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Demystifying the Photoshop Filter Menu

Lesson 7 of 11

Distort Filters

 

Demystifying the Photoshop Filter Menu

Lesson 7 of 11

Distort Filters

 

Lesson Info

Distort Filters

All right, Filter, Distort. And speaking of weird stuff, Displace probably ranks up there with one of the top-two weirdest ones. All right, I am gonna walk, you guys, I am gonna walk you through a mind-numbing, sleep-inducing way to make a reflection. But it actually works pretty good. But it is mind-numbingly, sleepy-inducing. So here is a composite I was working on. If you look here, there's the background there. So what I did is, I'll hide everything else, I made a selection of this top area and I flipped it. And I put it right below. So it's basically just taking the layer, flipping it, and just moving it, nudging it down, so comes down here, okay? So we are gonna go. The way Displace works is you have to create what's called a displacement map. Kinda like, remember that little white and black map that we made for lens corrections? So a displacement map has white and black. It can have even have colors on it, and it tells Photoshop ways, remember, we're in the Distort menu, it tell...

s Photoshop ways to distort your photo based on what's white and black and all that stuff. So are you ready for the mind-numbing part of this? Don't ask me where I learned this from. Don't ask me how. This is something I learned years, and years, and years ago, and it's just stuck. I'm gonna fill my background with black. Actually, I don't even need an image that big. I'm gonna fill my background with black, and I'm gonna add Noise to it. We haven't been in the Noise filter yet, but we will. So I'm gonna add Noise to it, crank it up, monochromatic. I only want it to be black and white. Click OK. So now I got a really noisy image. We are then gonna blur that image. I'll just use Gaussian Blur. Remember how I said sometimes you just use stuff because that's what you always used? Even though I know other blurs do it, Gaussian Blur is the way I always did this technique. And I use about a pixel to two pixels. I'll just go right in the middle there, one-and-a-half pixels. You see it blurs my noise. Okay? So we got black, we got noise, and now we blurred it. We haven't even gotten to the mind-numbing part. (laughing) So now I go, and I'm gonna go down here to Filter, Stylize, Emboss. All right, I'm gonna do 180 as the angle. And you see here, it creates this weird... I don't even know what you can call it. It's like a texture. So we click OK. And then we run that filter again. Filter, Stylize, Emboss, and this time we use 90. And what we're doing is we are making contrast around these little edges. It's essentially, if you look at what Emboss does, Emboss picks things up and sets things in to give it the sense of depth with highlight and shadow. So by hitting it with two different angles, we're actually just defining that a little bit. It's about as much as I know about what it does. So we'll click OK, same settings, good. Now here's where it gets weird. You're thinking, "It's just getting weird now?" Think of the way ripples work. As you stand there and you look at it, it's usually wider and then things condense off into the distance. If I just used this as my displacement map, it would never work. So you will have to Command or Control + Minus. Click yourself until your image is the tiniest of tiniest postage-stamp sizes. You can't even see it, can you? Go into Free Transform, and you are gonna Control-click on the bottom left point and drag it way the heck over. And then you're gonna go over here, and you're gonna drag it way the heck over. See that? And then you're gonna even zoom out further, and you're gonna drag it so far, you have no idea what's going on here. Hit Enter or Return, zoom back in with Control or Command + Minus, and that's what we get. I told you it was convoluted. I didn't invent it. It's just convoluted. So this is now our displacement map. Okay? If you're not asleep yet, (laughing) there's one last little thing that we have to do. And that is Select, All, and do Image, Crop. If I tried to save that file without cropping it to the edges there, Photoshop still thinks there's all this stuff out there. It would be a four-gigabyte file. So it's because we did that, it thinks that stuff is inside of there. And so until we Select, All, and then Crop, now if I actually go back into this, and I try to move it in its boundaries, you're gonna see there's nothing else out there. But before I did that, I could have kept dragging, and dragging, and dragging. All right, so now we go ahead. You have to save this as a PSD. I'm asleep, save it onto my desktop. We will go back to my little ripples, or my little fake reflection here. You will go Distort, Displace, just leave the default settings, click OK, and then you pick your little displacement map. And then you get this ripply-type of an effect. And the cool part about it is, is it actually works. The more water you have, the more that... Remember that transformation we did? That's why we did it, so things kinda collapse into itself. In fact, I'm gonna take a guess. Well here, I did use a smart filter for this. So here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna make this image even narrower, because I think we could actually, probably, get a little bit more from it. So I'll do the same thing I did before. Let's save that, and I'll go back, double-click Displace. Since it was a smart filter, I can rerun it. Nah, all that work for nothing. So it didn't do too much, but you can get some pretty crazy, interesting effects with it based on, again, it's really just looking for the whites and the blacks and how it's gonna map and distort things to it. So fun little filter, I can't say you're gonna use it a whole lot of times, but now you saw the long, drawn-out way to do it. All right, let's see here, Filter, Distort, Pinch. Remember when we were in Liquefy and you saw Pinch? It does the same thing. You wouldn't do it here. Polar Coordinates, oh gosh. Let's hide everything here. You wanna see what Polar Coordinates does? Filter, Distort, Polar Coordinates. So kinda cool if you had a long, panoramic image, it kinda gives it that globe-type of a look to it, not what you want for this one. And then you go over here. So the interesting thing is Polar Coordinates has Rectangular to Polar. And then it's got Polar to Rectangular. So I can click on that one, and it'll actually revert itself right back. But you could do crazy things with this stuff. You could do Filter. You could do Polar Coordinates, and do something like that. And then you could do Filter, Distort, I mean, you could go all over the place, with Twirl and twirl it around. And then you could go Filter, Distort, and go back to Polar Coordinates and try to put it back. I mean, it's just a lot of this stuff gets artistic. It gets to be, you know. You would never, as a photographer, try to do this. You would never do it, but you could do some crazy things with it. All right, let's see here. I gotta get out of that, that's freaking me out. Shear, Shear is... I pretend like you would use this, but we'll go over here, and it just kinda lets you zigzag things that way. So you could shear something. Let's see here. So Shear, Spherize, you can guess what Spherize does. It's one of those ones you're just like, "I gotta check it out." Makes a sphere. Now you could do some fun things with it. You could take your elliptical tool, and you could try to map it to the sphere, like that. And then I could always invert it, maybe darken it a little bit. I say this as if I'd really just did anything amazing, but if you wanted to create a Chicago bean-like sphere, that would be the way to do it. Or just go to Chicago and take a picture of the bean. (students laugh) All right, so hopefully that gets us out of Distort. Wave and ZigZag, Wave and ZigZag are just all kinds of crazy. You can see the previews there for Wave. And then ZigZag, you can already guess. ZigZag is actually not a bad ripple creator. I'll go in here sometimes when I don't wanna do my mind-numbingly long way to create a displacement map. I'll go in here sometimes, and I'll ZigZag one way, and then I'll come back into it and ZigZag another way. And you can get some random-type patterns there.

Class Description

If you’re the type of person who thinks: “If there’s a filter in Adobe® Photoshop®, then it MUST have a purpose,” then this class is for you. Matt Kloskowski will lead you on a deep dive into the Photoshop Filter menu. You’ll look at every filter that’s there and see some examples of how most of them can be used. By the end of this class, you’ll have a much better understanding of which filters will truly help you as a photographer and which ones you shouldn’t spend any more time wondering about.


SOFTWARE USED:
Adobe Photoshop CC 2018

Reviews

Deborah Bailey
 

I've always wondered what all the filters were in Photoshop. This class showed how they work, and which ones are helpful to use. I learned a lot and I recommend this class.