Photo in the drawing of colored dots in Photoshop

In this lesson we will learn how to turn a regular photo into a drawing of colored dots. To achieve this effect, we need a Photoshop filter, a layer mask and other additional elements. It may take some time to achieve this effect in order to match the size of the dots with the selected image. To simplify the task, we will use smart objects and smart filters.

I will use Photoshop CS6, but this lesson is also suitable for earlier versions.

Note: The image that the author will work with is paid.

And that’s what happens in the end.

Step 1

Open the selected image in Photoshop. On the layers panel we have only one single background layer.

Transform this layer into a Smart object. To do this, go to the menu Filter-Convert for Smart Filters (Filter – Convert for smart filters). As a result of this transformation, all effects applied by us will not affect the original image.

In the dialog box that opens, Photoshop informs you that the layer will be converted to a smart object. Click OK.

Nothing happened to the photo. But if we look at the layers panel, we see that a thumbnail appears in the layer thumbnail in the lower right corner. This icon indicates that the layer has been converted to a smart object. Also note that Photoshop has renamed the layer from Background (Background) to Layer 0 (Layer 0).

Now add a new adjustment layer, which will be the background layer for our effect. At the bottom of the layers panel, click on the icon. New Fill or Adjustment Layer (New fill or Adjustment layer)

Choose from the list Solid color (Solid color)

In the color picker window that opens, select black and click OK.

The correction layer will automatically appear above the photo layer. To move it, hold down the left mouse button and drag down under the photo layer.

An image appeared again in the working document. The adjustment layer is now hidden from view, but do not worry, we will see it a little later.

In the layers panel, select Layer 0 (Layer 0).

To create our effect, first of all we need to turn the image into a lot of colored squares. For this we need a filter Mosaic (Mosaic). Go to menu Filter> Pixelate>Mosaic (Filter – Design – Mosaic).

The filter dialog box appears. Adjust value Cell size (Cell size) under your image. Move the slider left or right to increase or decrease the size of the squares. Try to determine the size of the squares, since in the future we will turn them into colored dots. In my case, I set the value to 60.

Click OK when done. You should have something like this

Since we applied a filter for the Smart object, we can see it in the layers panel below the image layer. If you wish to change the size of the cells, then double-click on the filter name to re-open the dialog box and make changes.

Step 6

Next we need to create a pattern. To do this, create a new document. File > New (File – Create).

In the dialog box that opens, for the width and height, set a value equal to the size of the square that you set in the Mosaic filter. In my case it was 60. The background of the document is white.

Since this is a rather small document, increase it. To do this, press the Z key on the keyboard and click several times inside the document. I increased to 500%.

To draw a circle, we need the Elliptical tool. Marquee Tool (M) (Oval area). You can find this tool in the tab of the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M).

Step 8

To create a perfectly round selection, click in the upper left corner of the document and, holding down the Shift key, drag the cursor diagonally to the lower right corner. After the selection of the circle is created, first release the mouse button and then the Shift key.

Step 9

Next, go to the menu Edit> Fill (Edit – Run Fill)

In the dialog box that opens, in the Use parameter, select Black (Black) and click OK.

The selection will be filled with black. Deselect Ctrl + D.

Step 10

At the moment the circle is black, and the area around it is white. But we need the opposite, which means we have to invert the colors. To do this, go to the menu Image> Adjustments> Invert (Image – Correction – Inversion). Or press Ctrl + I.

That’s what happens after the inversion of colors.

Step 11

Now this circle needs to be saved as a pattern. Go to menu Edit > DefinePattern (Editing – Define a pattern).

Give your name to the new pattern (I called Circle 60×60 px) and click OK.

Step 12

We no longer need the document with the circle, so close it – menu File> Close (File – Close) or Ctrl + W.

Step 13

Return to the main working document. Add a layer to the photo Layer mask (Layer mask) by clicking on the corresponding icon at the bottom of the layers panel.

A mask thumbnail will appear to the right of the layer thumbnail. Select a mask by clicking on it.

So, the layer mask is active. Now go to menu Edit> Fill (Edit – Run Fill). In the dialog that opens, for the Use option, select Pattern or (Regular). Next, click on the thumbnail pattern.

In the window that opens, select the created circle pattern.

Click OK. The layer mask will fill with the pattern, creating the initial effect of colored dots.

With the increase, we will see that each circle is colored in its own color, thanks to the Mosaic filter. At the same time, all the circles are separated by black color, which we added as a correction layer. Solid color (Solid color).

This step is optional. But if it seemed to you that the circles are too large or vice versa are small, then this can be easily corrected.

First, make sure you have a layer mask selected. Next, go to the menu Edit> Fill (Edit – Run Fill), select white color and click OK. The mask is filled with white color, clearing it from the pattern. Then double-click on the filter name and in the opened window change the size of the cells up or down.

Next, go back to step 6 to create a new document with new parameters that you set by editing the filter value. Repeat the steps to create a circle and define a pattern. Fill the layer mask with a pattern as you did in step 14.

Step 15

The main work on the effect is complete. But we need to make the resulting pattern of multi-colored dots more expressive. To do this, we will create a stroke around each point.
Activate the layer mask on the layer with the photo and at the bottom of the layers panel, click on the layer style icon.

From the drop-down list, select Stroke (Stroke).

Enter the parameters listed below.

That’s what happens

If you want to compare the result before and after applying the style, then click on the eye to turn it off.

Step 16

Next we will increase the color saturation of colored dots. To do this, click on the icon for creating a correction layer at the bottom of the layers panel.

Choose from the list Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation).

Increase the value Saturation (Saturation) up to +20.

The color has become richer and more intense.

The disadvantage of this effect is that it is usually darker than the original photo. But this can be corrected by increasing the brightness due to the correction layer. Levels (Levels). Click once again on the icon for creating a correction layer at the bottom of the layers panel and select the corresponding item.

Set the blending mode for this layer to Screen (Screen) and lower Opacity (Opacity) up to 25%.

The final result.

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