Creating images as digital grids is more complex than just overlaying some numbers – but the results from these Photoshop effects can be truly impressive.
In Photoshop’s Preferences, go to the Grids and Guidelines section. Set the grid lines to the sizes you want – we’ve used 24 pixels, with just 1 subdivision. Use View>Show>Grid so that you can see the grid on the document.
Make a new text box and fill it with random ones and zeroes, and adjust the letter spacing and leading so that the numbers fit the grid. Place your photograph and desaturate it.
Use the Mosaic filter with the Cell size to match the grid, and it will fit the numbers perfectly. Change the text to white and the background to black, and set the Blend Mode of the photograph layer to Multiply.
Posterising the photo makes the effect starker, and you can use Hue/Saturation tweaks to colour it afterwards for extra emphasis.
01 Grids and numbers
Type a few lines of ones and zeroes. Use the Character Panel to adjust the leading and letter spacing so that the numbers fit the grid perfectly, then duplicate the numbers layer to fill the space.
02 Pixelate the photo
Use Filter>PIxelate> Mosaic, and set the Cell size exactly the same as your grid size – in this case, we’ve used 24 pixels. The two grids will now line up exactly.
03 Tweak the settings
Change the background to black, and the numbers to white. Change the Blend Mode of the photo from Normal to Multiply. Use Image>Adjustments>Posterize for a starker, more graphic effect.
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