Sunday, 8 July 2007

Photoshop Tutorial #2: Polar Coordinates

This tutorial will help you make your macro photos more interesting.

Using the simple Polar Coordinates tool in Photoshop you can make an ordinary photo look a bit more exciting. Below I have used the tool on one of my photos.



You can use the Polar Coordinates tool by going to Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates... but for best results you'll need to do some work before this.

I think the tool only works well if you have a symmetrical photo so you can follow the instructions below to make one.

First of all open your photo - any photo will do but I prefer using macro shots (mostly flowers). Press M on your keyboard to select the Rectangular Marquee Tool. Now drag a box trying to get it exactly half the width of your photo. In other words drag the box from the top left of your screen to the bottom centre. Your screen should look like the image below.



Now right click on the selected area (with the Rectangular Marquee Tool still selected) and click on 'Layer Via Copy'. Next go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Press V on your keyboard to select the Move Tool and drag the symmetrical copy to the right side of your screen. Move it around until you are happy that it looks completely symmetrical.

Once you have finished press Ctrl+E to flatten your photo. Now, as above, go to Filters > Distort > Polar Coordinates and, with Rectangular to Polar selected, click OK.

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