Create a Striking Photo Manipulation of a Face Distorted in Space

Create a Striking Photo Manipulation of a Face Distorted in Space
In this tutorial we'll create an awesome photo manipulation of a guy's face being distorted in space and time. We'll use lots of native Photoshop filters and some external textures. Both newbies and advanced Photoshop users will learn some useful things and tricks from this tutorial. Let's begin!

Final Results

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Open the file “Man Looking in distance”.

Step 2

Duplicate the original layer by pressing Ctrl + J and apply a Crystalize filter with 20 size (Filter > Pixelate > Crystalize).

Step 3

Duplicate the original layer again with Ctrl + J and apply a Crystalize filter with 40 size. Move this layer above the Crystalize layer we created at step 2 (in the layer palette – F7 – click and drag the layer).

Step 4

Now the layer with the big crystals should be the only one visible since it’s on top and covering other layers. Add a layer mask to this layer (Layer > New Layer Mask > Reveal All). Select the standard round soft brush at 100% opacity and paint with black in the layer mask (to hide sections of this layer thus revealing the layers above) over the face.

Step 5

Now we want to show some features of the original face. Group the two crystalize layers (hold Ctrl and click on each layer to select them) by pressing Ctrl + G. Add a layer mask to this group and paint over the eyes and the lips in the layer mask with a round soft brush at 100% opacity.

Step 6

Create a new layer from all the visible layers by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E and apply a Motion Blur effect with the settings shown below (Filter > Blur > Motion Blur).

Step 7

Add a layer mask to the layer we created at step 6 and select the Gradient Tool (G). Set the colors to black and white (D) and click in the layer mask to make it active. Now hold the Shift key and drag from right to left to create a black gradient as shown below. This step will give our scene a motion feeling.

Step 8

Now let’s create some fragments flying away from the face. Select the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) and create a small selection on the face (in the pixelated area) as shown below.

Step 9

Now press Ctrl + Shift + C to copy merged (to copy from all the visible layers) and Ctrl + Shift + V to paste the selection into a new layer. You should have a fragment of the face on a new layer. With the Move Tool (V) position this fragment somewhere to the right.

Step 10

Repeat steps 8 and 9 until you have created enough fragments (10 or 20 should be enough). Feel free to rotate and resize the fragments (with Ctrl + T) to make them more random and interesting.

Step 11

The fragments look fake because they don’t have a shadow. Now we could add a shadow to each and every fragment but this would be time wasting. Instead group all the fragments together (hold Ctrl and click on each other to select them and Ctrl + G to group) and double click the group icon to open Advanced Blending options window. Add a Drop Shadow effect with the settings shown below and all the fragments will get a shadow.

Step 12

I find that there are still too few fragments for my taste. Duplicate the fragments group once or twice and resize/rotate each duplicate (use Free Transform – Ctrl + T) to make it look different from the original. Place the duplicates in random positions – but still in the right side of the image. If something is wrong with a duplicate group simply add a layer mask to it and hide the offending sections (paint with black in the layer mask).

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