In this tutorial we’ll show you how to use brushes and masks to transform a portrait with eye-catching Photoshop scatter effects.
The key to success is in mastering the Brush panel and the wealth of features hidden within. We’ve provided a great set of scatter brushes for you to use on your own images, plus a couple of gritty textures to add depth to the background.
The scatter effect works best on portraits with clean, simple backgrounds. So if you’re planning on shooting your own, photograph someone against a wall or a roll of paper, or alternatively, cut them out and place them on a light backdrop. Then load up the brushes and get scattering!
How to create a Photoshop scatter effect: steps 1-3
01 Remove the model
Download our free brushes and start files, and follow along! Open scatter_before.jpg then press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate the background layer. Grab the Polygonal Lasso tool, then click around the model to make a rough selection. Once the selection is complete, right click inside it and Choose Fill. Set Use: Content Aware and hit OK. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+D to deselect. If there are any rough patches, tidy up with the Clone Stamp.
02 Make a selection
Go to the Layers panel (Window>Layers). Click the eye icon on the top layer to hide it, then highlight the layer below. Grab the Magic Wand tool from the Tools panel. Use it to select the background. Set Tolerance 10 and check Contiguous in the tool options at the top, then hold down Shift and click around the background until the whole area is selected.
03 Refine the Edges
Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+I to invert the selection so that the model is selected. Next go to Select>Refine Edge. Use the sliders to improve the selection: check Smart Radius then paint over the model’s hair to increase the area of refinement around this tricky part of the image. Once you’re happy with the selection, choose Output to: New Layer and hit OK.
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