If you’re bored or just looking for new ideas of cool things to do in Photoshop, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will look at over 51 creative projects that you can do in photoshop today! Whether you are new to photoshop or just need some inspiration, this post is for you.
Most of the projects are great for beginners as well as intermediates, with just a few being slightly more challenging. However, each one is well described and easy to follow. So make sure you try out the ones you like the best. Better yet, try them all out and watch as you become much more proficient in using Photoshop.
1. Double Exposure Effect
Back in the “olden” days of photography, photographers started to expose the same frame of film twice to achieve creative effects. It was a tricky affair and a lot of film had to be wasted till something decent could be achieved. Now that we have photoshop, it is super easy and a lot of fun to create this highly creative and trendy look.
2. Dual-tone Lighting Effect
This started trending quite a few years back, and it is still one of the coolest lighting effects to try out in the studio. But if you don’t have a studio, lights or colored gels to achieve this look, you can rely on photoshop to get it done. The idea is to use two contrasting tones, like Red and Blue, and putting colored filters (often called gels) in front of studio strobes. More recently, RGB LEDs have replaced colored strobes. However, for this project, all you need is photoshop!
3. Go For The Moon
By now you must have seen at least a few images like this online where the moon is used as a light source in a fantasy setting. Well, it is a super easy project to make and is lots of fun! All you need are two images and photoshop.
4. Photo Mosaic Portrait
Have you seen a portrait where the entire image seems to be made out of tiny little images? It might seem extremely tedious and difficult to do, but it is quite easy when you know the trick and you have photoshop.
5. Make A Panorama
You’ve used the panorama mode on your phone and wished you had a way to do the same with high-quality photos using your camera. Well actually you can do it quite easily using a built-in system inside Photoshop that can automatically stitch continuous photos into a seamless panorama!
6. Make People (And Noise) Disappear With Median Photo Stack
Ever been to a gorgeous location, all geared up to take stunning photos, only to find it filled with people? Well, there’s a neat photoshop trick that can remove people seamlessly without all that manual retouching and cutting out.
7. Create Digital Paintings
Photoshop is not just about photo manipulation. You can create original artwork directly inside photoshop. It has all the tools a painter might need – colors, brushes, and erasers.
8. Put People Inside A Jar
If you have ever wanted to put someone in a glass jar, you can finally accomplish your dreams inside photoshop. It’s a fairly simple technique that is fun to learn for beginners as well as intermediates. All you need is a jar or a bottle or fishbowl and a camera. And of course, photoshop.
9. Make People Disperse Like Avengers Endgame
In this project, you will learn how to make people disperse into dust, just like Thanos did in Endgame. However, instead of snapping your fingers, you will be using photoshop magic to make it happen.
10. Create Simple Mirrored Images Using Flip
Mirroring an image is super simple. All you need to do is create a duplicate layer, use the flip image function under the edit menu and then align properly to the original layer. It is that easy!
11. Set Stuff on Fire
Making it look like something is on fire without becoming an arsonist is a cool effect, especially when using an impossible object like ice or water. There are ways to do it in real life, but for this project, you only need photoshop.
12. Make A Photo Look Vintage
Vintage themes are always attractive because they are full of nostalgia and good memories. Thanks to photoshop, you can make any photo or image look like it was taken with a retro camera. You can add grunge, texture, dirt, and noise to make it look like it is from a long-lost era.
13. Create Typography Portraits
Also known as a text portrait, this is an artistic style that takes regular chunks of text and morphs it to look like a face. This technique can be used to create almost anything, from objects to animals, but nothing attracts our attention like the face of another human being.
14. Make 3D Text
Photoshop has a lot of different tricks up its sleeves, and one of those is the ability to create realistic-looking 3D text. There is a built-in 3D workspace inside photoshop that allows you to quickly and easily extrude shapes into 3D objects. Like any 3D workflow, you can add material, texture, and lighting.
15. Turn Text To Ice
Ever wished you could create a text effect like the poster from the Disney movie Frozen? With this tutorial, you will learn how to turn any text into ice using layers and textures.
16. Draw Realistic Clouds
Digital painting is a fun way to use photoshop to create a completely original image, and one of the most interesting projects to try out first is learning how to draw clouds. Create puffy, stormy, or wispy clouds today with this tutorial.
17. Create Different Cloud Shapes
Not only can you paint clouds in photoshop, but you can also take real clouds and change their shape. Have you ever looked up at the clouds in the sky and saw the shape of an animal or some other object in the clouds? This tutorial is a great way to help make images come to life with a little whimsy and wonder when you create cloud shapes in photoshop.
