TrevorOutlaw

Create Dispersion Effect in Paint.NET

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TrevorOutlaw    41

This tutorial is available as a PDF. Click here to view or download it

The introduction of the Brush Factory has opened up PDN to being able to create the dispersion effect that is really cool and nifty.  While it is not the perfect method to create the effect, the purpose of this tutorial is to teach you to use Brush Factory and Alpha Mask import plug-in to create an effect like below.

 

final_tut_shot.png

 

Required plug-ins -> Brush Factory, Liquify, and Alpha Mask Import

 

Photoshop brush such as disintegration style and Abrviewer will be necessary if you want to use beyond the Brush Factory's default brush setting.

 

A word of advice: Drill into your head this simple instruction, white is to "keep" and black is "erase", when it comes to using brush and masking as it will be revealed in the steps below.

 

I will not be teaching you how to cut out your model of choice in Paint.NET, there are tutorials on the forums that sufficiently shows you different technique to separate the model from background.  I decided instead of doing the whole body of the model, I focused on the upper torso to make it easier to teach this technique.  With no further ado, the lesson begins.

 

Step 1) Create a total of five layers.  For the sake of this tutorial, the naming convention is merely a teaching guide, so when I refer to what layer, you will know what layer I am working on!

layers.png

 

Step 2) On the layer named "Dispersion", go to Effects>Tools>Liquify and exaggerate the model left's body.  I set the size of brush to 100, pressure to 100%, and density at default.  Some might be thinking, "Why?"  You will see.

liquidfy.png

 

Now the creativity starts here.  NOTE: I have personally found it to be faster to select the entire layer by using the Move Tool  and clicking once outside the canvas area and click on copy.

 

Step 3) On the "Erase" layer, copy the model, and hide the "Dispersion" layer for now.  Next, click on the layer "Full Opacity" and launch the Brush Factory.  When the plug-in loads, right-click for the mouse menu and click "Use clipboard for background."  This is a handy feature that I love about the Brush Factory.  It will make this step a doozy.

 

Click on the brush folder to select the brush effect you want to use.  The choice is up to you.  Now, this is very important, click on "Color" and select black.  See the screenshot if you are confused.

brush_fact_1.png

 

Step 4) This step is absolutely crucial that you pay attention to what you are doing, otherwise alpha mask won't work right.  While on the "Full Opacity" layer, activate the paint fill tool and switch to white.  On the toolbar, make sure "Sampling" is set to layer.  One handy feature I didn't notice until playing was the use of the tolerance slider with the paint bucket tool, and it is nifty to use.  For clarity's sake, I included the following screenshot so you will get it, I hid the "Erase" layer so you can see what I am teaching you.

opacity_mask.png

 

Step 5) It is now time to mask and "erase" portion of the model.  With "Full Opacity" layer still activate, use the Move Tool and click once outside the canvas area to select the whole layer.  Click on copy, then click on deselect, and hide the "Full Opacity" layer.  Finally, activate the "Erase" layer and run alpha mask.  Make sure to check on "Mix Alpha" and tada!  If necessary run alpha mask again to erase further if you wish, I did.

erase.png

 

Still with me so far?  Good!  Let's keep the creative juice flowing.

 

Step 6) Unhide the "Dispersion" layer, using the Move Tool, click once outside the canvas to select the whole layer, copy it, and activate the "Transparency" Layer by clicking on it.  Now, launch the Brush Factory again.  Again, "Use clipboard for background" to be your guide.  Using the Brush folder, click on "Add Brush" and select a different brush to use.  Change the "Color" to white because we want to keep some of this exaggeration.  A word of advice: instead of keeping the same size, play with different size and brush rotation.  Make it creative and interesting.  Uniformity is boring!  I tried to recreate a "wavy" dispersion effect like the titular graphic.

brush_fact_2.png

 

Step 7) Now here comes the magic!  While still on "Transparency" layer, bucket fill the layer with black.  Play with the tolerance slider.  Nifty, nifty feature...thanks Rick!

transparency.png

Step 8) Select the "Transparency" layer by the method you have learned, hide this layer, and activate the "Dispersion" layer.  Run alpha mask and behold your effect!

final.png

 

This technique was used in the creation of the two images below.

d_Ry_U1p_G.png qi_Txo9_F.png

 

Edited by Ego Eram Reputo
Added PDF link
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AndrewDavid    327

@TrevorOutlaw Thanks for showing me the basic concepts. Learned a few things with Alpha Mask and Brush Factory.

Artistic freedom used to enhance with a few other plugins. Trail and Scatter to name a few. Here's my end result.

 

Shattered.png.19a47f5ff45649301205f8af954c86e0.png

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TrevorOutlaw    41

@Ego Eram Reputo It was time I contributed something back to this fine community of PDN users.

 

@AndrewDavid Now, that's trippy.  I'm glad to have helped.  For some people, alpha masking is very troubling, so the technique I hope will open the door to potentials unleashed.

 

@LionsDragon Let see what you come up with.

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Ishi    181

Thanks for the tutorial.

 

Additionally,  if you want smaller and finer, sand-like dissolving particles, you can duplicate the layers with the scattering particles on, go to Effects>>Distort>>Frosted Glass and play around with the maximum and minimum scatter radius. I have gotten to use the built-in Frosted Glass effect for sand-like dissolving textures and I think, that built-in plugin needed some love and would make this technique even better.

 

 

 

 

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welshblue    562

Not so easy getting the bits to keep right.  Had a quick play ... nice technique because there's some great disedegration images out there.

One I'll definitely play with again (and no doubt again after that)  Next time without a background

 

dispersion_tut_2.jpg

 

One question ... why play with bucket fill tolerances when you can add a white or black layer below the relevant colour mask layer and merge them to get your mask ?

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TrevorOutlaw    41
8 hours ago, welshblue said:

One question ... why play with bucket fill tolerances when you can add a white or black layer below the relevant colour mask layer and merge them to get your mask ?

 

Because I'm lazy!  :P

 

Seriously...I have found, purely by accident, that sometime the brush leaves a bit too much on the canvas, and I thought that by reducing it a wee bit would be quicker than having to add a black or white layer below the brush.  Efficiency is what I aim for in many of my projects.  It's the electronic technician in me, I guess.

 

By the way, nice job with the effect in your image.  I think if you had erased a bit of the backside, the effect would be more pronounced.

Edited by TrevorOutlaw
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welshblue    562
20 hours ago, TrevorOutlaw said:

  I think if you had erased a bit of the backside, the effect would be more pronounced.

 

Some would say Bale needs a kick up the backside sometimes ... so I left it in.  Plus having a background made the whole thing a lot harder

 

Addictive this.  A lot easier with PS,  but nothing that comes easy is satisfying ... 

 

face-3.png

 

Original Model ( it's tricky explaining why you're looking at lots of images of pretty women ...)

Edited by welshblue
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TrevorOutlaw    41

@Seerose Very nice attempt.  Two suggestions: try not to make it obvious you used liquify the model, and where you want the dispersion effect to start, make it looks like the witch is dissolving.

 

@welshblue Very nice!  I especially like the crack across the face, it gives that surreal feel to it.  I agree that it would be easier in Photoshop, which is why I am patiently waiting for someone to make a plug-in as requested here

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welshblue    562

A plug-in like you requested would be great, and would take some of the guess work out of some masks, but I guess nothing that comes easy is as satisfying.

 

This tutorial is addictive ... I won't post the one of Donald Trump in case the black suits come for me :plug:

 

Edit ... i'm not laughing at the US ... we've got Theresa May and Boris Johnson :|

Edited by welshblue

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