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Begin by opening Adobe Photoshop. Create a new file of any size. This tutorial uses a 220 pixel by 220 pixel canvas in Adobe Photoshop CS5.
Create a new layer and then grab the elliptical marquee from the toolbox. Draw a circle and then set the background color to white and the foreground color to black.
Now, grab the gradient tool and set the opacity to 100% and create a linear gradient that goes from black on the left to white on the right. Drag the gradient from the left side of the circle to the right side.
Now, deselect the circular object by clicking "Select" and then "Deselect" from the main menu.
Next, go to the "Layers" window and select "Overlay" for the blending option.
Select "Drop Shadow" and "Inner Shadow" by clicking the check boxes on the left. For the "Drop Shadow," set the "Opacity" to 55%. Set the angle to 160 degrees. Uncheck the "Use Global Light" box.
Still on the "Drop Shadow" options window, set "Distance" to 10, "Spread" to 0, and "Size" to 5.
On the "Inner Shadow" settings screen, leave the "Blend Mode" set for "Multiply;" set "Opacity" to 76%; set the angle to -30 degrees; leave the "Use Global Light" box checked.
Now, grab the brush tool and set background and foreground to white. On a new layer, click once toward the top of the drop to complete the effect.
Users following this Photoshop tutorial now have a water droplet.
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Where to Go from Here
After creating one droplet in Photoshop, it's easy to set the bottom layer to an image such as a leaf or a window, places where water droplets can normally be found. Users can also choose different underlying colors and drop shadow settings to alter the effects described here.
Also, the droplet can be altered in shape by using the "Free Transform" tool from the "Edit" menu on the main menu bar.The key is to take some time and find out which settings work the best for a particular application.
Another thing that can help make working with droplets easier is to group the layers with the droplet and the light effect together so the can easily be duplicated and reordered within the Adobe Photoshop document.
For backgrounds with texture, use the bloat tool and the liquefy filter to magnify the area under the droplet. This will help replicate the magnification effect a water drop has on the surface beneath it.
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This Photoshop tutorial showed how to create a water droplet. This is intended to provide a foundation for the development of Photoshop skills. Those who spend some time to refine the water droplet effect will create a new skill that can be applied to a wide variety of creative tasks.
Image Credits: Screen shots taken by Bruce Tyson