Create a mirror fractal effect in Photoshop

What we will create:

Music videos are a great source of creative visual effects. Zayn Malik’s Pillowtalk clip features a huge amount of interesting visual effects. One of them is the appearance of a mirror, which is divided into several vertical stripes. Look at the video for about 2:12 minutes to see this mirror fractal effect.

In this tutorial, we will look at an easy way to simulate this effect in Photoshop.

1. Preparation of the effect

The original effect in the video portrayed the singer on a pure black background, and the fragmented reflections were arranged so that the face remained recognizable. These two elements seem insignificant, but in fact they are very important for a successful final result.

Step 1

The original photo is very important. I decided to remain in the same vein – and use the male portrait on a black background as the source material. Envato Market offers a great image with an attractive man.

Step 2

Open the photo in Photoshop and use the tool Crop tool ( Frame) (C) trim the image below so that only the head and neck are left. It is very important to leave more horizontal space to create the effect and fit the widescreen format in the video.

Step 3

Create a copy of the background layer via the menu. Layer> New> LayerViaCopy (Layer> New> Copy to New Layer) (Ctrl + J).

Step 4

Create a new layer through the menu. Layer> New> New Layer (Layer> New> New Layer) (Shift-Control-N) and name it Black Place this blank layer in the panel. Layers (Layers) between the background layer and Layer 1.

Step 5

Go to menu Edit> Fill (Edit> Fill) and in the drop down menu Content (Content) install Black (Black) to fill the blank layer with black.

2. Creating Fragments

In fact, reflection fragmentation is a fairly simple and iterative process. The key to making this work is to use a variety of bandwidths.

Step 1

Make sure that the layer Layer 1 is the current layer and using the tool Rectangular marquee tool (Rectangular selection area) (M), create a high rectangular selection around the man’s right ear.

Step 2

Go to menu Layer> New> LayerViaCut (Layer> New> Cut to New Layer) (Shift + Ctrl + J) to cut the selection into a separate layer.

Step 3

Hide this new layer by clicking on the eye icon next to the layer thumbnail.

Step 4

Similarly create from layer Layer 1about ten pieces, move from left to right until you reach the other shoulder.

Step 5

Hide Layer 1 and make all the stripe layers visible.

Step 6

Select the leftmost layer (most likely it is called Layer 2) and using Move Tool (Move) (V) move it to the left edge of the canvas. Then move the rightmost layer to the far right edge of the canvas.

Step 7

Select all the fragments, hold down the Shift key, click on the thumbnails of the layers with the fragments. Then go to menu Layer> Distribute> Horizontal Centers (Layer> Distribute> Horizontal Centers). This should distribute the fragments over the entire canvas at the same distance from each other.

Step 8

Through the menu Layer> Group Layers (Layer> Group layers) (Ctrl + G) merge all the strips into one group. Rename the group to Mirror one.

3. Duplicate effect

At the moment, the main effect is made. But this is only the basis. In order to make the whole picture visually more attractive, several fractal mirrors and serious visual differences between them are required.

Step 1

Right click on the layer group Mirror one and select Duplicate group (Duplicate Group) to create a copy of the entire group. Leave the default name Mirror 1 copy. Then right-click on the copy of the group and select Convert to Smart Object (Convert to smart object).

Step 2

Go to menu Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur) and apply a blur radius (Radius) 2.5 px.

Step 3

Tool MoveTool (Move) (V) slide the blurred layer Mirror 1 copy to the left to fill a part of the voids left by the original fragmented mirror. Then press the up arrow key a couple of times to raise the layer slightly.

Step 4

Via Layer> Duplicate Layer (Layer> Duplicate Layer) duplicate the smart object and name it Mirror 3, and then move it to fill the right side of the canvas. In the panel Layers (Layers) place this object under Mirror 1 copy.

Step 5

Add more strips from a copy of the background layer using the same method as before, place them on the canvas and merge them together into a group Mirrorfour. Take care that the size of the new bands is different from the previous ones.

Step 6

Duplicate group Mirrorfour, clicking the right mouse button on it and selecting Duplicate group (Duplicate Group). Then convert it to a smart object using the same context menu.

Step 7

Go to menu Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur) and set radius (Radius) 3 px. Then move the blurred layer to the extreme right position and position it in the panel Layers (Layers) under the group Mirrorfour.

Step 8

Add a mask to the group Mirrorfour through the menu Layer > LayerMask > RevealAll (Layer> Mask Layer> Show All). Then using Gradient tool (Gradient) (G) Draw a linear black and white gradient from the right corner to the center of the canvas. This will hide the mirror effect of this group and show the bottom diffuse layer.

Step 9

Duplicate the smart object Mirrorfourcopy, move the duplicate to the far left and reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 30%. Then place it in the panel Layers (Layers) under the group Mirrorone.

Step 10

Add adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) above all layers. Install Saturation (Saturation) -27 and Lightness (Brightness) -13.

You are done!

That’s all, this effect was quite simple to create, but it took good management of a large number of layers. However, if you use layer groups and smart objects to keep everything in order, the formation of a similar effect on any image should not be a problem!

Like this post? Please share to your friends: