Swirl Texture/Background

Create this glowing swirl texture/background in a few easy steps using only Photoshop’s built-in tools.

Swirl Texture

Click on the image for full size view

Step 1

Open a new file using the following settings:

New File Settings

Step 2

Create a new layer and fill it with black

Filter>Render>Lens Flare – apply the following settings:

Lens Flare Settings

Rename the layer ‘swirl’

Step 3

Filter>Artistic>Plastic Wrap – apply the following settings:

Plastic Wrap Settings

Step 4

Filter>Distort>Swirl – apply the following settings

Twirl Settings

Filter>Swirl (the top item in the drop-down menu – this will apply the same effect again)

Step 5

Select the Elliptical Marquee tool and drag out a selection around the twirl as shown below:

Elliptical Selection

Step 6

Make the background layer active

Select the Gradient Fill tool with the following settings:

Gradient Settings

Select Radial Gradient and check the Reverse option

Place the cursor at the centre of the swirl, click and hold the mouse button and drag to any corner of the canvas

Step 7

Apply a layer mask to the swirl layer by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the layers palette

Use a large, soft, round brush with foreground colour black and mask out the edges of the image to blend it with the background

Step 8

Make the swirl layer active

Ctrl + T to transform the object

Reduce the height quite substantially to alter the perspective of the swirl and make it look ‘flat’

You can widen it if you wish also

Step 9

Create a new, empty layer above the swirl layer and merge the two layers together to rasterize the mask

Step 10

With the swirl layer active

Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation – apply the following settings:

Hue/Saturation Settings

Step 11

Ctrl + T to transform the object

Right click within the transform box and click Warp

Drag the middle section down a little to create a slight dip in the centre, as shown below:


Other Options

You can change the hue/saturation settings, and/or the perspective of the swirl.

You can apply the twirl filter more times to create a different effect

There are very many possibilities – this is a good opportunity to play around and discover the effects of many of Photoshop’s filters, layer styles and blending options – definitely a tutorial to have fun with!

Swirl Texture

Click on the image for full size view


2 Responses to “Swirl Texture/Background”

  1. […] the article here: Swirl Texture/Background « Graphics Tutorials Posted in Background | Tags: and-check, Background, following, gradient, gradient-fill, […]

  2. cool thanks.

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