How to create abstract Twirl Art Effects in Photoshop

How to create abstract Twirl Art Effects in Photoshop



Hey everyone, Steve Patterson here
from Photoshop Essentials.com. In this video, I'll show you how to turn photos
into fun and colorful twirl art effects in Photoshop! We'll even take things
further and mirror the image to create symmetrical twirl art designs. I'll be
using Photoshop CC but any version from CS3 and up will work. Thanks for joining
me and let's get started! Open the image you want to use for this effect.
I'll use this image that I downloaded from Adobe Stock. The first thing we'll
want to do is duplicate and resize our image. The reason is that, to create the
twirl art effect, we'll be using Smart Filters, and we'll be experimenting with
their settings. Smart Filters can be very demanding on your computer, and a large
high-resolution image can really slow things down. What you'll want to do
instead is work on a separate, smaller version of your image. Once you're happy
with the results, you can upscale the effect to the original size. We'll learn
how to do that later. To duplicate the image, go up to the
Image menu in the Menu Bar and choose Duplicate.
In the dialog box, name the image "Twirl" and then click OK. A copy of the image
opens in a separate document, which we can see by looking at the document tabs
along the top. To resize the image and make it smaller, go back up to the Image
menu and this time, choose Image Size. This opens the Image Size dialog box. If
we look at the Dimensions in the upper right, we see that my image currently has
a width of 4500 pixels and a height of nearly 3000 pixels. To reduce the size of
the image, first make sure that the Resample option is checked and that it's
set to Automatic. Then enter a new size into the Width and Height fields. I'll
set both of them to 50%. In the Dimensions section at the top, we see
that this will reduce the width of my image to 2,250 pixels and the height to
1500 pixels, which should keep things running faster. Click OK to resize the
image and close the dialog box. I'll zoom in on the image by going up to
the View menu and choosing Fit on Screen. And now we're ready to create our twirl
art effect. Before we can start adding Smart Filters, we first need to convert
our image into a Smart Object. In the Layers ,panel we see the image on the
Background layer. Double-click on the name "Background" to rename it. In the New
Layer dialog box, name the layer "Photo" and then click OK.
Then click the menu icon in the upper right of the Layers panel and choose
Convert to Smart Object. A Smart Object icon appears in the lower right
of the layers preview thumbnail letting us know that the layer is now a Smart
Object. The first filter we'll apply is Mezzotint. Go up to the Flter menu,
choose Pixelate and then choose Mezzotint. This opens the Mezzotint
filter's dialog box. This filter adds random, high contrast
and highly saturated strokes, lines or dots to the image depending on which
setting you choose for the Type option at the bottom. This will add more
detail, as well as more contrast and color to the effect.
There's no correct setting to choose here so we'll come back later and
experiment. For now, I'll choose Long Strokes. Click OK to close the dialog box.
And here's the result. If we look in the Layers panel, we see the Mezzotint filter
listed as our first Smart Filter. Next, we need to blur the image using Photoshop's
Radial Blur filter. And to create the amount of blur we need, we'll run the
filter three times. Go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and then choose Radial
Blur. In the Radial Blur dialog box, set the
Amount to 100, the Blur Method to Zoom, and the Quality to Draft. Using the
lowest quality setting will let the filter run as quickly as possible.
Click OK to close the dialog box and apply the filter. And here's what the
first pass of Radial Blur looks like. The result is very noisy because we had the
quality set so low, but we'll clean it up in a moment. To apply Radial Blur a
second time, go back up to the Flter menu, and because Radial Blur was the
last filter we used, you'll find it at the top of the list. Leave all the
settings the same and just click OK. Photoshop applies the filter a second
time. Go back up to the Flter menu and once again choose Radial Blur. This time,
change the Quality from Draft to Best, and then click OK.
Since we've increased the quality, the filter will take a bit longer to run. But
the final result looks much better and the noise from the first two passes is
gone. In the Layers panel, we see all three passes of the Radial Blur filter
listed as separate Smart Filters above the Mezzotint filter. To add the twirl to
the twirl art effect, we''ll use Photoshop's Twirl filter. Go up to the Flter menu,
choose Distort and then choose Twirl. in the Twirl dialogue box, use the
Angle slider along the bottom to twist and twirl the image around its center.
The further you drag, the greater the effect. To keep things simple, I'll set my
angle to 120 degrees. Click OK to close the dialog box. And now the image is
swirling around its center. In the Layers panel, we see the Twirl filter listed as
a Smart Filter above the others. If you want to try a different twirl amount at
any time, double-click on the Twirl filter'ss name to re-open its dialog box.
Drag the Angle slider left or right, and then click OK to accept it. I'm happy
with my current setting so I'll click Cancel to close out of it. You can also
go back and try different settings for the Mezzotint filter. Double-click on its
name to re-open the dialog box. This time Photoshop will pop open a
message telling you that your other Smart Filters will be turned off while
you're editing the Mezzotint filter. And that's because Photoshop applies Smart
Filters from bottom to top, so in this case, it's applying Mezzotint first, then
each of the three Radial Blur filters, and then the Twirl filter. To show an
accurate preview of the Mezzotint filter, it needs to turn off those other filters
temporarily. Click OK to accept it. In the Mezzotint filter dialog box, I'll change
the Type from Long Strokes to something different, like Coarse Dots, and then I'll
click OK. Photoshop turns the other Smart Filters
back on, and here's the result. The Coarse Dots setting gives us less contrast and
color saturation, but we also see more detail in the lines. You can compare your
new filter setting with your previous setting by pressing Ctrl-Z on a Windows
PC or Command+Z on a Mac. Press it once to undo your last step and view your
