How to add a broken glass effect to your photos in Photoshop.

Photoshop features to shatter your images.

Cracking ice, shattering mirrors, jagged shards — adding a broken glass effect to your image can heighten the drama, create a sense of action, and draw a viewer in. Learn how to design realistic photo effects with Adobe Photoshop that will make anyone do a double take.

3 Photoshop features to crack open your photos.

As with all creative editing techniques, there’s no one way to design a broken glass effect. How you do it is up to you, your vision, your creativity, and your comfort level with editing tools. However, if you’re looking for somewhere to start, try playing around with some of these Photoshop capabilities:

  • Preset images. You can find any number of shatter effects out there. Simply download one that will work well for your photo. Then create a new layer, select Brush, and fill in the areas where you want the shatter texture to apply.
  • Displace filter. The Displace filter (Filter > Distort > Displace) uses a displacement map to help you map texture onto two-dimensional objects. This is a perfect feature if you want your actual image to look shattered, as it can distort the details to create that effect.
  • Blend modes and layer masks. Both Blend modes and layer masks can help you add more dimension to your shattered image. With layer masks, you can hide specific parts of a layer while allowing other areas to show. Blend modes and layer masks can be used on the same layer as you create and refine your effect.

Get creative and go wild.

Whether you’re adding a shattered glass background or making the image itself look broken, discover additional creative editing tips and learn more about how Photoshop can help bring those ideas to life.