Everyone loves playing with Lego bricks as a kid. Who doesn’t? They are a great reminder of how creative and imaginative you can be when you can build practically anything you fancy! In this tutorial, you’ll learn the techniques to create a fun Lego-inspired effect that you can apply to any portrait or photo! Plus, it’s pretty simple so let’s get started!

Software: Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended
Difficulty: Intermediate
Completion Time: 1 hours

Images Used For This Tutorial





Portrait of stylish handsome man with camera: 24038197 © konstantyno

Setup the Photo
Step 1
Open the picture you would like to use in Photoshop. Make sure it’s a portrait shot with very clear details of your subject. Then go to Image > Adjustments > Photo Filter and select the Cooling Filter (LBB) to add more blue tones to the image. Control-J to create a duplicate of the original layer as a backup copy.

LegoPortrait1Step 2
Select the duplicated layer. Next go to Filter > Pixelate > Mosaic and create a mosaic with a Cell Size of 20 Squares.

LegoPortrait2Create the Lego Pattern
Step 3
Create a new document with the same width and height as the mosaic cell size (20×20 pixels). Zoom all the way in so you have a clear shot of the square. Fill the background layer with gray, then use the Ellipse Tool (U) to create a white circle in the center.

LegoPortrait3Step 4
Now we’re going to bevel the circle to create the official lego shape. First, right-click the circle layer and go to Blending Options. Bring down the Fill Opacity to 0% to take away the white section of the circle.

LegoPortrait4aSet a checkmark next to Bevel and Emboss. Make sure the Style is set to Inner Bevel, and the Technique set to Smooth with a size of 1 pixel. Then add a Drop Shadow with an Opacity of 50% and a size of 4 pixels.

LegoPortrait4bStep 5
Finish off the lego brick by adding a bevel to the gray square. Right-click the gray layer and go to Blending Options. Set a checkmark next to Bevel and Emboss with the following settings: Style set to Inner Bevel, Technique set to Chisel Hard, Depth set to 100%, and Size and Soften set to 0 pixels.

LegoPortrait5Step 6
Create a pattern of this lego brick by going to Edit > Define Pattern and name the new pattern LEGO.

LegoPortrait6Finish the Lego Effect
Step 7
Go back to your photo with the mosaic effect. Add a new layer. Fill it with white and set the layer to Darken. The original photo will show through once you apply this blend mode.

LegoPortrait7Step 8
Now we will use this layer to apply our lego pattern. Right-click the white layer and go to Blending Options. Set a checkmark next to Pattern Overlay and select the lego pattern we created.

LegoPortrait8Step 9
With Blending Options still open, set the Blend Mode of the lego pattern to Overlay.

LegoPortrait9finalThis last step completes this fun effect. By creating our own pattern and working with blend modes, you can create your own lego portrait too! Try this technique out for a cool profile photo and show all your friends what you’ve learned! Good luck!