Create plastic effects in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create new interesting and colorful elements using the filter Plastics (Liquify). Using only one image, you can create a variety of effects by compressing, stretching, rotating, reflecting, wrinkling, swelling of any area with high or low pressure, depending on your preferences.

The process used here is quite arbitrary, so every time you can create amazingly new images and get completely different results, which makes the lesson ideal for conducting abstract experiments.

Final result

Source materials:

STEP 1. First, open the Bird image in PNG format by downloading the image from the link at the beginning of this lesson or choose any bird to your taste. Create a new document, the background is white. Next, copy / paste the bird image onto our document.

STEP 2 Duplicate the bird layer, turn off the visibility of the original bird layer and go to the duplicate layer. Next, go Filter – Plastic (Filter> Liquify) select tool Reflection (Mirror tool (M).

Install a large brush, then click the mouse and brush it on the inside of the bird: here the task is to create an open hole inside the bird. To do this, with a mouse, make circular movements, and at the same time, keeping the upper part of the image. You will have to experiment with this tool.

STEP 3. Duplicate the layer and apply again Filter – Plastic (Filter> Liquify). So, choosing the same tool Reflection (Mirror tool (M). Install an even larger brush, we will additionally create blur effects.

Next, select the tool Pixel offset (Push Left tool (O) and clockwise as shown in the screenshot below, blur the image. You can also experiment with the tool Reflection (Mirror tool (M), making clockwise movements with a small brush.

STEP 4. Now that you have several items, you can start creating a composition. Duplicate the last layer several times and place the duplicates in different positions. Do not forget that we want to create a fluid effect or a drop effect, so it is very important that the duplicated layers are arranged in such a way that they give the composition a sense of movement.

STEP five. Duplicate the layer you blurred in Step 2. Next, go Filter – Plastic (Filter> Liquify). Choose a tool Bloating (Bloat tool (B) and, using a brush, slightly larger in size than the bird’s beak, move the cursor over the yellow area and start smearing it counterclockwise until the area stops stretching.

Next, select the tool Reflection (Mirror tool (M), and start making movements counterclockwise to create a fluid effect. Play with the movements clockwise and counterclockwise.

STEP 6. Play with the position of the image until you are satisfied with the result. Use the eraser to remove excess areas. Add arbitrary shapes to the background – in my work, I added a black triangle and a yellow circle.

STEP 7 Duplicate the layer you blurred in Step 2 and repeat the process – this time we will create a circular thin shape of the next element. Use a relatively large brush, clicking + smearing on empty areas, making counter-clockwise movements. Continue to blur the image until you have a circular shape.

STEP eight. Duplicate the layer several times, place duplicates around the main image to enhance the drop effect. Remove any excess areas.

STEP 9. Having completed the creation of the basis of the composition, we can proceed to the details. Choose a tool Brush(Brush tool), set the round brush with a hardness of 100%, set the brush color to black.

Go to the bookmark Brushes (Brush) in the layers palette to customize the brush, select the option Form Dynamics (Shape Dynamics), set the value Size fluctuation (Size Jitter) 100%, next, select the option Scattering(Scattering), set the value Scattering(Scatter) 1000%. Create a new layer, place this layer below the layers with the bird and on top of the layer with the yellow circle and then draw circles.

STEP ten. Create a new layer on top of all layers and repeat the same steps that you performed in Step 9. But this time, add the option Color dynamics (Color Dynamics), set the value Front / Back Swing (Foreground / Background Jitter) 100%. For the foreground color, set the color to # D52327, and for the background color, set the color to # FFE429, and draw circles around the image.

STEP eleven. We can use different techniques to give motion to the image. Motion blur is very efficient, so let’s go. Filter – Blur – Radial Blur (Filter> Blur> Radial Blur) and choose the blur method Linear (Zoom), and apply Power (amount) blur approximately 5.

Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening basics (Color Dodge), and we get beautiful glowing lines. Duplicate the layer, reduce the size and position it close to the original layer.

STEP 12. To add even more glow to the image, you can create a new layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening basics (Color Dodge), then select the tool Gradient (Gradient tool (G), set the opacity of the gradient to 100% to 0%, and apply the gradient at different points in the image – I used the colors # D52327 and # FFE429. Apply the gradient on the light areas near the dark areas to create a backlight effect.

STEP 13. We can continue to create parts. Create a new layer on top of the layer with a yellow circle, select the tool Brush (Brush), set a small round brush and draw an arbitrary line over the entire document – draw it arbitrarily. Next, go Filter Blur – Radial Blur (Filter> Blur> Radial Blur) and apply Ring (Spin blur) blur with a small degree (amount) blur. (I used a blur rate of 5).

STEP 14. To make the glowing curve more visible, we will add a soft background to the entire image. Create a new layer below all layers, set the opacity for this layer to 25% and draw soft gradients at different points in the image. Use the color shades that are indicated in Step 12 and play with opacity as long as you can barely see the glowing curve.

STEP 15. Finally, apply the option Run down (flatten), let’s go Layers – perform flattening (Layer> Flatten Image), duplicate the layer, then go Filter – Other – Color Contrast (Filter> Other> High Pass) and select the radius at which you can barely see the outline of the image. Click OK and change the duplicate overlay mode to Overlap (Overlay) or Hard light (Hard Light) if you want a clearer effect.

Final result

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