I am trying to recreate a similar style to the image below in Photoshop, but unfortunately there are some issues I can't solve. Maybe someone can help me out?

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This looks like a pixelated image with gaussian blur and threshold applied. But I can't get my mind around how to achieve this diagonal separation of the dots without messing up the shape of the dots.

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Also, the dots have a perfectly round shape - how is this even possible?

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With my approach they always end up a bit square.

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Thanks a lot!

P.S. You should definitely check out the original artist!

  • You should describe what your doing. But sounds to me that your blur kernel isnt big enough.
    – joojaa
    Nov 27, 2021 at 10:39
  • @joojaa Using a bigger kernel helps for single dots - but connected ones are melting together then. Also, changing the threshold to different values didn't help. It seems like the example uses some logic to prevent "melting" on one diagonal axis - but allow it on the other diagonal axis.
    – hawc
    Nov 27, 2021 at 12:11
  • 1
    I can get a bit closer using Minimum, Maximum and Dust & Scratches. Have a look. Now everything is rounded and melts together. But I see what you mean by different behavior on the two diagonal axes. Have to think a bit.
    – Wolff
    Nov 27, 2021 at 12:37
  • Changing the shape of the pixels using a pattern before applying filters might be a way. I'm getting this result which is closer, but now the pixels aren't completely round though.
    – Wolff
    Nov 27, 2021 at 13:05
  • 1
    Normally you would use levels instead of treshold also having more resolution helps. But flowing together is what you want you just use higher treshold values. Anyway its probably a vector image. Since it essentially has only two modes in a grid.
    – joojaa
    Nov 27, 2021 at 13:21

1 Answer 1


I guess it's drawn. It can originally be a blurry, but half-toned letter "a" which is zoomed to bigger size, treated like you have already done to get the bridges between the dots. The not so perfectly circular dots are changed manually to regular ones.

The final pattern can be tiled in Illustrator. The used atoms seem to be these:

enter image description here

Circles (A) and squares are combined with the pathfinder boolean operations to shapes B, C and D. In this phase I avoided the shape builder because it often changes the anchor points or generates more of them. Exact snapping becomes difficult or it doesn't happen at all if the anchors are redistributed. Pathfinder booleans have always kept the original anchors if the parts are placed perfectly so that the anchors snap.

Parts A, B,C and D can be tiled freely. The parts snap perfectly if one has snap to point and smart guides ON.

Finally the areas can be filled with the shape builder. The same tool can be used also to make holes. Pattern E is a simple example.

Not tested, but one could as well tile the plane to full of circles and then use the shape builder to combine the wanted ones and to remove the extras. Then some rectangles can be inserted for straight edged parts.

After tiling the artwork has got colors, blur and grainy texture. That's easiest in Photoshop.

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