previous setting, which in my case was Long Strokes. Press Ctrl or Command+Z
again to redo the step and view the new setting, which is Coarse Dots. In my case,
I like the higher contrast version better, so I'll press Ctrl or Command+Z
to switch back to Long Strokes. Next, we need to make a copy of our Smart
Object. In the Layers panel, click on the Smart Object and drag it down onto the
New Layer icon. A copy with all of our Smart Filters applied appears above the
original. Double-click on the Twirl filter below the copy to open its dialog
box. Then drag the Angle slider so the copy is twirling in the opposite
direction. Since I used a value of 120 for my original twirl, I'll set the copy
to -120. Of course, you don't have to make them exact opposites. I'm just
keeping things simple. Click OK to close the dialog box, and now the copy is
swirling in the opposite direction. To create the actual twirl art effect, we
need to blend both of our twirls together. We can do that by changing the
blend mode of the "photo copy" Smart Object. You'll find the Blend Mode option in the
upper left of the Layers panel. By default, it's set to Normal. The three
blend modes that usually work best for this effect are Darken, Lighten and Pin Light. I'll start with Darken. The Darken blend mode looks at both layers,
or both Smart Objects in this case, and keeps whichever pixels between them that
are darker. Next I'll try the Lighten blend mode. Lighten is the opposite of
Darken. It keeps whichever pixels between the two layers that are lighter. And if I
switch to the Pin Light blend mode, we see that Pin Light creates a combination
of the Darken and Lighten modes. For this image, I think I like the Lighten blend
mode the best, so I'll go with that. Now at this point, you can still go back
and experiment with different filter settings for either of the two Smart
Objects. Just double-click on a Twirl or Mezzotint filter to re-open its dialog
box and make your changes. For example, I'll double-click on the Mezzotint
filter for the "photo copy" Smart Object. Photoshop again pops open the message
telling me that the Smart Filters above it will be turned off while I'm editing
the filter. I'll click OK to accept it. Then I'll change the Type option from
Long Strokes to the same Coarse Dots setting we tried earlier. And this time, with the top Smart Object
sent to Coarse Dots and the bottom one said to Long Strokes, we see a
combination of the more detailed and the higher contrast effects. Again, we can
switch back and forth between the current and previous filter setting by
pressing Ctrl+Z on a Windows PC or Command+Z on a Mac. And in this case, I
think I still prefer the higher contrast look for both of the twirls, so I'll
press Ctrl +Z or Command+Z to switch back to Long Strokes. You can also try turning
off one of the Radial Blur filters for the "photo copy" Smart Object. You'll want
to leave the top Radial Blur filter on, the one directly below the Twirl filter,
since that's the one we applied with the highest quality. But you can turn off
either of the other two Radial Blur filters below it by clicking the filter's
visibility icon. I'll turn off the bottom one, and this adds a bit more sharpness
and contrast to the effect. So at this point, the main twirl art effect is done,
but we've only applied it to the smaller version of our image.
Let's upscale the effect by replacing the small version with our original, high
resolution image. To do that, first switch over to the document that holds the
original image by clicking on its tab. Select the image by going up to the
Select menu and choosing All. Then go up to the Edit menu and choose Copy. Switch
back to the twirl effect document by clicking its tab.
Then in the Layers panel, double-click on either of the Smart Object thumbnails.
This opens the contents of our Smart Object, which in this case is the smaller
version of our image, in another separate document. Paste the original image into
the document by going up to the Image menu and choosing Paste.
Since the original image is larger than the smaller version,
it won't initially fit in the document. Much of it will be cropped away. To view
the entire image, go up to the Image menu and choose Reveal All. This tells
Photoshop to expand the size of the canvas so that the entire image is
visible. To officially replace the Smart Object contents with the original image,
we need to save the document. Go up to the File menu and choose Save. You'll see
a progress bar letting you know that Photoshop is updating the Smart Object.
When it's done, you can close the document by going up
to the File menu and choosing Close. Back in the twirl effect's document, we
again have the same problem. Most of the effect is being cropped away, and again
it's because the original image is larger than the smaller version we were
using. We need to render the effect again, this time with the larger image. To do
that, all we need to do is go back up to the Image menu and once again choose
Reveal All. Now this part can take some time, so you'll see another progress bar
letting you know that Photoshop is rendering the Smart Filters. When it's
done, to view the entire high resolution effect, go up to the View menu and choose
Fit on Screen. And that's how to upscale the effect to
the original full size image! Let's finish things off by learning how to
create a symmetrical twirl art effect. In the Layers panel, make sure the "photo copy" Smart Object is selected at the top. Then, on your keyboard, press Shift+Ctrl+ Alt+E on a Windows PC or Shift+Command+ Option+E on a Mac. This merges both Smart Objects onto a new layer above them named "Layer 1". And this time, we're
working with a normal layer, not a Smart Object, so you won't see any Smart
Filters applied to it. Go up to the Edit menu, choose Transform,
and then choose Flip Horizontal. This flips the layer horizontally to create a
mirror version of the effect. And finally, to create the symmetrical effect, change
the blend mode of the layer to either Darken, Lighten or Pin Light. I'll start
with darken, which gives me this effect here. Then I'll try Lighten which gives
me a different look. And finally, I'll try Pin Light.
And I think in this case, I like the Darken version the best.
And there we have it! That's how to create symmetrical twirl art effects in
Photoshop! As always, I hope you enjoyed this video and if you did, please
consider Liking it, Sharing it and Subscribing to our channel. Visit our
website, photoshopessentials.com, for more tutorials! Thanks for watching, and
I'll see you next time. I'm Steve Patterson from PhotoshopEssentials.com.

