A halftone effect is a technique that makes an image from dots of different sizes and opacities. You might recognize this distinctive look from comic books and newspaper photos.
In the digital era, you can apply the halftone effect to your existing photos, illustrations, or designs, and you don't have to be a designer to create your own halftone effect. Instead, apply Photoshop actions or premade textures that will help you skip ahead in the process.
One of my favorite places to grab this type of effect is from the library at Envato Elements. This all-you-can-download subscription service has the shortcuts you need to apply halftone effects.
In this roundup, we'll look at five Photoshop actions and five general-purpose images that can help you apply a halftone effect to your files. Each of these brings a slightly different effect to the table.
5 Best Photoshop Halftone Effects
Photoshop halftone effect actions are the one-click "easy buttons" for applying a style to an existing image. The selections below are a combination of actions and textures that each apply halftones easily.
1. Photoshop Halftone Effect Actions (ATN)
This is the classic pop-art style effect that can bring the halftone effect in Photoshop to an image with a single click. Download these actions and apply them to create halftone photography.
2. Dot Grid Photoshop Actions (ATN, PAT)
Here's another flexible option for applying a pseudo-halftone effect. You can even use a variety of Photoshop halftone effects in this package to vary the size of the dots for complete creative control!
3. 10 Special Effects (ATN)
This is a package of ten different effects, but it shines for the halftone effect for Photoshop included in the package. This takes more of a square halftone approach to the effect on your image.
Do you want to create halftone prints? This download includes a number of different texture effects, including a really slick halftone texture you can apply to any typeface.
5. 40 Halftone Illustration Brushes (ABR)
Brushes are another way of applying the halftone effect, and these illustration brushes can help you apply a halftone effect to any part of an image. Load these halftone brushes into Photoshop and brush over an image to selectively add halftone details. It's perfect for halftone prints.
5 Halftone Image Effects
Whether you use Photoshop or another app, the images in this section of the roundup are flexible enough to apply to many projects. These textures and premade images feature alpha channels so that you can use them with your existing projects.
1. Subtle Halftone Textures (EPS, PNG)
This package is a great example of how helpful textures can be. This is a set of ten different halftone effects that you can overlay on any image in either EPS or PNG format.
2. Halftone Dots Texture Pack 10 (AI, EPS, PSD, PNG)
Here's another vector texture that you can apply in practically any situation. Thanks to the vector format, you can scale the overlay up to any size and layer it onto any file to add the halftone effect in Photoshop. You can also work with this as a halftone effect in Illustrator.
3. Clean Vector Halftones (EPS, PNG)
This halftone print package is flexible and can be used for a variety of images, including the thumbnail for this tutorial! Because it's packaged as a vector-based halftone effect Illustrator file, you can scale it up to any size and apply the halftone fade to any of your projects.
4. Crumpled Paper Halftone Textures (AI, EPS, PNG)
This paper-style effect still integrates the halftone effect but in a more organic way thanks to the layered paper textures. Try this out for a true paper effect with halftone printing styles for your content.
5. Halftone Stains #1 Texture Pack (PNG, PDF, AI)
Halftone effects don't have to be clean and homogeneous. This package of halftone effects for Illustrator has a "crime scene meets comic book" effect. Drop these in for a touch of halftone without covering your image.
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Editorial Note: This post has been updated with contributions from Janila Castañeda. Janila is a staff writer with Envato Tuts+.