Create a kaleidoscope effect in Photoshop

08. Add another mark

Kaleidoscope effect in Photoshop step 8

Now drag the circle pattern across to the photo and rasterise this layer. Again, as in step 07, delete the background and then place the circles as if they are growing around the model. Lower the opacity so that you can see the model below. As before, duplicate these a number of times around the composition. Using the Eraser tool, remove the unwanted parts of the circles leaving some overlapping the model. When you're happy, increase the opacity of all the shapes back to 100% again.

09. And more…

Kaleidoscope effect in Photoshop step 9

Back to the handmade marks: choose the gold spray paint, drag it over to the photo and erase its background. Use the Free Transform command on this shape (Cmd/Ctrl+T) to alter its size, then position it to mask part of the model's face. To make it appear more realistic, add an outer glow (Layer>Layer Style>Outer Glow), choosing the Screen blending mode with opacity set at 75% and noise at 25%.

10. Create a bubble

Kaleidoscope effect in Photoshop step 10

Open the supplied cloudy sky image in a new document, play with the levels and choose the green channel. Reduce the midtones to 1.75 to make the image more vibrant. Then, with the Elliptical Marquee tool and holding down Shift, drag out a circle. Copy this shape and paste it onto the photo. Add a layer style to the shape, choosing Soft Light and setting the opacity to 88%. This creates a bubble-like effect. As before, duplicate the bubble a number of times around the image, altering its size.

11. Add a handmade look

Kaleidoscope effect in Photoshop step 11

Now drag across the black splatter shape. Select part of the mark using the Magic Wand tool, then go to Select>Similar so that all parts of the splatter are selected. Change their colour by using the Fill panel (Shift+F5). Use the Color Picker to select a golden tone from the spray-painted mark. As with the bubbles, duplicate these marks, arranging them around the composition to create a random, handmade look.

12. Add some more detail

Kaleidoscope effect in Photoshop step 12

For some finishing touches to the collage, add some more elements of detail. I chose to use a handmade squiggle, which I placed over the spray paint, along with a more detailed diamond shape and a butterfly drawing, which reflects what is on the outfit worn by the model.

13. Create the kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope effect in Photoshop step 13

Now let's turn the collage into a kaleidoscope pattern. Make sure the triangle guide layer is at the top, and then merge together all the other layers, bar the triangle layer. Choosing the merged layers, select the Polygonal Lasso tool and carefully trace the triangle shape.

14. Duplicate the triangles

Kaleidoscope effect in Photoshop step 14

Create a new document at 222x300mm and 300dpi for the final pattern, and drag across the cut-out triangle. Duplicate the shape and flip it vertically (Edit>Transform>Flip Vertical). Next, use the Free Transform command (Cmd/Ctrl+T) to rotate this shape so it's against one edge of the first triangle, reflecting the image. Merge the triangles together to create one segment of your hexagon. Now duplicate this shape two more times to create the other segments and move them into place. Fitting the pieces in place correctly is easier with a hexagon shape guide to help you.

15. Duplicate the hexagons

Kaleidoscope effect in Photoshop step 15

Lastly, group all the segments of the hexagon and duplicate the shape by hitting Opt/Alt and dragging it. Now use Free Transform to rotate the hexagon shapes so they fit against one another like a jigsaw puzzle and create a kaleidoscope pattern.

Words: Amber Grayson

This tutorial first appeared in Computer Arts magazine.

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