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Lego Image in Photoshop

Posted on 14th December 2017
For this tutorial, we are going to use the Lego Pattern created for “Lego Text Effect” tutorial ( - Steps 5 to 9). We will also need an image to apply the pattern to. It’s better if the image doesn’t have a great amount of detail, and it’s a good idea for it to have good contrast and strong lines. You can also use an image that already has a squared pattern to simplify your work.


1 - Open your image. Since our pattern is 15 x 15 pixels and we are going to use a 30 pixel grid, we need our document to measure something divisible by 30. Go to Image > Image Size (Alt + Command/Control + I) and input a “Height” (or “With” depending if your image is “Portrait” or “Landscape”) value of 1500 pixels. In our case it was the “Height”.

2 - Then go to Image > Canvas Size (Alt + Command/Control + C) and input a value of 960 pixels for the “With” (You may need to choose another value in case your image is not as “squared” as the one used in this tutorial. You will be prompted about clipping, click “Proceed”.

3 - Duplicate your layer (Command/Control + J) and go to Filter > Pixelate > Mosaic and use a “Cell Size” of 30 Square.

4 - Duplicate your layer (Command/Control + J), name it “Lego” double-click on it to apply the following “Layer Styles”

Pattern Overlay:

5 - Go to Photoshop CC > Preferences > Guides, Grids & Slices and in the “Grid” section change the value in “Gridline every” to 30 pixels and in “Subdivisions” use a value of 1. Then go to View > Show > Grid (Command/Control + ‘).

6 - Select the “Rectangular Marquee Tool” (M) and use the “Add to Selection” option in the upper menu. Create a selection around the image. Use the grid as aid to perfectly outline the blocks. You can turn off the mosaic layers to check if you need to add more to your selection.

7 - Click on the “Add Layer Mask” button at the bottom of the “Layers” menu to create a mask with your selection.

8 - Double-click on the first mosaic layer and apply the same “Pattern Overlay” settings as your “Lego” layer. You can rename the layer if you want. Again, select the “Rectangular Marquee Tool” (M) and use the “Add to Selection” option in the upper menu. In this case, select almost all your image, but leave some scattered squares to give the idea that some pieces are missing. Create a “Layer Mask” from this selection also.

9 - Double-click on the “Lego Background” layer to invoke the “Layer Styles” window and change the “Blend Mode” to “Soft Light” to difference the layers a bit.

10 - Duplicate your “Lego” layer (Command/Control + J) and click on the mask thumbnail while holding the Command/Control key to load the selection. Then, with your “Rectangular Marquee Tool” (M) and the “Subtract from Selection” option this time trim the selection to only the parts of your image that give more detail.

11 - Once you are happy, invert your selection (Shift Command/Control + I), select the mask thumbnail and click Shift + F5 to fill your selection. Choose “Foreground Color” for the “Contents” and make sure that black is in the foreground. You can temporarily turn off the other layers visibility to check your results.

12 - Select your “Lego” layer and click on the mask thumbnail while holding the Command/Control key to load the selection. Create a New Layer (Shift + Command/Control + N), name it “Shadow 1” and place it under your “Lego” layer and fill the selection with black (Shift + F5). With your “Move Tool” (V) selected click the down arrow key 8 times and the right arrow key other 8 times.

13 - Select the “Polygonal Lasso Tool” with the “Add to Selection” option and draw lines connecting the corner of the shadow to the corner of the block that would be casting the shadow. Repeat this for every visible corner. Fill the selection with black (Shift + F5). Deselect (D). Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the “Radius” to 2.0 pixels.  Change the layer’s “Blending Mode” to “Multiply” and the “Opacity” to 30%. Repeat this process with the “Lego copy” and “Lego Background” layers and create a shadow for them too.

14 - Double-click on the “Lego copy” Layer and add the following “layer Styles”:

Bevel & Emboss:

Drop Shadow:

Do the same with the “Lego” and the “Lego Background” layers.

15 - Select all your layers (Excluding the “Background”) and right-click on them, then select “Create Smart Object”. Go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Artistic and choose “Plastic Wrap” with the following values:

16 - Final result:

by @lornacane

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