7 thoughts on “How to create abstract Twirl Art Effects in Photoshop

  • July 11, 2019 at 8:02 pm
    Permalink

    Hi everyone, Steve here. Thanks for watching this video where I show you how to turn your photos into fun, colorful twirl art and symmetrical twirl art effects in Photoshop. You'll also learn about Smart Objects and Smart Filters, including how to create an effect using a low resolution version of your image and how to then upscale it to the high resolution image when you're done. I hope you enjoy this video. Leave any comments, questions or suggestions below.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2019 at 8:02 pm
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    good for use smart object tutorial

    Reply
  • July 11, 2019 at 8:02 pm
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    Really nice tutorial. Good voise and good tempi.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2019 at 8:02 pm
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    Very sample and easy to learn.thanks

    Reply
  • July 11, 2019 at 8:02 pm
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    I have been twirling for several years at the FB page Twirl This. This is THE best tutorial I have seen demonstrating the basics of how to do it! I am changing my workflow to include smart objects and it will make things easier!! I am really excited to learn I can do this more efficiently changing things as I go. So often when you change things you want to save a version of it you like. With this workflow that is easy to do! I can make a duplicate of the original>do a cntrl/shift/alt/E to make a new layer>cntrl V>hold down shift >slide the layer onto the duplicated layer>flatten>save it with a different name. I can continue working with the twirl and getting different effects and save them as I go! To a long time twirler this is really awesome!! Thank you so much for an awesome video. I will put a link to if from our FB page.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2019 at 8:02 pm
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    Looks complicated but your tutorial makes it so easy to follow and inspiring to do. Appreciated!

    Reply
  • July 11, 2019 at 8:02 pm
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    More Photoshop 😀

    Reply

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