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Top 5 Photo Effects in 2021

Last Updated on Jun. 10, 2021 – by David Morgan
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Photo effects have become more complex, awe-inspiring, and popular each year. From tilt shift to black-and-white effects, lens flares, and more, it may surprise you to learn that you can transform your photos into unique works of art with just a few clicks. Whether you take pictures for personal enjoyment or have created a successful career as a professional content creator on social media, learning new and exciting photo-editor effects can take your photography to the next level.

You don't need years of photo-editing experience or masterful tech skills, either. This guide will break down the five best new photo effects and how to create them using a Photoshop alternative like Cyberlink's PhotoDirector. With a user-friendly editing interface and professional editing tools you can turn a snapshot into a masterpiece.

Ready to get started? Read on for a beginner's guide to the five best new photo effects in 2021.

Five Best New Photo Effects

1. Photo Animation

Each photo captures a single, frozen moment in your life. Photo animation can add the wonder and thrill of movement into every shot. Whether you want to show the crashing of ocean waves or a billowing dress blowing in the breeze, PhotoDirector makes animation easy.

To get started, upload or drag a photo into the editing interface. From there, navigate to the top left of your screen and click on the "Guided" button. Click on "Animation Effects" to reveal the drop-down menu, then select "Photo Animation." A new panel will open, revealing the Photo Animation toolbar. At the top of the menu, you'll see a straight arrow. Click the arrow, then click-and-drag to draw animation lines on the desired place of your photo. You can drag the lines up, down, or to the side, depending on the direction you would prefer your animation to move. You may also choose the curved arrow option for a slightly less-linear effect perfect for flowing hair or ocean waves. To delete an animation line, simply click on the line and select "delete."

Once you've created an animation pattern you love, de-select the "Show animation marks" under both the straight and rounded arrows to hide the animation lines. If you would only like parts of your photo to move, use the safety pins at the top of the menu to create anchor points in the image.

Finally, you can click on the snowflake image to create a freeze mask on the areas of your photo that you would like to remain still. You can increase or reduce the size of the mask then paint any parts you'd like to freeze.

2. Dispersion Effect

If you're a fan of comic book-style editing, then you'll love PhotoDirector's dispersion effect. Whether you're editing photos of skateboarders, brilliantly colored flowers, or a delicate butterfly, you can enhance your image with a dramatic finish. You can even animate the dispersion for a more impressive effect.

Once you've uploaded your photo, navigate to the "Guided" menu, then select "Animation Effects." In the drop-down menu click on "Dispersion Effect." Select the brush, then adjust the size to suit your image.

Start by painting the areas you would like to disperse before selecting the shape and type of dispersion you'd like. Change the direction, enhance the fade, and stretch the length of the dispersion. If you don't like your original selection, click "Modify the Region" to erase or broaden the area.

When you're happy with your animation, click the "Save As" button, then "New Video/Gif File." Select the file format you would like. Next, click "Produce" to save it to your device.

3. Sky Replacement

PhotoDirector's AI Sky Replacement tool makes it easy to edit, enhance, or replace the sky in your photo for an awe-inspiring result. You can transform a mediocre photo of a cloudy day at the beach into a jaw-dropping tropical display.

To get started, upload your photo to PhotoDirector. Next, select the "Guided" menu, and drop down to "Photo Effects." From there, click "Sky Replacement."

You'll see several options to automatically replace the sky in your photo, saving editing time and producing a stunning image in seconds. Select your favorite option for your photo—from cloudy blue skies to a deep purple evening sky, a cotton-candy-colored sunset, or a brilliant, softly lit dawn sky.

After you've selected the sky replacement of your choice, you can adjust your photo in the "Settings" menu below. Drag to enhance or minimize ambience and horizon levels. You can even adjust the position of the sun or the size of the sky by clicking on the photo and dragging or expanding the image.

For more advanced options, select the box next to "Apply Advanced Sky Settings." Here, you'll find more options to customize your image's color, exposure, and contrast. You can also use a paintbrush to fill in any areas of the sky that the replacement mask didn't cover.

4. Light Rays

Nothing is more beautiful than graceful, radiant beams of light in a photo, but it can be challenging to capture them without an expensive camera. Whether you've snapped a photograph of a nature scene or a sweet family moment at home, adding and enhancing light rays to your image is a breeze with PhotoDirector.

Simply upload your photo, then navigate to the "Guided" menu. Click "Photo Effects" and scroll to choose the "Light Rays Effect" option. A new panel will open, allowing you to choose between the addition of single-source light rays or directional light rays.

Single-source light rays allow you to add light rays beginning at a single point in the photo. The settings give you the option to adjust their length, intensity, color, and direction for a customized finish. If you would prefer to change the source of the light rays, you can click, hold, and drag the rays in the photo preview before finalizing your placement.

On the other hand, directional light rays create a distributed light effect, with rays beginning from a specific direction instead of a single source. Like the single source light rays, you can change settings such as color, direction, length, and more to capture your vision fully.

5. Glitch Effect

While you can use a free photo-effects app to create generic, widely used glitch effects for your photos, PhotoDirector allows you to control the glitch effect for a customized result that captures your creative vision. To get started, upload your photo into the editing interface. Next, navigate to the "Guided" menu.

There, select "Photo Effects" to reveal the drop-down menu options, then click on "Glitch Effect." Use the customizable settings and presets to adjust the effect, colors, or blend the images.

When you're happy with your creation, click "Save As" to export and save to your device.

Final Thoughts: Using the 5 Best New Photo Editing Effects

You'll be able to turn your photos into works of art using some of the exciting new photo-editing effects from PhotoDirector. While other software and editing apps may allow you to create similar effects, nothing compares to PhotoDirector's customizable and intuitive presets, advanced settings, and easy animation abilities. Create punchy glitch effects, stunning animation, soft light rays, and more to enhance your photos and inspire your friends, family, and followers.

Creating professional-quality photo effects may seem intimidating, but PhotoDirector's guided modules make it easy for beginners to download the software, upload their photos, and enhance images with dispersion or sky replacement. Capture ocean waves, billowing clouds, dancing friends, and more with simple, hand-drawn animation, or watch a brightly colored flower seemingly break apart into millions of pieces with the dispersion effect.

No matter your vision, you can capture it completely using PhotoDirector's photo-editing tools from CyberLink. From trendy photo effects to tried-and-true editing tricks, you can create professional-looking images without an expensive camera, software, and years of experience.

Click below to download PhotoDirector and enjoy pro-quality results today!

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