Distorting an image inside out

The following exercise describes how to achieve a sizzling Parting of the Red Sea effect. Although it incorporates several distortion filters, the star of the effect is the Polar Coordinates filter, which is used to turn the image inside out and then convert it back to polar coordinates after flipping it upside down. No scanned image or artistic talent is required. Rumor has it that Moses puts in a guest appearance in the final image.

This effect is the brainchild of Mark Collen, easily the most imaginative distortion expert I've had the pleasure of knowing. I already mentioned his name in this chapter, in connection with the steps for "Creating a Thick-Liquid Droplet." To be perfectly honest, I probably should have mentioned him more than that because many of the ideas in this chapter were based on long, expensive telephone conversations with the guy.

At any rate, Figures 11-34 through 11-39 show the progression of the image through the following steps, starting with a simplistic throwback to Dada (the art movement, not the family member) and continuing to the fabled sea rising in billowing streams. Color Plate 11-7 shows one of Mark's most vivid images, which was created in part using many of the techniques from the following steps. Obviously, Mark used a couple of other filtering and nonfiltering techniques to create his image, but gee whiz folks, you can't expect the guy to share everything he knows in one fell swoop. He has to make a living, after all.

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Photoshop Secrets

Photoshop Secrets

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