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A man, who fell apart

For this project I attempted a scatter effect of someones face (or body) falling apart. Project made of course in Affinity Photo.

I started with this photo found on free stock site. Since it has a free-to-do-whatever-I-Like license, why not use it for this creative project.

Photo by Spencer Selover from Pexels

Step 1: Make a duplicate and mask it

First of all you will need two copies of the image you wish to transform. In Affinity Photo you can just right-click on a layer and Dupicate. Immediately hide the copy. Once this is done go to the bottom of the Layers panel and select the first button on the left. It will say Mask Layer.

Mask layer and other layer features in Affinity Photo

This will create a sub-layer under you image layer. It will similar to below:

With mask layer active choose the Brush tool from the tools on the left and select fill color black. Since masks only understand black or white no other color will have an effect. Next go to Brushes panel and choose Dry Media.

Those are nice brushes available in the default installation of Affinity Photo that would give you a scatter effect. Start painting the left side of your portrait (mask still active, paint color still black) until you achieve a similar image:

Once done hide the layer and it’s mask. It will be confusing during step 2.

Step 2: Warp and mask the second image

To achieve the effect of a scattered face it has to be stretched, so that you can see similar colors in the scattered part and in the non-scattered part. Activate the copy hidden in step 1 and go to Liquify Persona and play with the available tools (they are very straightforward) until you achieve a similar effect to the one below:

Create a Layer Mask and using brushes similar to step 1 paint in black until you have something similar to below:

Now activate both copies and you should already see a nice effect but we will add a little touch to it. We will make the face cracked.

Step 3: Adding cracks

For this you have to find a texture of cracks. Import your texture to your work file and place it over the face. Create a mask and using regular brush paint around the face until you don’t see cracks anywhere else but on the face. In the Layers panel play with Blending modes. I chose Darken. Final result should look like this:

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