require a bit of fog or smoke.

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076 - Smoke/Fog Brush (43992 downloads )

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Brian Taylor

Great tutorial


Hello I have been attempting to follow along on the “How To Create a Smoke/Fog Brush In Photoshop. When I paste the image into the new document I have to select the size and background color. So I select letter size and transparent background. I am using Photoshop 2017. Maybe there are better tutorials for a beginner. I have not used Photoshop since 2000. I am wanting to create clouds and like the way your brush comes out in your tutorial. Even though I can read all the directions are not on the screen. I googled Control Command and I believe that is Control + E. I lose you at this point. Do you have written instructions? Thank you.

Mike Papacosmas

Very easy information to process and follow thanks for great tutorials

J. Simpkins

I do not have a social media account but subscribe to you……how can I download the files to work with
if I am not able to access them? Is there another way?

J. Simpkins

J. Simpkins

Thank you —got it

Len Goforth

This is not working for me. I’ve gone ove these steps all day. I select the cloud with the lasso. I copy that. I create a new file (has cloud’s dimensions. I then paste the cloud into this new document.

I then go to channels. Red give best contrast, so I select that and duplicate it. Form that, I select the brightest color.

I go back to image. I create new layer, and turn off all bottom layers. On layer to paint on, I press CTRL+Backspace. The result is a very hard edge brush.

I set the settings you use for the brush.

I paint. The result is a twirling hard egded thing that looks nothing like a cloud. Not even close.

Perhaps it’s the cloud I used. So I want to try the same cloud you used. The download link to this file is not there.

I need to know the tolerance of the selection when I click the Red channel copy. I see no way to set that even if I knew what it was.

I’ve tried other clouds. Same result — a very hard edge selection there is no softness what so ever!

What version of Photoshop do you use in the video? Your interface does not look like mine.

your video is here:

I am using PS CC 2018.

Len Goforth

Post script:

I am old school. Text works much better to teach than a damn video. I can print this text and follow it step by step without having to stop the video, switch to Photoshop and perform that step, then go back to video and continue.

Videos are the bane of education. These fail when text gets it done. Everybody and their uncle is using videos these days. It will result in the dumbing down of the population.

Len Goforth

I got this to work, but it’s the old school way. I didn’t grab a cloud. I made my own with my pen.

One very cool observance. I tried various shapes. The one that works best is the horse shoe shape, as shown in your video. When painting this, dab a few spots, then drag from drag from spot to spot with the pen. This shape works for nearly any kind of cloud, but especially for fog effects.

So thank you for this tutorial. Sadly though, I could not get ALT+Backspace to give me a decent fill. It filled solid black with a very hard edge. There’s the problem. This might be due to a version change. I dunno. But the good news is that if you hand duplicate a cloud bith a soft black brush on white, you’ll get good results with CC 2018. The settings you provided are absolutely correct. That is a blessing. Thanks for your help. Please consider this case closed.

You wrock it. You’ve one of three favorites that have instruction for photoshop. Your smart, you’re straight to the point, and the things you offer are valuable. And I was amazed at how many tuts you have! Gadz! You’re a hard worker too!

Thanks for all you’ve done. I’d take your course, but I’m on Social Security and money is a very big problem for me.

Bill Allsopp

Great tutorial, thanks.

Robin Buckley

I have looked everywhere for a simple tutorial on creating a smoke brush and finally found it! Thank you SO much – this was excellent!!