Create A Painted Effect Look With Displacement Maps In Photoshop CS4

In this tutorial we are going to create a painted effect look by overlaying an image distorted with a Displacement Map.The Displace filter is one of several Photoshop filters that require the use of a displacement map, which works like a texture map, placing the image over a grid that creates a textured look.

The Displace filter shifts a selection using a color value from the displacement map—0 is the maximum negative shift, 255 the maximum positive shift, and a gray value of 128 produces no displacement. If a map has one channel, the image shifts along a diagonal defined by the horizontal and vertical scale ratios. If the map has more than one channel, the first channel controls the horizontal displacement, and the second channel controls the vertical displacement. So without loosing anymore time let’s have a look at the examples bellow.

Press CTRL+N to open a new document.

Type the name of document.

Enter the desired Width, Height and Resolution.

Click OK.

Select the Move Tool (V) and move the flag and the brick wall to the new document.

Select the UK Flag Layer and change the blending mode to Hard Light.

Select the Brick Layer and hit CTRL+J to duplicate the layer.

Move the layer above the Flag layer and hit CTRL+SHIFT+U to desaturate it.

With the copied layer still selected go to Filter-Blur-Gaussian Blur.

In the blur dialog box enter the amount of blur desired for this tutorial 1px will do just fine. (experiment to get the settings you like, tis layer will be used later on as a displacment map.)

Select File Save As or hit SHIFT+CTRL+S to save the displacment man you just created.

Select the Flag Layer and go to Filter-Distort-Displace.

In the displacment dialog box enter the Horizontal and Vertical scale.(experiment with the settings to get tthe desired result) Click OK.

Select the Displacment Map you saved erlier and click OK

When the Displacment Map filter is applied it has a dramatic effect, although the distortions look random, they line up precisely with the wall.

Select the Brick Layer and in the Blending options choose Hard Light. Combining the displaced flag with the duplicated Hard Light brick wall layer produces a more realistic effect.

Set the Opacity to 80% just to give the layer a more natural look. (Play with the settings to get the desired result).

(Roll Over Images)

Here are some other example using the same technique.

Displacement maps are images or patterns that are saved in the Photoshop format and applied as part of a mathematical formula that moves each pixel in the original image according to the values in the displacement map.You can actually use any image saved in Photoshop format as a displacement map. Just choose it instead of one of the default files. Make sure you play with the Blur, Vertical and Horizontal scale of the Displacment Map also you don’t need to limit your Displacement Maps to existing photographs.Try creating your own maps but remember to apply at least a small amount of Gaussian Blur first: otherwise the result will be harsh and unconvincing.

Please leave your comments for anything related to this tutorial. Also make sure you Subscribe to our Feed or Follow us on Twitter to stay updates to the lattes tutorials, news and interviews in the graphic community. DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THIS COOL TUTS!

If you are playing Bitmangos Word Cookies game, make sure you check our Word Cookies Answers Game Cheats. For the cookie clicker game head over to cookie clicker hacked page and the  cookie clicker shadow achievements page.

View Comments (13)

  • Cool tut. HOWEVER, it's hard to learn the technique without providing the chance to do the work ourselves.


    Cancel reply
  • Love this site. Used this to do some company graphics, everyone loved it. Thanks for the tutorial!

    Streetwise Music Instruction

    Cancel reply
  • Thank you guys for your kind words we are trying to get as much quality content published as we can make sure you bookmark us or subscribe to stay updated.

    Cancel reply
  • A great little tut. I loved the example of the face with the flag. That was classic. Good work guys. Keep pumping out the awesome content. :)

    Cancel reply
  • Hi, interesting post. I have been thinking about this issue,so thanks for writing. I will certainly be subscribing to your posts.

    Cancel reply
  • Great tutorial. Useful stuff.
    I really like the numbering system you use for the tutorial... written and reinforced w/ corresponding image if useful.

    @Mssmotorrd - View the source of this page, then navigate to the CSS file for this page. At the top of the CSS file you will see:

    Theme Name: Busy Bee
    Version: 1.0.2
    Description: Designed by Magnus Jepson.
    Author: WooThemes
    Author URI: http://www.woothemes.com


    ... in Wordpress, the theme information is kept in the main CSS file. Good to know if you want to find out about the WP themes people use.

    Obv, nicely customized for this site.

    Cancel reply
  • It’s the first time I commented here and I must say you share us genuine, and quality information for bloggers! Good job.
    p.s. You have a very good template for your blog. Where did you find it?

    Cancel reply