How to Make a Torn Paper Effect in Photoshop

How to Make a Torn Paper Effect in Photoshop

Photoshop effects

Creating a torn paper effect in Photoshop to achieve a collage look on your design is easy. You can use any number of pre-made brushes, Photoshop default brushes, or even real paper torn edges. Today, we'll show you a one of the easiest way to make your own torn paper effect in Photoshop from scratch, so you can get it looking exactly right.

In this case, we will make a very thin torn paper effect, but you can easily adjust it to your own needs changing a bit the values showed in this tutorial.

Step 1

Open Photoshop and make a new file at any size you want. In this case I will set mine to 1600 x 1070 px.

Step 2

Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color. Set the name of this layer to “Background Paper” and click OK.

Step 3

In the Color Picker window, set the color to #d8d8d8 and click OK.

Step 4

Using the Lasso Tool (L) make a selection with the shape that you want for your torn paper.

Step 5

With the selection active, go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color. Name this layer as “Paper Shadow” and click OK.

Step 6

In the Color Picker window, set the color to #020202 and click OK.

Step 7

Press “Ctrl+J” on your keyboard to duplicate the layer and name this new layer as “Torn Color”.

Step 8

Double click on the “Torn Color” layer thumbnail. In the Color Picker window set the color to #f6f6f6 and click OK.

Step 9

Again, press “Ctrl+J” on your keyboard to duplicate the layer and name this new layer as “Torn Paper”.

Step 10

Double click on the “Torn Paper” layer thumbnail. In the Color Picker window set the color to #eae7e7 and click OK.

Step 11

Select the Layer Mask of the “Paper Shadow” layer and press “Ctrl+T” on your keyboard.

Step 12

In the top toolbar, set the transformation to 105% in Width and 101% in Height. Be sure to set the Reference Point Location to the center top one and commit the transformation.
Note: if you want the effect to be more noticeable simply increase these values.

Step 13

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 2 and click OK.

Step 14

Set the Blend Mode of the “Paper Shadow” layer to Multiply and decrease the Opacity to 10%.

Step 15

Select the Layer Mask of the “Torn Color” layer and go to Filter > Filter Gallery. Under the Artistic tab select the “Cutout” effect. Apply the following settings and click OK.

Step 16

Select the Layer Mask of the “Torn Paper” layer and press “Ctrl+F” on your keyboard to apply the effect again.

Step 17

With the Layer Mask selected, press “Ctrl+T” on your keyboard and in the top toolbar set the Width to 101% and the Height to 99%. Be sure to have the Reference Point Location set to the top left and commit the transformation.
Note: if you want the effect to be more noticeable simply increase these values.

Step 18

Now select the “Torn Color” layer and go to Layer > Layer Style > Inner Shadow. Apply the following settings and click OK.

Step 19

With the main effect created, all we have to do now is place the content of each of the paper pieces into place. Select the “Background Paper” layer and place any image or design you want right above the layer and resize it to fill the whole canvas. In this case is just a simple paper texture.

Step 20

Select the “Torn Paper” layer and place the second image.

Step 21

To finish the torn paper effect go to Layer > Create Clipping Mask.


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