Photoshop FX Tutorial: Make a Flag

Want to add some realism to your boring web site? Want to show some national spirit without adding a boring flag image to your layout? Add some realism to your web site and spice things up a bit by making a flag flowing in the wind.

1) When you have an image of a flag prepared, create a new image with dimensions slightly larger than the flag image you have. Create a new layer in this image and place your flag image in the new layer as shown below:

2) Using the Marquee tool, select most of the flag on the right side leaving a small portion of the left side of the flag unselected.

3) Choose Select/Feather and set the pixels to 50.

4) While making sure your flag is the working layer, click Filter/Distort/Wave. I set my Generators to 1, Wavelengths both to 70, and Amplitude to 5 and 29, but you can choose whatever looks best.

5) Now create a new layer with a dark gray foreground color. I used #474646. Using the brush tool with 11px brush, maximum hardness and maximum opacity, make vertical strokes on each wave on the new layer.

6) Choose Filter -> Distort -> Wave. Use the same information as previously used.

7) Choose Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur and set the radius to about 9.

Right click on the shadow layer, and change the blending mode to "Hard Light" with an opacity around 60%. You should not have a realistic looking waving flag. Feel free to alter this tutorial as necessary, and consider adding a pole to the left side for full realism.