Published on Sat, Apr-03-2010 by Andreea

Broken Glass Photoshop Photo Effect

Hello. This is a tutorial that will help you achieve a dynamic glass shatter effect. In this tutorial we will use some broken glass brushes and also on of my own glass texture. As you can see, we will use 3d model. With this Photoshop photo effect, you can make your photo look like it was ripped or broken into pieces. So, lets start.

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Final Image Preview

 broken glass effect


To make the image look more dramatic, I will be using a 3d model in a reaching pose in perspective. Model rendered in Poser 8.

 broken glass effect


Since the main focus of this is the foreground, as I am trying to achieve a “seen through (shattered) glass” effect, I will keep the background simple and use a texture background.

 broken glass effect


First thing you need to look for in order to get a shattered glass effect is either finding the right stocks to tweak or a couple of brushes. I thought I’d ease your work and share a couple of shattered glass brushes I have. They’re not the best out there, I used them as well as a couple of smashed glass brushes I purchased from Renderosity (by mystikel) that included separate shards brushes. I started testing brushes as I went along creating the effect. Make a new group of layers and start applying brushes until you’ve covered the whole area. Just make sure you keep your brush layers separate, there may be some you will not need or have to edit opacity or blend in order to work with the rest. This is what I have so far. I went with a gradual look, glass is supposedly more shattered up top and the cracks aren’t that prominent in the 2nd half of the image. Notice how there are actual shards visible near the hand? That’s what I meant by dynamic. Making it look like it was captured “in motion”.

 broken glass effect



Next I duplicated the whole group. I hid the original and merged the glass so I could add a color overlay to it. To only add an overlay to a selection you’ll need to hold your Ctrl key and click the layer, create a new layer ( Layer>New>Layer or simply Shift+Ctrl+N), pick a color from your swatches (I used a dark blue) and set it to Soft light. This is what I have so far.

 broken glass effect


For maximum effect, you can also add a glass texture. I used one of my own, that I am sharing with you for practice on this tutorial. I’ve set the layer mode to Screen and I used a large round Eraser brush set at 30% opacity. You shouldn’t brush it all equally, so leave some areas of the texture more visible than others, mostly those that aren’t already covered by cracks.

 broken glass effect


Next I will work on getting the shards to really stand out. Normally I would use my tablet to paint, but I will keep it to mouse and Photoshop settings only so those of you who don’t own one can do this too. I took the Pen Tool and made sure it was set to Paths, then changed my brush tool to the default 3 px small brush, color set to white. Follow the outline of your shards with the pen tool and when you’re done right click the image and select Stroke Path and check you have Brush set in the dropdown menu. You will see the outline being filled with the 3px brush selected. Now click the image again and select “Make Selection” then switch tool to cancel the path. Repeat the process for all your shards. It doesn’t really look good now, but we are far from finished.

 broken glass effect


Add some whites to the inside of the shards, and use a low opacity Eraser (30-40%) and Smudge tool to edit it, depending on where your light source is supposed to be. Same for the outline, brush over some of the edges to lower the opacity.

 broken glass effect


Now look for your model layer again, duplicate it and go to Filter>Blur>Motion blur. I used Angle -86 and 83 pixels distance. Used the eraser again to clear the face and body.

 broken glass effect


For the last part I added a Gradient overlay, set it to Soft Light and adjusted the brightness contrast of the final image and sharpened it.

 broken glass effect

Result: Broken Glass Effect

 broken glass effect

Download Psd file


5 Responses

  • peter say:

    the final effect is perfect

  • prap say:

    hi andrea…….
    u are is smart girl for me….


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