I am looking for a site to ask how a certain effect on an existing image may have been created.

I want to create a program that recreates the effect and need to understand the different steps (like "first blur the image, then pixelate it, then ..."), that achieve something similar as in the image that I try to analyze.

This means something like "Photoshop filter X does all the 100 steps" would not help and I do not need concrete advise about a given graphics program, but an analysis what filters I am actually seeing and then I'll create the needed steps myself when I understood what steps are needed.

Is this site appropriate to ask for help?

  • 1
    I haven't seen your question yet, but it might fit better on Computer Graphics. But there are many people here who knows a lot about creating effects in Photoshop. So maybe you actually have to split your search in two: First find out which effects have been applied and how to replicate in Photoshop, secondly find out how to code something similar. But be aware that although some effects use well-known algorithms, others might use proprietary code.
    – Wolff
    May 9, 2020 at 13:42

1 Answer 1


I will here answer only with respect to whether your question could be suited for this site. I separately answered your Meta SE question on what other sites could entertain your question. Either way, the biggest problem with directing you to the right place is that we have only a very vague idea what your effect does.

I think this is generally on-topic. As graphic designers have expertise with choosing and applying such effects, they would naturally have acquired some experience in identifying effects as well. I would wager that we are even more happy about a general question to identify an effect than one that asks for meticulous steps to reproduce it in a given program.


  • In your Meta SE question, you speak of an animated effect. Depending on what kind of animation we are talking about and how relevant the animated part is, video producers may be better at this.

  • If it is a combination of hundreds of effects, it may be impossible to divine what happened to the original image.

  • We may be good in determining the kind of effect, but not necessarily the parameters. If trial and error doesn’t generate satisfactory results, this may be something for Reverse Engineering SE.

  • We are only good at effects that are normally used for design purposes.

One thing you should definitely do before asking here is to split your problem into smaller ones as far as reasonably possible and ask about them separately. Still, describe your motivation as far as possible, to avoid an XY problem.

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