How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a color dust explosion effect on any photo.At the end of the tutorial, you’ll have an action which will automate the entire process with a single click.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

I’ll try to explain everythingin much detail so that everyone can follow along, even if this is your first time with Photoshop.

The action we’ll be creating is part of the Color Dust Photoshop Action. Feel free to gather more inspiration from the amazing Photoshop Actions on GraphicRiver. You can also check out the Animated Color Dust Photoshop Actionwhich will create an animated GIF from your image.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

The complete action has the following additional features:

  • Greater control over dust elements.
  • Three predefined background options.
  • Ten preset color looks and additional color adjustments.
  • Additional dust elements are also included.
  • Animated version contains options to generate animated GIF images with variable frame rates and sizes.

Here, we’ll only create the static color dust effect and apply the default color look.

Tutorial Assets

The following resources are needed for the tutorial:

1.How to Set Up Your Document

Step 1

First, open the photo on which you want to work. To open your photo, go toFile > Open, choose your photo, and clickOpen. Now, before we get started, we need to check a few things:

  1. Your photo should be inRGB Colormode and8 Bits/Channel. To check this, go toImage > Mode.
  2. Your photo should be theBackgroundlayer. If it is not, go toLayer > New > Background from Layer.
  3. Click the fly-out list of theLayerspanel and clickPanel Options….Make sure that both Use Default Masks on Fill Layers andAdd “copy” to Copied Layers and Groupsare checked.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

The effect works best with images of size2500–4000 px width. If your image is smaller, increase it by going toImage > Image Size. You can always reduce it to your original size after the effect has been applied.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

2.How to Load the Brushes

Step 1

Go toEdit > Presets > Preset Manager…In thePreset Managerwindow, selectPreset Type: Brushesand clickLoad…

Browse and select theColorDust Brushes.atnfile that came with the downloadable attachment. Then, clickDone.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Make sure bothOpacityandFloware set to100%.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

3.How to Make the Effect Area Layers

Add a New Layer above theBackgroundlayer. Name the new layersubject.

Now, make a Selection around your main subject. You can also choose theBrush Tool (B)and brush over your photo using a Hard Round Brush.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

4.How to Start Recording the Action

Step 1

Now, let’s start preparing the base for our action. We’ll put it in a separate set for easier management.

Go toWindow > Actionsor pressF9on the keyboard to open up theActionspanel. Then, click theCreate new seticon, name the setColorDust Photoshop Action, and clickOK. We’ll place the action inside this set.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Click theCreate new actionicon and name it Color Dust.

ClickRecordto start recording all the subsequent steps in Photoshop.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

From this point onwards, everything you do will be recorded, so please be careful and keep an eye on theActionspanel. If you make a mistake, click theStop playing/recordingicon, and Delete the unnecessary step from theColor Dustaction. Then click theBegin recordingicon again to continue.The last thing you’d want is to have a messy action filled with unwanted steps.

5.How to Create the Background

Step 1

Select theBackgroundlayer, and hide thesubjectlayer by toggling the eyeball icon off. Then, pressDon the keyboard to reset swatches.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Go toLayer > New Fill Layer > SolidColor… Name itBG Color, enter the hex color code#ffffff, and clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

PressControl-G to add the BG Color layer in a new Group. Then, go toLayer > Rename Group…and rename the groupColor Dust. We’ll add all our further layers into this group to keep everything organized.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Select thesubjectlayer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels. Then select theBackgroundlayer and pressControl-J to Copy the selection into a New Layer.

Create a New Layer, rename itBase Image, and drag it above theBG Colorlayer (inside the Color Dust group).

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

Create a New Layer and name it temp-sub.

Again, select thesubjectlayer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels. Go to Select > Modify > Smooth…, enter Sample Radius: 50 pixels and click OK.

Then, select the temp-sublayer and pressAlt-Deleteor to Fill the selection with theForeground Color.

Press Control-D to deselect the current selection.

Hide the temp-sub layer by toggling the eyeball icon off.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

6.How to Create the Emitter Guide Layers

Step 1

Select the Base Image layer. Create a New Layer and name it emitter-1.

Select thetemp-sublayer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theemitter-1layer. PressMon the keyboard to select theRectangular Marquee Tool. Then, right-click on the image and selectMake Work Path…. EnterTolerance: 3.0 pixelsand clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-emitter-1brush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

PressPon the keyboard to select thePen Tool.

