Flags have a lot of use in many different projects. If you are a web designer, it can add some personality to your website by having them used as icons or sections relating to languages, locations, or political topics.
Then of course, you can also use them to show how patriotic you are.
In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to add shading and wave effects to a flag to give it more life and make it look more realistic. This tutorial uses the American flag, but it can be applied to any country’s flag.
1. Open Photoshop.
2. Click File > New from the Main Menu.
3. Create a 550 x500 canvas by filling in the values below:
4. Make sure the background layer is white. Then add a new layer on top of it and name it “Flag”.
5. Make sure the “Flag” layer is the active layer and copy/paste your flag image onto the canvas.
5. Select the Magic Wand tool and select outside the flag (in the white area). This will select everything, but the flag.
6. Click Select > Inverse from the Main Menu. This will make it so that now only the flag is selected.
7. Create a new layer and call it “Shading”.
8. Select the Gradient tool.
9. Click on the Gradient Editor image in the Main Menu.
11. In the Gradient Editor pop-up, change the gradient so it goes from a white to light-grey to white a few times (see the image below for example).
12. Click OK to close Gradient Editor.
13. With the “Shading” layer active, use the Gradient Tool and create a gradient from left to right across the selected flag.
(Since the “Shading” layer is above the “Flag” layer. The gradient will overlap and cover the flag.)
14. With the “Shading” layer selected, go to Layer Blending Modes and select “Multiply”.
15. Your flag should now have some gradations applied to it like the image below:
16. Hold down Shift+Ctrl+E once, to make the “Shading” layer merge with the “Flag” layer.
17. Remove any selections that are on your canvas.
18. Now click Filter > Liquify from the main menu.
19. When the Liquify page loads, make sure your Tool Options have a large “Brush Size” selected. In this tutorial, a 157 brush size was used.
(You can use the same values in the image below.)
20. Using that large brush, begin to shape the flag so that it appears to wave. Use the shading as a guide. Pull the flag “up” wherever the shading gets lighter and pull the flag “down” wherever the shading gets darker.”
30. Click OK to close the Liquify screen.
31. Now you have your waving flag!