Create Architecture with Pixel Stretching



In this tutorial, we will need an image that you wish to create the stretch pixel effect with.

I’m using a photo of Singapore skyscraper taken by archlover. Click here to view the original image.

All rights of these resources belong to their respective owners.


Step 1 – Setting Up Background:

Create a document with size 750×550 pixels.

Fill the background with #000000.


Step 2 – Create Reference Layer:

Open up the photo and drag it into the document. Name this layer as Reference.

Set the opacity of this image layer to 40%.

This layer is to be used as a reference when we are doing the following steps.


Step 3a – Stretch Vertically:

Select the Reference layer. Zoom in the image so it is easier to work with.

Using the Rectangular Marquee tool, make selection with 1 pixel height as shown in the diagram. Select only the part where you wish to stretch the colors.

Press Ctrl+C.


Step 3b – Stretch Vertically:

Hide the Reference layer by clicking on the Eye icon.

Press Ctrl+V. This will create a new layer with the row of pixels you have selected in Step 3a.

Go to Edit > Free Transform. Stretch the pixels downwards.


Step 3c – Stretch Vertically:

You may also select some smaller areas and stretch them further so there are more variations in the stretched items.


Step 4a – Stretch Horizontally:

Unhide the Reference layer by clicking on the Eye icon again.

Similar to Step 3a, select a column with 1 pixel width using the Rectangular Marquee tool.

Press Ctrl+C.


Step 4b – Stretch Horizontally:

Hide the Reference layer.

Press Ctrl+V.

Go to Edit > Free Transform. Stretch the pixels horizontally.


Step 4c – Stretch Horizontally:

Select part of the stretched pixels and go to Edit > Free Transform again.

This time we create some perspective to it. Go to Edit > Transform > Skew.

Move your cursor over the border of the Transform grid till you see a double-sided arrow. Left-click and drag your cursor downwards.


Step 5a – Create Architecture:

Zoom out to have an overview of the buildings you created so far.


Step 5b – Create Architecture:

With the same methods stated in Step 3 and 4, create the rest of the buildings as shown in the diagram.


Step 5c – Create Architecture:

You may adjust the opacity (around 30-60%) and overlap some of the buildings to create a better effect.


Step 6 – Cropping Objects:

Let us mix some cropped objects to the foreground.

Duplicate the original photo. Select the duplicated layer and create a Layer Mask on it.

Using Soft Brush tool with color #000000, paint the areas that you wish to hide on the Layer Mask. You may touch up on the mask by painting with white and black colors.


Step 7 – Adding Halftone Effects:

Download halftone graphics at Vecteezy here. Open up the file in Illustrator. Select one of the halftone effects and press Ctrl+C.

Back to Photoshop and press Ctrl+V. Select Paste as Smart Object. Resize the graphic to your desired size.

Right-click on the layer and choose Blending Options. Activate Color Overlay and choose the color you wish to replace with.



I added texts and some more halftone effects to the background.

This is a very simple tutorial that I hope will be useful to everyone reading it.

Click here to view the final image.

Below are the images that inspire me to write this tutorial 😀
Garbage designed by Jomino   Mitdarchitec_ure designed by Designers Republic

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18 Comments | Write a Comment

  1. colorsoft says:

    can anyone post similar designs or designs they have made relating to this archietecure pixel streching composition

  2. dosamantes says:

    i must agree: simple and the end result is very amazing.
    thanks for posting it!!

  3. Loay says:

    Well Done 🙂 .

  4. Krzycho_666 says:

    it looks like 8bit Commodore graphics ;P – I like it

  5. That’s really creative! Kudos to you!

  6. Johnson says:

    Sorry about it. Will improve along the way 😉

  7. Diego says:

    Terrible, i dont like the result

  8. Johnson says:

    Thanks Dainis! Haven’t seen you around for quite some time 😉 I have been checking out your site too

  9. pretty interesting tutorial, something unique..:)

  10. Yami says:

    Oh thanks ! I really like this site, your tutorials rocks !
    On my other post, by “veber’ i mean “never” ;]

  11. Johnson says:

    Thanks Evillord and Yami! You guys have been giving great supports!

  12. Yami says:

    I veber tought of using pixel stretch to make THIS ! I sure needs patience but the outcome turns out amazing ! Thanks !

  13. evilL0rd says:

    Gr8 job! Simple and easy to follow

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