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How to create an Abstract line background in Photoshop using Maximum and Pointillize filter

How to create an abstract swirly line / edge background in Photoshop using Maximum and Pointillize as well as oil paint filter plus initial gradients

Setup for the colors in the document

swirly smeared background photoshop line edge effect using pointillize and maximum filter1) Create a document with a reasonable sized (1265 x 1265 say)


2) go to the gradient tool


abstract line background in Photoshop gradient3) Go to the gradient panel, select the blue red yellow default gradient (if it is not there then please reset the gradients panel back to the default set)


It should be noted here that the actual end result of the line / swirly / smudged / edge etc abstract background generated will depend on the structure generated at this stage so if you only use a few applies of the gradient to create the background or use a very subtle colorful background then the result will differ from the more colorful background design created on the left by the gradient tool. You may wish to use a different gradient or an image or brush stroke and blu and smudge that and use that as the source instead


4) set the type to linear


5) set the blending mode to difference.


6) Use the gradient tool and repeat multiple applications of the gradient to create a super colorful background with multiple colors in it (you could use any similar gradient filled design such as a blurred image etc).


You can find many Photoshop and Photoshop elements colorful gradients on the site.


You can also modify the work by using brushes to smear the artwork etc such as scroll / curled brushes and sphere / globe and balls brushes and Photoshop / PSP spiral brushes


Pointillize filter in Photoshop

1) Now use the pointillize filter found in the pixelate category of the filters in Photoshop.


2) Set the value to a fairly small size such as 12 etc and apply the filter.


The pointillize create a lovely spread of colorful shapes across the image based on the previous underlying colorful artwork and so will probably vary from experiment to experiment with the gradient tool. Ok, now you have a lovely colorful spotted background.


You could stop here and just perhaps use an adjustment to turn the design into a black and white background or texture


Oil paint filter

oil paint pointillize filter abstract background1) Now apply the oil paint filter a few times with maximum settings but adding no depth to the image (unless you want some) and you will then have a nice smeary swirly colorful background in Photoshop


Maximum filter

difference maximum filter background abstractI love the other filter category, why couldn't they add the maximum to the blur or some other category but instead it ends up in the others. It is a useful filter though.


1) Set the maximum to a fairly large value say 17 and roundness.


2) Apply the maximum but before you do anything else, go to the fade command found in the edit menu and then fade using blending mode of difference and what you should end up with is a super colorful edge / lines that follows the original contours of the pointillize.


Vibrance / Camera raw filter

vibrance added backgroundIt is probably not the most colorful design yet


1) use auto tone or perhaps vibrance to improve (or perhaps not) things. Or perhaps Camera raw filter or one of the Nik plugins


Repeat maximum filter

You don't have to stop there


1) Re-apply the oil paint filter to smear and create an even more unusual swirly line / edge in Photoshop or


2) re-apply the maximum filter with the same setting or more or less and create a new edge to the edge and this can be repeated to create even more unusual abstract swirly line / edge effect.


Oil Paint filter

oil paint filter and tangle abstract backgroundYou can finish the entire design off with an extra application of the oil paint to create a very unusual smeared design or perhaps pass the result into the lighting effects filter and use the spot light and add some texture to the design (personally I would use Painter at this point) to give it some depth



You can find many other tutorials on the site such as How to use color channels with Affinity Photo filters such as equations filter and how to recolor pattern layers using colorful adjustment layers in Photoshop and how to install CSH custom shapes in Photoshop and how to use the maximum filter in Photoshop CC 2017 2015 CS6 etc tutorial and how to create super colorful glowing strands and fibers in Photoshop using fibers filter and maximum filter


Youtube Video tutorials

How to create a colorful edge / line swirly background in Photoshop using maximum filter and pointillize filter etc (youtube video)