photoshop creative

Create a Prisma-style image

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
July 12, 2017

With the help of adjustments and stock photos, use masks for a stunning composition

1. Retouch the portrait

Start by cutting out your subject using Healing brush (J) to fix blemishes and the bags under the subject’s eyes. Create a Curves adjustment, invert (Cmd/Ctrl+I) and mask in the eyes with a soft, white brush. Increase the contrast of the eyes.

2. Outline with the Pen

Select the Pen tool again. On a new layer, select around the face and fill with #e4b5a3. Select the eyes on a new layer and fill in with black, then create an outline for each body part. Hide these layers for now; they will provide detail later.

3. Work on the shadows

Create a 50% opaque layer, and again with the Pen, select and fill some of the shadows with black. Create another 50% opaque layer and do the rest of the shadows. Merge these layers, then go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Dry Brush, set to Brush Size: 2, Brush Detail: 8, Texture: 1.

4. Run the Poster Edges filter

Hide your shadows layer along with the body parts you outlined with the Pen. Duplicate your portrait layer (Cmd/ Ctrl+J) and go to the Filter Gallery again. Go to Poster Edges and choose Edge Thickness: 10, Edge Intensity: 10, Posterization: 6.

5. Apply the Oil Paint filter

With your Poster Edges effect applied, you’ll have a subtle outline to the entire portrait. Go to Filter>Stylize>Oil Paint and choose Stylization: 10, Cleanliness: 6, Scale: 10, Bristle Detail: 10, Lighting Angle: 90 degrees, Shine: 0. This will soften and blend your portrait to give a more painted feel to the image.

6. Make the Cutout effect

Go to the Filter Gallery once again. Choose Cutout, but instead of following a set rule of what you should type for each value, experiment with what would work best for your subject. Keep Simplicity low and Fidelity high for clearest results.

7. Re-apply the Oil Paint filter

Once again, go to the Oil Paint filter. Run exactly the same values as you did before – Photoshop will automatically load the last ones that you used – only this time, slide the Cleanliness up to 10 for even more of a smudged effect.

8. Filter the hair

Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/Opt+Shift+E to merge everything to a new layer. Select the hair with the Pen, and hit Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate to a new layer. Go to the Filter Gallery; choose Paint Daubs (Brush Size: 20, Sharpness: 40), Palette Knife (Stroke Size: 7, Stroke Detail: 3, Softness: 10).

9. Draw over the hair

On a new layer above the hair, select strands of hair with the Pen tool. Fill these in with #642215 and set this layer to Multiply. Because we filtered the hair in the previous step, it should be easier to select blocks of colour.

10. Brush over the hair

Cmd/Ctrl+click on the preview window of the hair layer you just created. Create a new layer, select a big, 0% hard brush, and using the colours from the supplied swatches on the FileSilo, add touches of different colours for a multicoloured, gradient-like effect.

11. Repeat the hair effect

Repeat this effect until the majority of the hair is covered with these bright colours. You may wish to experiment with different blend modes, such as Screen, Soft Light and Color Dodge. Unhide the Pen outline layers you created, and drag them to the top of the layer stack.

12. Touch up the hair

Again, hit Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/Opt+Shift+E to merge everything to a new layer; Cmd/Ctrl+click on the preview window of the layer on which you filtered the hair in step 8, and hit Mask. Use Smudge to blur colour into the roots, then go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Paint Daubs, with Brush Size set to 20 and Sharpness: 40.

13. Adjust the piece

At this stage, start to adjust your image with a Curves adjustment (as seen), Vibrance (Vibrance: +50, Saturation: +10) and add a Gradient Map. We’ve supplied a gradient that you can apply to the piece; just turn the Gradient Map to Soft Light for optimum effect.

14. Add noise

Create a new layer. Go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise and choose Amount: 400%, Distribution: Gaussian and check the Monochromatic box. Click OK, set to Soft Light, 30% Opacity. Insert a paper texture, desaturate (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+U) and set this to Overlay, 40% Opacity. Insert your background at the bottom of the layer stack.

15. Sharpen and cartoonise

Finally, merge everything to a new layer twice more. On the first of these two layers, go to Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise; choose Strength: 10, Preserve Details: 100%, Reduce Color Noise: 100%, Sharpen Details: 0%. On the second, go to Filter>Other>High Pass; choose 6px, click OK and set to Overlay to sharpen.