Handsome male model posing in nature

Free Photoshop Action Set: Mike Campau’s Looking Glass Effects

By Charles Purdy

We’re sharing an action set for Adobe Photoshop that you can download—for free—and use to create rectangular and circular glass-distortion effects in your images.

Image created by Nicolle Rodriguez, using our action set and an Adobe Stock photo. 

Mike Campau created a video that shows how to install and use the action. First, download the action set. Then watch Campau’s four-minute how-to video below (text instructions follow)—and scroll down to check out more example images created with Adobe Stock photos and the action set. 

We are giving this action away for free, for use in any commercial or personal projects; however, the action set itself is not to be re-distributed (except by directing people to this page for downloading). 

To install the action, first unzip the file you downloaded (get it here if you have not downloaded it yet). You’ll see that it is an action (.atn) file. Then go to Photoshop, open the Actions palette (Window > Actions), select Load Actions, and choose that file. There are two actions in the set—a circle one and a rectangle one.

To use one of the actions, the first thing you need to do is duplicate your background layer (the actions will not work on flat Photoshop files). Once you’ve done that, you can use either the Rectangle Marquee tool or the Elliptical Marquee tool to make a selection; then choose either the Square or Circle action (respectively) and click on the play icon. Voilà! When you use the Elliptical Marquee tool, hold shift down to make sure your shape is a perfect circle. (Note that this action may not work on some very low-resolution images; when too few pixels are selected, you will get an error message, even though the action might still work.)

Images created by Nicolle Rodriguez, using our action set and Adobe Stock photos. 

Image created by Mike Campau, using our action set.

Images created by Joel Robison, using our action set and Adobe Stock photos. 

If you share your image on Twitter or Instagram, be sure to tag it with #lookingglassaction so we can check it out!  

(We have made this action available for free, for all commercial or personal projects; however, the action set itself may not be distributed by parties other than Adobe Create.)