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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Photoshop Actions
Design

How to Create a Mosaic Photo Effect Action in Photoshop

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a Photoshop action to add mosaic photo effects to your photos. I will explain everything in so much detail that everyone can create it, even those who have just opened Photoshop for the first time.

For more mosaic photo effects and Photoshop actions, don't forget to check our list of five Photoshop actions and photo filters and effects in this article.

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 2000–3500 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 go to Window > Actions, and in the Actions panel, click on the menu icon in the top right-hand corner, choose New Set to create a new set, and name it Mosaic. Then, click on the same menu icon again, choose New Action to create a new action, and name it Mosaic as shown below:

Creating new action

2. How to Create a Mosaic Effect

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create the mosaic effect. Press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate the Background layer. Then, go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Texture > Stained Glass and set the Cell Size to 7, Border Thickness to 3, and Light Intensity to 0.

Adding stained glass filter

Step 2

Now name this layer Mosaic.

Naming layer

3. How to Add Textures

Step 1

Go to File > Place Embedded, select the texture from the first texture link, and click Place. Then, set the Width and Height of the texture to 22.15% and the Angle to 90°, and name this layer Texture_1.

Adding texture

Step 2

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light.

Changing blending mode

Step 3

Select the Mosaic layer, go to File > Place Embedded, select the texture from the second texture link, and click Place. Then, set the Width and Height of the texture to 51.75%, and name this layer Texture_2.

Adding texture

Step 4

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light.

Changing blending mode

4. How to Make the Final Adjustments

Step 1

In this section, we are going to make some final adjustments. Hide the Texture_1 and Texture_2 layers. Then, select the Mosaic layer, press Control-Alt-Shift-E on your keyboard to make a screenshot, and press Control-Shift-U to desaturate this layer.

Making screenshot

Step 2

Now go to Filter > Stylize > Emboss and set the Angle to 90°, Height to 3 px, and Amount to 100%.

Adding emboss filter

Step 3

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Hard Light and name this layer Emboss Effect. Then, drag this layer to the top of the layers in the Layers panel.

Changing blending mode

Step 4

Now, select the Background layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate it. Then, drag this layer to the top of the layers in the Layers panel. After that, press Control-Shift-U to desaturate this layer.

Duplicating and desaturating layer

Step 5

Go to Filter > Other > High Pass and set the Radius to 10 px.

Adding high pass filter

Step 6

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Hard Light and set the Opacity to 80%. Then, name this layer Reveal Details.

Changing blending mode and opacity

Step 7

Show the Texture_1 and Texture_2 layers. Then, press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches. After that, 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 8

Now change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and set the Opacity to 41%.

Changing blending mode and opacity

Step 9

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Vibrance to create a new vibrance adjustment layer and name it Overall Vibrance/Saturation.

Creating new vibrance adjustment layer

Step 10

Now Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, set the Vibrance to +45 and Saturation to +23. Click on Stop, and you're done!

Adjusting vibrance and saturation

You Made It!

Congratulations, you have succeeded! Here is our final result:

Final result

5 Mosaic Photoshop Actions and Photo Filters and Effects

Want more mosaic Photoshop effects? Here is our quick list of five cool mosaic photo effects and Photoshop actions you may want to try:

Pixelator – 14 Triangular Mosaic Pixel Effects

Skip the default Photoshop Mosaic filter and pixelate beautifully with this huge set of 100+ actions. These actions let you create stunning pixel patterns in 14 different styles. There are even three border styles of varying strengths and ten photo styles that you can combine to create hundreds of variations.

Pixelator  14 Triangular Mosaic Pixel Effects

Doodle Mosaic Art Photoshop Action

Doodle Mosaic Art Photoshop Action transforms your photos into hand-drawn doodle sketch artworks in just a few clicks. The action works best with portraits, figures, models, and inanimate objects. The final composition is fully layered and provides lots of effects and customization. The action also contains five paper textures and creates ten color presets to apply with a single click. It’s super easy to use and will save you hours of work.

Doodle Mosaic Art Photoshop Action

Pixelated Photoshop Action

How does the Pixelated Photoshop Action work? You simply brush over your photo where you want to pixelate and play the action!

Pixelated Photoshop Action

Generative Geometric Art Photoshop Action

This is a generative art Photoshop action. Every time you run the action, a unique result will be produced, even if you don’t change anything. How cool is that?

Generative Geometric Art Photoshop Action

50 Brick Mosaics Actions

Turn any photo into a fun brick mosaic! These actions will pixelate your photo and add a brick texture to it in many different styles.

50 Brick Mosaics Actions

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