An in-depth guide to how to use Photoshop’s distortion filters – including Diffuse Glow, Ripple, Shear, Zig Zag, Spherize and Twirl – to add fantastic creative effects to your photographs. Part three - Shear.

Distort Shear

Shear distorts an image along a user-defined curve, and its possibilities are only limited by your persistence in drawing and re-drawing that curve in the command window. If you’re familiar with a vector-based drawing program like Illustrator or FreeHand, you’ll recognize the way the curve responds to the addition of extra points.

The result can be taken to extremes by constant repetition of the filter. The filter offers two methods of filling the otherwise empty spaces that are created when it’s run. Wrap Around simply makes any pixels that move out of frame on one side of the image appear on the other, and Repeat Edge Pixels stretches out the final line of pixels at the edge of the image to fill the gap.

Which one you choose depends very much on your original image – Wrap Around works best when the sides of the image are similar to each other, and Repeat Edge Pixels works best when the edges are made up of simple areas of flat colour. See the following example for more correction techniques.


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