Tag: Mist and fog

Mist and fog can be simulated digitally more easily than you might expect. The secret to this and other digital techniques often lies in careful observation of the real world – and in the real world, mist and fog get thicker with distance.

So if you’ve got a scene looking where the camera is looking into the distance, you can be pretty sure that the objects closest to the camera will be at the bottom of the frame and those furthest away will be at the top. All you have to do then is add a mist effect that’s graduated from the bottom of the screen to the top.

There are plug-ins and filters that can create this mist effect directly – Color Efex Pro has such a filter, for example. Or you can create one using a solid white colour adjustment layer in Photoshop or Elements and using a graduated mask to blend it in, then tinkering with the opacity and blend mode to make it look more realistic (screen mode is good for this).

You need to pay attention to the details, though. If you have a tall object like a building or a person in the foreground then you need to mask that out so that the top isn’t ‘misty’ – remember, mist increases with distance not height.

 

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