Being able to create slightly abstract images your photographs is a useful skill to have. It requires a basic knowledge of Adobe Photoshop but mainly just a great imagination. Here we will learn how to create a broken photo effect, an original effect which is simple to make.
Create anew document (Ctrl+N) then fill the background layer black using the paint bucket tool (G). Paste in the image you are going to break, the one that I used can be found here. Next resize the image until it resembles the image below. The only reason for lowering the image size is because the technique used here requires a fair amount of CPU.
Now we are going to try and blend her head into the background and also remove elements of the image like the mobile phone. Start by selecting the lasso tool (L) with a feather amount of 100px. Draw a selection around here head like so then layer>layer mask>reveal selection. This will a layer mask to the woman's layer, then fill everything except our selection black. The advantage of using a layer mask over just deleting the parts we don't want is that here we can go back and edit this mask and reveal parts which we have just hidden, which can often be a much more efficient way to work.
It is obvious that this layer mask needs refined so select the brush tool (B) and choose a brush of about 150px and 0% hardness. Hit D to set the default colors and make sure the layer mask is selected not the image itself. Now paint round the face until you obtain a result similar to below.By canging the foreground color to white you can reveal parts of the image which shouldn't be hidden.
Next we want to distort the colors of this image, to give a slightly cross processed look. Start by, in the layers pane, adding a curves adjustment layer. And use the settings shown below, note that that the green and RGB channel remains und. OK, hold Alt then then place the cursor between the adjustment layer and the woman's layer until two circles appear then click. This will add aclipping mask, meaning that the adjustment layer will only affect the layer below, you can identify a clipping mask by the arrow between the two layers. Here we actually had two other options; first, editing the layer itself, the problem with this method is that we could not go back and the curves values later. Second, we could have added an adjustment layer without the clipping mask but this means that if we were to add a layer below the woman it would also be affected. Evidently, using the clipping mask is the most efficient and versatile way to work.
In the layer panel create a new group and add the woman layer and the curves layer, make sure the clipping mask remains. Next right click on the group and select duplicate group.
Select the woman layer in the top group then apply these s in the same order: filter>distort>twirl at -25, filter>distort>spherize at 20% and filter>blur>radial blur with 10, zoom and best selected. Now double click on the curves and the only s needed is to drag the black input slider of the green channel to 100. Now duplicate this group and do exactly the same again except this time leave the black slider of the green channel and the white slider to 210. Your image should resemble the one below.
Now we are going to create the brush that will be used to break up the face. Fortunately you won't need to download any new brushes as the brush we use here will be a default brush. Select the brush tool then select the brush named 'Chalk 60px' although almost any grunge type brush will work for this. Now hit F5 to bring up the brush settings panel. Select shape dynamics, scattering, dual brush, other dynamics, wet edges and smoothing. Use the same settings as the images below. The brush engine is a very powerful tool and after a bit of practice you will learn to create more complicated brushes to suit your needs, since the brush needed for this project is nothing too specific we can get away with using 'maximum and minimum' values for the most part.
Now hide the top two group then click on the first group and go layer>layer mask>reveal all to add a white layer mask to the group. Make sure your brush with the custom settings is still active and that the foreground color is black. Next click on the groups layer mask and paint over parts of the picture. This may take a few tries to get perfect but should similar to below.
We will now do the same however this time make the middle group the only visible one then go layer>layer mask>hide all to add a black layer mask. Using the brush tool with a foreground color of white, use the same technique as in the previous step to obtain a result like below and the opacity of this group to 75%.
Do exactly the same for the top group and remember to the opacity to 75% as well.By using the layer masks on the groups we are, in effect, using it both on the image and on the curves layer. Next unhide all the groups.
Now we will go back and create a background for our image, I wont go into much detail for this as it is generally each user has their own way of creating a simple background. I started by creating a new layer above the background layer then using a radial gradient going black to dark purple. Then hit D and create a new layer then filter>render>clouds and set the blending mode of this layer to overlay then decide on the opacity. I then chose to use a few clock brushes I downloaded, added text then a bit of color over the whole image. You could take this image a lot further by using the techniques learned here and hopefully you will find many more aplications for these techniques.