18. Brush Stroke Text Effect
The brushstroke effect for text is a classic look that fits into any project that needs that handmade look. Most popularly known for its use in China and Japan as an art form, it is a style that is found all over the world in various cultures. Using isolated brush strokes from actual brushes, it can be made to look very convincing.
19. Replace the Sky in Any Photo
Have you ever taken a great photo, but wished the sky that day could have looked a little more dramatic? Perhaps you’d like more clouds in the background, or wished the picture was taken during sunset or at night instead of during the day. Well now, you can change the sky of any photos easily with Photoshop’s sky replacement tool.
20. Neon Light Glow Effect
Want to make a futuristic-looking neon light glow around a character? It is really easy to do as long as you remember to match your image to the colored glow to make it look more convincing. This tutorial will teach you how.
21. Make Glitch Art
Using this tutorial, you can create a glitched-out image that harkens back to the days of VHS or reflects the modern-day trend of digital glitches. It’s a cool look and works great for sci-fi and similar genres.
22. Drip Paint From Any Image
Make any image or text look like it was freshly painted on with digital paint still dripping down from it. Use this look to make posters, cover images, and much more.
23. Add Falling Snow To Your Image
Creating a winter wonderland image doesn’t always mean you have to brave a snowstorm. You can create falling snow in any image using the magic of layer masks and blending. This is a great way into the technique known as matte painting.
24. Make A Matte Painting
Matte painting is the technique of creating fantasy worlds using pieces of the world that we live in every day. If you have seen strange and fantastic worlds in any Hollywood blockbusters in the last decade, you have witnessed the magic of this technique. So let’s find out how it’s actually done.
25. Convert A Landscape Photo Into An Isometric 3D Image
Take your landscape photos, especially ones taken from a high vantage point like from on top of a hill, and turn them into isometric 3D images. This is a 2D illusion that gives you a 3D-looking final result.
26. Create Galaxies In Photoshop
It doesn’t get grander than this. You can create awesome space images using nothing more than photoshop to make your very own galaxies and nebulas! With some creatively applied effects, you can create these images without any external input.
27. Add Angel Wings To People
This is a slightly more complex project when compared to most of the entries on this list. Using a few different images together, you can give wings to anyone and everyone. You will be using advanced masking and blending techniques to accomplish this.
28. Make Objects Float
This one takes a little bit more time to set up pre-production, but I think the end result is totally worth it! Whether you’re looking to add a little more pizazz to product photos, or you just want to have some fun, you can learn how to make objects look as if they are defying gravity with this cool photoshop trick.
29. Add Falling Leaves To An Image
Adding falling leaves to an image is pretty simple, and to make it more realistic, all you have to do is add depth by blurring out leaves according to the depth of field. Use this technique to create an awesome autumn portrait in any season!
30. Make A Retro Letterpress Poster
In love with all those retro posters you see at cafes and bars? Well, you can create your own unique vintage lookalike posters using photoshop. By using specific fonts, colors and effects, you can recreate the look of any era.
31. Turn Your Cat Or Dog Into A Giant
This is a fun one we’ve all probably thought about at least once: what if your dog or cat was a giant and was roaming around the neighborhood?? Now you can find out by creating this scene in photoshop!
32. Turn A 2D Image Into A 3D One
You can now turn a 2D image into a 3D one by blowing it up like a balloon using the 3D workspace built into photoshop. This turns your image into an actual 3-dimensional object.
33. Transparent Glass Text Effect
Creating transparent text that looks like glass is actually a super easy technique. This tutorial uses mostly layer styles and a little bit of blending for achieving the look.
34. Create Light Particles Around Your Image
In this tutorial, you will learn how to create magical light particles that you can add to any image to give it that fantasy feel. Add it around your model or everyday objects, like a book!
35. Rubber Stamp Effect
Learn how to create a simple rubber stamp effect on your images to create a nostalgic feel, or to make an envelope or letter look like it has actually been through the postal service. You will be surprised at how easy it is to create this look. Go ahead and make custom stamp images with any picture or symbol you like.
36. Make A 3D Anaglyph Image
An anaglyph image uses two different colors to trick the brain into thinking that it is seeing a 3D scene. You will need to use your old 3D glasses with red and blue lenses to see the finished results. So go ahead and have fun with this simple technique that actually works.
37. Create Realistic Tattoos
With this technique, you can make any graphics look like real tattoos that have been inked onto the skin. Use images of real tattooed skin as a reference and practice a little till you get it perfected.
