Apr 21, 2016

How to Create Cloud Shapes in Photoshop (Free Download)

How to Create Cloud Shapes in Photoshop

Download our free Photoshop brush to create any shape out of clouds!

Use a Reference Image

You can create any shape you want out of clouds, all you need is a reference image. In this example, we use a bunny photo to define the shape of the clouds. Simply bring a reference image into Photoshop and cut the object out of the background using the magic wand tool. Once the shape is roughly cut out, it is time to copy clouds over the shape. Make sure to use enough clouds to fill the shape.

To copy clouds, go to ‘select – color range’ and click on the white of the clouds. Then create a new layer and fill the selection with white. This will make a cloud with a transparent background that you can move around the image. Duplicate this layer and move it to cover the original shape if needed.

Use a Custom Brush to Define the Edge of Clouds

After covering the original shape with clouds, use a layer mask to define the edges of the clouds to fit the edges of the shape. To make the new edges of the clouds look right, use a brush made from other cloud shapes. We show you how to create the brush in this episode, but you can also download the brush below.

Download the Phlearn Cloud Brush


user image You
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  • user image

    Always making the difference! , thanks for the brush, highly needed..

    a tutorial with the style of cal redback would me amazing as well (:

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    Fabrizio Giuffra

    Hi Aaron, thanks for yours beautiful episodes, I’m an italian doctor sick of photography and I follow all them because I can learn english language and photoshop language!
    Why cc can do everything but just handle gray brushes? Other programs, like Corel, use coloured ones! Thanks again and all my compliments and admiration!

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    Emilio Constantino Guerrero A.

    Excelente, gracias. Desde Venezuela, actualmente país gobernado por comunistas y opresores de los Derechos Humanos, te doy las gracias. Me es imposible comprar tus cursos, que son imprescindibles para el buen manejo del Photoshop por la falta de $ a lo que nos sometieron estos comunistas.

    Excellent, thank you. From Venezuela, currently country ruled by communists and oppressors of human rights, thank you. It is impossible to buy your courses, which are essential for the good management of the Photoshop for lack of $ that these Communists are stolen.

  • user image

    Thanks so much believe it or not I actually wanted to do a project shaping a cloud so this help me out tremendously. It was perfect. Now I am motivated to do this project this weekend. Thanks so much.

  • user image

    thank you so much for loving photography as much or more than I do. I will get to be a pro one day, with your help.

  • user image

    I use photoshop CS5 Extended// It says “Could not load the brush because the file is not compatible with this version of Photoshop”

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    See My Photos

    Thank you so much for this brush.

    I downloaded it and used it almost immediately.

    After a few go arounds, I decided I had an image I liked.

    Then, having recently downloaded the FREE (yes free) Nik Collection at , I decided to try Color Efex Pro 4. I am attaching the one directly from Photoshop and then the one after Color Efex.

    Well, I seem to be able to only do one at a time so here is the BEFORE.

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    Peter Williams

    What a great site, I have learned more from your vids than all the hundreds of pounds I have spent on books. Top Job, Top Man

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    Dave Tinsley

    I noticed when you were using the cloud brush it seemed to rotate. How do you do this?

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      Rob Finn

      Hit your F5 key on your keyboard and that will bring up the “Brush” window. In that window, click on “Shape Dynamics” in the list on the left side. That will bring up a set of jitter controls. If you move the “Angle Jitter” slider to the right, you’ll see the brush preview below will start changing from a consistent set pattern to random angles of the brush. The more you move the slider to the right, more angles will be added to the jitter. When you start painting with the brush, it will automatically start randomly changing the angles as you saw in the video. You can also randomize the size of the brush as you’re painting by moving the “Size Jitter” slider and you’ll notice the brush preview will change accordingly. Changing these settings is helpful in eliminating an obvious “stamped” look where the pattern of the cloud simply repeats and looks unrealistic.

