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In this tutorial we will combine two visual trends – low-poly and smoke bombs photography.
Low-poly is a term in 3D graphics. It is used to describe an object with low polygon (triangles) count. This has turned up into a design trend and is used in illustrations to transform an image to combination of triangles but in the same time preserves the objects’ outlines.
Smoke bombs add fun and unique aesthetic effect to the photography. For best results shoot outside (the woods are excellent choice) during the night and without wind. Different colored smoke bombs are freely sold on Amazon or if you prefer you and make them yourself. Don’t forget to bring water to extinguish the bombs. Protect the woods! 🌲

Azzy low-poly effect

Step: 1

After you’ve got the photo let’s start by applying effect-small-azzy Azzy to the whole image.

size of polygons and triangles

Step: 2

Use the advanced settings of the effect to select the right size and count of the polygons. You can see the original photo by tap and hold on the canvas. We advise you to use settings somewhere in the middle range because too large or small triangles might not look good. Deselect the “Follow form” setting – we want the polygons to be distributed evenly over the smoke.

masking tool

Step: 3

Now that we have decided on the polygons’ size comes the important part – isolating the smoke from the rest of the photo. We will do this with masking tool. To quickly erase the unwanted polygons use hard brush with large size. To fine tune the mask zoom in the canvas by pinching. Use hard brush to create sharp edges along the triangles outlines then use soft brush with low opacity to blend the polygons with the smoke.

PRO TIP Go back to the effect’s advanced settings and experiment with the blending modes. You can easily mix the soft smoke with the sharp polygons using Darken & Lighten.

Add a color filter

Step: 4

Add a color filter to enhance the whole image.

contrast and sharp

Step: 5

To fine tune your creations use contrast and sharp. We will use sharp 10 and contrast -5 to bring out the details in the man’s hoody.


Step: 6

To add texture to the whole area(not only to the unmasked smoke) tap “flat” in the lower right corner. Textures are part of the effect but we will give you a hint how to put texture without an effect 😃 Tap “Givete” and go to the advanced settings. Set W to 0 and H to 0. Voala! Now select the texture that you like best.

BONUS TIP After you have masked out the smoke you can go back and select different effect. Do not afraid to experiment and you will be pleasantly surprised. Boukey and Mislety effects are also suitable for the smoke:

Effect - Boukey

effect-small-boukey Boukey

Effect - Misleety

effect-small-azzy Misleety

Effect - Iott

effect-small-iott Iott

Check out examples of this technique in Instagram #lowpolysmoke.
Don’t forget to share and tag your artworks with #trigraphy & #lowpolysmoke.

Be curious and experiment with the settings!

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