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How to create a pixel gradient effect in Photoshop

A simple step-by-step tutorial suitable for beginners where you will  learn how to create a gradual transition from normal to pixelated effect.

 
  Author: NikMan | Version: CS6 | 24th November 2012 |  
 
 
1.
 

Open a photograph.

I'll work with the picture of Claire Forlani.

 
 
2.
 

Press Ctrl + J to duplicate the layer.

 
 
3.
 

In the menu click Filter, Pixelate and choose Mosaic...

In the Mosaic settings window choose the Cell Size that works for your image and click OK.

 
 
4.
 

Click the Add layer mask button.

 
 
5.
 

Choose the Gradient Tool (G for a keyboard shorcut).

 
 
6.
 

In the toolbar above choose the black to white gradient and then choose the Linear Gradient (see picture).

 
 
7.
 

Now click and drag the mouse over the image.

You can repeat the step as many times as you want until you are satisfied with the result.

 
 
8.
 

Choose the Brush Tool (press B for a keyboard shortcut).

 
 
9.
 

Press D and then X to set the black foreground color.


 
 
10.
 

Now paint over the areas of the image that you want to "unpixelate".

 
 
11.
 

A bit of explanation of what we did:

With the layer mask and black brush tool we uncovered the the layer bellow. Imagine you put a paper over a picture and you make holes in it. The picture bellow will be visible through those holes. That's how the layer mask an black colored brush tool work.

If you choose a white foreground color for the brush tool you will fill the layer with pixels again, it works the opposite way of the black color. Try it out.

 
 
12.
 

Done!

 
 
 
   
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