Articles, Blog

Creative House Calls: Victoria Siemer Shares Her “Exploding Portraits” Photoshop Technique

November 1, 2019

– Victoria, how are you doin’. – I’m good, how are you? – I’m well. Well hey, I’m heading over to Brooklyn in a little bit, and I
would love to stop by and hang out and check
out some of your work. – Of course, I will meet
you at the subway stop. – Alright, I’ll see you soon. (energetic music) Hey, how are ya? – [Victoria] I got you this coffee. – [Erik] Thank you so much! – Warm up on a New York winter day. – [Erik] So there are a couple
photos on your Instagram that really caught my eye, and it looks like these people are exploding. – [Victoria] Oh yeah, I love those! – [Erik] Could you show
me how you made those? Those are rad. – Yeah, of course! Actually, my studio’s
right around the corner. – [Erik] Alright! (upbeat music) – Alright, so what we’re gonna do here is, I have a background image, I’ve also shot an image of my friend. One thing to keep in mind is, like, shoot from a tripod when
you’re doing something like this so that the
background matches the image with the subject in it. First thing’s first, use the lasso tool… And I’m just gonna select an
interesting area of her body… Command + C, Command + V. I’ve pasted it on its own
layer, and this is the layer we’re actually gonna do the rendering to. “New Mesh from Layer,”
“Depth Map,” “Sphere.” You can use this 3D mode panel up here to sort of play with the positioning. So I’m gonna just bring that over… So what I’m gonna do now, is I’m actually gonna
start masking out parts of this 3D layer, so I’m
gonna add a layer mask. I’m gonna turn the
opacity down to like 50%, it just helps me see how it’s interacting with the layer underneath it. Then I’m gonna go to the eraser, and then all of this is
sort of just toggling back and forth between
subtractive and additive masking. So I think that’s looking really nice, it sort of looks like it’s
emerging out from the jacket. We’re actually gonna use
the polygonal lasso tool. And I’m just gonna pick
some areas of this, and also delete them out. What I’m gonna do now, is I’m gonna go in, and I’m actually gonna go
onto the subject layer, I’m gonna add a mask to that too, go right back to my handy dandy eraser, and just start erasing
out where her body is, in those segments, to just
really pull off the effect that she’s sort of like… Disappeared. And these spikes are protruding. This hasn’t been rendered yet, that’s why it looks so pixelated. “Render 3D Layer,” and
now we must bide out time. (energetic music) And we’re done. Alright, let’s check this out. – [Erik] Okay, that’s really cool. Thank you so much for showing us how to make your exploding portraits. – Of course! Alright, let’s go grab a slice. – [Erik] Let’s do it. (rock music)


  • Reply Andres Arosemena April 3, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    "For a step-by-step how-to, go to " <—- Link is not working

  • Reply Andres Arosemena April 3, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    By the way, her instagram page is

  • Reply RoN April 18, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    but what if I don't have a Roomba 🙁

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