Advertisement
  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Photoshop Actions
Design

How to Make a Sandstorm Photoshop Action (Special Effect)

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

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a sandstorm Photoshop action to add amazing special 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.

Want more sandstorm Photoshop actions? Don't forget to check our quick list of five amazing sandstorm special effects for pictures and Photoshop effect actions in this article that you may want to try.

If you want to check out even more fun filters, Photoshop actions and Photoshop filters as well as other special effects for pictures, jump over to GraphicRiver and/or Envato Elements.

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 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 Sandstorm. Then, click on the same menu icon again, choose New Action to create a new action, and name it Sandstorm as shown below:

creating new action

2. How to Select the Subject

Step 1

In this section, we are going to make a selection of our subject and then copy the subject to a separate layer. 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 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. Next, go to Select > Modify > Contract and set Contract By to 2 px. Finally, go to Select > Modify > Feather and set Feather Radius to 2 px.

modifying selection

Step 3

Press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using a selection, and name this new layer Subject.

creating new layer using selection

3. How to Create the Background

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create the background. Select the Background layer, go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it Background Color, and choose the color #3c2c1c.

creating new solid color fill layer

Step 2

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Multiply and set the Opacity to 80%.

changing blending mode and opacity

4. How to Create the Sand Dispersion Effect

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create the sand dispersion effect. Go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer and name it SD_1.

creating new layer

Step 2

Now go to Window > Actions, and in the Actions panel click on the rectangle icon in the bottom left-hand corner to stop recording the action. Then, in the same panel, click on the menu icon in the top right-hand corner and choose Insert Stop to record a stop in the action commands. We are going to do the brushing part manually.

Set the foreground color to #000000, choose the Brush Tool (B), and pick the Dust Brush 5 brush from the first brushes link. Then, adjust the Diameter of the brush as you like, and brush as shown below:

brushing onto layer

Step 3

Go to Window > Actions, and in the Actions panel click on the circle icon in the bottom area of the panel to resume recording the action. Then, change the Opacity of this layer to 69%.

changing opacity

Step 4

Now select the Background Color layer, go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer, and name it SD_2.

creating new layer

Step 5

Now stop recording the action and record a stop in the action commands as described previously. We are going to do the brushing part manually again. After you finish brushing, resume the action recording as described previously.

Set the foreground color to #000000, choose the Brush Tool (B), and pick the 18 brush from the second brushes link. Then, adjust the Diameter of the brush as you like, and brush as shown below:

brushing onto layer

Step 6

Repeat this process to create as many sand dispersion layers as you want. Don't forget to stop recording the action and to record a stop in the action commands before each brushing, and then to resume the action recording after you finish with each brushing. Here is my result:

repeating process

Step 7

Now select the SD_1 layer, go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it SD_1_Color, and choose the color #9a8969.

creating new solid color fill layer

Step 8

Now press Control-Alt-G on your keyboard to create a clipping mask. Then, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Pin Light.

creating clipping mask and changing blending mode

Step 9

Repeat this process to colorize as many sand dispersion layers as you want. Here is my result:

repeating process

Step 10

Now select your last sand dispersion layer and Shift-click on the SD_1 layer to select all layers between. Then, go to Layer > New > Group from Layers to create a new group from the selected layers and name it Sand Dispersion.

creating new group from layers

5. How to Blend the Subject

Step 1

In this section, we are going to blend the subject. Select the Subject layer, and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All to add a layer mask that reveals the whole layer.

adding layer mask

Step 2

Now set the foreground color to #000000, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush as shown below. Feel free to use different settings for the Opacity of the brush.

brushing onto layer mask

6. How to Make the Final Adjustments

Step 1

In this section, we are going to make the final adjustments. 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 2

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light and set the Opacity to 23%.

changing blending mode and opacity

Step 3

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels to create a new levels adjustment layer, and name it Overall Brightness.

creating new levels adjustment layer

Step 4

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

adjusting levels

Step 5

Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it Color_Look_1, and choose the color #a78b6c.

creating new solid color fill layer

Step 6

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Color and set the Opacity to 49%.

changing blending mode and opacity

Step 7

Now select the Overall Brightness layer, go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it Color_Look_2, and choose the color #2a2118.

creating new solid color fill layer

Step 8

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Exclusion and set the Opacity to 53%.

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 +11 and Saturation to +7.

adjusting vibrance and saturation

Step 11

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 12

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Hard Light and name it Overall Sharpening.

changing blending mode

You Made It!

Congratulations, you have succeeded! You have learned how to create a special effect  Photoshop action to create sandstorm photo effects. Here is our final result:

final result

5 Sandstorm Photoshop Actions

Want more sandstorm Photoshop actions and fun filters? Here is our quick list of five amazing sandstorm special effects and Photoshop effects/actions you may want to try:

Sandstorm Photoshop Action

Create this highly detailed effect from your photos with just a couple of clicks. Make sure to watch the customization tutorial on how to get the most out of this effect. This action is designed to save you an immense amount of work per photo.

SandStorm Photoshop Action

Animated Sand Photoshop Action

Animated Sand is a pack containing 100 animated sand effects (around the concept of a sandstorm) and a Photoshop action to place them, very easily, over your images.

Animated Sand Photoshop Action

SandDust Photoshop Action

SandDust Action creates its effect with sand particles and rays of light. You can choose a beautiful sky as the background image, or leave only sand particles on your photos to create an awesome photorealistic sandstorm on your landscape.

SandDust Photoshop Action

Dustum PS Action

This impressive Photoshop action creates the effect of a sandstorm breaking and shooting pieces of the object on your photo. It offers four actions with different directions: up, left, right, and down. You'll get a highly detailed result, and this one-click action is easy to use, customize, and improve. 

Dustum PS Action

Dust Storm Animation Photoshop Action

The item Dust Storm Animation Photoshop Action is one of the best in its kind. This product is very useful and has been developed with great care. The main outstanding feature of this product is its quality. This action might prove a game changer for you.

Dust Storm Animation Photoshop Action

You may also like:


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.