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How to Create a Realistic Waving Flag in Photoshop


How to Create a Realistic Waving Flag in Photoshop
Three years ago I created a wallpaper of a waving Slovenian flag and posted it on my blog. It was a huge success, many users used the wallpaper for many purposes, even commercial. So now I decided to write a tutorial how to make one.
If you want, post the result of your flag under the comments. It’s actually a really simple tutorial, but I decided to break this tutorial down to a little more steps. I hope everyone succeeds in making their own flag.

Submit your questions or results to the comments below.

1. We need two pictures

We’ll need two pictures for this tutorial – a textile picture and a picture of a flag. I chose the Slovenian flag and a texture of satin I found on Google Images, I recommend you use the same textile picture, just copy it from here.
displace How to Create a Realistic Waving Flag in Photoshop Zastava Photoshop
800px Flag of Slovenia.svg  How to Create a Realistic Waving Flag in Photoshop Zastava Photoshop
I encourage you to try it with any other flag and then post the link to the result in the comments section. I’d really like to see it done with an American or a British flag.

2. Open the textile image with Photoshop

Create a new file in Photoshop, size 800 x 400 px. Copy the textile picture in Photoshop.

3. Add blur

We need to add blur so the curls on the waving flag will be smooth. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set it to 2,8 px and click OK.
01 add blur How to Create a Realistic Waving Flag in Photoshop Zastava Photoshop

4. Save to displace.psd

When you’re done with adding the blur, go to File > Save as and save the document as displace.psd. Save this file somewhere you’ll be able to find it later.
02 save as displace How to Create a Realistic Waving Flag in Photoshop Zastava Photoshop

5. Create a new file

Now create a new file in Photoshop, size 800 x 400 px. Insert the picture of your flag in it. The size of displace.psd and the current document must be the same, in this case it’s 800 x 400 px. If they aren’t the same size, you’ll have a lot of problems joining them in the end.

6. Distorting the flag picture

Here comes the fun part. Go to Filter > Distort > Displace. A new window will open, add these properties:
03 displace 01 How to Create a Realistic Waving Flag in Photoshop Zastava Photoshop
Click on OK. Photoshop will now ask you to find a psd file. Choose the displace.psd and click on Open.
03 displace 02 How to Create a Realistic Waving Flag in Photoshop Zastava Photoshop
You can see some of the waves on the flag, but we ain’t done yet.

7. Adding the texture

Let’s make it more realistic by adding the texture. Just copy the textile picture from the displace.psd and paste it on a new layer in the flag document. Change the layer Blend mode to Multiply.
04 copy textile How to Create a Realistic Waving Flag in Photoshop Zastava Photoshop

8. Add gradient

Let’s add some depth to it. Select the Gradient tool from transparent to black, Radial. Add a new layer. Draw the gradient like the picture below. Change the layer Blend mode to Soft Light. Duplicate this layer. Change the Blend mode of the duplicated layer to Multiply and change the opacity to 28 %.
05 gradient 01 How to Create a Realistic Waving Flag in Photoshop Zastava Photoshop
05 gradient 02 How to Create a Realistic Waving Flag in Photoshop Zastava Photoshop

9. Done

If you followed these steps correctly you should now have 4 layers, a flag, textile and two gradient layers.The result is a cool waving flag, that looks very realistic. If you have a chance add a link to your result. I’d really like to see many different flags done by this tutorial.
01 create a realistic flag by matejlatin2 How to Create a Realistic Waving Flag in Photoshop Zastava Photoshop

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