Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Swirling Twirling Fun

Today's image is a fun technique. It has been around for awhile, but I have recently started playing with it, and it is really fun and easy.

You can start with any image. It really doesn't matter because the end result is COMPLETELY different from where you started. Here is the image I started with.
You never know how the colors or shapes are going to turn out, and that is part of the fun. This technique works best in Photoshop. It takes just a few steps to create a unique abstract work of art. Here are the basic steps, but feel free to experiment once you have done the basics.
Ready? Here is all you do.

1.  Open an image in Photoshop

2. Go to Filter > Pixelate > Mezzotint. Make sure the Mode is set to "Medium Lines." Click OK.

3. Now go to Filter > Blur > Radial Blur. Amount 100, Blur Method "zoom," Quality "best." Click OK.

4. Repeat the Radial Blur step above as many times as you like. I have been doing it 3 times.

5. Now, make a duplicate layer of the Background Layer. The keyboard shortcut on a Mac is to press and hold the Command key and then press the letter "J." On a PC press and hold the Control key and then press the letter "J." This duplicate layer will most likely be automatically named "Layer 1."

6. Now that you have 2 identical layers, click on the original Background layer in your Layers Palette. Go to Filter > Distort > Twirl. In the Angle number box, enter a positive number anywhere between about 80 to 200. You can also set the number by sliding the pointer to the right to obtain the positive number of your choosing. Click OK. (You will not see the effect of what you have just done unless you turn off the "eyeball" in the Layers Palette of the duplicate layer above this layer.)

7. Now click on the duplicate layer (Layer 1) that you made a few moments ago. Go to  Filter > Distort > Twirl. In the Angle number box, enter a negative number similar to the positive number you entered for the Background layer. You can also set the number by sliding the pointer to the left to obtain the negative number of your choosing. Click OK.

8. With the duplicate layer still selected, you will now change the Blending Mode. This is a very powerful tool and you will be excited to see the results. To activate Blending Mode. look for the word "Normal" in the Layers Palette a little above your duplicate layer (Layer1). Click on the tiny arrow next to "Normal" and a drop down box will appear. Click on each option in the drop down box one at a time and watch the magic happen! Choose the Blending Mode that appeals to you most. One Blending Mode might be best for the image you are working on now, but another one might better for other images in the future. Be creative and choose the one that you like best with each particular image.

9. When you have found and selected the Blending Mode you like best, you can either flatten the image and be done, OR you can continue to experiment and play by rotating one layer or the other to see what effects occur. You can also experiment with flipping one layer or the other and using Blending Mode again to see what happens.

10. For finishing touches, you can saturate the colors more, crop, convert to black and white, or whatever you feel each image needs.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "The true method of knowledge is experiment."  --William Blake

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