Creating a Realistic Torn Photo Effect – Photoshop Tutorial

This is something new for us today – a Photoshop tutorial. It is area in which I have hoped to explore for a very long time. With this, the plan is to have a weekly section dedicated to publishing a fresh and original tutorial, not only for Photoshop, but also for Illustrator and Fireworks.
So, if you would like to jump on the bandwagon and write a tutorial for this new weekly section, get in touch with me here: Contact.

Creating a Realistic Torn Photo Effect – Image Preview

Creating a realistic torn photo effectIn this tutorial you will learn how to take a standard photo of a girl and tear it into pieces using some stock images and some nifty Photoshop techniques.
The image on the left is what your finished product will look like. OK, lets get started…
Before we start, you should download the source files…

Step 1 –
From the downloaded source files, open the image below in Photoshop, and duplicate the layer. On the duplicated layer set the Blend Mode to Screen and open the Blending Options.

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 2 – Drop Shadow Settings
Firstly, we will start by adding some Shadow. Use the settings you see in the image below:

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 3 – Inner Shadow Settings
Then we will need to add some Inner Shadow, using these settings:

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 4 – Inner Glow Settings
… and then some Inner Glow with the following settings:

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 5 – Bevel and Emboss Settings
Finally, a little Bevel and Emboss. Use these settings:

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 6 – Merge layers
Hit OK and now Merge the original or Background layer to the duplicate one. Select the two layers and hit CTRL + ALT + E. You’ll now have a new merge layer.

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

This is the result so far

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 7 – Torn Paper
Now open the below image with the several pieces of torn paper, from the source files.

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 8 – Crop the Torn Paper
You will now need to crop the part that you are going to use, so that it is easier to select. Crop the piece of paper that is on the lower right corner of the torn paper image.

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 9 – Select with the Magic Wand
Now you need to select the piece. You can select the white parts of the image and then invert the selection (CTRL + SHIFT + I). Use the Magic Wand tool to do this.

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 10 – Scale and Rotate
Copy it and paste it onto the image that you are working with. Scale it down and rotate it until you get something like this:

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 11 – Torn Background
Now we need to create the background for the torn photo. Open this image of a piece of cardboard:

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 12 – Torn Background II
Select the white area, invert that selection. Copy and paste it onto the image you’re working on. Scale it and rotate it until it looks like this:

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 13 – Torn Background III
Open again the image with the pieces of torn paper. Crop the yellow one. Select it as shown in the image below and invert that selection.
Remember to remove the clip. You can use the Clone tool or just cut a piece of plain paper and paste it over the clip.

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 14 – Torn Background IV
Paste it onto the document that you were working on and place it as you can see in the below image:

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 15 – Torn Background V
Now, the magic begins.
Set all the torn pieces of paper layers invisible. Now, open once again the image of the torn cardboard. Select the section that looks like a triangle; it’s the brownest part of the image.

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 16 – Torn Background VI
Copy and paste it onto your current document like this:

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 17 – Torn Background VII
CTRL + CLICK on the thumbnail of the piece of torn paper layer. Make it invisible and select the layer of the girl.

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 18 – Copy and Paste the Selection
With the girl layer selected, copy the selection and paste it. Move the layer to the top (it may help to make all the torn paper layers visible). Now, rotate the part you’ve just pasted and move it like you can see in the picture below:

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 19 – CTRL + CLICK
Now, CTRL + CLICK on the yellow piece of torn paper you have on the document.

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 20 – Cut the image of the Girl
Make that layer invisible and use that selection to cut another part of the girl like this:

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 21 – Position the Torn Paper
Copy it, paste it and move it to the top of the layers. Now rotate it a little and move it to the right just like this:

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 22 – Applying Shadow
Now, you will need to apply some shadow to this particular piece. Open the blending options and Drop some shadow using these settings:

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 23 – Positioning another piece of cardboard
You will now need to do something similar with the other cardboard piece. Select the cardboard layer on your left. Make that layer invisible and copy that part of the image of the girl’s layer and paste it. Place it on top of the layers and rotate it and move it so that it looks like the image below. Don’t forget to add some shadow to this piece as well, you can simply copy the layer style and paste it. (Step 22)

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 24 – Repeat the process
This part is up to you. You will need to continue copying and pasteing parts of the photograph, and creating the final image how you would like it. Do this until you’re satisfied with the result, let your creativity rein free!
Continue copying and pasting the torn paper parts, you can even divide a part in two and rotate it like this:

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

Step 25 – Finished
The result could look like this, or yours may even be better!

Creating a realistic torn photo effect

The Author

Paola has been the author of todays tutorial, she is also known as Violet Bag and you can visit here website, Violetbag.com to view some of her awesome works and some more tutorials.

Author: (646 Posts)

Paul Andrew is the editor and founder of Speckyboy Design Magazine.

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