Modify an image with Photoshop's Displacement filter

In this tutorial you will learn how to use Photoshop CC or Photoshop CS6's variety of filters and techniques to produce an image in an experimental style. It's a flowing work technique, and things will always change and blend into the image in different ways, so don't expect to recreate the exact image I have created here.

You'll need to think creatively and change things around until you think that it looks good and fits into this style. I will tell you how to do some of the techniques I use, and the tools for doing them, but it is you who will ultimately craft the image.

It's a good idea to get to know each filter individually, and know what you want to do to an image before you start applying them. It's fun to experiment and mess around with filters, but remember Photoshop is just a tool for visualising your artwork.

Blending Modes

The techniques used in this tutorial can be applied to any image, but here you will use a photograph of a woman. You will use the Displace filter, apply different Displacement Maps and see how this affects your working canvas. You will also learn how to combine a few Blending Modes and colours mixed with shapes to fill the rest of the space and add to the image, giving a radical and abstract feel to some areas.

Finally, you will look at Layer Masking as an effective means of separating areas of each layer, creating different ways to combine colours. This tutorial will teach you techniques that can then be applied to other images and help you realise some of your ideas in other ways.

It is good to experiment and think of new ways to blend, using different Displacement Maps and Layer Styles, for example. Most importantly of all, be creative and have fun.

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Words: Pete Harrison

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