Puzzle Action! Advanced tutorial 

Step 1
Start Photoshop CS and make sure no images are open. If your photoshop is already open and you have done some work in it...closing Photoshop and opening it again before starting an action is a good idea, or else the action may not work...just a tip ;)

Step 2
Unzip the PuzzleAction1_0.zip file, save the picture puzzle01.psd somewhere on your harddrive and install the actionset.

Step 3

Open the file puzzle01.psd (again, make sure NO OTHER images are open).

Step 4
Open the image that you want to apply the effect to. This image must be in the foreground.

Step 5
The image is very large (2560 x 1920 pixels). If the action is used on a large image the jigsaw puzzle pieces will be very small. Before applying the effect in this example I resized the image to 1000 x 750 pixels to make the pieces a little bigger.

Step 6
Click on the "Puzzle #2" action button. Click 'Continue' on the first dialog box if your images.

Step 7
In the next dialog box you click 'Stop' to clean up your puzzle mesh. Hide the 'Picture layer' by clicking on the eye on that layer and make the 'Puzzle Template' layer active.

Step 8
If you look at the puzzle mesh you can see that something is not right on the left and right sides.

(Click on the images to see a larger version)

Use the eraser tool (Ctrl+E) to delete the unwanted parts of the mesh on the left side. Below you can se the result:

(Click on the image to see a larger version)

We could also do the same on the right side, but the pieces will look a little odd. I choose to crop the image:

(Click on the image to see a larger version)

Now you can tidy up the mesh on the right side with the erase tool. I also cropped the image once more to make the bottom pieces a little bigger.

Step 9
Make 'Picture Layer' visible again and restart the action. You'll now have an image looking somthing like this:

If you plan to stop here and use the image without scaling it down, I suggest that you make the 'Puzzle Template' layer active and adjust the Layer opacity to around 60 - 70%.

Step 10
Next we'll make a simple black border around the picture. Create a new layer and make it active. Press CTRL+A to select all and then Edit > Stroke and use the following settings:

Step 11
Now we will remove some of the puzzle pieces. First make the 'Puzzle Template' layer active.

Select pieces of the jigzaw puzzle by selecting the magic wand tool and clicking in the picture.

Step 12
Make 'Picture Layer' active and press the 'Del' key to delete the puzzle pieces. Press CTRL+D to deselect all.

Repeat step 11 and 12 until you are happy with the result...

Step 13
Hide 'Picture Layer', make the top layer active (the layer you created in step 10) and press SHIFT+CTRL+E to merge the visible layers. Unhide 'Picture Layer' and flatten the image. Double click the background layer and name it 'Picture Layer'.

Step 14
Add a new layer and position it under 'Picture Layer'. Make the background color of the new layer white. Make the 'Picture Layer' active again and use the erase tool to delete the parts of the mesh and the frame that you don't need anymore.

Step 15
Delete the new layer you added in step 14. You'll now have a picture looking something like this.

Let's rotate the image a bit and add some shadow. Choose Image > Rotate Canvas > Arbitrary and enter an angle of 10 degrees counter clockwise.

Choose Image > Canvas Size and make the canvas 1200 x 1000 pixels (You can use other values, just make sure you make the canvas bigger)

Resize the image (I resized mine to 800 x 667 pixels) and add drop shadow and a new layer as a background. I'm using a plain white background.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

PS! If you look closely around the edges on the large version of the image you'll see some white "spots". These "spots" appear if you are not doing a good enough job in Step 14 ;)

If you didn't do a good job in step 14 you might see white lines around your jigzaw puzzle when you add the shadow.

Comments? Contact ingve@liknes.no

Useful Tip
After applying the puzzle effect to an image it is often a good idea to scale the image down just a little bit. This often makes the picture look a little better.

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