How To Create the Fade Pixel Stretch Effect in Photoshop

Creating the fade pixel stretch effect photoshop is very simple and will completely change the look of any image that you are working on. This effect will make the image look unique. The effect has become especially popular since it's been used in many ad campaigns around the country.

The pixel stretch effect stretches and expands some of the pixels in the picture. This will pixelate certain areas of the image while leaving others as normal. The effect is very good and looks fantastic. It's also possible to adjust some of the other settings and modes to change the effect and produce something completely different.

Tools and Materials:

  • Photoshop
  • Mac or PC
  • Digital Image

Step 1: Duplicating Background

First, you should open your image in Photoshop and then duplicate the background layer. Duplicating the layer is very easy. The easiest way will be to press Control and J or Command and J if you're using a Mac. This will create a new layer just above the background layer which contains the same as the background.

Step 2: Pixelating

With the duplicate layer selected, you then need to pixelate it. This is also very simple and is simply a matter of clicking Filter, pixelate and selecting Mosaic. This will make a dialog box appear where you can adjust various settings to get the best look for your image. By dragging the slider bar, it is possible to adjust the size of the pixels and adjust the intensity of the effect.

After you are happy with the effect, you can then click ok to apply the changes. This will then pixelate the entire picture and make the pixels stretch.

Once the image has been pixelated, there are a number of different things that you can do to it to change the effect and change results.

Step 3: Adding a Layer Mask

Add a layer mask to the image by selecting the top layer and then clicking on the layer mask button at the bottom of the layers palette. This will create a mask which can be seen at the right of the top layer.

Step 4: Working on the Mask

With the layer mask selected, you can then use a gradient fill to blend the effect. Click on the gradient tool. Make sure that the foreground and background colors are set to their default. Press D on the keyboard to set the foreground as white and the background as black. Now press X to swap the foreground colors so that the foreground is black.

In the gradient selector, select the foreground to background mode. This will create a gradient which goes from black to white. Now click and drag out on the layer mask to remove certain parts of the pixelation which affects the image. This will get rid of parts of the image which are pixelated and leave them looking the same as the original photograph.

Step 5: Variations

There are also a few variations which can be used instead of this. The whole layer mask can be filled with white to make the whole layer pixelated. Then the brush tool can be used to paint over the area. Painting over the image in black will reveal the original photograph underneath. If you hold down shift while doing this, it will soften the borders.

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