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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

How to Decay Pixel explosion Dispersion Method in Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, this video is all about decaying pixel exploding dispersion method awesomeness in Photoshop. We'll take this model here. We stretch it out using liquify, we paint it back in with some exploding brushes, more exploding brushes for realism, and that's it, let's jump in now and learn how to do it. 

First up, let's open up 'Decay 1' from our '12 Visual Styles' folder. Now this technique, I feel like there's some sort of like unwritten rule. You have to do it to some sort of dancer here, flicking person. I don't know why but we have our dancer, now we need to make her explode. First thing you need to do is install some brushes. So I've got some in your 'Exercise Files', it's this one here. So if you go to '12 Visual Styles', there's this one here called Explosion Brushes'. All you do is double click them and they will install in Photoshop. 

Now these are just some free brushes I found online that have a cool kind of explosion. You can use these ones, but you end up with a very similar effect to what I have here. If you're looking for something a bit more pixelated, or more kind of shrapnel-ly, just have a little look and see if you can find some other Adobe brushes that will work for you. You can double check they're installed. They are here, under 'Brushes', so 'Window', come down to 'Brushes', and my one's are here, 'Explosion Brushes'. You might have to twirl all this up, might be a bit messy in here. You won't have Drips or Smoke. Those are brushes we installed in our Photoshop Essentials course. Hopefully you have Explosion Brushes now. Let's twirl back in. 

So first thing we need to do is mask the girl here. We're going to use our sneaky 'Select', 'Subject'. It's going to do a lot of the heavy work, probably. How good does the selection have to be? Not very good. Just the technique we're using, it doesn't have to be great. I'm just going to make it a little bit better. So I'm going to grab my 'Quick Selection Tool', and pick a brush size, and just kind of click that. Now if you can't see the edges of your brush, it's Caps Lock, caps lock 'on', caps lock 'off'. There we go. Like to see the edges. And it will target in the middle that we've turned on, in Preferences earlier on in the course, remember? So just a bit of adding to and removing from, and we're just clicking. 

We'll add to the selection, holding down the 'Option' key on a Mac, or the 'Alt' key on a PC, will remove. Let's go here, happens to be there in gray against the Bradbury background, which has given us a little bit of issues. So those are the big things, it's fine. So what we're going to do is we're going to duplicate this layer here. So I've got a background, this is going to be my model. This particular layer here. So turn off the background, we'll fill that in later on. But our model layer, let's click on the 'Layer Mask'. You could go through and select on this 'Mask', and go to 'Select & Mask', and tidy it up, but it's not going to be necessary. Let's apply this mask, I know it's kind of like counter intuitive, we just made this beautiful Layer Mask. 

What we're going to do is right click the 'Mask', and say 'Apply'. We just need it for this particular trick because we're going to go to 'Liquify', which is under 'Filter', 'Liquify'. Now what we need to do here is decide where we're going to be pushing this. So I'm using the first tool here, quite a big brush. And we're going to be pushing it out like this. So you've got to decide, do you want-- I'm just having the explosion come out this side. If you need it to come out both sides, you need to push it both sides. If you want it coming out of here, needs to go all these different directions. The only trouble with doing it like this, is that it distorts her quite badly, so I'm going to undo. 

I'm holding down 'Command-Option-Z' or 'Ctrl-Alt-Z'. This kind of gets steps backwards. So what you can do, just to make sure you don't wreck in either places, like mainly her face, and just the things that you don't want to distort too much, there's this one here, it's called Freeze and Thaw. So Freeze means, I'm going to basically paint in the face, kind of around here. Slightly a bigger brush. And all it means is, it's just not going to-- I'm going to get down that one side of the leg. Maybe just down the side of her hand as well. Smaller brush. 

So what it does is, if I grab the 'Forward Warp Tool', and just kind of push it, can you see, it leaves her face, like that part of her face is stuck there. Freezes it in place, so I'm stepping backwards again. The Thaw is just removing it. You don't need this bit, or you don't need this chunk in here. Freeze and Thaw. Now it's all about kind of moving this out. So it's best to start with a smaller brush. And you just want the edge really, you don't want too much of the document. So there's a lot of like wriggling it out, and just kind of building it out. I'm pushing mine to the left, because that's where my explosion is going, but there's just a lot of wriggling. So once you get it to a point out this far, you can make a larger brush, and just kind of pull it out. And you want it to go as far as you want, so be cool. So, well you know, that kind of explosion to go. So I'm going to push mine right at the edge. I'm going to do it for the rest of this bit, but I'll speed this bit up. I'll see you when I'm done. 

