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How to Glitterbomb a Photo in Adobe Photoshop (With an Action)

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:

Glitter... what's not to love? Okay, the real thing isn't so fun when you're vacuuming it out of your furniture for months, but what about virtual glitter? Turn your sparkle rating to full because here we'll show you how to glitter-bomb a photograph using GlitterStorm Photoshop Action.

There are two main ways you can use this action, so I'll go through both.

Method 1: Apply Glitter to Some of the Image

Brush Over Your Subject

This is the image I'll be using. Choose an image that's fun and will suit glitter.

example image
Example image

Create a new layer named ‘brush’ and brush over your image

brush over your image
Brush where you want glitter to appear

Brush where you’d like glitter to appear. I've used red here so you can see it clearly, but you can use any colour you like.

Choose a Direction for Your Glitter

Choose from the five directional options. I’m using ‘down’ as I want the glitter to look like it’s falling from the sky

glitter options
You can choose the direction the glitter comes from

Hit play and be prepared to wait a while for the action to do it's work.

Don't Panic!

after the action
After the action has finished you'll see something like this.

You’ll have something that looks like this, but don’t panic. Scroll down the layers and find Background Colour which should be your first layer after Background. Click on the eye next to the layer to hide it and you’ll see your image—complete with added glitter.

hide background colour
Turn off 'Background Colour'

Make Adjustments

The action is broken down into many layers.

layers
Some of the layers

These allow you to do much more than turn groups of particles off and on, adjust contrast and so on. Unfortunately, they don’t allow you to do much more than that. What would have been useful would have been to have some colour or fill layers that could be adjusted, so that you could see the effectiveness of different colours.

Finish Up

a touch of magic
The glitter adds a touch of magic

Here I’ve dropped some of the sharpening layers and hidden some of the groups of particles to make the effect a little more subtle.

Method 2: Apply Glitter to Your Main Subject

The other way you can use this action is as the author intended it (so we can glean from his examples). You might have noticed that in the example above, the glitter is white and blue. This is because it uses the colours from the image and so in this sense, it may be more suited to colouring over the image itself.

boy laughing
A boy laughing, with a book on his knee

Brush Over Your Subject

Create a 'brush' layer again, but this time, colour over your subject entirely.

brush over
Colour your whole subject

 Run the Action

This time I'm opting for left as the direction.

glitter action
After the action has run

Okay, so the result is a little scary and now our subject looks to be screaming more than laughing as he turns into a living glitter ball. We can turn down some of the effects to improve things and quell the nightmares.

Make Adjustments

adjustments
Brush the subject back in and lessen some of the effects of the layers

I’ve brushed the subject’s face back in and reduced some of the particles to lessen the effect. Much better, and no more night terrors!

More Glitter You Say?

If you can't get enough of glitter tutorials (and who can?) then you might like to check out these:

Happy glitter bombing!

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