Then, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Again, right-click on the image with thePen Tooland selectDelete Path.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Hide the emitter-1 layer by toggling the eyeball icon off.

Step 5

Create a New Layer and name itemitter-2.

Select thetemp-sublayer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theemitter-2layer and go to Select > Transform Selection.

KeepReference point locationatCenter, enterWidth: 50%,Height: 1%,and click theTickbutton on the top toolbar or pressEnter to confirm.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 6

PressMon the keyboard to select theRectangular Marquee Tool. Then, right-click on the image and selectMake Work Path…. EnterTolerance: 3.0 pixelsand clickOK.

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-emitter-2brush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 7

Now Stroke the path with the selected brush. Your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Hide theemitter-2layer by toggling the eyeball icon off.

Step 8

Create a New Layer and name itemitter-3.

Select thetemp-sublayer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theemitter-3layer and go toSelect > Transform Selection. KeepReference point locationatTop-Right, enterWidth: 40%,Height: 40%,and click theTickbutton on the top toolbar or pressEnter to confirm.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Again, go toSelect > Transform Selection.

KeepReference point locationatBottom-Left, enterWidth: 1%,Height: 1%,and click theTickbutton on the top toolbar or pressEnter to confirm.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 9

Make a path from the selection and Stroke it with the selected brush. Your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Hide theemitter-3layer by toggling the eyeball icon off.

Step 10

Create a New Layer and name itemitter-4.

Select thetemp-sublayer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theemitter-4layer and go toSelect > Transform Selection.

KeepReference point locationatBottom-Left, enterWidth: 30%,Height: 30%,and click theTickbutton on the top toolbar or pressEnter to confirm.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Again, go toSelect > Transform Selection.

KeepReference point locationatTop-Right, enterWidth: 1%,Height: 1%,and click theTickbutton on the top toolbar or pressEnter to confirm.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 11

Make a path from the selection and Stroke it with the selected brush. Your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Hide theemitter-4layer by toggling the eyeball icon off.

Step 12

Create a New Layer and name itemitter-5.

Select thetemp-sublayer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theemitter-5layer and go toSelect > Transform Selection.

KeepReference point locationatBottom-Right, enterWidth: 30%,Height: 30%,and click theTickbutton on the top toolbar or pressEnter to confirm.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Again, go toSelect > Transform Selection.

KeepReference point locationatTop-Left, enterWidth: 1%,Height: 1%,and click theTickbutton on the top toolbar or pressEnter to confirm.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 13

Make a path from the selection and Stroke it with the selected brush. Your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Hide theemitter-5layer by toggling the eyeball icon off.

Step 14

Create a New Layer and name itemitter-6.

Select thetemp-sublayer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theemitter-6layer and go toSelect > Transform Selection.

KeepReference point locationatTop-Left, enterWidth: 40%,Height: 40%,and click theTickbutton on the top toolbar or pressEnter to confirm.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Again, go toSelect > Transform Selection.

KeepReference point locationatBottom-Right, enterWidth: 1%,Height: 1%,and click theTickbutton on the top toolbar or pressEnter to confirm.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 15

Again, make a path from the selection and Stroke it with the selected brush. Your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Hide theemitter-6layer by toggling the eyeball icon off.

Step 16

Select the emitter-1 layer. Hold Shiftand select the emitter-6 layer. Press Control-J to Duplicate all selected layers.

Show the emitter-1 copy,emitter-2 copy,emitter-3 copy,emitter-4 copy,emitter-5 copyandemitter-6 copyby toggling the eyeball icons on.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 17

Press Control-E to Merge the selected layers. Go to Layer > Rename Layer… and rename itemitter-7.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Hide theemitter-7layer by toggling the eyeball icon off.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

7.How to Create the Background Color Dust

Step 1

Select the BG Color layer.

Go toLayer > New Fill Layer > SolidColor…. Name itBG Fill Dust 1, enter the hex color code#000000,and clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Delete.

Again, go toLayer > Layer Mask > Hide All.

Now, go toLayer > Layer Mask > Unlink.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-4cbrush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Select the emitter-7 layer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

Select the BG Fill Dust 1layer icon. Then, select the layer mask (this is to make sure that the layer mask is always selected at this step).

Press Don the keyboard to reset swatches. Make sure your Foreground Color is white while the layer mask is selected.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 6

PressMon the keyboard to select theRectangular Marquee Tool. Then, right-click on the image and selectMake Work Path…. EnterTolerance: 3.0 pixelsand clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 7

PressPon the keyboard to select thePen Tool.

