Displacement Water

- Photoshop is recommended for this tutorial -

Creating a realistic water surface in Photoshop is quite a challenge because it is the distorted reflection of the surroundings that makes the water look liquid. The displace filter is an excellent tool for making this distortion. Now it really looks like water. Notice that the layer mask is also distorted because it is linked to the layer. This causes the reflectivity to change with the angle of the surface.