STEPS: The Parting of the Red Sea Effect

1. Draw some random shapes in whatever colors you like. My shapes appear against a black background in Figure 11-34, but you can use any shapes and colors you like. To create each shape, I used the lasso tool to draw the outline of the shape and pressed Alt+Backspace to fill the lassoed selection with the foreground color. The effect works best if your colors have a lot of contrast.

Figure 11-34: Draw several meaningless shapes with the lasso tool and fill each with a different color.

2. Choose Image ^ Rotate Canvas ^ 90° CCW. In Step 3, you apply the Wind Filter to add streaks to the shapes you just created, as shown in Figure 11-35. Because the Wind filter creates horizontal streaks only and your goal is to add vertical streaks, you must temporarily reorient your image before applying the filter.

Figure 11-35: The result of rotating the image a quarter turn, blasting it in both directions with the Wind filter, rotating it back into place, and applying the Motion Blur filter vertically

3. Choose Filter ^ Stylize ^ Wind. Select Blast and From the Left and press Enter. To randomize the image in both directions, choose the Wind filter again and select Blast and From the Right.

4. Choose Image ^ Rotate ^ 90° CW. This returns the image to its original orientation.

5. Choose Filter ^ Blur ^ Motion Blur. Enter 90 degrees in the Angle option and use 20 pixels for the Distance option. This blurs the image vertically to soften the blast lines, as in Figure 11-35.

6. Choose Filter ^ Distort ^ Wave. Then enter the values shown in Figure 11-36 in the Wave dialog box. Most of these values are approximate; experiment with other settings if you like. The only essential value is 1 percent in the Vert. option box, which ensures that the filter waves the image in a horizontal direction only.

7. Choose Filter ^ Distort ^ Ocean Ripple. I entered 15 for the Ripple Size and 5 for the Ripple Magnitude to get the effect shown in Figure 11-37.

8. Expand the canvas size. To perform the next step, the Polar Coordinates filter needs lots of empty room in which to maneuver. If you filled up your canvas like I did, choose Image ^ Canvas Size and add 200 pixels both vertically and horizontally. The new canvas size, with generous borders, appears in Figure 11-37.

Figure 11-36: Apply these settings from the Wave dialog box to wave the image in a vertical direction only.
Figure 11-37: After applying the Ripple filter, use the Canvas Size command to add a generous amount of empty space around the image.

9. Choose Filter ^ Distort ^ Polar Coordinates. So far, you've probably been a little disappointed by your image. I mean, it's just this disgusting little hairy thing that looks like a bad rug or something. Well, now's your chance to turn it into something special. After you choose Filter ^ Distort ^ Polar Coordinates, select the Polar to Rectangular radio button. Photoshop in effect turns the image inside out, sending all the hairy edges to the bottom of the screen. Finally, an image worth waiting for.

10. Choose Image ^ Rotate Canvas ^ Flip Vertical. This turns the image upside down. As I believe Hemingway said, the hair also rises, as shown in Figure 11-38. This step prepares the image for the next major polar conversion, due in the year 2096.

Figure 11-38: Convert the image from polar to rectangular coordinates to turn it inside out. Then flip it vertically to prepare it for the next polar conversion.

11. Use the rectangular marquee tool to select the central portion of the image.

Leave about 50 pixels along the top and bottom of the image deselected, as well as 100 pixels along both sides. Then feather the selection with a 15-pixel radius.

12. Press Ctrl+F to reapply the Polar Coordinates filter using the same settings as before. Okay, so it happened before 2096. How could I have known? The pixels inside the selection now billow into a fountain.

13. Add Moses to taste. The finished image appears in Figure 11-39.

Figure 11-39: Marquee the central portion of the image with a heavily feathered selection outline, convert the selection from rectangular to polar coordinates, and put Moses into the scene. My, doesn't he look natural in his new environment?

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Photoshop Secrets

Photoshop Secrets

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