Then, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Again, right-click on the image with thePen Tooland selectDelete Path.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 8

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 9

Go toLayer > New Fill Layer > SolidColor…. Name itBG Fill Dust 2, enter the hex color code#000000,and clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 10

Repeat Step 2 for the BG Fill Dust 2 layer.

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-3dbrush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 11

Select theemitter-7layer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theBG Fill Dust 2layer icon. Then, select the layer mask(this is to make sure that the layer mask is always selected at this step).

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 12

Then make a path from the selection and Stroke the path with the selected brush.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 13

Go toLayer > New Fill Layer > SolidColor…. Name itBG Dust 1, enter the hex colourcode#00ce7e,and clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 14

RepeatStep 2for theBG Dust 1layer.

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-1brush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 15

Select theemitter-1layer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theBG Dust 1layer icon. Then, select the layer mask(this is to make sure that the layer mask is always selected at this step).

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 16

Then make a path from the selection and Stroke the path with the selected brush.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 17

Go toLayer > New Fill Layer > SolidColor…. Name itBG Dust 1 Col 2, enter the hex colourcode#0db9ea,and clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 18

RepeatStep 2for theBG Dust 1 Col 2layer.

Go to Layer > Create Clipping Mask to add the BG Dust 1 Col 2 layer as a Clipping Mask to the BG Dust 1 layer.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 19

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-4cbrush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

Select theemitter-7layer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theBG Dust 1 Col 2layer icon. Then, select the layer mask(this is to make sure that the layer mask is always selected at this step).

Just like before, make a path from the selection and Stroke the path with the selected brush.

Press Control-I to Invert the layer mask color.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 20

Go toLayer > New Fill Layer > SolidColor…. Name itBG Dust 2, enter the hex color code#ef16a5,and clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 21

RepeatStep 2for theBG Dust 2layer.

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-2brush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 22

Select theemitter-3layer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theBG Dust 2layer icon. Then, select the layer mask(this is to make sure that the layer mask is always selected at this step).

Then make a path from the selection and Stroke the path with the selected brush.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 23

Go toLayer > New Fill Layer > SolidColor…. Name itBG Dust 3, enter the hex color code#ffea5a,and clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 24

RepeatStep 2for theBG Dust 3layer.

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-4abrush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 25

Select theemitter-3layer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theBG Dust 3layer icon. Then, select the layer mask(this is to make sure that the layer mask is always selected at this step).

Then, make a path from the current selection. PressPon the keyboard to select thePen Tool.

Then, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Again, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 26

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-3dbrush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

PressPon the keyboard to select thePen Tool.

Then, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Again, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Again, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Now, right-click on the image with thePen Tooland selectDelete Path.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 27

Select theemitter-4layer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theBG Dust 3layer icon. Then, select the layer mask(this is to make sure that the layer mask is always selected at this step).

Then make a path from the current selection. PressPon the keyboard to select thePen Tool.

Then, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Again, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 28

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-4abrush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

PressPon the keyboard to select thePen Tool.

Then, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Again, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Again, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Now, right-click on the image with thePen Tooland selectDelete Path.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 29

Go toLayer > New Fill Layer > SolidColor…. Name itBG Dust 4, enter the hex color code#0df0ed,and clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 30

RepeatStep 2for theBG Dust 4layer.

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-3cbrush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 31

Select theemitter-5layer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theBG Dust 4layer icon. Then, select the layer mask(this is to make sure that the layer mask is always selected at this step).

Then make a path from the selection and Stroke the path with the selected brush.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 32

Go toLayer > New Fill Layer > SolidColor…. Name itBG Dust 5, enter the hex colourcode#eb18a8,and clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 33

RepeatStep 2for theBG Dust 5layer.

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-4abrush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

Select theemitter-2layer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theBG Dust 5layer icon. Then, select the layer mask(this is to make sure that the layer mask is always selected at this step).

Then make a path from the selection and Stroke the path with the selected brush.

Change the Blending Mode of the layer to Darken.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 34

Go toLayer > New Fill Layer > SolidColor…. Name itBG Dust 6, enter the hex color code#0db9ea,and clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 35

RepeatStep 2for theBG Dust 6layer.

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-3abrush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

Select theemitter-4layer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theBG Dust 6layer icon. Then, select the layer mask(this is to make sure that the layer mask is always selected at this step).

