How I Create An Abstract Wave Background In Just 3 Easy Steps Using Photoshop


I think it is cool to make this wave abstract background in Photoshop and share it with you all. You can then use the image for your desktop wallpaper or anything as needed.

I am using Adobe Photoshop CS6 to make this one. But, I think it will also capable in earlier versions. The only one thing to make sure about it is the filter I have used is in the list. Because the wave itself created using Wave’s Filter and I believe you already had this, right?

No matter how young are you in using this software, I’ll try my best to give you the easier guide (quick 3 steps) so you can follow the instructions very well. I assumed, maybe it will only take about 2 minutes of your times. Maybe one minute? I am sure you can do it as well.

Let me show you how.

1. New document setup

Feel free to use any of ways to create a new document in Photoshop, whether using shortcut key or any available menus. As said before that you can use for your desktop or notebook wallpaper or maybe your phone background, frankly, I won’t be get more specific about the dimensions since there are too many of them for me. So, here’s my new document settings:

Width: 750 px, Height: 400 px, Resolution: 72 PPI, and the color of Background: White. Name it as you want since I am not good in naming one thing or two and click Ok when you done to load it in.

Do tell me you don’t find any problems in making a new file.

After that, duplicate the new layer you’ve got and name it as Wave_Base. Basically, in this new layer, we are going to make the wave shape or pattern for our main background. Does it great to name it as that?

2. Make the abstract wavy background

When you have duplicated the background layer as before, make sure you are now still active on that second layer with a great name I have gave by selecting on it. Also, please right click on it and choose Convert to Smart Object in case you want to change the settings we’ll be applied to this layer because there will be three filters needed, and the first one is noise.

So, go to Filter – Noise – Add Noise to bring up its dialog box and apply settings as I did;
Amount: 200%, distribution: gaussian, and check the Monochromatic box to turn it into black and white. Below are image I have prepared in case you want to see how to do it.


The second filters to be using is motion blur that you can access it by going to Filter – Blur – Motion Blur. Set the angle to 0° and distance: 2000 pixels.


Now, you surely get your noisy background become horizontal lines, right? Then, let’s give it the last filter to it so you can get the wavy background.

Go back again to filter menu and choose Distort – Wave. Inside its dialog box, pay your attention to the Type, Number of Generators, Wavelength, Amplitude, Scale and Undefined Areas. Use values as I have used as shown below.


Here also my layers preview so far if you want to see them after followed above guides.


And, you should have seeing that now your background is precisely as same as the end result image above, but of course it is still in black and white. That’s why you need the third steps.

3. Coloring the background using Gradient Fill

It is the gradient fill adjustment layer I am talking about that you can get it below your layer panel. I only used two colors for this tutorial and both of their codes and other settings applied can be seen below.


After you clicked Ok on above settings, don’t forget to change its blend mode to Linear Light and you will see that it is also become the end of this step by step on making an abstract wave background. And, you can save it now.

Yes. There won’t be other steps for this. But, since you have a smart object layer, you may want to play around with those 3 filters you’ve used or just change the colors of the background that suit you.

To learn more about abstract I have made before, you may also want to read:

Thank you for being here and please share this tutorial to benefit others. You can also leave a comment if you have something to say.

I have big enthusiasm in photography and graphic design. And, most of both topics will be covered in Repixel. If you find some good tutorials, feel free to share them. Also, keep in touch with me using all social medias available here or signup to stay updates.

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