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Creating an abstract image with Mosaic

From: Photoshop for Designers: Textures

Video: Creating an abstract image with Mosaic

The Mosaic filter not to be confused with mosaic tiles is one of those filters that I very seldom use, but every once in a while it can create an interesting effect. Can you guess what this picture is? Well, it's an abstract image of the Golden Gate Bridge and I think there might be some creative use of Mosaic to create images like this. There's also a practical purpose to using Mosaic as well. So let me go into the practical purpose first of all. I am going to switch over to the starting file.

Creating an abstract image with Mosaic

The Mosaic filter not to be confused with mosaic tiles is one of those filters that I very seldom use, but every once in a while it can create an interesting effect. Can you guess what this picture is? Well, it's an abstract image of the Golden Gate Bridge and I think there might be some creative use of Mosaic to create images like this. There's also a practical purpose to using Mosaic as well. So let me go into the practical purpose first of all. I am going to switch over to the starting file.

I have converted my layer for smart filters. I am going to come to the Filter menu down to Pixelate and Mosaic. Mosaic Tiles, by the way, which I have never found useful is right here in Texture but we are after Mosaic. So, first and foremost it's not going to get you anything that looks like a Mosaic. So you want to dispel the idea immediately that's not what we are after here. It's just going to dramatically pixelate your image. One practical purpose is if you ever need to anonymize any part of your image you know if somebody's face or a license plate or something like that you can use the Mosaic filter, but the other practical purpose is and I am going to go with Cell Size here of 30.

We can use this as a way of building our own custom color palettes. Let's say that I wanted to use this image as an integral part of my design and I wanted to create other elements on my page in my design that use colors suggested by this image. Well, we have Kuler of course and that's under the Window menu>Extensions and that's an absolutely fantastic tool and great fun to play with but maybe you don't have access to Kuler or maybe and this is a real-world example of a place where I was teaching very recently, the employees weren't allowed to download things from the web.

So that it really excluded them from using Kuler effectively because they couldn't download the colored themes that they saved there. So what we are going o do is we are going to build our own color theme. Having made our image into an abstract we can better determine what the colors that really are key to the image are. So I am going to open my Swatches panel and then just one by one and let's say I want 5 colors. Sample the color, Come and click on my Swatches and we will have that grain. Now if I don't want have to give this swatch a name I can hold down the Alt key when I click and where you have a light brown and a dark blue, one other we will have a darker blue.

So there is my Color palette. Now let's say that I wanted to save this color palette of maybe I want to share with an InDesign user or an Illustrator user. I could then come to my Preset Manager and then my Preset Manager go Swatches, there are my Swatches right there. So I am going to select those five and choose Save. Now I might want to go to my Presets folder that's in my Applications folder and my Photoshop folder, Presets and Color Swatches.

I can save them here, or I can save them wherever it makes sense for my project. So I am actually just going to come to the desktop and I am going to save them right there and I will call it ggb for Golden Gate Bridge, and then I will click Done. Now if were to try and load that file into Illustrator, or InDesign it wouldn't work. It's not yet an Adobe swatch exchange file and to make it into an Adobe swatch exchange file we need to jump through another hoop. So I am not going to come to the Swatches panel and if I choose Load Swatches that's going to append my swatches to what's already there.

So I don't want to choose that, I instead want to choose Replace Swatches. And no I don't want to save what's already there. I will choose my swatches file. There are those swatches and I can now come and choose Save Swatches for Exchange and it's just going to save these five rather than all the other ones. Save Swatches for Exchange and I will call them ggb again. This time they will have an ase extension. So now I can switch to InDesign and in InDesign go to my Swatches panel and choose Load Swatches.

Come to my desktop. There they are and there are my swatches. Now they are currently called Swatch 1 through 5 and that's fine but I might also want to just go this extra step. Select them all their in InDesign, come to my Swatch Options. And since I am in InDesign I probably want these to be CMYK colors and I am going to choose Name with Color Value and now I have all of my colors ready to use. So that's one potential use of the Mosaic filter.