Then make a path from the selection and Stroke the path with the selected brush.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 36

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-3bbrush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

Select theemitter-6layer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theBG Dust 6layer icon. Then, select the layer mask(this is to make sure that the layer mask is always selected at this step).

Then make a path from the selection and Stroke the path with the selected brush.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Your BG Dust layers should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

8.How to Create the Overlay Color Dust

Step 1

Select theBase Imagelayer.

Go toLayer > New Fill Layer > SolidColor…. Name itOL Dust 1, enter the hex color code#00ce7e,and clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Go toLayer > Layer Mask > Delete.

Again, go toLayer > Layer Mask > Hide All.

Now, go toLayer > Layer Mask > Unlink.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-4bbrush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Select thetemp-sublayer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

Select the OLDust 1layer icon. Then, select the layer mask(this is to make sure that the layer mask is always selected at this step).

PressDon the keyboard to reset swatches. Make sure your Foreground Color is white while the layer mask is selected.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 6

PressMon the keyboard to select theRectangular Marquee Tool. Then, right-click on the image and selectMake Work Path…. EnterTolerance: 3.0 pixelsand clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 7

PressPon the keyboard to select thePen Tool.

Then, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Again, right-click on the image with thePen Tooland selectDelete Path.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 8

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 9

Go toLayer > New Fill Layer > SolidColor…. Name itOL Dust 2, enter the hex color code#eb18a8,and clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 10

RepeatStep 2for theOL Dust 2layer.

Select theemitter-5layer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theOL Dust 2layer icon. Then, select the layer mask(this is to make sure that the layer mask is always selected at this step).

Then make a path from the selection and Stroke the path with the selected brush.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 11

Go toLayer > New Fill Layer > SolidColor…. Name itOL Dust 3, enter the hex color code#0db9ea,and clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 12

RepeatStep 2for theOL Dust 3layer.

Select theemitter-4layer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theOL Dust 3layer icon. Then, select the layer mask(this is to make sure that the layer mask is always selected at this step).

Then make a path from the selection and Stroke the path with the selected brush.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 13

Go toLayer > New Fill Layer > SolidColor…. Name itOL Dust 4, enter the hex colourcode#ffea5a,and clickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 14

RepeatStep 2for theOL Dust 4layer.

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-5brush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 15

Select theemitter-7layer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

Select theOL Dust 4layer icon. Then, select the layer mask(this is to make sure that the layer mask is always selected at this step).

Then make a path from the current selection.

PressPon the keyboard to select thePen Tool.

Then, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Again, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Now, right-click on the image with thePen Tooland selectDelete Path.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Your layers structure should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

9.How to Make Image Adjustments

Step 1

Select the Base Image layer and press Control-J to Duplicate it.

Go to Layer > Rename Layer… and rename itOverlay Image. Change theBlending Mode of the Overlay Image layer to Luminosity.

Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All. Select the Base Image layer and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Select theemitter-7layer, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and selectSelect Pixels.

PressBon the keyboard to select theBrush Tool. Expand the brush selector drop-down menu and select thebr-color-dust-3ebrush.Make sure both theOpacityandFloware set to100%.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

PressMon the keyboard to select theRectangular Marquee Tool. Then, right-click on the image and selectMake Work Path…. EnterTolerance: 3.0 pixelsand clickOK.

Select the layer thumbnail of the Base Imagelayer and then select its Layer Mask. This is to make sure that the layer mask always gets selected at this point.

Press D on the keyboard to reset swatches. Then, press X on the keyboard to switch swatches and set your Foreground Color as Black.

PressPon the keyboard to select thePen Tool.

Then, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Again, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Again, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Now, your image should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Select the layer thumbnail of theOverlay Imagelayer and then select its layer mask. This is to make sure that the layer mask always gets selected at this point.

PressDon the keyboard to reset swatches and set yourForeground ColorasWhite.

PressPon the keyboard to select thePen Tool.

Then, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Again, right-click on the image and selectStroke Path…. Make sureSimulate Pressureis not checked. ClickOK.

Now, right-click on the image and select Delete Path.

Your image and layers structure should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe PhotoshopHow to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

10.How to Make Additional Adjustments

Step 1

Select the OL Dust 4 layer.

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels… and name itOverall Levels.

Enter the following input levels – Shadow input level: 20 and Highlight input level: 245.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Go toLayer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves…and name itOverall Curves.

Select the Blue channel and enter the following values.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Now, your image and layers structure should look like below.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe PhotoshopHow to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

11.How to Tidy Up Your Groups

In the next steps, we’ll organize the layers into logical groups and color code them for ease of use.

