Create a pixel explosion effect on photos in Photoshop

In this tutorial, we will create a pixel explosion effect on a photo using our own brush and several adjustment layers.

Here is the final version:

The lesson is made in the program Adobe Photoshop CS3.

Step 1

Open the photo of the girl. This will be the basis for creating the effect. Reflect the photo horizontally Image – Image Rotation – Flip Horizontally (Image – Image rotation – Flip horizontally). Thus, the iPad will be on the left and the explosion on the right.

Step 2

For the explosion will need more free space. Let’s adjust the size of the working canvas. Activate Crop Tool (C) (Crop) and draw the middle nodal point on the right side, as shown below.

Step 3

We use Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) (Rectangular selection) to create a selection just around the photo (we don’t touch the black area on the right yet).

Step 4

Press Ctrl + J to copy the selected area to the new layer. Name this layer “Inverted”.

Step 5

Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N) and fill it with white (Shift + F5). Place this layer under the “Inverted” layer. As you can see, we have hidden the black triangle, which was formed as a result of the increase in the working canvas.

Step 6

Now we will create a special brush. Create a new (temporary) document (Ctrl + N) with a size of 512 x 512 pixels. Take Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) (Rectangular selection) and with the Shift key held down (to maintain proportions) create a square selection. Press D to reset colors to black and white, then press the Alt + Backspace key combination to fill the selection with black.

Step 7

Move on Edit – Define Brush Preset (Editing – Define a brush) and write any name for the brush (in my case, Base Brush). When finished, click OK. Then press the key combination Ctrl + D to remove the selection.

Step 8

Open the brushes panel (F5), adjust the size and dynamics of the new brush, as shown below. Then go to the tab Brush Tip Shape (Brush print form) and increase Spacing (Interval) up to 46%.

Step 9

Save the brush by clicking on the icon in the form of an arrow (it is located in the upper right corner of the panel of brushes) and selecting New Brush Preset (New brush set). Call our brush “Pixel Blast” and click OK. We close the temporary document with a black square and return to the main one. Do not forget to save the file (Ctrl + S) in case of unforeseen circumstances (power outage or problems in Photoshop).

Step 10

Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N) and activate Clone Stamp Tool (S) (stamp).

On the panel with sets of brushes Window – Brush Presets (Window – Brush Sets) select the brush created in the previous step.

Hold Alt and click in the area of ​​the right hand to take a sample of color. Next to the right hand draw a stamp (the principle of operation is the same as with a normal brush).

Adjust the size of the stamp to get a more interesting effect. Opacity (opacity) at the same time leave at 100%.

Step 11

Create a new adjustment layer Layer – New Adjustments Layer – Curves (Layer – New adjustment layer – Curves), in the settings window, drag the curve down. Convert the adjustment layer to the clipping mask by holding down the Alt key and clicking between the layers on the layers panel.

Adjustment layers are identical to the image correction from the menu. Image (Image), but their advantage is that adjustment layers can be edited or deleted if necessary at any time. Adjustment layers can be turned off, reduce opacity, change the blending mode. Using adjustment layers, you can perform color correction without disturbing the integrity of the image.

Step 12

Now create a decay effect on the hand of a girl.

Add a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N) and activate Brush Tool (B) (Brush). Select the white color and paint the hand of the girl (using our pixel brush), as shown below.

While working, adjust the brush size to get a more interesting result, but Opacity (Opacity) leave at 100%.

Step 13

We are almost done! Let’s improve the picture by increasing the contrast and darkening it slightly. Create a new adjustment layer Layer – New Adjustments Layer– Curves (Layer – New adjustment layer – Curves) and apply the settings shown below.

As you can see, dragging the black slider to the right increases the contrast, and moving the curve down makes the picture darker.

Step 14

Let’s create a vignette effect.

Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N) and fill it with white (Shift + F5).

Move on Filter – Lens Correction (Filter – Correction of distortion) and go to the tab Custom (Customized). To add a vignette effect, use the settings shown below.

Click OK and change the layer blending mode with the vignette to Multiply (Multiplication). As you can see, the white color disappeared, and only the black edges of the vignette remained around the photo.

Posted by: Adrian Scheff

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