How to Create a Waving Flag Effect With Photoshop CS2

Written by brian richards
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How to Create a Waving Flag Effect With Photoshop CS2
(Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Adobe Photoshop CS2 includes a number of tools that allow artists to digitally modify and enhance their work. One such tool, the distort filter, lets designers apply a three-dimensional feel to their otherwise flat images. This technique can be used to make static flag graphics appear as if they are waving in the breeze. These flags can then be digitally attached to flag poles, or used in other graphics such as logos or headers. The method can be applied to any type of flag, or even a flag of your own design.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open the flag image in Photoshop CS2 by clicking on the "File" menu and choosing the "Open" option. Scroll to the image file of the flag you want to make wave, click on it and then press "OK."

  2. 2

    Open the "Image" menu and choose "Rotate Canvas" and then "90 degree CW." This will position the flag so the distort filter is applied in the appropriate orientation.

  3. 3

    Enlarge your canvas by accessing the "Image" menu and choosing "Canvas Size." Make sure that the drop-down boxes next to the "Height" and "Width" boxes are set to "Percent," and enter a value of 120 in each of the boxes. Press "OK."

  4. 4

    Open the "Filter" menu and choose "Distort" and then "Shear." Click the "Wrap around" radio button, and click and drag on the line at the top of the window to create a zigzag shape. This line will represent how much waviness will be present in your flag, so use big curves to make a very wavy flag, or smaller, subtle curves for a more gentle wave. Press "OK."

  5. 5

    Return to the "Image" menu and choose "Rotate Canvas" and then "90 degrees CCW" to return the flag to its original orientation.

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