The other potential use, let's say that you really do actually quite like this very abstracted look and I have to say it's growing on me, then how could we take this a little bit further? Because when we use the Mosaic filter on the image it's not entirely going to give us what we want. We don't have enough definition on the shape of the bridge. So we want it to be a little bit more clear that that is the Golden Gate Bridge. So what I am going to do is I am just going to get my Magic Wand tool. I am going to turn my Tolerance way down, turn Anti-aliasing off, and then I am just going to come and select these individual squares.

I am holding down the Shift key while I am using that. So now I have that whole shape selected. I will add a new layer above that. I will come and sample that particular color, and then I will fill that layer with it. So now it's a lot clearer that this is an image of the Golden Gate Bridge, an unexpected perhaps use of the Mosaic filter.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Designers: Textures
Photoshop for Designers: Textures

60 video lessons · 19602 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 30s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
  2. 6m 52s
    1. Working with textures
      6m 52s
  3. 30m 19s
    1. Creating a rocklike texture with Clouds
      6m 17s
    2. Improving a flat sky with Difference Clouds
      3m 43s
    3. Creating a grunge effect with Fibers
      11m 30s
    4. Applying a texture channel with Lighting Effects
      4m 22s
    5. Adding an effect and blending with Lens Flare
      4m 27s
  4. 15m 20s
    1. Applying textures with Texturizer
      6m 8s
    2. Applying realistic cracks with Craquelure
      5m 11s
    3. Preparing an image for a stained glass effect
      4m 1s
  5. 30m 48s
    1. Adding noise to an overlay layer
      1m 33s
    2. Adding film grain
      6m 5s
    3. Painting with grain
      4m 10s
    4. Adding grain to a Camera Raw image
      2m 21s
    5. Matching grain when cloning
      5m 32s
    6. Accentuating texture with Speckle grain
      3m 4s
    7. Creating a split-toning effect with Stippled grain
      4m 20s
    8. Beyond the Mezzotint filter
      3m 43s
  6. 18m 5s
    1. Creating deckled edges and sepia tone
      8m 6s
    2. Adding water stains
      5m 41s
    3. Adding cracks
      4m 18s
  7. 38m 16s
    1. Blending textures with Soft Light
      4m 15s
    2. Blending textures with Hard Light
      54s
    3. Blending groups
      3m 59s
    4. Blending textures with layer masks
      3m 49s
    5. Creating an antique poster
      5m 59s
    6. Blending mode sandwich
      4m 34s
    7. Blending texture from a pattern fill
      4m 9s
    8. Applying texture to an uneven surface
      10m 37s
  8. 42m 43s
    1. Creating a watercolor effect
      5m 30s
    2. Painting on canvas
      9m 57s
    3. Creating a rubber stamp
      8m 42s
    4. Converting a photograph to a drawing with Find Edges
      2m 58s
    5. Combining a black-and-white halftone with color images
      5m 6s
    6. Creating a textured duotone effect with Conté Crayon
      2m 33s
    7. Creating an abstract image with Mosaic
      6m 2s
    8. Creating a reticulation effect
      1m 55s
  9. 59m 11s
    1. Finding and installing brushes
      2m 19s
    2. Creating a shatter effect
      3m 58s
    3. Creating a smoke brush
      3m 50s
    4. Combining Photoshop with Illustrator to create a sample brush
      9m 56s
    5. Creating coffee rings
      4m 13s
    6. Creating a Bokeh texture
      9m 50s
    7. Creating corner brushes
      4m 24s
    8. Sampling a brush stroke
      3m 3s
    9. Creating a rust jewel brush
      5m 43s
    10. Building density with brush settings
      6m 45s
    11. Painting with the Mixer Brush
      5m 10s
  10. 17m 30s
    1. Adding texture to type using clipping masks
      2m 25s
    2. Applying texture to type with layer effects
      2m 53s
    3. Applying texture to type using a layer mask
      5m 33s
    4. Painting with a texture brush
      4m 31s
    5. Blending type into background texture
      2m 8s
  11. 17m 55s
    1. Using the texture actions set
      3m 12s
    2. Editing an action
      3m 18s
    3. Creating your own texture action
      5m 14s
    4. Finding, downloading, and installing actions
      3m 2s
    5. Applying texture styles
      3m 9s
  12. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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