38. Turn Photos Into Paintings
Photoshop has been used to make photos look like paintings ever since it came out. There are in fact built-in effects that offer various ‘artistic’ looks. However, I have found a different technique that requires a little more work but gives much better results. It is still very “beginners” friendly and just needs a bit of time and patience.
39. Add Rain to Photos
Adding realistic rain to photos can give them an entirely different look, especially if you’re going for a more moody atmosphere. With just a few basic filters and settings, you can easily achieve this look regardless of the actual weather when the photo was taken.
40. Make Realistic Embroidery Text
In this tutorial, you will learn how to create realistic-looking embroidery text inside photoshop. Embroidery is the art of creating text and designs on fabric using needle and thread. However, it’s also an easy look to recreate using some clever photoshop techniques.
41. Create A Mermaid
Of all the fantasy creatures out there, few capture the imagination like the mermaid. Here you can learn to take a female model and turn her into a mermaid without even going underwater. This project involves a bit of drawing and painting, but don’t worry, all it takes is a little bit of practice.
42. Make A Halftone Pattern
Halftone is a cool look that has been inherited from the world of print media. It is a really easy look to achieve with built-in effects doing most of the job for you. Use a good artwork for reference, and you will be making great halftone images easily.
43. Stopmotion Video
A lot of you may not know this, but Photoshop has a feature called timeline that can be used to create frame-by-frame animation, also called stop motion animation. This technique involves using photoshop to assemble an animation that has already been shot on camera, but it can also be used to create basic animations from scratch within photoshop.
44. Instagram-Like Photo Filter Action
You can recreate your favorite Instagram filters inside photoshop or create your own unique filters. You can turn the whole project into a photoshop action that automatically processes any image that you load into it by recording all the steps from the get-go.
45. Lens Flare Effect
Lens flare is one artifact that photographers and cinematographers will go to great lengths to create when shooting. But there are situations where a lens flare may not be practical, or the desired result is hard to achieve. You can easily add lens flares in Photoshop and make them look realistic by looking at a good reference image of a real lens flare that is close to the effect you are going for. Photoshop already has a lens flare option built-in, so the basic technique is really easy to grasp and is good for all levels, including beginners.
46. Add Drawings To Your Photos
This is a combination of illustration and photography that has been seen in a lot of commercial campaigns for various brands. You’ll need some drawing skills to produce good results, but you can also cheat it using vector illustrations and line drawings if you’re in a hurry.
47. Blurred Background
Ever since Photoshop CC, selectively blurring the background of an image has become easy. Of course, blurred backgrounds are best done in-camera using a shallow depth of field. However, there are practical reasons why this cannot always be done. So here’s how to achieve the look through photo manipulation.
48. Kaleidoscope Effect
The kaleidoscope effect has been around for a very long time, but it never seems to get old. It can be created in-camera using a special lens, but you can also easily create it in post using this easy technique. This is a good look for various creative campaigns for artists, music posters, and the like.
49. Sand/Dust/Powder Explosion Effect
This one has been popular for a while now, especially in the contemporary dance and music video industries. Creating an explosion of particles like sand, dust or powder can create powerful imagery, but it is difficult to get right. Plus, it might damage your camera if you’re not fully prepared. So getting the look in post is an easy compromise. It’s also a great effect on its own and can be modified to suit various situations.
50. Add A Sci-Fi Portal To Your Image
Sci-fi and fantasy movies always seem to have these glowing portals that transport characters to another world or bring them from another time or place into ours. This tutorial uses a few advanced techniques like using perspective lines to correctly align layers into a scene. But it’s not a complex project in itself and beginners can attempt it without worrying about getting overwhelmed. Just follow along and have fun!
51. Inception Effect
For the final entry on the list, let’s learn how to create the impossibly fractal world of inception where everything seems to fold into each other as reality itself bends and folds. It is a mind-bending look that can look amazing when done right.
This technique combines somewhat advanced drone photography using a specific progression of camera angles, with manual aligning and stitching of the resulting images to get that final look. It’s not for everyone and there are other ways of getting similar effects that do not involve a drone.
So there you have it, 51 creative things that you can do with Photoshop. This massive list was compiled to inspire photoshop artists and newbies alike. Just remember to take it slow and one step at a time, especially with the intermediate and complex techniques. If you like something, it is worth your while to practice and learn how to get it right. Always do your research to find more supporting material to enhance your learning. Also, using a proper real-world reference is always going to make your projects better and more believable if you are working on illusions.
As always, I would love to see what you do with these techniques, so feel free to share them in the comments below. You can also tag me on Instagram and I’ll be sure to check out your edits! I always welcome questions and feedback, so do not hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments or reach out to me on Instagram. I always aim to answer every question and comment I receive.