Unlimited PS Actions, graphics, videos & courses! Unlimited asset downloads! From $16.50/m
Advertisement
  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Photoshop Actions
Design

How to Create a Fun Filter Photo Effect Action in Photoshop

by
Difficulty:IntermediateLength:LongLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create cool Photoshop actions by making a filter photo effect in Adobe Photoshop. I will explain everything in so much detail that anyone can create this effect, even those who have just opened Photoshop for the first time. 

The effect shown above is the one I will show you how to create in this tutorial. If you would like to create the even more advanced Photoshop photo effect shown below, using just a single click and in only a few minutes, then check out my Power Photoshop Action. Using this Photoshop action, you can create highly detailed, advanced photo effects from your photos with no work at all! You just brush over your photo and play the action. The action will do all the work for you in just a couple of minutes, leaving you fully layered and customizable results.

Action final result

What You'll Need

To recreate the design above, you will need the following resources:

1. How to Start Creating an Action

Step 1

First, open the photo that you want to work with. To open your photo, go to File > Open, choose your photo, and click Open. Now, before we get started, just check a couple of things:

  1. Your photo should be in RGB Color mode, 8 Bits/Channel. To check this, go to Image > Mode.
  2. For best results, your photo size should be 2000–4000 px wide/high. To check this, go to Image > Image Size.
  3. Your photo should be the Background layer. If it is not, go to Layer > New > Background from Layer.
Checking image size and mode

Step 2

Now we need to expand the canvas on the left so we have more space around the subject on this side. Go to Image > Canvas Size and use the settings below:

Expanding canvas

2. How to Select the Subject

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create the base that determines the subject in our photo. Choose the Quick Selection Tool (W), and select the background of the photo. Use the Shift-Alt buttons on your keyboard to add or subtract some areas from the selection. After you've made a perfect selection, press Control-Shift-I on your keyboard to invert the selection.

Making selection

Step 2

Now go to Select > Modify > Smooth and set the Sample Radius to 5 px. Then, go to Select > Modify > Contract and set Contract By to 2 px. After that, go to Select > Modify > Feather and set the Feather Radius to 2 px as shown below:

Modifying selection

Step 3

Go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer and name it Base.

Creating new layer

Step 4

Now set the foreground color to any color that you like. Then, go to Edit > Fill and set Contents to Foreground Color, Mode to Normal, and Opacity to 100%. After that, press Control-D on your keyboard to deselect the selection.

Filling selection with foreground color

Step 5

Control-click on the Base layer thumbnail to make a selection of this layer. Then, select the Background layer, and press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using the selection, and name this layer Subject. After that, hide the Base layer.

Creating new layer using selection

3. How to Create the Background

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create the background. Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it Background Color, and choose the color #000000 as shown below:

Creating new solid color fill layer

Step 2

Now go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer and name it Background_Texture_1.

Creating new layer

Step 3

Press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches and go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

Adding clouds filter

Step 4

Now go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All to add a layer mask that hides the whole layer. Then, set the foreground color to #ffffff, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush where you want texture to appear. Feel free to change the Size and Hardness of the brush.

Adding layer mask

Step 5

Change the Opacity of this layer to 32%.

Changing opacity

Step 6

Now select the Background layer, go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer, and name it Background_Texture_2.

Creating new layer

Step 7

Press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches and go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

Adding clouds filter

Step 8

Now press Control-T on your keyboard to transform this layer and set the Width and Height to 200% as shown below:

Transforming layer

Step 9

Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All to add a layer mask that hides the whole layer. Then, set the foreground color to #ffffff, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush where you want texture to appear. Feel free to change the Size and Hardness of the brush.

Making layer mask

Step 10

Now change the Opacity of this layer to 25%.

Changing opacity

4. How to Create the Glowing Lines

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create the glowing lines. Select the Subject layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate it. Then, select the Subject layer again and go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer and name it Temp.