Step 1

Select thetemp-sublayer. Hold Shiftand select the emitter-1 layer.

PressDeleteon the keyboard to delete all eight selected layers.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Select theOverall Levelslayer, holdShiftand select theOverall Curveslayer.

PressControl-G to Group the layers. Go toLayer > Rename Group…and rename it asOverall Adjustments.

Right-click on theOverall Adjustmentsgroup and selectSlot Color: Gray.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

Select theOL Dust 4layer, holdShiftand select theOL Dust 1layer.

PressControl-G to Group the layers. Go toLayer > Rename Group…and rename it asOverlay Dust Elements.

Right-click on theOverlay Dust Elementsgroup and selectSlot Color: Yellow.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Select theOverlay Imagelayer, holdShiftand select theBase Imagelayer.

PressControl-G to Group the layers. Go toLayer > Rename Group…and rename it as ImageElements.

Right-click on theImageElementsgroup and selectSlot Color: Blue.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

Select theBG Dust 6layer, holdShiftand select theBG Dust 1layer.

PressControl-G to Group the layers. Go toLayer > Rename Group…and rename itBG Dust Elements.

Right-click on theBG Dust Elementsgroup and selectSlot Color: Red.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 6

Select theBG Fill Dust 2layer, holdShiftand select theBG Colorlayer.

PressControl-G to Group the layers. Go toLayer > Rename Group…and rename itBG Elements.

Right-click on theBG Elementsgroup and selectSlot Color: Green.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

12. How to Finish Recording the Action

Stop recording by clicking theStop button.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

13. How to Customize Your Result

Now, I’ll show you how to change the color of the dust elements.

Step 1

Double-click on the BG Colorlayer thumbnail and enter the hex color code#000000. ClickOK.

Double-click on theBG Fill Dust 1layer thumbnail and enter the hex color code#ffffff.ClickOK.

Double-click on the BG Fill Dust 2layer thumbnail and enter the hex color code#ffffff.ClickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Double-click on theBG Dust 1layer thumbnail and enter the hex color code#000000.ClickOK.

Double-click on the BG Dust 1 Col 2layer thumbnail and enter the hex color code#436c78.ClickOK.

Double-click on theBG Dust 2layer thumbnail and enter the hex color code#38b2ff.ClickOK.

Double-click on theBG Dust 3layer thumbnail and enter the hex color code#ffea5a.ClickOK.

Double-click on theBG Dust 4layer thumbnail and enter the hex color code#49b0ff.ClickOK.

Double-click on theBG Dust 5layer thumbnail and enter the hex color code#eb18a8.ClickOK.

Double-click on theBG Dust 6layer thumbnail and enter the hex color code#ffffff.ClickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

Double-click on theOL Dust 1layer thumbnail and enter the hex color code#ffffff.ClickOK.

Double-click on theOL Dust 2layer thumbnail and enter the hex color code#eb18a8.ClickOK.

Double-click on theOL Dust 3layer thumbnail and enter the hex color code#ffffff.ClickOK.

Double-click on theOL Dust 4layer thumbnail and enter the hex color code#ffea5a.ClickOK.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

This is what we’ll get.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop

Feel free to experiment with different colors. You can also select the Layer mask of any color dust layer and press Control-T to bring up the Free Transform tool. Then, you can resize and rotate the elements.

Awesome, You’ve Done It!

Here is your final result!

You can now apply the effect onto any other image. Open the image, selectColor Dust Photoshop Action, and clickPlayfrom theActionspanel.

Things to remember before playing the action:

  • Make sure that you have installed theBrush.
  • Make sure that theBrush OpacityandFloware set to100%, like step2 – How to Load the Brushes.
  • Make sure you have created thesubjectlayer, made a selection of your main subject and filled it with any color, just likeStep 1of3 – How to Make the Effect Area Layers.
  • Make sure the width of the image is set between 2500-4000 pixels, likeStep 2of1 – How to Set Up Your Document.
  • Make sureUse Default Masks on Fill LayersandAdd “copy” to Copied Layers and Groupsare checked under Panel Options…, likeStep 1of1 – How to Set Up Your Document.

We have reached the end of the tutorial. Here you’ve learned how to add a color dust explosion effect on any photo and also automate it in a one-click Photoshop action.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful. Feel free to leave your comments below, and thanks for reading.

How to Create a Color Dust Action in Adobe Photoshop