How to Fragment in Photoshop

By Kevin Lee

Photoshop can fragment images, producing a variety of effects.
i Jupiterimages/ Images

Photoshop takes the difficulty out of creating eye-catching special effects for your business graphics by providing dozens of intriguing and useful filters with which to experiment. The Fragment filter, for example, is a pixilation filter that applies textures to an image by offsetting adjacent pixels. If your business graphics need a touch of high-quality creative blurriness, try out the Fragment filter on some of your images.

Launch Photoshop and open an image you want to fragment.

Press "Ctrl-A" to select the entire image and then click "Filter."

Click "Pixelate" to view a drop-down menu containing the list of Pixelate filters.

Click the "Fragment" filter and note how Photoshop fragments the image. The effect you see will vary, depending on the image you selected. You will probably see a more pronounced fragmentation effect in lower resolution images than you will in high-resolution images.


Create a different kind of fragmentation effect by applying the filter to part of an image. Do this by clicking one of the selection tools, such as the Lasso, and using it to draw a selection around the part of the image that you want to fragment. Apply the filter and note how it pixelates the selection. Use this technique to draw attention to one important object in a photo, such as a product, and pixelate the other parts of the picture using the Fragment filter.

Click "Image | Adjustments | Highlights/Shadows" to experiment with highlight and shadow adjustments. By dragging the "Shadows" slider left or right, you can alter the image's shadows and perhaps produce a more striking fragment effect. Combinations of different filters often produce unexpected but surprisingly creative special effects.