Jan 26, 2017

How to Add Fog & Light in Photoshop

How to Add Fog & Light to Photos in Photoshop

Learn how to add a bit of mystery to your photos by creating fog and light beams from scratch!

Bonus: Download the custom brush and image used in this tutorial.

Create Fog Using a Custom Brush

Fog is surprisingly easy to create in Photoshop, provided you have the right resources.

First, download the Phlearn Fog Brush below. After downloading, double-click on the .abr file to load it into Photoshop. Select the Phlearn Fog Brush by first selecting the Brush Tool (B) in Photoshop, then right-click to bring up the list of available brush presets. The Phlearn Fog Brush will be at the end of the list.

While using the Phlearn Fog Brush, try changing the brush size to approximate different types of fog. Also, start by using brush flow around 30% to get a natural appearance. If you find that the fog has too much detail, simply add a gaussian blur to the fog layer.

How to Create Light Beams

In order to give this image a bit more life, we are going to add beams of light coming from the disco ball.

To create beams of light in Photoshop, start by creating a new layer and painting random patches of white with the brush tool. These random patches of white will serve as ‘locators’ for the next step, applying a radial blur.

The goal is to make the random patches of white into streaks, and to do so, apply a radial blur. Go to ‘Filter – Blur – Radial Blur’ and choose ‘Zoom’ under ‘Blur Method’. Adjust the amount of zoom to 80 and choose a center point for the zoom blur by clicking on the ‘Blur Center’ graph. This filter does not give you a live preview, so you have to guess where the center of the zoom blur will be.

If you get the center wrong, simply undo your blur and re-do it again, this time moving the blur center. Once you are satisfied with the blur center, you can adjust the amount of blur.

Now you have a zoom blur coming from the center of the Disco Ball

Download the Phlearn Fog Brush & Sample Image

Click the link below to download the fog brush and sample image used in this tutorial.


user image You
(will not be published)

  • user image

    Get a message that the fog brush is not compatible with “this version of photoshop” I have the latest version of photoshop cc.. bummer

    • user image
      Seth Kravitz

      The brush was made in CC 2017. We tested on a couple computers here and weren’t able to reproduce the error you are having. Did you Quit out of Photoshop completely, re-open the program, and try again?

        • user image
          Seth Kravitz

          Since it was designed in CC 2017, it’s quite possible that it does not work in CS5 at all. We don’t have a copy of that to test in the office.

  • user image

    thanks once again Arron. great brush – just had to adjust the jitter since it wasn’t changing as downloaded 😉

  • user image

    How do you rotate the brush on the fly? I asked this question in a previous tutorial but never got a reply.

  • user image

    When I use the downloaded brush mine doesn’t have the random nature. Seems like the jitter is turned off. Any idea why that would happen?

  • user image
    Rick Sherwin

    I would like to use this tool but when I click download I have to log in & when I log in I can’t find the download.

  • user image

    Your script not let me create an account because of a week password. Well i am decide about my password and is enough hard, i guess. So please do something about that.

  • user image

    Thanks as always for your support and teaching those who would like to improve there photography. Very well explained and with some fun. Keep up your good job.

  • user image

    Your brush is not compatible with CS5 🙁
    I know, I should get CC……………

  • user image

    Unbelievable. The best fog brush I’ve ever come across. Bravo Phlearn.

  • user image
    [email protected]

    I have CS5 and am having issues as well. Is there a way in which we can create the brush for CS5?
    Thank you,

  • user image

    Thanks for the fog brush, loved this tutorial…you make this look so easy!!

  • edwinfabian

    I just found out about this site and it’s great! Thanks for the brush, it works really well.

    Quick question on this video. I was following along, and at the 7:45 mark, you make the layer mask and use the magic wand tool to select the shirt.

    When I try to do this, it seems like my magic wand is selecting only what’s in my layer “fog” layer and not the shirt from the background layer. Should I have my background layer selected instead? I noticed in the video you had the layer mask on layer 1 selected…

  • user image

    Can I post the downloaded image to other groups with Phlearn credit? Is that not allowed?

  • user image

    the brush for the fog will not download to the current version of photoshop cc. ? any advice?

  • user image

    I’ve followed your instructions but when I click to create fog nothing happens/no fog is created.

  • user image

    hello, love your tutorials – How are you rotating the cloud brush? i see you spin the brush tip as you apply the cloud

  • user image

    Thank you for this great brush – will love using it and the different techniques.

  • user image

    Hi Aaron! Love your tutorials. Tried to download this brush to PS cs5 and it’s not compatible. Thanks! Jill

  • user image

    Dear Aaron, thank you so much for your advice to get the most out of my photos.

  • user image

    Any reason why the fog brush would dissapear after you’ve used it a few times? If you delete the download file, does Photoshop not remember the brush? In other words, do I have to retain the file I downloaded, somewhere or does the brush now reside in Photoshop? Thanks!

  • user image

    I wish I could afford to support Phlearn because I use the tutorials so much for my colorizing hobby. I’m a senior and live on a tiny budget! Thank you so much Phlearn for your genius and your love of sharing and teaching the world through art and creativity.

  • user image

    Tried to download the fog brush for use in Photoshop CS5 and apparently it isn’t compatible with CS5. 🙁

  • user image

    Has anyone figured out the “Not compatible with this version of Photoshop” error problem? I’m running the latest version of Photoshop CC 2017 and my subscription is up to date. It appears some people are able to load the brush while a few of us can’t.

    • user image

      I figured out why it wouldn’t work. The tool I used to uncompress the zip file didn’t uncompress it properly. Used a different tool and it worked. The file name the first few times I tried to uncompress it looked like this: ._Phlearn Fog Brush.abr for those who may be having the same problem. I ultimately used WinZip to unzip the file and got the proper file.

  • user image

    Thanks for the brush! Inspiring some of us new graphic designers out here too.

    Photoshop Tutorials: How to Add Fog & Light in Photoshop

  • user image

    Does the download only come as a zip file? I don’t have winzip and don’t want to buy it for one download. Any advice?

  • nighthawk8

    I’d like to know how to MAKE the fog tool.

    Thanks. Great videos.