Creating new layer

Step 2

Press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches and go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

Adding clouds filter

Step 3

Now Control-click on the Subject copy layer to select both layers at the same time, and press Control-E on your keyboard to merge them into one layer. Then, press Control-Shift-U to desaturate this layer and name it Temp.

Desaturating layer

Step 4

Go to Image > Auto Tone and then Image > Auto Contrast to make some auto-corrections to the layer's tone and contrast. Then, go to Select > Color Range, set the Fuzziness to 65 and, using the Eyedropper Tool, select brighter tones by clicking over some inside the canvas.

Making selection using color range

Step 5

Now go to Select > Modify > Smooth and set the Sample Radius to 5 px. Then, go to Select > Modify > Border and set Contract By to 3 px.

Modifying selection

Step 6

Press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using the selection. Then, Right-click on the Temp layer and choose Delete Layer.

Creating new layer using selection

Step 7

Now select the Layer 1 layer, press Control-T, and set the Width and Height of the layer to 135% as shown below:

Transforming layer

Step 8

Control-click on this layer thumbnail to make a selection of this layer, go to Select > Modify > Smooth, and set the Sample Radius to 5 px.

Modifying selection

Step 9

Now press Control-J to create a new layer using the selection. Then, Right-click on the Layer 1 and choose Delete Layer.

Creating new layer using selection

Step 10

Select the Layer 2 layer and Control-click on this layer thumbnail to make a selection of this layer. Then, go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection to add a layer mask that reveals the selected area of the layer. After that, Right-click on the layer mask and choose Apply Layer Mask.

Applying layer mask

Step 11

Now Control-click on this layer thumbnail to make a selection of this layer. Then, go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection to add a layer mask that reveals the selected area of the layer. After that, Right-click on the layer mask and choose Apply Layer Mask.

Applying layer mask

Step 12

Press Control-J on your keyboard twice to duplicate this layer twice. Then, Shift-click on the Layer 2 to select all layers between at the same time and press Control-E to merge them into one layer.

Duplicating and merging layers

Step 13

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Linear Dodge (Add) and name it Glowing_Lines_1.

Changing blending mode

Step 14

Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it Background Color, and choose the color #007eff as shown below:

Creating new solid color fill layer

Step 15

Now press Control-Alt-G on your keyboard to create a clipping mask. Then, select the Subject layer and press Control-J to duplicate it. Then, select the Subject layer again and go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer and name it Temp.

Creating new layer

Step 16

Press D to reset the swatches and go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

Adding clouds filter

Step 17

Now Control-click on the Subject copy layer to select both layers at the same time, and press Control-E on your keyboard to merge them into one layer. Then, press Control-Shift-U to desaturate this layer, and drag it just above the Glowing_Lines_1_Color layer in the Layers panel. After that, name this layer Temp.

Merging layers

Step 18

Go to Image > Auto Tone and then Image > Auto Contrast to make some auto-corrections to the layer's tone and contrast. Then, go to Select > Color Range, set the Fuzziness to 65 and, using the Eyedropper Tool, select the middle tones by clicking over some inside the canvas.

Making selection using color range

Step 19

Now go to Select > Modify > Smooth and set the Sample Radius to 5 px. Then, go to Select > Modify > Feather and set the Feather Radius to 1 px. After that, go to Select > Modify > Border and set the Width to 3 px as shown below:

Modifying selection

Step 20

Press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using selection. Then, Right-click on the Temp layer and choose Delete Layer.

Creating new layer using selection

Step 21

Now select the Layer 1 layer, press Control-T, and set the Width and Height of the layer to 115% as shown below:

Transforming layer

Step 22

Control-click on this layer thumbnail to make a selection of this layer, go to Select > Modify > Smooth, and set the Sample Radius to 2 px. Then, go to Select > Modify > Feather and set the Feather Radius to 1 px.

Modifying selection

Step 23

Now go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection to add a layer mask that reveals the selected area of the layer. Then, Right-click on the layer mask and choose Apply Layer Mask.

