Ever wanted to create stunning and explosive visuals in your photographs? One way to do this is with dispersion effects, which take the core subjects of your photos and spread them across the image canvas. Dispersion is commonly found in advertising and marketing promos. But you can use it in your own work too, as we’ll see below in this collection of 22 amazing Photoshop actions.
22 Best Photoshop Dispersion Effects
Dispersion effects are built for a variety of themes: portraits, action shots, landscapes, you name it. Each category has photo filters and effects built just for it. We’ve collected these from Envato Elements and GraphicRiver. You’ll find a well-rounded assortment of the 22 best dispersion Photoshop effects created for use in projects just like yours.
Also, if you prefer to get professional help, check out the many services available at Envato Studio, where you can work with skilled designers to achieve all of your creative goals.
Help your photos take flight with these inspired Photoshop actions. Best used in human photography, these actions will disperse subjects into vivid bursts of feathers. They’ll add a special look to fashion photographs and portraits alike. Ten color presets are included to help you tune and refine each image.
Flux delivers spectacular dispersions reminiscent of abstract art. The focal points dissolve into paint-like splashes for an edgy look. The 3D effects for pictures can be applied from four directions to best suit the setting and orientation of your photos. Spend some time mixing and matching angles and effects to see what works best.
Capture the energy of a ticker-tape parade with this fun photo effect. Split images into wild flashes of confetti that lend a feeling of speed to any shot. The illusion of motion is complemented by an array of color and graphic options that can be applied with a single click.
Unlike flatter effects, this 3D Photoshop filter delivers an incredible sense of involvement in every image. The bold multidimensional elements resemble gemstones flying towards the viewer. These effects are optimized for sports and action photography and really help amplify the action!
Dispersion 2 is an amazingly rich and robust effect to transform everyday action shots into works of art. Style your images in the tradition of movie posters and video game covers with flashy, ethereal graphics. The color palette automatically optimizes to match the focal point of your photo.
Turn mundane grayscale images into red-hot wonders with Ashes n Embers, a volcanic dispersion effect. Fiery graphics dramatically offset binary black and white images and create unforgettable photographs. Boost the explosive style even more by trying out the included color presets.
True to its name, Pixelated breaks images down into individual pixels for a grainy, modern feel. Depending on the intensity of application, you can pixelate the full image or just the periphery of your subjects. The end result is abstract and captures the grunge style in every frame.
Blossoms is a floral effect that turns people into petals. Aimed at action photographs, this action creates explosive bursts of color. To alter the effect, adjust the color styling of your image in advance and then try applying the effect to bring out new and unforgettable looks.
Whirlwinds create stunning visuals that grab the attention of even the most distracted viewers. Fire, dust, and particles explode across any image this effect is applied to. The result is a gritty, intimate shot with a vortex of dispersion color effects for pictures. Again, color changes are all-important to instantly alter the mood of your photo.
Sand, dirt, and dust—these natural elements simulate stillness and the passage of time. But when stirred into motion by their human subjects, they bring about thoughts of power and speed, momentum and disruption. This dramatic contrast is boldly captured in this photo effect, best suited to images with strong contrast and fluid motion.
Made for quirky and eclectic snapshots, Bubblum is one of the best Photoshop filters for a moisture effect similar to water droplets. Abstract and yet vivid, this action strikes the perfect balance of documentary and art. Unlike many of the portrait examples we’ve explored, this effect is great for auto and fashion photography.
Quick and dynamic, Geometric Dispersion is a top choice for sports photo filters and effects. The download is a pack of several unique effects in the geometric style, creating motion mosaics from each image you apply them to. Even though the result is static, the feeling of speed is captured forever.
Ashen Decay brings an apocalyptic burning style to your collection of Photoshop filters. Subjects dissolve into fire, smoke, and particles. Use this one for music or movie projects, or apply it to portraits for a spectacularly unconventional look.
14. Dustum PS Action
Dust is one of the finest techniques to bring dispersion to your photos. No finer example exists than this professional Photoshop action offering four unique dust dispersions. Easily customize colors and directions to craft new grit and glamor in each and every photo. And best of all, you won’t even have to clean dust off your lens!
Cortisol recreates the spectacular chaos of our natural environment. Subjects will burst from a cacophony of swirling smoke and dust to make an unforgettable entrance. Every layer is fully editable to make minute adjustments to the general scene. Combine it with your own title overlays to create posters, promos, and more.
Color effects for pictures often rely on introducing new palettes to existing images. Not so with this simple and straightforward dynamic Photoshop filter. Color Splatter takes the unique colors of your image and splatters them across the canvas, complementing instead of contrasting with the original. Aimed at creating a fun new dimension in portraits, this action is adaptable to branding and fashion uses as well.
When purchasing Photoshop actions, it pays to seek offerings that offer extra value. That’s definitely the case with the After Actions Bundle, which features five diverse and distinct effects in a single download. Dispersion, fantasy, lines, galaxy, and bi-exposure; each of the five caters to different types of images, and working together they form a powerful tool in any photographer’s toolbox.
Falling rain adds an intimate dimension to any photograph, but it can be difficult or impossible to capture naturally. Not to worry; with this rainy Photoshop filter, you can instantly apply downpours to every one of your images. In just a few clicks, foggy rain will disperse and overlay your subjects. The stormy fog of the falling rain is often the difference between good and great images. Take advantage of that here.
Help the shifting sands of time evolve from mental images to your own images with this dramatic Photoshop action. Sand particles add sharp focus to photos and help draw attention to the center of the frame. Be sure to adjust the dispersion and grain for maximum benefit.
Watercolors are perhaps the most popular form of abstract art. If you want to capture a scene as if on canvas, but don’t have the gift of painting abilities, don’t worry. With quick photo filters and effects like these, you can transform any photograph into a beautiful watercolor. Edges are softened, and even hidden contrasts stand out.
Give your photos the gift of timeless style with this powerful Photoshop effect. Vintageo is a retro, artistic filter that converts everyday snaps into classical portraits. An assortment of color options and fully editable graphic elements make the action a mere starting point on your artistic journey. All the tools you need to build incredible artwork are at your fingertips.
Disperse photos in the style of pen sketches with these photo effects. Distill complex photos into their fundamental elements in the transformation from photo to paper. Try Pen Sketch to break down technical photos into clean lines, or to create stunning intimate portraits.
Top Dispersion Tutorials
If you want to learn how to create dispersion effects of your own, look no further than the tutorials below. Try these out to totally customize how you apply dispersion to your images and text.
- Photoshop ActionsHow to Create an Awesome Dispersion Action in Adobe PhotoshopMarko Kožokar
- Photoshop ActionsHow to Create a Typography Dispersion Action in Adobe PhotoshopMarko Kožokar
- Photoshop ActionsHow to Create an Ashes & Embers Dispersion Action in Adobe PhotoshopIndranil Saha
Dispersion, though it applies to a rather narrow concept, offers virtually unlimited artistic flexibility. As you can see, Envato offers a remarkable collection of the best Photoshop dispersion effects through Elements and GraphicRiver.
Be sure to explore both sites on your creative journey. And once you’ve found the dispersion effect of your choice, spend some quality time experimenting with it in Photoshop. The most amazing images aren’t built instantly, and practice makes perfect! Also, don’t forget to check out Envato Studio to enlist professional help with your projects.