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See how the image background fades with the black menu bar? I see this effect very often and I like it a lot. I would love a tutorial (either Photoshop or Illustrator) or how-to article but I don´t even know how to search for it.

dots mask effect

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

As farray said, its halftone pattern, there are many ways of creating the same,

You can see this guide for halftone pattern(this is quite hard and long)

but you can also create this using Photoshop filters within minutes, i have posted a SS to make it clear to you,

htp (open in new window for clarity) you can use this before your image just put this layer and reduce it's opacity. Hope this will help..

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In addition to Jack's information, if you have a photograph, you can achieve a halftone by converting it to grayscale, then to bitmap. –  horatio Sep 14 '11 at 14:10
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It's called "halftone". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halftone

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There are many tutorials online, both video and static. This page does a pretty good step-by-step. I would google "halftone + photoshop" or "halftone + illustrator".

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