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    Nicholas Sekulich

    Thanks for the cloud brush, I been painting them and this will speed up the process. Aron, I’ve worked with many photographers in my career, I hope one day we can meet and work together. (former art director now a digital retoucher)

  • user image

    Awesome, tutorial, thank you! Can you share the stock bunny and sky/cloud image you used during this tutorial so that I can follow along using the exact images you were using?

  • user image

    Loved the episode as usual and thanks for the brush – going to have some fun!

  • user image

    at 7:11 what hotkeys did you use ? i don’t understand 🙁
    shift + I ? i can’t find this fill option. Sorry, i’m newbie in Photoshop

    • user image
      John H

      It’s SHIFT + DELETE (or BACKSPACE in windows). That fills it with whatever color you’ve selected in the Fill dialog box.

  • user image

    Another fun episode from Aaron. Thanks for the ideas and the custom brushes

  • user image

    THis reminds me of Shrek and the Donkey looking up at the night sky imagining creatures. I love it! Thank you : )

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    Shance Ordell

    I tried the section on creating a brush from the clouds except I used trees from my image. The problem is, when I fill the layer with black the pixels visible on that layer (i.e., the transparency is locked as per the video) go completely black. In the video the cloud has some variance. I thought this might be fine since the brush itself will be using the clouds so I continued with the steps to make this a brush and then went back to my original image but the brush tool using that new brush is simply painting black in the shape of my original selection. Did I miss something?

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      Paul Vee

      Ditto above! CS5 is my version of choice, so I was disappointed to NOT be able to use the brushes. Great Idea, but please remember the older versions.

  • user image

    Hi, Aaron!
    Keep up with the good job! I would really like to know how to give someone a six pack in Photoshop.
    Regards from Albania.

  • user image

    Curious to know how you were rotating the cloud brush on the fly…?

  • user image

    Thanks so much for the wonderful episodes. I always learn something new and really enjoy the tone of the videos. Always humorous.

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    Andrea Fine

    Aaron, You’re a wonder. Thanks so much for all the great info you share with us mortals!

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    Jan van Keulen

    Thx its amazing how you do this. I want to know how i can make one photo out of two.

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    Boy Ralf

    thanks a lot for the tutorial and the free brush, really helpful 🙂

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    Vicki Kurasz

    LOL You are right, there is no “g” never thought of that before. Thank you for the video, the brushes, the smiles and everything else you do for us.

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    Mona Friel

    Is it possible to create a tutorial about texture mapping an image on a home furnishing product, e.g. bedding, living room , kitchen…?

  • user image
    Faith A

    Thank you so much for ALL your tutorials I learn so much with them AND have fun too.

  • user image

    Merci beaucoup Aaron de tous vos conseils et tutoriels. Vous êtes une mine d’informations qu’aucun internaute ou photographe n’égale ici, en France d’où je vous suis. En plus, vous faites cela avec un agréable sourire qui nous rend accessibles les tutos les plus ardus. Bravo !

  • user image

    I am an amateur photographer, more of a hobby though I took Imaging with Photoshop at OCC college in Orange country.
    I jus learned about your tutorials and I am so happy I did, because they have helped me so much and I’m looking to see more of them as well as purchasing any I decide to buy…Thanks so much for all the terrific information and step by step, which is my best way to learn…

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    Charles Taylor

    The down load will not install on my Photo Shop 4. Do you have one that will install?

    • Seth

      All our of tutorials are designed to work on newer CS6 or CC versions of Adobe Photoshop.

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    Sharla Harris

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful tutorials! You are a big reason for me jumping over from Elements to CC. You are AWESOME!

  • user image

    Downloaded the cloud brush but it keeps trying to load it into elements 12. How do I get it into Photoshop? Thanks.

  • user image

    Download the brushes but it just keep saying the brush is not compatible with this version of photoshop

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    Jj Breen

    I got your “Thanks for joining”, but no link or attachment to the airbrush?

    So I’m wondering what I did wrong?

    I have no filters that remove and/or disable links and such.

    Thanks! Jj .