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Photoshop: Liquid Flush

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Generating random effects using filters can be rather useful in many situations. The final outcome can be used for many things - forum signatures, avatars, website headers, etc. In this tutorial we will create a liquid effect, similar to water being flushed out.

1. Create a new document, ideally square (the tutorial uses 300×300 pixels) for the optimal effect. Grab your brush tool and select a size of five pixels. Make sure your foreground is black (#000000) and begin painting horizontal and vertical lines, making a slight pattern.

2. Now it's time for the filters. Filters are usually necessary when creating a random effect in Photoshop. Go to Filter -> Blur -> Radial Blur. Use the following settings - Amount: 74; Blur Method: Spin; Quality: Good.

3. Let's continue applying filters to achieve our desired effect. Go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur and choose a radius of 3.3 pixels.

4. Next, continue with the filtering by going to Filter -> Artistic -> Plastic Wrap. Apply the filter with these settings - Highlight Strength: 15; Detail: 9; Smoothness: 7.

5. Go to Filter -> Sketch -> Chrome with the following settings - Detail: 1; Smoothness: 5.

6. Now you'll need to use your mouse. Go to Filter -> Liquify. Drag from the inside out continuously, so that the edges will be covered with our developing liquid effect, rather than plain white.

7. To simulate a real flush effect we will use one last filter. Go to Filter -> Distort -> Twirl and set the angle measure to 226 degrees.

8. Add some color by going to Image -> Adjustments -> Color Balance. Choose your color levels (the tutorial uses -82, -11, and +100).

As previously stated, you can use this effect in many situations. Below it is used as an avatar by just applying some text and an extra lightning effect.