The effect of scattering in Photoshop

Although creating a dispersion effect in Photoshop CC seems simple enough, sometimes it is not so easy to achieve it.

The basic idea is to separate the object from the background and create a copy of the layer with the object. Then one of the layers with the subject is stretched using the Plastic tool so that it almost completely fills the image. Next, the modified layer is hidden, and with the help of various layers of masks and spray brushes, we show the modified object, while hiding parts of the original object. As a result, we get an image in which our object is supposedly scattered in the wind.

Final image

Required resources

Step 1. Getting Started

Open the original image in Photoshop CS6 / CC.

On the panel with layers, double-click on a single layer (Background) to create a layer in Photoshop. This will allow us to hide the background later.

In the New Layer window, click OK to convert the background to a new layer.

Step 2. Clear the background

After opening the image, the first thing we need to do is remove the label and curtains from the background.

Using Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso) (L) approximately select text.

Select the desired place, press Shift + F5, or Edit – Run Fill (Edit – Fill) to bring up a dialog box, and in it select Given the content (Content Aware).

Click OK. Repeat the process with curtains.

Step 3. Cut Scarlett from the background

Using all the same Polygonal Lasso , gently select the body of Scarlett, reaching the hair, select them approximately. Since in the future we will not change the background, do not try to allocate hair too carefully.

When Scarlett is highlighted, click Ctrl + J, to create a copy with only the selected area (that is, Scarlett).

Holding Ctrl Click on the new layer to load the selected zone.

Select the first layer and click Delete. This will remove Scarlett from the background.

We should have two layers: Scarlett on the first layer, and the background on the second, with an empty place in the form of Scarlett.

Step 4. We specify hair

So, we cut Scarlett from the background, but since at the first stage we isolated the hair inaccurately enough, now is the time to eliminate these inaccuracies.

Create a new layer between existing ones. Using the Paint Bucket tool (Fill) (Shift + F5 or Edit – Fill (Edit – Fill)), fill the new layer with black color. This will show us the places we need to work on.

Go back to the top layer and select the Background eraser tool. Take a sample of white background by holding Alt / option and by clicking on the white part between Scarlett’s hair. Erase the white space between her hair.

Repeat the process, making new background patterns until you erase most of it, and only the whitish “cannon” remains.

Using ordinary Eraser (Eraser) erase as much as possible the remaining “gun” without touching the hair. Again, the result should not be perfect, since we do not change the background.

Finally, remove the black layer so that we can see our main background again.

Step 5. Fill the background

Hide the Scarlett layer and return to the background layer. Using Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso) approximately select the missing part.

Using filling with content (Edit – Fill (Edit – Fill) or Shift + F5) fill in the missing part. Deselect the background by pressing Ctrl + D.

Step 6. Editing the foreground

Select the foreground layer and copy it by clicking Ctrl + J. We should have two layers with Scarlett. Click on the previous layer with the foreground (it should now be in the middle). In the Filter section, select Plastics.

Select a large brush (say, slightly larger than the model’s head) and stretch the head towards the unfilled space.
Do not worry if at this stage it looks a bit strange – only a small part of this layer will be visible in the final image.

Once you are satisfied with the result, click OK.

With the changed layer selected, hold Alt / option and click add layer mask. Holding Alt / option paint the layer black, hiding it from our eyes.

Finally, select the top layer and re-create the layer mask, this time without holding anything so that it remains white.

Step 6. Add some spray to the top layer.

Select the top layer and make sure you are on a layer mask. If this is not done, we will draw on the image itself, and this is not what we want.

Choose a tool Brush (Brush) (B) and open the brushes panel.
If you have not yet downloaded the spray brush, click on the small gear in the upper right corner and select Load Brushes. You can save these brushes by downloading the ABR file in the source section above.

Click on the spray brush with the shape that you like.

Finally, change the size and direction of the brush (horizontally from right to left).

Make sure you draw black on layer mask , paint the splashes with a brush around the head only once, before you open the brush panel to change the brush, the size, the direction of the spray, or just to make these splashes look natural.

This part of the process takes time and patience to achieve the desired effect. Pay special attention to the eyes and the right side of the face, for our splashes mostly fall on the left side, the right side will be left almost untouched.

If you add too much spray to the right side of your face, you can always choose a regular brush, and paint on layer mask remove the spray where you think you need to remove it.

Step 7. Add splash to the modified layer.

The next step is to repeat the whole process with the middle (modified) layer, but this time instead of painting with black to hide the layer, we will paint with white to open the layer.

Select middle layer and its layer mask . Change the color of your brush to white, and select the brush-spray as in the previous part.

Draw on the blank part of the image to partially open our modified layer. Places where you will work with a brush will look like blurred parts of the upper layer.

Author’s Note:

To achieve the desired effect, it will take time and perhaps several attempts, and if you don’t like what your image looks like, you can always pour layer mask white / black and make the whole process for this layer again.

Do not be afraid to go back to the middle layer and stretch it even more.

Download PSD file with layers can be in the archive.

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