Quick tutorial on how to create a particle girl with lighting effects in Adobe Photoshop CC


Step 1 - Cut

Begin the tutorial by choosing a selected image and opening it in Adobe photoshop. Using either the lasso tool or the pen tool cut around you chosen figure, this doesn't need to be perfect as the edges will be broken apart later anyway.

photoshop particle girl tutorial

Step 1 - Copy/Paste

Once you have you cut out your image copy and paste it in the forefront of the document and remove the original image. Resize the document as you see fit to get a good composition.

photoshop particle girl tutorial

Step 3 - Background

Choose another image for the background layer and paste it behind your cut out. Add whatever effects you want to the background to create a nice looking background. For this example I have simply added a gaussian blur and reduced the vibrance for a more natural look.

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Step 4 - Duplicate

For the next step you will need to replicate your cut out image. Simply copy and paste it behind the initial cut out. Now using the transform tool upscale the image so that it surrounds the subject. This may need to distort slightly to work for you but don't worry, its mostly the colors we are interested in. Once you image is at a point where you are happy with the size, simple create a mask to hide the second cut out.

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Step 4 - Erase/Paint

Now select the eraser tool and choose a particle brush from your brush library. Upscale you brush to a relevant size and set it 100%. Begin erasing the edges of the visible cut out until you are happy with the result. Now using the same brush select the paint brush tool and set the foreground colour to white. Select the mask of your second cut out and begin cutting away the mask with your brush. You will see the image beginning to appear to create the floating particle effect. Spend time considering where your particles will be visible until you are happy. Once finished merge the two cut out layers together so that all you have left is the background layer and the one cut out.

photoshop particle girl tutorial

Step 4 - Adjust/Lighting

Once you have finished your particles you can begin to refactor some elements of the design. Consider the image vibrance, color and contrast for your preferred look. Now that you are finished editing the image you can add a spot light effect to the background layer, try to make the lighting position and size fit in the with lighting on your subject to create a realistic look.

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Step 4 - Flare Lighting

For the Finishing touch we we will add a lens flare. Create a new layer between your background and your cut out and fill it black. Add the lens flare filter and position in near the centre point where you spot light is brightest, adjust the brightness and size for optimal effect, you will want to reduce the layer opacity also to bring the background back into focus. Now similar to what we did with the cut out we will choose a splatter brush and set the color to black. Paint around the lens flare to create the broken light effect, again refactor the colour of the light and vibrance to best suite you overall composition. Not that all elements are in place its understandable to rework some parts of the design. Play around with the contrast and brightness of the elements and erase/paint any areas you feel are too prominant.

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The Result

photoshop particle girl tutorial

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