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How to Create an Acid Photo Effect in Photoshop

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Read Time: 5 mins
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you'll near to create an acid trip effect in Photoshop from the iconic 90s era.

Psychedelic portraits and trippy acid photo effects are playful and include amazing color combinations. This type of distortion was big during the rave days, and it's definitely made a comeback. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to make an acid house Photoshop effect really easily. Let's take a look!

Ghost: Disrupted Photo EffectGhost: Disrupted Photo EffectGhost: Disrupted Photo Effect
Ghost: Disrupted Photo Effect

When you need terrific acid trip effects in Photoshop, Envato Elements should be your go-to resource. Elements offers thousands of premium mockups, graphic templates, logos, photos, fonts, and much more. And you can download as many of these digital assets as you like, as often as you like, for one low monthly fee.

What You'll Learn in This Acid Effect Photoshop Tutorial

In this acid effect photo tutorial, you'll learn to:

  • apply noise, gaussian blur, and wave filters
  • apply curves adjustment layers to images
  • add gradient maps to change colors

What You'll Need for This Acid Effect Photoshop Tutorial

For this acid effect photo tutorial, you'll need:

1. How to Create a Photoshop Document 

Open Adobe Photoshop and click on Create a New File. Under Preset Details, set the Width and Height to 2000 pixels.

Click Create.

Create a new Photoshop documentCreate a new Photoshop documentCreate a new Photoshop document

2. How to Create an Acid Photo Effect in Photoshop

Step 1

Find the Girl in Pop Art Style image on your computer and drag it into the document we created.

Drag the Girl in Pop Art Style image into the documentDrag the Girl in Pop Art Style image into the documentDrag the Girl in Pop Art Style image into the document

Step 2

Duplicate the layer by pressing Command-J.

While selecting the layer, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 4.3 pixels. Click OK.

Add the Gaussian Blur filterAdd the Gaussian Blur filterAdd the Gaussian Blur filter

Step 3

While selecting the layer, head over to Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Set the Amount to 54.2% and the Distribution to Uniform. Click OK.

Add a Noise filterAdd a Noise filterAdd a Noise filter

Step 4

While selecting the layer, go to Filter > Distort > Wave. Use the following settings:

  • Number of Generators to 36
  • Wavelength to Min. 1 and Max. 740
  • Amplitude to Min. 1 and Max. 268
  • Scale to Horiz. 10% and Vert. 11%
  • Type to Sine
  • Undefined Areas: to Repeat Edge Pixels

Click OK.

Add a Wave filterAdd a Wave filterAdd a Wave filter

Step 5

Select the layer and change the Opacity to 70%.

Alter the opacityAlter the opacityAlter the opacity

Step 6

Go to Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map in the Layers panel.

In the Properties panel, click on Gradient. In the Gradient Editor pop-up window, set the following colors:

  • Left stopper: #00d3c1
  • Right stopper: #ff5d2f

Click OK.

Add a Gradient Map layerAdd a Gradient Map layerAdd a Gradient Map layer

Step 7

Go to Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer > Curves in the Layers panel. 

In the Properties panel, feel free to explore the Input and Output stoppers. You can achieve extreme contrast or little contrast on your acid effect photo with just these two options.

Add a Curves layerAdd a Curves layerAdd a Curves layer

Step 8

To create different colors on your acid effect photo, add different Gradient Maps and change the colors with the Gradient Editor. 

If you want to experiment with color, add a second Gradient MapIf you want to experiment with color, add a second Gradient MapIf you want to experiment with color, add a second Gradient Map

Step 9

To finish off this acid house Photoshop effect tutorial, we can add a couple of effects to achieve an acid look. 

Find the Photocopy Textures pack and drag a couple of the images over the image we just created. I added three of the photocopy layers.

Bring in the photocopy texturesBring in the photocopy texturesBring in the photocopy textures

Step 10

Since there's no black ink on this acid photo effect, I'd like to change it to white. A white streak is more authentic for this example. Press Command-I to Invert the photocopy layers. 

Invert the Photocopy texture layersInvert the Photocopy texture layersInvert the Photocopy texture layers

Step 11

Set each layer to Overlay and set the Opacity to Overlay. 

Set the Opacity to OverlaySet the Opacity to OverlaySet the Opacity to Overlay

Step 12

Feel free to try different colors with the Curves adjustment layer.

Feel free to try out different Adjustment layersFeel free to try out different Adjustment layersFeel free to try out different Adjustment layers

3. How to Export an Image for Web

Go to File > Export > Save for Web.

Adjust the Image Size according to your website needs. Click Save.

Choose a location on your computer to save the file. Click Save. And that's it. You now know how to make an acid effect on a photo using Photoshop!

Save the Acid photo effect as an image fileSave the Acid photo effect as an image fileSave the Acid photo effect as an image file

Unlimited Acid Photo Effects From Envato Elements

Acid Grain Photoshop Action (ATN)

Acid Grain Photoshop ActionAcid Grain Photoshop ActionAcid Grain Photoshop Action

This acid photo effect action includes a grain texture that makes your design even rawer. Convert any of your photos with simple Photoshop action steps. The action comes with organized layers that will give you creative results. 

Acid Oil Painting Photoshop Action (ATN)

Acid Oil Painting Photoshop ActionAcid Oil Painting Photoshop ActionAcid Oil Painting Photoshop Action

If you're looking for an acid house Photoshop effect that's more extreme, this acid oil painting is great. It's super creative and experimental, and the results are amazing. Give it a try!

Acid Photo Effect (PSD)

Acid Photo EffectAcid Photo EffectAcid Photo Effect

This acid photo effect is amazing for those psychedelic-style designs. Explore all of the different colors to achieve a playful or high-end fashion look. Use it for images to be shared on social media, branding, and commercials. 

Acid Photo Effect for Posters (PSD)

Acid Photo Effect for PostersAcid Photo Effect for PostersAcid Photo Effect for Posters

Convert your posters into classic rave design pieces with this acid trip effect in Photoshop. The pack contains three different color effects that are beautifully balanced. This is the easiest way to breathe life into old creative posters.

Acid Photo Effect (PSD)

Acid Photo EffectAcid Photo EffectAcid Photo Effect

This acid photo effect helps you create a psychedelic effect in your designs. The pack contains different effects and gradients to choose from. Use this acid photo effect for branding, ads, and merchandise.

That's It!

In this tutorial, you learned how to make an acid effect on a photo using Photoshop. It's the easiest way to give your designs a fresh breath of life. This popular style was in during the rave years because it was super experimental. If you're short on time, be sure to check out the unlimited assets we mentioned. Which one was your favorite?

When you need terrific acid house Photoshop effects, Envato Elements should be your go-to resource. Elements offers thousands of premium mockups, graphic templates, logos, photos, fonts, and much more. And you can download as many of these digital assets as you like, as often as you like, for one low monthly fee.

If you liked this acid effect Photoshop tutorial, you might like:

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