photoshop creative

How to create an exploding cherry effect in Photoshop, part 2

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by The Photoshop Creative Team
April 9, 2014

Learn how to explode a cherry using texture and filters to create a convincing photomanipulation in Photoshop

Follow part 1 of this tutorial


With the second lot of shards edited, click on their Group in the Layers palette and press Cmd/Ctrl+T. Rotate slightly, shrink a little, and move the entire Group back into position over the other shards of cherry.


With even more shards moving away from the cherry, use the Move tool with Auto-Select turned on to arrange the pieces of shards. Use the Eraser tool to remove any obvious repetition between two shards.


Duplicate the second Group for even more segments. Move the Group to one side again and use the Eraser tool to remove parts of each segment to make for even smaller bits. Move back over the edge of the cherry and rotate and position the Group.


Open up the first Group and double-click on one of the layers inside to load the Layer Style menu (in Elements go to Layer>Layer Style>Style Settings. Apply a Drop Shadow to this layer using a dark red (#5d0a08) for its colour. Set Size to 2px and Distance to 0px. Hit OK to apply the effect to a cracked piece of cherry.


Ctrl/right-click over the layer and select Copy Layer Style. This layer style can be applied to all layers by Shift-clicking on the first and last layer, and Ctrl/right-clicking and selecting Paste Layer Style. Do this for all the Groups.


To add more depth to the effect, apply a Levels adjustment layer from the option at the base of the Layers palette. Position this adjustment just above the third Group layer and go to Layer>Create Clipping Mask. This will link it with the Group (in Elements, Merge layers first by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+E).


In the Levels adjustment slide the middle marker to the right to around 0.75. Also, slide the white marker under Output Levels to 210. This will dim the brightness of the smaller bits of cherry in the effect to add depth to the effect.


For each of the Groups in the Layers palette, go to Filter>Convert for Smart Filters. The Groups will lose their folder icons and turn into one layer. If you need to edit their contents at any stage, double-click on the layer’s thumbnail to open the Group.


To blur the shards of cherry to make it seem like they’re moving, go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. Set the Blur’s Distance to 20px and Angle to about 13. Hit OK and apply another Motion Blur to all Groups, mixing up the Distances.


If the Motion Blur filter has affected the central parts of the cherry, click on the white mask of the Smart Filter on that Group. Use the Brush tool set to 0% Hardness and black to remove the blur in those areas.

 STEP 25

Using the Brush tool to paint a small white dash on to a new layer for the projectile. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T and stretch and squash this shape to look like it’s moving through the air.


Apply an Outer Glow layer style to this layer and set its colour to black and Blend Mode to Normal. Increase the Size to 70px and hit OK and set Opacity to 100%. Use the Eraser tool to reshape the projectile if needed.


Select the Smudge tool and set it to 60% Strength and turn on Sample All Layers in the Options bar. Click on the layer containing the intact cherry and push the edges inwards where the projectile has entered and left.