How to Create Heat Haze FX in Photoshop

Brian Adam

In this video tutorial, watch as I show you how to create heat haze in Photoshop. 


In the video, I will take you through three different ways of using this technique. There are probably plenty more ways you can use it, so do not just think it can be used on these types of images. My main way to use the technique is to add that little extra realism. Even if your image is fantasy-based, adding realism helps to sell the fake. As the video moves on, I will show you how to use the same effect in a way that is more dispersion-like.

The technique is really easy to do. It literally takes five minutes or less, which in Photoshop terms is very quick. The main thing to remember is to create a stamp visible layer before you apply it, because it is a destructive technique. Once you have the stamp visible layer, it is on to the filters and using the glass filter to distort the image. Moving on, we then lower the opacity and apply it locally with a layer mask. It may sound hard, but trust me, you will have the hang of it in no time.

This tutorial is great for intermediate Photoshop artists who want to start having a go at more advanced Photoshop Photo manipulation techniques. One thing you can take away from this video is how important it is that you use stamp visible layers when using destructive filters.