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Warp, Blend, Liquify in Adobe Photoshop 2020

Lesson 5 of 5

Polar Coordinates


Warp, Blend, Liquify in Adobe Photoshop 2020

Lesson 5 of 5

Polar Coordinates


Lesson Info

Polar Coordinates

Now let's look at a weird way of bending things. This method is going to create tiny little planets or tiny little donuts, and I'll show you a few examples. If you've ever seen images that look like this, this, that's more the donut variety. Those were all created with a filter that is known as Polar Coordinates. And so, I wanna show you what you need to do if you want to create one of those little planets. So, here we're gonna do it with some lions. In order to create something that looks like a planet, we're going to be using the filter called Filter Distort Polar Coordinates. And it has two features, two settings when you get into it. Rectangular to polar and polar to rectangular. I'm gonna use the top option, because we're starting out with a rectangular document and it's going to wrap it around. Now in order to really understand what it's doing, so it's kinda wild what we got here if you look at it, we now have those lions on the outer edge of this and we have the trees going in t...

owards the middle which is pretty crazy. But in order to understand it, let's grab a simple image. Here's my simple image, and just notice that it says top and bottom and if I choose Filter Distort Polar Coordinates, and I use that top setting, let's figure out where the top ends up and where the bottom ended up. So you notice that the top edge of the photograph ended up being the center and the bottom edge of the photograph ended up being the outer edge. And so, if we want something to look like a planet, whatever should be out in the atmosphere beyond the planet should be at the bottom of the photograph. And whatever should make up the planet itself should be at the top of the photograph because if you look here, that becomes the center. And this needs to be a square in order to get a round planet. If you apply it on a rectangular image, you'll get an oval. So if you look at this, didn't I say that I wanted whichever should make up the planet to be at the top of the photograph? So let's go up here and choose Image, Image Rotation, Flip Vertical. So now, whatever's at the top will become the middle of the planet. Whatever's at the bottom will become the outer edge where it's like the atmosphere around the planet. But if I apply it to this, I can try it real quick. Since it's a rectangular document, we're gonna end up with an oval and I'd rather have it be round. So I'll choose undo. We just need this document to be round. So I'm gonna go to the image menu and choose image size and usually when you change the width in here, the height changes along with it to maintain the aspect ratio or original ratio. Well, if you turn off this little link symbol, then it doesn't change 'em both. So I'm just gonna copy whatever the higher number is and I'm gonna paste it where the lower number was to make this a square and it's gonna do that by stretching the image. So if I click okay, now it's stretched. And if I zoom out, it's a square document. Then, I'm going to apply that filter called Polar Coordinates. Click okay and now we have a planet. The only issue with the planet, well not the only issue, but the main issue with the planet is there is a seam. Can you see the seam right here? That's where the left edge of the document is touching the right edge of the document. If you wanna avoid that seam, choose undo and when you're in this, when you're about to, to apply the filter, instead apply a different filter. The filter is called filter other offset. Offset is like a conveyor belt. It just means move my picture, let's say, to the right and whatever part of it goes beyond the edge of the screen have it wrap around like a conveyor belt would as if that was one continuous piece. So when I choose offset, I just bring up this horizontal setting and it just moves the image to the right and I'm just exposing the seam. Right here's the seam. And so, at this point, I could come in here and re-touch out the seam. I'm not gonna spend much time doing that but I could. Here I use something like the spot healing brush. Aw, that's not quite appropriate, but might have to do the top part manually. Ah, that looks all right. But now I don't really see a seam in it. And now I can go back and apply the filter. Polar Coordinates, click okay, and now we have a planet with no seam. The final thing you might wanna do is make a round selection and fill the outer area with a solid color. Because, otherwise, whatever was right on the edge of the picture right here, just gets extended out to the edge of your photograph and you can fill that in with whatever color you want. Just make a solid or a round selection, select inverse to get the opposite so you have the corners, and fill with whatever you desire. So if you wanna see other examples of that same thing, let's see, this original just flipped and then stretched turns into either this. If we put the content at the top of the photograph, or if we left it at the bottom of the photograph, you get this instead. But you gotta re-touch up the seam. This came from this image here. And this image here produced that. So now you've gotten a pretty good idea of how to warp, bend, and liquefy images in Photoshop and just try to combine these ideas with what we covered in other parts of the Ultimate Guide because I find oftentimes I use a lot of these features when I need to perform complex retouching. An area I copy from in one part of the document doesn't quite fit another and using what was in what's called the clone source panel to rotate and scale and even flip sometimes isn't enough. And that's when I turn to some of these features in order to really be able to meld my image. And if you watch the advanced retouching lesson, you'll see how I did that using puppet warping. But this is just another installment in "Photoshop, the Complete Guide."

Class Description


  • Wrap a photograph around a coffee mug
  • Move an element from one photo to another and have it match the perspective of the destination document
  • Adjust the finger and arm position of models
  • Perform digital liposuction
  • Use Warp, Liquify, Puppet Warp, Perspective Warp and more


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Photoshop.
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Photoshop and learn new features to help edit photos.
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Photoshop fixes.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (V21)


a Creativelive Student

Very good course ! Topics were well explained. Ben is a good teacher.

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