Add Movement with Swirls – Using the Distort Filter

with 28 Comments

Barb BrookbankWhen I want to add a sense of movement to my layouts, I like to use swirls and flourishes and scribbles and scratches.

The other day, I was creating an autumn-themed layout, and I couldn’t find just the right swirl. Being the frugal gal that I am, I decided I was going to have to come up with something clever. I didn’t go searching for a new kit—I went searching through Photoshop’s magical toolbox.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you an easy way to create your own swirls from a common element found in most scrapbooking kits—a leaf!

Step One: Prepare the Workspace

  • Create a new document (File > New > Blank File) that is 12in by 12in at 300ppi with a white background. (Photoshop: Choose File > New.)

Step Two: Choose an Element and Add it to Your Page

  • Choose and open an element (File > Open) that is somewhat long and skinny. I’m using a leaf from Autumn Days by Kristin Cronin-Barrow. The kit is included with the November 2012 Digital Scrapper Premier Issue.
  • Get the Move tool. Click on the leaf and drag it onto your scrapbook page.

Step Three: Distort the Element

  • In the Menu Bar, choose Filter > Distort > Twirl.
  • When the dialog box pops up, check to make sure that you are able to see the element in the Preview. Click the Minus or Plus symbols to zoom in or out.
  • Click and drag the Angle slider to the right. I dragged it right to the end.
  • Click OK.
  • To repeat the same distortion and double up the effect, simply press Ctrl F (Mac: Cmd F).

Step Four: Resize and Transform the Shape

  • In the Move tool Tool Options, make sure Show Bounding Box is checked and Auto Select Layer is unchecked. (Photoshop: Check Show Transform Controls.)
  • On the document, click on a corner handle of the Bounding Box and re-size the swirl to about 5″ x 5″. (Photoshop: You will have to click and hold the Shift key to maintain proportions while you resize.)
  • Double click inside the Bounding Box to commit the changes.
  • On the document, while holding down the Ctrl key (Mac: Cmd key), click on the bottom right corner handle of the Bounding Box and drag up and to the left to transform the shape. Double click inside the Bounding Box to commit the changes.
And here’s my layout after I transformed and rotated my swirl!

Digi Scrap Tutorial: Add Movement with Swirls—Using the Distort Filter by Barb Brookbank
Layout: Autumn Memories by Barb Brookbank
Kit: Autumn Days by Kristin Cronin-Barrow, available to Premier Members November 2012
Poem: Elsie N. Brady
Font: Pea Snoflake

Download this Digi Scrap Tutorial

28 Responses

  1. Vivian
    | Reply

    Love, love, love this tutorial. Thank you!

  2. ctyger
    | Reply

    This is so cool. I can’t wait to try it when I get home tonight. Thanks for sharing.

  3. digi_scrap
    | Reply

    That is so cool! Thanks for the tutorial. Will have to try it out.

  4. Mungo
    | Reply

    So simple and sooooooooooo effective, thank you

  5. Peggy Merton
    | Reply

    Love this tutorial! Thanks a bunch!

  6. Bobbie Bluegill
    | Reply

    Thank you for the easy-to-follow, and wonderful new idea directions.

  7. Rebecca
    | Reply

    Does this work with PSE as well?

    • Barb Brookbank
      | Reply

      Hi Rebecca – yes it does work with PSE! 🙂

      • Bev
        | Reply

        Yes it works on PSE so easy

  8. Gail
    | Reply

    Thank you for this easy peasy tutorial! I’m definitely going to give it a whirl! (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

    • Barb Brookbank
      | Reply

      Hi Gail – ha! that’s what I should have called this tutorial!

  9. Lois Borger
    | Reply

    What a great tutorial! Thanks a million for this tip

  10. zita B
    | Reply

    Fun tutorial and clever idea! Thanks!

  11. RochelleP
    | Reply

    Loved this tutorial, can’t wait to try this. Thanks

  12. Bonnie Sparkman
    | Reply

    You come up with some really cool, and easy, ideas/tips!! I learn something every time…thank you!!

    | Reply

    this looks so cool! Can’t wait to try it.

  14. Kathy
    | Reply

    Cool!! Thanks for the tutorial!

  15. mjrooney
    | Reply

    Great technique= can’t wait to five it a try!

  16. Nikki
    | Reply

    Awesome tutorial Barb. What a brilliant idea. Can’t wait to try it.

  17. Bev
    | Reply

    love it…so easy to do It worked Thank You Bev

  18. Teri Green
    | Reply

    I did it… thanks!!

  19. Nannette Dalton
    | Reply

    You are brilliant! Never would have thought of that. Wonderful Tutorial.

  20. Teresa Lee
    | Reply

    very cool! Thanks!

  21. Rikki
    | Reply

    THAT is a really neat trick. Love it. Thanks!

    | Reply

    Thanks, that was fun and easy! I can’t wait to use it. 🙂

  23. Renee Diprose
    | Reply

    Barb that is way too much fun! Thanks so much for showing me another couple of tools to play with. I tried it with 5 elements from Autumn Days by Kristin Cronin-Barrow and it is amazing the effects you get. The red berry twig was awesome. And then I loved the transfrom effect. oh the possibilities….
    Thanks Barb 🙂

  24. Shez Cal
    | Reply

    I’ve been looking forward to doing this tutorial but can’t find the tutorial. Has it been moved perhaps?

    • Barb
      | Reply

      Hi Shez Cal,the Digi Scrap Tutorial is available for a week after it is published then it is replaced by a new one.

      If you want to see Previous Digi Scrap Tutorials check out our Membership details here to find out which Membership would work for you!

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