Applying layer mask

Step 24

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Linear Dodge (Add) and name it Glowing_Lines_2.

Changing blending mode

Step 25

Select the Glowing_Lines_1_Color layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate it. Then, drag this layer just above the Glowing_Lines_2 layer in the Layers panel. After that, press Control-Alt-G to create a clipping mask and name this layer Glowing_Lines_2_Color.

Duplicating layer

Step 26

Now select the Glowing_Lines_2 layer and Control-click on the Glowing_Lines_2_Color layer to select both layers at the same time. Then, drag these layers just below the Glowing_Lines_1 layer in the Layers panel. After that, select the Glowing_Lines_1 layer and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All to add a layer mask that reveals the whole layer.

Adding layer mask

Step 27

Now set the foreground color to #000000, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush where you want to remove the glowing lines. Feel free to change the Size and Hardness of the brush.

Brushing into layer mask

Step 28

Select the Glowing_Lines_2 layer and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All to add a layer mask that reveals the whole layer. Then, set the foreground color to #000000, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush where you want to remove the glowing lines. Feel free to change the Size and Hardness of the brush again.

Adding layer mask

5. How to Make Adjustments to the Subject

Step 1

In this section, we are going to make adjustments to the subject. Select the Subject layer and press Control-Shift-U on your keyboard to desaturate this layer. Then, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Hard Light and set the Opacity to 58%.

Changing blending mode and opacity

Step 2

Now press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate this layer and drag it just above the Glowing_Lines_1_Color layer in the Layers panel. Then, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Normal and set the Opacity to 100%.

Changing blending mode and opacity

Step 3

Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All to add a layer mask that hides the whole layer. Then, set the foreground color to #ffffff, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush where you want to reveal details of the subject. Feel free to change the Size and Hardness of the brush.

Adding layer mask

Step 4

Now name this layer Subject Details.

Renaming layer

6. How to Make the Final Adjustments

Step 1

In this section, we are going to make some final adjustments. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves to create a new curves adjustment layer, and name it Color Look.

Creating new curves adjustment layer

Step 2

Now Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, enter the settings below:

Adjusting curves

Step 3

Press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches. Then, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map to create a new gradient map adjustment layer and name it Overall Contrast.

Creating new gradient map adjustment layer

Step 4

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light and set the Opacity to 25%.

Changing blending mode and opacity

Step 5

Press Control-Alt-Shift-E on your keyboard to make a screenshot, and then press Control-Shift-U to desaturate this layer. Then, go to Filter > Other > High Pass and set the Radius to 2 px.

Adding high pass filter

Step 6

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Linear Light and set the Opacity to 44%. Then, name this layer Overall Sharpening.

Changing blending mode and opacity

7. How to Crop the Image

Now let's crop the image to cut out the empty area of the design. Choose the Crop Tool (C) and transform the Crop Box as shown below:

Cropping image

You Made It!

Congratulations, you have succeeded! You've learned how to create an action in Photoshop to create a cool Photoshop photo effect. Here is our final result:

Final result

If you would like to create the even more advanced Photoshop photo effect shown below, using just a single click and in only a few minutes, then check out my Power Photoshop Action.

Using this Photoshop action, you can create highly detailed, advanced photo effects from your photos with no work at all! You just brush over your photo and play the action. The action will do all the work for you in just a couple of minutes, leaving you fully layered and customizable results.

The action is also made so that every time you run the action you will get a unique result, even if you use the same brushed area. The action will always create unique variations, so you can create an unlimited number of results! The action also creates 32 preset color looks that you can choose from.

The action comes with a detailed video tutorial that demonstrates how to use the action and customize the results to get the most out of the effect.

Action final result

Do you love creating Photoshop effects? Then you may also like my other tutorials, showing you how to create various photo effects, Photoshop actions, fun filters, special effects for pictures, photo filters and other Photoshop filters, and so much more! Here is a good start:


Advertisement
Advertisement
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.