Swirl a Background in Photoshop

    ●  Create a background in Photoshop for your composition.

Learn About:

Blending ModesSelect InverseFiltersFlip Horizontal
Curves Adjustment Hue/Saturation

  •   This tutorial is part of the Shoe Repair, Photoshop Portrait, and Picture Perfect Projects.

Other People's Work:

Here are some examples of work inspired by this tutorial.


Step #1: Open PhotoShop ~

Open YOUR PROJECT in Photoshop …



… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be
applied to YOUR PROJECT) …

Step #2: Make a New Layer ~

Make a New Layer ABOVE your background layer.

If you don't have a background layer yet, just put your new layer at the bottom.

Step #3: Black & White ~

Hit the letter (d) on the keyboard or click the default icon to reset the default colors to Black & White on the Color Palette.

Step #4: Clouds ~

Now go to: Filter > Render > Clouds

… and fill the new layer like this:

Step #5: Pixilated Filters ~

Now go to: Filter > Pixilated > Mezzotint

… and set the Type to Short Lines or whatever looks good to you.

image 2

Step #6: Radial Blur ~

Then go to: Filter > Blur > Radial Blur …  

… set to: Zoom, Quality: Best, adjust the Amount and change the Blur Center.

Remember: You can adjust the "Blur Center" by dragging its center point around -

thats's the most important part …

… and then click OK.

Step #7: Twirl Filter ~

Now go to: Filter > Distort > Twirl and adjust your settings to your liking.

Step #8: Copy the Layer ~

Right-Click and hit: "Duplicate Layer …"






… and click OK.


Step #9: Flip the image ~

Now, click the image …

… hit Cmd(⌘)+T to activate Free Transform

… then Right-Click and select  Flip Horizontal.

Hit Enter/Return enter key or click the Check mark when done.

Step #10: Blending Mode ~

Scroll through the Blending Modes and find one you like …







Try Multiply, Screen or Overlay or whatever you like best …


If you see other blending modes you like as you're scrolling down, don't be afraid to experiment.


Blending Modes are awesome!

Step #11: Merge the Layers ~

With the upper layer selected, hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+E + n kyeto merge with the layer below …

… leaving just one layer with BOTH swirls on it.

Step #12: Curves ~

Then go to: Image > Adjustments > Curves, and mess with the settings to see what looks good:

Step #13: Hue/Saturation ~

Go to: Image > Adjustments > Hue & Saturation or hit the keybord shortcut Cmd (⌘) +U.

Step #14: Lens Flare ~

Next, go to: Filter > Render > Lens Flare




Position the lens anywhere you like!




Experiment with the settings!


Step #15: Blending Mode - AGAIN ~

IF you have other background layers, set the Blending Mode of the upper layer "Overlay" or any other blending mode that shows through the background.





Use Blending Modes to let ALL
your backgrounds show through!


Last Step: Save and Attach ~


Attach it!

  •   ALWAYS save your projects like this:


  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.


  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.

Other Resources: