For an absolute age Iíve been asked how I make some of my abstract images and for ages Iíve been intending to do a tutorial on how I create what I call my Ďfake fractalsí - pieces of work that I make entirely using photoshop ( in my case photoshop elements) but that have the look of fractals or fractal art about them. Never thought this would take me over 5 hours to put together! but here it isÖ
rockgemís ĎFake Fractalí Tutorial
Step 1 - Find a starting image
Find an image - it doesnít have to be a great one and it can be anything you want as the final piece wonít always bear much resemblance to the original starting point
Step 2 - Crop the image down
You donít have to use the whole image ( you can but if you donít want to donít)
Take an interesting part of the image and select it, then inverse the selection and delete the rest.
Step 3 - liquefy tool!
The liquefy tool is your friend - take your random piece and mess it up twist turn and warp it until you get an interesting and abstract shape
Step 4 - New document
Open a new document larger than your little abstract shape most shape I start with I keep about 15cm or 20cm and the new document I open about 50cm square.
fill the background layer either black or white it can be deleted later on and replaced altered etc.
if your starting image is dark I suggest a light background if its light use a dark one
Step 5 - Copy , paste and rotate
Paste your abstract shape into the new document
5b. -Paste the shape again and rotate it to start building up a more complex pattern it helps if its got a degree of rotational symmetry in this instance Iíve just gone for 4 shapes but Iím finding up to 12 can work well
5c. - if you want to use Odd numbers they can be a little trickier but drawing a guide centre shape that can be deleted later helps get the angles even.
Step 6 - Copy merged
Make the background transparent and then copy the merged layers
Step 7 - delete the old layers
bring your background back and delete the initial shapes you used - you donít need them any more - then paste into the document
You should have one background layer then one layer with 4 shapes on it
Step 8 - Pinch
Use the pinch tool and pinch this layer on -100% (please note in this stage its minus percentages!)
Step 9- copy and pinch some more
Paste the shape again creating your 3rd layer and use the pinch tool on -75%
Paste again creating your 4th layer and use the pinch tool at -50%
Paste again creating your 5h layer and use the pinch tool at -25%
Step 10 - a layer to be left alone!
Paste your shape for the 6th layer
Step 11 - more pasting and pinching
This time the pinching of layers is in positive percentages
Paste another layer ( your 7th) this time pinch it at 25%
Paste layer 8 and pinch at 50%
Paste layer 9 and pinch at 75%
Paste your final layer 10 and pinch at 100%
What you should have as it is is quite pretty on its own but lets give it more of a kick
Step 12 - free rotating
Go back to your layer pinched at -75% ( your 3rd layer) and use free rotate to turn it slightly from its original point
Then move up the layers from the back to the front and free rotate them all just slightly to reveal a little of the layer behind and create a step like effect
Step 13 - play with what you have
The basics is done with stage 12 but if you like you can tweak around with colours on the layers or brightness or change the plan background layer to a texture the blur tool at different percentages on lower layers can give a sense of spinning or movement
Some examples -
*13a. tweaking colours on the layers
*13b. tweaking saturation on the layers
*13c. changing brightness and contrast on the layers
*13d. adding more layers
13e. using the Gaussian blur effect on lower layers to create Ďmovementí
*13f. flipping alternate layers horizontally ( in this instance layers 3, 5, 7 and 9)
13g added textures
*13h inverting the colours
You donít have to stick to just one or another of these examples - mix and match!
Step 14 - finish and save!
In this example Iíve mixed Gaussian blur , hue and saturation and a texture before adding a border
Once youíre happy save it and youíre done!
Step 15- more examples and their starting points
A few more images created using more or less this style. All the stock used (which is all my own)
Stock - wasp nest IV : [link]
Stock Texture - Glow : [link]
Stock - Vial III : [link]
Stock texture - Weathered Wood : [link]
Lock Stock - I : [link]
Stock Orb Shadow II : [link]
Stock Texture - Metal Plate : [link]
Final images from this tutorial can be found in my gallery. If you try something out using this tutorial please leave a comment on the deviation drop me a note or leave a comment on my main profile Iíd love to see what you make All images and literature/written work in =rockgem's gallery are © Gemma Hart. All rights reserved. Reproduction and/or retransmission of all or any part of this gallery are prohibited under copyright law. Users desiring to reproduce or retransmit all or any part of this gallery must first secure in writing the appropriate copyright and other authorization from the copyright owner. My work is not public domain.