The Marvel Disintegration Effect in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques by Deke McClelland

Hey, Gang. Sorry I’m late this week. We are finally home after being stranded in Grand Cayman for a few extra days. And while that doesn’t sound like the most horrible place to be stranded (and at first, it did seem like “bonus vacation” time), unfortunately most of the hours were spent in the Grand Cayman airport, which streams mind numbing loop of steel drum elevator music which made all the coherence eventually leave my brain.

Anyway, if you’re a fan of cool effects (and you aren’t afraid of Avengers spoilers) Deke’s got a special treat this week, the Marvel disintegration effect. It’s what happens to chosen characters when an evil dude wants to eradicate some arbitrary percentage of the population. Or, how you feel like your brain is flaking away to dust and sand when you’re subjected to days of incessant steel drum elevator music.

Anyhoo, the technique uses a sequence displacement maps to create the effect, like this one based on the Crystallize filter:

The Crystalize filter in Photoshop

Then Deke applies a mask to incorporate it into our hero’s startled appearance and a bit of blur to the background to really sell the deal. No triangles here. No custom brushes necessary. Just pure Photoshop filter manipulation that will turn your brain to dust, but with smart filters so you can get it back together when you need to write the sequel.

A variety of filters applied to create the disintegration
And if you’re a member of Lynda.com or LinkedIn Learning, Deke’s got an exclusive movie this week in which he further builds up the flakes and ashes.

Deke’s Techniques, riding the bandwagon of marvelous effects in it’s own dekeish way.

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Previous entry:“Quieting Down” an Overly Elaborate Design

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