Kaleidoscopic images

Applying a kaleidoscope effect to an image can generate some wild and unexpected results. Justin Maller explains how to create colourful designs full of chaotic impact using basic Photoshop techniques.

Ever had an image that simply didn't work? The angles are off, the colours aren't quite right, the focal point is all wrong - things simply aren't clicking? The kaleidoscope effect is a fun way to bring new life to this kind of image, and a creative way to experiment with pattern-based work in Photoshop.

The actual premise of the technique is very simple, based on symmetry, replication and rotation, but the effects it can generate are frequently quite complex. There's no limit to the intricacy one can achieve with a kaleidoscopic image, as the technique may be simply repeated with different variables and Layer Modes to generate minutely detailed work. This technique can be applied several times to different sections of the same base image, and as such is a useful way of presenting each separate aspect of the initial work in a new light.

In this tutorial, you'll be shown how to create a basic kaleidoscope effect, as well as how to achieve several slightly more advanced variations to create your own original kaleidoscopic pieces.

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