Photoshop Sunday; Abstract Wallpaper

It is Sunday and time again to stretch my Photoshop skills. Today is not a marathon run, more a jog around the block as I have used this technique before.
I recently bought a new laptop for work and blogging. My Acer net book was a worthy machine, it just happened to be running as fast as a snail, which was frustrating for me, which was multiplied when it takes you 10 mins to load a presentation. My new laptop came with the custom background which is pleasant but a little too cheery with corporate happiness. Of course I could have easily just taken one of my old images from the desktop but that wasn’t going to do. I wanted something new and different.

I remembered that I had created a cubed mosaic image, and thought that may work with a landscape. I previously wrote about creating an abstract mosaic two years ago and the basic steps I took can be found here.

My starting image is an older one taken before I moved to Poland 5 years ago at Delphi Bridge in Cornwall. I was happy to find this image as it also had the work flow for faux colour inferred inside that I may use later this week.


Following the steps in the link provided above, I created my cube pattern and via selections created masks on duplicated layers which had had their perspective transformed. I had then duplicated all the layers merged them and applied a blur and then set a gradient map and hue and saturation adjustment layer. For more details on these steps please follow the link above.


I grouped all my layers together and then duplicated then moved the original image above the group. Selecting the pattern layer, I used the quick selection tool to select random areas on the pattern. With the selection active I went up to the image layer, now above the group, and created a layer mask and the selections automatically loaded into the layer mask.
I refined the selection by going back to the pattern layer and using the magic wand selection tool selecting small squares and then either painting these selections black or white, depending if I wanted to add more of the mosaic or less.


I wanted the two areas of the image to have some separation. With the top layer I added a vibrance adjustment layer to increase the vibrance and saturation of the masked area; I used a clipping mask on the adjustment layer to apply the adjustment only to this layer. I then created a saturation adjustment layer above the group and also applied a clipping mask and then raised the saturation slightly and change the hue.

abstract cubes landscape

The final image I think looks pretty neat and doesn’t look too shabby as my desktop background. What I like about this type of effect is you can still make out the key elements of the image, as you look your mind puts them all together. I think the cubes are big enough, the size of the cubes is the most problematic area; too small and it can look messy and too big it can look clumsy.

I would love to know what you think of this image, feel welcome to use the comment box below.

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