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Photoshop Tutorial: How to Transform a Photo into a Dot, Mosaic Portrait

September 25, 2019


Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. I’m going to show you how to create a cool-looking,
dot mosaic portrait from a photo and how you can quickly replace it with different photo
without having to redo all the effects. This is an update of a tutorial I did quite
awhile ago on an earlier version of Photoshop. Open a photo you’d like to use for this project. I downloaded this one from Dreamstime.com. The first step is to convert it into a Smart
Object, so we can modify it non-destructively and to allow us to replace it with a different
photo without having to re-do all the effects. To do this, click the icon at the upper, right corner of the Layers panel and click “Convert to Smart Object. Next, we’ll crop your image to a specific
size and resolution in order to ensure that your results will look similar to mine. Open your Crop Tool and Crop Presets. Click “Width, Height and Resolution”. For the Width, type in 1500 “px” for pixels
and for the Height, type in the same amount. For the Resolution, type in 72…pixels per inch. Go to a corner and drag the bounding box in
or out to size your subject. Drag inside it to position it and continue
to finesse its size and location until you’re happy with the its cropping. Then, click the check-mark at the top or press
Enter or Return to accept it. To fit the image back onto your canvas, press
Ctrl or Cmd + 0. We’ll add a new layer below the active layer
by Ctrl-clicking or Cmd-clicking the New Layer icon. We’ll fill the empty layer with black, but
first, if your foreground and background colors aren’t black and white respectively, press
“D” on your keyboard. Since black is your foreground color, press
Alt or Option + Delete to fill it with black. Make the top layer active and go to Filter,
Pixelate and Mosaic. I’ll make the cell size: 30 pixels square,
feel free to make it larger if you want. Whatever cell size you choose, we’re going
to refer back to that size in a moment. Next, we’re going to create a dot pattern
that will align with your mosaic. Go to File and New. Make the Width and Height the same amount
as your cell size, as well as its resolution. Fit it onto your canvas and open your Elliptical Marquee Tool. Go to a corner and press and hold Shift as
you drag diagonally down to the opposite corner. Then, release. Invert the selection by pressing Ctrl or Cmd
+ Shift + I. Fill the selection with black by pressing Alt or Option + Delete. Then, deselect it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd
+ D. Go to Edit and “Define Pattern”. For the Name, I’ll type in the pixel size
and resolution and click OK. Close its tab and when you see this message,
we don’t need to save the file, since we already saved it as a pattern, so click, “No”. Click the New Layer icon to make a new layer and fill it with white by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + Delete. Double-click its thumbnail to open the Layer
Style window. Click “Pattern Overlay” and open your current patterns. Scroll to the bottom of the list and click
the pattern you just saved. Click on an empty area outside of the list
to close it. Make sure the Opacity and Scale are both 100%
and click OK. Open your Channels panel. If you don’t see it, go to Window and Channels. Ctrl-click or Cmd-click the thumbnail of the
RGB channel to make a selection of your dot pattern. Open back your Layers panel. Since we just created a selection of our dot
pattern, we can delete the Pattern layer by pressing the Delete key or drag the layer to the Trash. Click the Layer Mask icon to make a layer
mask of the selection next to your subject. Press “z” on your keyboard to open your Zoom
Tool and drag over an area of your image to get a closer look. If your dot pattern doesn’t exactly line up
with the square mosaic, to align them, click off the chain-link icon to unlink the layer
and the layer mask. Doing this allows us to reposition and resize
either of them independently of the other. With your layer mask still active, press “v”
top open your Move Tool and press the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the layer mask one pixel at a time until the dots line up with the mosaic. Fit your image back onto your canvas. Next, we’ll give dimension to our dots. Click the “fx” icon and click “Bevel Emboss”. The Style is Inner Bevel, the Technique is
Chisel Hard and the Depth is 100%. The Direction is Up, the Size is 7 pixels
and Soften it 7 pixels. Uncheck Global Light. Make the Angle: 135 degrees and the Altitude: 32 degrees. The Highlight mode is Linear Dodge with an
opacity of 50% and drag the Shadow to 0%. Click Inner Glow. The color is black, the Blend Mode is Multiply
and the opacity is 20%. The Technique is “Softer”, the Source is “Edge”,
the Choke is 22% and the Size is 9 pixels. Then, click OK. Next, we’ll increase its color vibrancy. Click the Adjustment layer icon and click “Vibrance”. Drag the Vibrance slider all the way to the right. If you want to replace your photo with another,
make your Smart Object active and double-click it to open its source image. If you’re working on a version of Photoshop
earlier than CC, open the other image that you’d like to use to replace the original. Then, drag it onto your source image. If you’re working on version CC or later,
go to File and “Place Embedded”. Find your file, click it and click “Place”. If you’re working on a version earlier than CC, open your Transform Tool by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + T. For version CC and later, the Transform Tool should
already be open by default. We want to size and position our subject to
our original image. It’ll be easier to do this if we temporarily
reduce the opacity our new image. Drag your new subject’s face over your original
subject’s face. To size it, go to a corner and when you see
a diagonal, double-arrow, press and hold Alt or Option + Shift as you drag it out or in. Then, press Enter or Return. Increase the Opacity back to 100% and close
the tab of the source image. When you see this message, click “Yes” to save the changes. To reposition the face, just move it. To make the dots dimensional, just click to
the left of “Effects” to turn back on the eyeball icon to make them visible, again. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!

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