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Fantastic Disintegration Effect inspired by Watchmen in Photoshop

Last week I went to the movies to see Watchmen, an amazing movie with beautiful special effects. However, one in special caught my attention. It was the Dr. Manhattan transformation, so I decided to create something inspired by that scene using Photoshop. In this tutorial I will show you how to create the disintegration effect using brushes and the blur filter. It's really simple and you will be able to create nice designs using this sort of trendy style of effect. Step 1 Create a new document in Photoshop. For the size I used 1920x1200 pixels. Then fill the background layer with a gradient, you can do that via Layer>Layer Style>Gradient Overlay. Use #5ba1c6 and #4a565b for the colors, 90º for the angle and Linear for the style. Step 2 Add a new layer and make sure you have black and white for the background and foreground colors. Then go to Filter>Render>Clouds. Change the Blend Mode to Screen and with the Eraser Tool (E) use a very soft brush to delete some areas of the clouds layer. Step 3 I showed you this technique in the Flying Girl in Photoshop tutorial, it's really simple. Add a new layer and select the Gradient Tool (G). Click on the color settings and select the Black and White Preset. For the Gradient Type use Noise, 100% Roughness and select both Options: Restricted Colors and Add Transparency. Then fill the layer with the gradient and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 30 pixels for the Radius. After that change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge and the Opacity to 50%, then with the Eraser Tool (E) delete some areas of the layer like you did in the last step. Step 4 Place the photo that you want to disintegrate. I used one from, you can download it at You will have to extrat the guy from the background. You can do that with the Pen Tool (P) or the Lasso Tool (L). Tip: There are lots of ways to cut objects from the background you can check this article out for some examples: Step 5 Let's use the Adjustments to make the guy's image match the background and the rest of the image. First go to Image>Adjustments>Brightness and Contrast, change the Contrast to 100. After that go to Image>Adjustments>Hue and Saturation and reduce the Saturation to -55. Then go to Image>Adjustments>Photo Filter. Use a very light blue and change the intensity to 70%. That will give a nice bluish style to the image. Step 6 Duplicate the guy's layer and go to Filter>Blur>Radial Blur. Change the Amount to 10, Blur Method to Zoom and Quality to Best. After that move this layer so that it will be behind the guy without blur layer. Step 7 In order to create the disintegration effect we will use a custom Brush. Go to Window>Brush or press F5 and use the brush settings below. Step 8 Add a new layer and with the Brush Tool (B) select the brush you have just created and start painging the disintegragion. Use the skin color of the guy for the brush color but also change to some dark colors to add some depth. After that go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. Use 0º for the Angle and 20 pixels for the Distance. The angle will vary depending on the direction the particles will be going to. Step 9 Keed painting more particles. Change the size of the brush using the keyboard shortcuts [ and ]. Remember to change the angle of the motion blur (red arrows) but also the angle of the brush tip in the Brush Settings. Step 10 Select the 2 guy layers and go to Layer>Merge Layers. Then go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All. Then select the Brush Tool(B) and black for the color. With the Brush you have created for the particles start painting over the mask to delete the areas of the guy that are disintegrating (1-4). After that go to Filter>Blur>Radial Blur. Use 10 for the Amount, Zoom for the Blur Method and Best for the Quality. Step 11 Create a layer beneath the guys layer and paint more particles repeating the same technique we did in the Step 8. Step 12 Let's add some ligthing bolts to our design. I used an image that you can find it at . Basically the first thing to do is place the lightning bolt photo in the photoshop document, the go to Image >adjustments>desaturate. You will have a black and white photo now. Change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge. Tip: If the lightnings are too light go to Image>Adjustments>Levels and increase the black input. Also you can add a Gaussian Blur. Step 13 Select all layers and duplicate them. After that go to Layer>Merge Layers. You will have one layer with the whole image, then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 30 pixels for the Radius and press OK. Change the Blend Mode to Screen and the Opacity to 70%. Another nice effect to add in this step is: Create a layer on top of the others and fill it with black. Change the layer's Blend Mode to Color Dodge and select the Brush Tool (B). With a very soft brush and white for the color paint some light effects in the disintegration areas of the image, betwen the particles and the guy's body (1-4). Conclusion You can add another layer on top of everything and use a blue gradient to make the whole image with a blueish style. Also you can add some noise and your logo to make it with that movie style. The idea of this tutorial was to show you how to create the disintegration using brushes and blur. There are other ways to do that as well, you can use the Displace filter for example, as I did in the first experiment for this effect. It's all about playing with the tool and getting inspiration from movies, tv shows, magazines, internet and many other places. Click on the image for full preview. Download the Photoshop File Click here to download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial

Watchmen Collection

We already know the best movie of 2009: Watchmen! The legendary graphic novel will be hitting theaters in the next year, but the buzz is HUGE already. Every fan just loves when a new trailer comes out, because we get to see some marvelous footage of the film. And as we've done with Wolverine, here's our Watchmen Collection! These were all collected over the web (obviously), mainly at Flickr and DeviantArt... for further Watchmen stuff, just google it! Anyways, I just hope you all love these as much as I do!! Cheers! ;) Ps.: No Rick Roll this time. ;p Videos! Footage and trailer. ;) Watchmen footage @ First Showing. Second Full Trailer @ First Showing.