Explosion effect with Adobe Photoshop


In this article abut how to make explosion effect in an image it will be necessary to go to Edit> Define Brush Preset menu, for then apply the Brush Tool (B) in different layers with which we will create the blast effect of pixels, since other existing types of explosion will be explained in further on tutorials. This suits the case of an explosion like which occurs when a certain amount of energy that was trapped in a small space is released, creating a sudden increase in pressure and making pixel-like segments to be violently released.


The steps required to perform the explosion effect are:

  1. Open an image inside Photoshop. For this tutorial we are going to work with the figure of a woman named “Diabla”, which is part of a folkloric dance called Diablada from Bolivia.


  1. You must select the subject and separate it into a new layer; so then switch to the MAGIC WAND TOOL (W), for selecting the background, which will select everything that belongs to a color according to tolerance you have. You can also add to the selection using Shift + click or delete selected items with ALT + CLICK.


  1. Since all the white area was selected, now it will be inverted to only select the subject, and then copy it into a new layer.


  1. Also add a new layer between the original and the selected shape. Apply the PAINT BUCKET TOOL (G) to give a white background.


After this, you already have the basis for the work, but you need to define the critical step for using Brush Tool (B).

  1. Continuing, a new document has to be created to set a new brush, in this case a stretch of 500 x 500 pixels with a white background is created.


  1. Now create a box with RECTANGULAR MARQUEE TOOL (M), once selected you must change the color of the selection to black, in a simplified way ALT + BACKSPACE, whereas the color boxes are white and black.



Now you can save it for later use as a brush with the menu Edit> Define Brush Preset, and give a name.


  1. Return to the target image to use the brush type created. In this case you must modify the parameters of the brush to get the desired effect.


Select the brush created and modify its parameters regarding Brush Tip Shape, Shape Dynamics, Scattenng which are necessary to enhance the effect.

10ExplosionEffect 11ExplosionEffect

After getting the brush with the desired features, you have to save it again.

12ExplosionEffect 13ExplosionEffect


  1. Use CLONE STAMP TOOL (S), and choose the last brush created. In CLONE STAMP TOOL (S), you must select a sample point for the cloning effect to take place; ALT + CLICK (after selecting CLONE STAMP TOOL (S)) at the desired area.


The tool then will start sampling from the selected point, creating this kind of effect given the shape of the brush.


We must also change the brush size or create a new one to improve the effect and apply it with CLONE STAMP TOOL (S).


  1. Finally ERASER TOOL (E) is applied on the target figure to complete the effect erasing sectors with the selection brush created earlier. Just as in the previous step, you should resize or creating a new brush.



Different kinds of brushes can be used while varying its size to achieve a better effect at the target image.

Care should be taken when using Clone Stamp Tool (S), as the sample point must match the area where the explosion takes place, because if it varies or other sector is cloned, it will lose the characteristics of an explosion with evolution pixels.


  1. ADOBE (2013), ADOBE PHOTOSHOP Help and tutorials, link [https://helpx.adobe.com/pdf/photoshop-elements_reference.pdf] visited as of 2015-07-25.
  2. ADOBE (2014), Adobe® Photoshop® CC Help, link [https://helpx.adobe.com/pdf/photoshop_reference.pdf] visited as of 2015-07-25.

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