Mastering The Art Of Glass Shattered Images In Photoshop

Written by Kevin Liew on 08 Mar 2017
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By making use of smart Photoshop filters, you can add a shattered glass effect to any portrait. Not only does it look totally awesome, but quite real as well.

In order to create this amazing effect on any picture, you will need to follow the easy Photoshop tutorial given below:

Use Quick Selection to Cut Out the Background

The first thing you need to do when you open your image in Photoshop is to get rid of the background. In order to do so, you will need the Quick Selection tool. By clicking the background area of the image, you will be able to make a selection. You can add to the selection and subtract from it using this tool. Once the background is perfectly selected, delete it and select the Refine Edges tool to further improve the selection. Another way to do this would be to used the Magnetic Lasso tool, see this Photoshop article for more details.

Cover Your Image with Shattered Glass

Your main objective is to create a shattered glass effect over the image and for that you will need to add shards of glass to your image. For the broken glass effect, you will need to search for stock images on Google. Pick the one that is the most realistic, open in Photoshop, make selection of each shard using the Quick Selection tool and paste it onto a new layer. Once you have put each shard of glass on a new layer, move to your image window and place the shards over the image one at a time. Make sure you place the larger pieces near the facial features of the portrait.

Place Pointed Glass towards the Edges

In order to make the shattered glass effect look realistic, you will need to place smaller shards towards the edges of the portrait with the pointy edges of the shards facing outwards. Now, duplicate the portrait layer and hide the original one by clicking on the ‘eye’ icon. Place your duplicate layer over the first shattered glass layer.

Fix the Opacity

Duplicate your portrait layer twice andset one to Screen with 80% opacity, the second one to Soft Light with 80% opacity, and the last one to Multiply with 20% opacity.

Creating the Collage

Now you will need to duplicate the clipping masks you created for the first few layers. At this point you will see the face appear on the glass. Based on the outcome, you will need to make changes to the opacity of the Multiply layers’ for the required glass texture. Create a duplicate layer of your clipping mask’s layer and begin setting them in the form of a glass collage.

Set the Shards

You must merge the clipping masks to their respective layers four at a time. Now press V and hold the Ctrl button. This will help you move the shards to your desired position without selecting their layers. Now spread the shards at the corners of the portrait, keeping the shards on the face close together.

Small shards of glass must be placed underneath the shard layers. You will need to resize the smaller shards to cover the portrait. Now, duplicate the portrait layer over the glass and set to Screen.Change the opacity of the layer somewhere between 50% and 75%. Mask out the edges using a soft black brush.

Make Adjustments

In order to bring out the coloursof the image, you will need to add a Curves layer. You must add a warm photo filter depending upon the colour of your image and a Vibrance layer of +50. Add a neutral grey layer and select Dodge and Burn to add contrast to the image. Get rid of one shard of glass from the eye.

Add Shadows

In order to give a realistic feel to the shards, you will need to add shadows. For this, you will need to right click over a layer of the glass and select Drop Shadow option. From the Drop Shadow window, set the Opacity at 50%, Spread at 15%, Distance at 0%, and the Size at 40px. Repeat this process for every shard of glass.

Flying Glass Shards

When glass breaks, the shards farthest from the centre point are displaced. Therefore, you will need to add this effect into your image. To do so, you will need to copy a few shards from your resource file into your picture. Right click and select Transform before clicking a corner of the glass to add perspective. The shards placed the farthest must be less visible by setting the Opacity at 60%.

Final Image

Once all’s been done, hide the glass layers and add a circular gradient to your portrait. After setting the gradient to your desired intensity, select a soft brush to enhance the colour of the area near the subject. Once done, save your file and you are good to go.

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