How to create an extruded halftone effect in illustrator or photoshop

I saw this photo on Smashing Magazine:

Portrait of Alfred Nobel by Viktor Hertz

Portrait of Alfred Nobel by Viktor Hertz

And I was wondering how I can make a similar effect with the halftones extruding into 3D like it is shown. I don’t have access to Photoshop Extended, so was trying to create the effect in Illustrator with the 3D effect with no avail.

Anyone know how this is done?

Answers:

Thank you for visiting the Q&A section on Magenaut. Please note that all the answers may not help you solve the issue immediately. So please treat them as advisements. If you found the post helpful (or not), leave a comment & I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Method 1

Ok, so I figured out one way to do this effect.

I started with the original photo in Photoshop (I used the Wikimedia photo of Alan Turing)
Alan Turing

I then adjusted the contrast and levels to make the photo more dramatic for the halftoning effect later:
Adjusted Contrast

I added a Gaussian blur (about 5 pixels) to the photo and saved it to be placed into illustrator. Remember fo make the picture Greyscale so you only get one color halftone:
Gaussian Blur

Once in Illustrator, I added the color halftone effect (Filter > Pixelate > Color Halftone) to the photo with these settings:
Filter > Pixelate > Color Halftone

Halftone settings

Once I adjusted the settings to be what I wanted them to be, I had this image:
Halftone Effect

I went to the Image Trace menu (Object > Image Trace) and used these settings:
Image Trace Settings

The halftone is still a little off, but it’s because I wasn’t using a high resolution image, I think.

Once the image got expanded, I ungrouped it and then cleaned up the dots a little bit and had this to work with:

Expanded Image

I shrink this group to about a 10th of the size in the middle of the screen and then pasted a copy in the front (Ctrl + C, Ctrl + F)
Shrunk Image

I then resized the copy to be the original size and selected both of the groups in the layers panel:
Select both groups

I then went to the blend options (Object > Blend > Blend options)
Blend Options Selection

I would normally use a smooth color, but this always resulted in only 1 step being made, so instead, I used the specified steps option and put 200 steps for an attempted smooth color.
Blend Options

That gave me this after a few seconds for the processor to think
Blended groups

After that, I was able to convert the object colors back to CMYK or RGB and change the colors
Colors

With some more fooling around, I ended up with my final piece which I think resembles what I was going for nicely:
Final piece


All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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