Unless you specialize in animated GIFs, depicting any sense of motion can be a challenge in graphic design, unless you already know about the Wind filter in Photoshop CC 2013. This filter disrupts the edges in objects with a series of thin horizontal lines, creating an easily-recognizable windblown effect. The Wind filter works well with photos too, but keep in mind that it's a stylized filter. No one is going to mistake a Photoshop wind effect for real wind.
Open any picture in Photoshop. Click the "Filter" menu, select "Stylize" and click "Wind" to open the Wind filter window.
Select the "Wind" option to add a wind effect. Specify if you want the wind to be blowing from the left or right.
Select the "Blast" option to illustrate things like hurricane force winds, super fast speeds, or any explosive actions.
Select the "Stagger" option to demonstrate general motion, or objects that are moving in more than one direction at a time. This is a fun filter if you happen to be editing a photo of your uncle dancing at a wedding, for instance.
Examine the photo to be sure you have the effect you want. Press "Ctrl-F" to apply the filter a second time to add more wind. Alternatively, click the "Filter" menu and then the "Wind" option at the top of the menu list to apply all the previous settings.
Click the "Edit" menu and select "Fade Wind" if you overdid it with the filter. A small window opens with a slider. Drag the slider to the left to reduce the filter's effect.
Apply the Wind filter to any objects in Photoshop, including shapes and text to give them a sense of motion. Note that the filter works only on one layer at a time. It won't work on vector images, so Photoshop prompts you to rasterize vector-based objects before applying the filter.
Tips & Warnings
- If you want to illustrate a wind that blows up or down, use the Image Rotation options under the Image menu to rotate the object first. After applying the Wind filter, rotate the object back to its original orientation.
- The wind filter is usually effective at limiting itself to foreground objects. However, if you want only parts of your photo to appear wind-blown, duplicate the photo's layer first. After you apply the filter, use the Eraser Tool to remove the wind from objects you want to appear stationary.