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This is the piece of paper we will tear.  Make sure that the object you want to rip is on its OWN LAYER, separate from the background..  Keep in mind you can do this with pretty much any material.  I used this well known technique to make my VINE interface look ripped.
Now, we need to make a selection of the area we want to rip.  There are a number of ways to do this.  Personally I do the way in the picture.  You need to select the NEGATIVE of what you want ripped.  So since I want the bottom right corner ripped I selected everything BUT the bottom-right corner and of course I made a jagged edge at the corner I wanted ripped.

Note:  Another way is to select exactly what you want ripped and then go to SELECT>INVERSE  which will select a negative of what you want ripped.

Next select the layer with the object you wish to rip and click ADD LAYER MASK at the bottom of the layers window.

Your layers palette will look like the one below yet your paper will look like the paper to the left.

Ok, now this looks all fine and dandy, but not very real.  So what we do now is simple and requires SOME artistic ability.
Zoom in on the torn area click on the SMUDGE TOOL and select a brush size of 2-3 pixels (I used 3) and start smudging the torn area, not too many with this big brush though!

Note:  Be crazy here, you need to make this look random.  Yet keep the smears SHORT!  I exaggerated on mine to prove a point.

 Next select a one pixel brush and do the same thing, but to more of the edge because these are the smaller paper fibers.
So, you can stop here or what I usually do is FILTER>BLUR>GAUSSIAN BLUE it by 0.3  It gives it a realistic ripped effect.
It turns out great, and its the easiest ripping tutorial you will ever see.


Note:  Remember this effect can be applied to anything!  I used it for my vines, you could use it for cloth, cardboard or even wood textures!
With wood you will want it to look splintery, so don't use as many smear strokes.




Last Updated on Sunday, February 26, 2006 11:58:29 PM Pacific Standard Time
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Organic Tragedy Est. 01.05.2003
Previously Shatter Designs Est. 4.14. 2000  
Previously Hot Ice Graphics and Design Est. 1996