Pointillize Filter in Photoshop Tutorial

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By Andrew Buckle, Updated : 2021

Photoshop Pointillize filter, a powerful dot / grain / abstract design creation tool. How to use it with layers, how to use with shapes, tiles, channels and more. Combine it in 1000s of ways.

** Youtube video tutorial on how to use the awesome Pointillize filter effect in Photoshop to create all kinds of amazing pixel effects such as grains and color dot designs and more ** pointillize filter effect in Photoshop

1. Where is the Pointillize filter in Photoshop

The Pointillize filter can be found in the filter menu and Pixelate category.

pointillize filter menu command in the pixelate category

2. Pointillize filter settings

There is only one setting and that is cell size. Keep it low for a grain like effect or set it to the max for chunky color dots based on the color in the image.

pointillize filter menu command in the pixelate category

The Pointillize filter also uses the background color as the background color behind the dots. You can change the background color to black or white or green etc via the toolbar and background color and then the Pointillize image will end up lighter or darker or greener or black etc.

pointillize filter black background via the toolbar

3. Multiple applies of the Pointillize filter

You can apply the filter multiple times.

4. Fade Pointillize filter

You can also fade the Photoshop Pointillize filter effect via the edit menu and fade command and opacity / blending modes can be added

5. Use the filter with layers in Photoshop and combine with blending etc

You can also use the Pointillize filter with layers as well as with smart objects and you can blend the layers with blending modes etc. You can also combine the Pointillize effect with other filters.

6. Selections and the Pointillize filter

You can also use the effect with selections, you can use the rectangular marquee etc as well as selection tools via the select menu such as color range. You can then use the selections as a great source of transparency which can be used with layer styles etc to add bevels as well as drop shadows and more

7. Pointillize filter with patterns

The Pointillize filter in Photoshop can also be used with view menu and pattern preview even though the pattern preview will show an error.

8. Combine the Pointillize filter with other filters

You can apply the filters such as the twirl filter and then the Pointillize to create an interesting twirl dot effect. You can also apply the filters the other way around with the Pointillize first followed by twirl filter or the maximum filter or glass etc

9. Pointillize with actions

The filter can also be recorded. Select an image and then go to the window menu and actions and then go to the record button on the panel and record the steps of the Pointillize filter along with other filters such as the cutout filter etc and then stop the recording. This action can then be played back at any time. You can create all kinds of amazing effects with the feature especially combined with maximum filter as well as oil paint etc such as creating abstract and swirly flowing designs

9. Use with shapes

You can select any shape and turn the design into a smart filter and then use the Pointillize filter on that or if you wish, you can use the layer menu and rasterize on the shape (any shape) and then apply the effect