Abstract Photo Manipulation

In this really easy tutorial I’m going to be showing you how to turn a regular old photo into a really interesting, abstract piece of artwork! Just like the one shown below:

1. Stock Photo/Photo Edits

Well, first off you’ll want to start by finding a nice stock photo, or a photo of your favorite celebrity! I used a photo of the lovely Evangeline Lilly, of course. After opening up your stock photo, you might want to sharpen the photo just a little bit (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen) then if it’s to strong, go to Edit > Fade and use an input of about 50%.

2. Adding Photo Effects

Make your photo black and white by going to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map and using the black/white gradient in the settings.

Using a Gradient Map to make your image black and white is better than simply desaturating the image, as you’ll lose contrast that way.

3. Adjusting Photo Further

Duplicate the Background layer & move it above the Gradient Map. Set the layer mode to Color and the opacity to 40%.

Now make a Brightness/Contrast layer, use the following settings:

Again duplicate the Background layer and move it above all of the layers. Apply Filter > Blur > Gaussion Blur with a radius of 2.0. Set the layer mode to Soft light & the layer opacity to 40%.
Head over to TheDesignWorld.com and pick out a nice Abstract Render. I picked the Trace Render.
Move the render onto the canvas like so:

Change the layer mode for the ‘render’ layer to Lighten.

The result of changing the layer mode to Lighten will be like so:


It’s optional, but you can sharpen the render once Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen, I did.

Create a new layer and drag a bright gradient from one corner to the opposite corner like so:

The bottom left is #c7f92a & the top right is #4e9107.
Set the layer mode to Screen.

Make another Gradient Map, Black to White, change the layer opacity for that layer to 30%.

The final touches I added was some 2d ‘tech’ stuff with the pencil tool.


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