In today’s tutorial, we will be creating a dispersion effect in Affinity Photo. This effect is also called the splatter effect. The main concept of the effect is to separate the subject from the background. In addition, the end result is to make the subject look like it’s being blown away. Likewise, the dispersion effect was used successfully in the Avengers: Infinity War movie.
Before you get started, go to this Pexels link to download the image needed for the tutorial.
In Affinity Photo, go to File > Open and select the image you downloaded.
Next, grab the Selection Brush tool from the Tools Panel. Make sure the Add mode is selected and that Snap to Edges is checked.
With the Selection Brush, select the dog until there’s a single moving line around its whole body. If you overshoot any areas, switch to the Subtract mode to get rid of the parts you don’t want. You can even uncheck the Snap to Edges box.
After you’ve selected the dog, hit Refine in the Context toolbar. Set the Output in the Refine Selection to New Layer.
In the Layers Panel, label the pixel layer Dog. You can delete the original image.
Now, press CTRL + J to duplicate the layer (or right-click on it and select Duplicate).
Select the duplicated dog layer. Go to the Personas section and select the Liquify Persona.
In the Tools Panel, select the Liquify Push Forward tool. Click on the top part of the dog and drag its fur to the right. Click and drag until you get the desired effect you want. It’s okay if it looks crazy right now. It will make sense in the end.
When you’re done, click Apply. You should now be back in the Photo Persona.
In the Layers Panel, rename this layer Liquified Dog.
Select the Liquified Dog layer. Add a mask layer to it by clicking the Mask Layer icon in the Layers Panel.
In the Layers Panel, select the mask layer you just added. Grab the Flood Fill tool from the Tools Panel. In the Swatches Panel, make sure your Fill Color is Black. Take the Flood Fill tool and select the liquified dog. Your mask layer should be covered with black (in the Layers Panel).
Select the Dog Layer and add a mask layer to it from the Layers Panel by clicking the Mask Layer icon.
Select the mask layer that’s inside of the Dog layer. Grab the Paintbrush tool from the Tools Panel (or click B on the keyboard). Make sure you’re on the Black fill color.
Go to the Brushes Panel and select the Painting brushes. Click on the 54 pixel Paint 2 brush
Increase the size of the brush by pressing the ] (right bracket) key on the keyboard. Start painting away some of the dog (make sure you’re on the mask layer inside of the Dog layer). If you feel like you’re erasing too much of the dog away, switch to the white fill color to add some of the dog back.
Go to the Liquified Dog layer and select the mask layer. In the Swatches Panel, select the white fill color. Click on some areas of the dog to bring some of it back (Don’t drag your mouse to do this, just click on different areas of the dog that you wiped away).
Go to the Layers Panel and click on Add Pixel Layer.
With the added pixel layer selected, go to the Swatches Panel and make the Fill Color gray. Now, go to the Edit Menu and select Fill with Primary Color.
With the pixel layer still selected, go the toolbar and select Move to Back.
Congratulations! This tutorial is complete! You’ve created a dispersion effect in Affinity Photo! If you liked this tutorial, check out some more Affinity Photo tutorials