I've been seeing this style of image destruction in use lately and I'm trying to learn how to create a similar image surreal coloring effect.

example 1

It seems like there's a noise effect going on, but I'm more interested in achieving the coloring technique (which I realize may be tied to the image noise). I've tried adjusting contrast levels and editing channels (i.e. turning off the red channel, leaving the blue and green channel on + inverting the green channel) in Photoshop, which yields some wild results, but it's quite limited re: color selection. Could anyone lend some advice? Thanks!

closed as too broad by Billy Kerr, Scott, Lucian, Westside, usr2564301 Apr 13 '18 at 17:37

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • You’ll need to narrow it down a bit, there are lots of different effects on show in those two pictures. Also, you’ll get better responses and fewer down / close votes if you show what you’ve tried. – Westside Apr 13 '18 at 16:37
  • There are very different things going on in both of these, which really makes this question far too broad. There's really nothing even remotely similar about them apart form the noise. Can you remove one of them, so we can look at one at a time. You can ask another question for the other one. – Billy Kerr Apr 13 '18 at 16:37
  • @BillyKerr apologies, took the other image down – Jason C Apr 13 '18 at 16:41

You must learn how to remove backgrounds properly, insert layers, fill them with colors insert a layer mask and how to copy&paste content from a layer to the layer mask of another layer (see NOTE1)

At first have a photo, background removed. Your image is also stretched with warping or the Liquify filter. I skip it here. (see NOTE3)

Add monochrome noise to it (here 15%)

enter image description here

Goto Image > Adjustments > Treshold. Treshold the image to BW, adjust the treshold for good apparent grayscale (see NOTE2).

enter image description here

Use it as a layer mask for some color (here yellow) and to make selections to delete parts of other colored layers.

To make the red layer visible, yellow and green are clipped by selecting the emptiness in the bottom BW layer and pressing DEL in yellow and green layers.

enter image description here

You can add more layers for more colors. Here small pieces of white are painted to the new top layer "Eyes". You can as well copy material from other images or from the BW layer and color it differently. Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation > Colorize is the easy recoloring tool.

enter image description here

NOTE1: In the layers panel you can click the layer mask icon holding the Alt key at the same time. That brings the layer mask onscreen for edits. You can paste (or preferably paste in place) the clipboard content to the layer mask. In this case you have selected all in the bottom BW image layer and copied it to the clipboard.

NOTE2: The photo itself must be well adjusted and the amount of noise must be good for just this photo. Professional Photoshop users make Smart filters and adjustment layers to keep the effects adjustable for best fit.

NOTE3: The noise distribution in green-yellow halftones is different at the bottom of the image than at higher, say at eyes and nose. Conclusion: Warping or Liquifying to stretch the image should be applied after tresholding, not in the original photo. I believe your image utilizes the same. It's a in-computer construction which is made of a photo which is taken in the middle of 1970's. If someone wanted to construct your image forty years ago, he would really have to know something.


I would create a black and white image, then apply some noise, then duplicate the layer for each colour required. Then use vector layer masks to cut up the image, and apply Colour Overlay effects to the parts I wish to colour differently. Finally I'd use a vector shape layer for solid areas of colour.

Anyway I'm sure you'll get the general idea from this example, which I made quickly.

enter image description here

Another possibility for colouring the noisy black and white image is the Torn Edges filer. Again this could be cut up using vector masks as shown above.

enter image description here

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