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We've all seen mosaics that are comprised of individual tiles and that can certainly be an interesting effect for a variety of different images but, sometimes you might want to to use tiles that contain more than a single color that actually contain entire sections of a photo and that's exactly what I'm going to do with this image. I'll break it up into a number of tiles and spread those tiles out just a little bit just to create sort of a fragmented and slightly more interesting interpretation of the photo. Let's take a look at the process of creating that effect. I'll start by creating a copy of my background image layer by dragging that layer down to the Create New Layer button at the bottom of layers panel.
And then from the Filter menu I'll choose Convert for smart filters so that I convert my background copy layer to a smart object and therefore can use smart filters which allow me to go back and fine tune the settings which in this case is you'll see can prove very very helpful. I'll then go to the Filter menu and I'm going to choose Stylize, followed by Tiles. In this case, we don't get a preview of the effect. And that's part of the reason that I'm using a smart filter. In other words, working on a smart object layer. So that I can always go back and fine tune things later.
We can specify how many tiles. And that's actually a little bit of a misnomer. Because this doesn't determine exactly how many tiles will be in the final image, as you'll see shortly. But ten is a good starting point. And we can come back and fine tune that later. We can also adjust how much of an offset is allowed in between those individual tiles. In other words, how much of a gap in between those tiles. We'll leave this at 10% as well, and then come back and fine tune a little bit. And then we can also choose what to place in between those tiles as we break the image up into tiles and spread those tiles out just a little bit.
We can fill the area that is left behind with either the background color, which at the moment is white. With a foreground color, which happens to be black at the moment. Those of course are the default colors. We can also choose to replace that area with an inverse of the current image, or with an unaltered version of the image. In this case I'll just leave the option set to white. I'll go ahead and click OK in order to see the effect. And you can see that I have the image broken up into individual tiles, and those tiles are somewhat randomly spaced out to create something of a mosaic in the photo.
But I can always go back and modify those settings. So I'll go ahead and double-click on the Tiles Filter under smart filters for my smart object on the layers panel. That will bring up the Tiles option. Once again, I'll go ahead and increase the number of tiles to 20, and I'll also increase that offset to 20%. And for this variation on the image let's go ahead and choose the Unaltered Image option. I'll go ahead and click OK. And you can see now I have a little bit more interesting effect because the original image is showing through. And this creates an effect that's something like a painting almost, but a painting that was painted onto tiles, or perhaps onto shingles.
A very interesting effect to be sure. But I can go back to the Tiles Filter once again, perhaps I'll use the foreground color to fill with black. And perhaps I'll use a lower number of tiles, maybe I'll take this back to ten but leave the offset at 20. And now we get a variation on that original effect we saw but with a little bit more gap in between some of those tiles and in this case, filling the empty space with black. So, a fair amount of flexibility as far as how many tiles we're going to have in the image, how large those tiles are, and of course, what we're going to fill in the gaps with. Either a color, which we could specify by altering the foreground or background colors using the Color Picker, or the unaltered image, or an inverse of that unaltered image.
So, a good deal of flexibility and an effect that can be a lot of fun to apply to a variety of different images.
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