Learn how to use Distort filters to create a cool sunburst in Photoshop.

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Complete transcript of this video:

Hello, I’m Helen Bradley. Welcome to this video tutorial. In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to create a quick and easy sunburst in Photoshop. To create my sunburst I’m going to start with a new image. I’m going to make mine 3,000 x 3,000 pixels in size so it’s a reasonable size. I’ve yellow selected as my foreground color. I’m just selecting the Rectangular Marquee Tool and just selecting about half of this image and filling it with the foreground column by pressing Alt Backspace on the PC, Option Delete on the Mac. I’m going to do Select Inverse so that I have the other half of the image selected. Again, I’ll select white as my foreground color and fill it with that color and then Ctrl or Command D to deselect the selection. So all I have right now is an image where half of it is yellow and half of it is white and it’s all on one layer. To distort it I’m going to start with the Filter Distort Wave, and that’s the first part of my sunburst. I’ll select Square as the type. And now I’m going to set the Wavelength. And you’ll find that the larger you set the Wavelength you get more of these stripes. Don’t worry that they don’t extend yet. What you’re worried about at this stage is the number of them. So I want about that number of stripes. Now I’m going to increase the Amplitude until I get stripes all across my image. So all I’m doing is square, equal values or nearly equal values for Wavelength and then adjusting the Amplitude until I get what I want in this little diagram here in this little preview window. And then I’m just going to click Ok. Before I leave here I’m just going to make sure that I Crop this because what I want is the exact same starting point and ending point. So here I’m starting on an orange stripe and I’m going to end over here on a white stripe. I’m just going to make sure that I have a pretty good crop here because that will make my wraparound work well in the next step. And the next step is to use the Filters again. We’ll choose Filter, and again this Distort option, but we want Polar Coordinates. And all I do is select the Polar to Rectangular or Rectangular to Polar that gives me the effect. If you don’t remember which one to use just flick between the two because it’s going to be really obvious which one gives you your sunburst and which one doesn’t. And obviously Rectangular To Polar is what I want so I’ll just click Ok. And here is my sunburst shape. It really is as easy as that. And I have a silhouette because I love to use silhouettes with sunburst shapes. So let’s just drag and drop a silhouette layer into here and then we can size it to suit. Now you can do all sorts of things with your sunburst effects. We could grunge this. We could texturize it. We could do all sorts of things with it. But to create it is as simple as a layer that is half of one color, half of the other color. Then you’ll Filter Distort, Wave to create a series off stripes, then you’ll Crop it so that you get the beginning of a stripe on one side and the end of the corresponding stripe on the other side. So you get this seamless sort of sunburst effect and you don’t have one really large stripe and then use Filter Distort Polar Coordinates to rotate it around. So there you have a sunburst effect in Photoshop.

Helen Bradley