All right, and you're back. Lot of clicking and lot of dragging. Let's click 'OK'. Let's turn 'on' our Background Layer now. Basically what we want to do is we want to mask this out completely, then bring it back in with our Explosion Brush. We could just click a 'Layer Mask' and then paint it out completely. So, 'Brush Tool', 'Black paint brush', and kind of paint it all out. Then we'll paint it back in, or nice little trick is, before you add the Layer Mask, before you click this button, just hold down the 'Option' key on a Mac, or the 'Alt' key on a PC. Just kind of puts in a reverse mask, everything is hidden. So it's all black, let's make little bits of it white, by going to our 'Brush Tool', make sure our foreground color is white. Then from our Brushes Panel we're going to use the big Brushes Panel. 

So 'Window', 'Brushes', click on this little icon. We use 'Explosion Brushes'. And what we're looking to do is, these guys here, our explosions, if yours is kind of like a smear, it's a little hard to see, so you can go into this little 'Hamburger Menu' here, and go to this one that says 'Brush Tip'. Make sure Brush Stroke is turned 'off'. Crank up this as well, so you can see it all. And I don't want to see the Stroke. Which ones to start with? This is up to you. We got Explosion 1-6, and we've got a few of them to pick from. It's all about building it up, actually just really hard to do. So take your time, you might have to start again a couple of times. You might do a 'Save As'. Now we'll duplicate this layer so that you can go back, maybe this Explosion 2. 

What you'll notice is, it depends on the size of your image. If you're following along with me it's going to be probably still too big. So there's a lot of resizing of these brushes. The other thing to know is, this brush here, if I click on it once, can you see it has a really strong bottom and right, which is not cool, but they were free brushes, they look quite cool. So what I need to do is I need to make sure that that line, kind of doesn't get seen here. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to go to my 'Brush Settings', So 'Window', 'Brush Settings'. And we're going to play with this rotation quite a bit in this course, because I want to get it so that the explosion is kind of coming out of that side. 

You can see, I'm just keeping the edges in here a bit. This is what I'm looking to do. Smaller brush. So I'm going to go, one sort of round of this. I find myself wanting to make that kind of cool noise. Don't worry if you get too far. We're going to actually bring it back a little bit because, just going out this way. Looks okay, but if we double back on it we can remove bits of it as well. But let's go 'Explosion', oh, look at that one. Mine is this one here. This is kind of cool, but it's the wrong way around. Anybody knows this shortcut for rotating? I can do it on my Wacom tablet. There's a shortcut for rotation here. Is there a shortcut I don't know about? Let me know in the comments. Brushes. I'm just going to slowly work this up, you can hang around. Let's just see how slow and-- just clicking once. 

You can see what I'm doing over here. Basically I'm just painting in this mask. We're getting there. Maybe one more, go with it, looks kind of good. Rotation. You can see, there's no splatter up here because I didn't liquify it out here. Probably want to do that. Now if you want it kind of coming out this side as well, you're going to have to liquify it out that side, I've just done one side. So we've gone out, let's go back in on itself. All we need to do is switch the foreground and background color. And then I'm going to turn the angle of my brush on itself. So it's going to go this way. You can kind of see what I'm doing. Because it's really dense across here I'm just trying to like, create some-- let's zoom in so you can see. I'm just trying to create some, just showing the background through. Cool. 

Last thing I'm going to do is add a bit of, kind of fake Depth of Field splatters, like stuff coming towards the camera. So what I'm going to do is create a new layer, I'm going to call this one 'Depth of Field bits'. I'm going to use one of these tools. I'm going to use one of these brushes. Which one? One that doesn't have a really strong edge, probably the one I'm on. Maybe that one. I'm not going to be working on a mask. I'm actually just going to steal a color from here. So I'm using the Eyedropper Tool. I'll pick this gray. Back to my brush, make a super big version of it, I'm just going to rotate it around. Zoom out, so I can see the edges of it. Even bigger. 5000, as big as it goes. That's what I want, I want this kind of-- I'm going to pick a white as well. I'm going to pick up black, and another one. Cool. 

What am I doing? I'm trying to make ones that look like, the kind of, I guess kind of, going past where they need to be. And what you can do is, with this layer selected here, let's turn it into a Smart Object, so that we can go to 'Filter', go to 'Blur'. We're going to go to 'Gaussian Blur', and just, probably like that. Can you see what I mean? I want to kind of feel like it's stuck against the lens, just out of focus. On, off. I might have put these on different layers as well, so that I can move them around. Here we go. 

So that's our decaying pixel exploding dispersion map type thing in Photoshop. Basically we mask out the subject, in this case, dancing girl, then we liquify on its own layer, spreading it out to the directions we want it to go. Apply a mask to it, and then just paint it back in using different brushes. In our case, Exploding Brushes. 

Let's get onto the next video, we'll do another bit of decay, but we'll learn a few extra tricks, and we'll do it to a shoe. I feel like that's the only other thing you're allowed to do it to. Dancing woman and a shoe, but the shoe has to be a Nike. These are the rules, I didn't make them, let's go and do it in the next video.