I want to try and make a photomanipulation of a woman to look like a character from an anime (Konan from Naruto shippuden). For refference, see the photo.

I am quite capable of handling photoshop (on a hobby-level) but I don't know how to make the paper-effect without placing and manipulating every single piece of paper.

I tried this tutorial: http://design.creativefan.com/create-a-stunning-3d-liquid-explosion-artwork/ but i couldn't sort out the 3d studio max bit.

To sum up, I'd like this kind of effect only using photoshop. Can anyone help me?

enter image description here

  • 3
    You would need to place and manipulate every piece of paper. You already know the answer. Often the only or best solution is to put in the hours of work.
    – Scott
    Dec 5, 2013 at 22:14

2 Answers 2


You will probably have to do something similar to this tutorial here (mind you, it's in illustrator, not photoshop) that creates fish scales.

Other than that, I think Scott is right; you need to do every sheet by hand.


In Photoshop you can draw each planar surface as an outline on its own layer, then fill with a base color. Copy each layer and try different textures. You can transform and stretch the textures to get the look and feel of each surface. You can fade the texture layer back to reveal more of the base color.
You might also create some bigger layers and use the Warp tool to get some curving effects. Use these bigger layers like wrapping paper that you can copy, crop and rotate into position.
An artist doesn't paint every leaf on a tree. You can create the feel of individual sheets using texture, direction and color, then add a few individual sheet outlines to reinforce the image.

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