How to Make a Tornado in Photoshop

Written by filonia lechat
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How to Make a Tornado in Photoshop
Get twisted using Adobe Photoshop. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Whether you're a storm chaser, twister fanatic or simply love the extremes Mother Nature can throw your way, recreating an actual tornado is a dangerous and nearly impossible undertaking. Making a tornado on screen using Adobe Photoshop is much easier --- and safer. Photoshop's special fuzzy brushes allow for the dust and lack of clarity that usually surround tornadoes, while you control its appearance, height and colour. Photoshop's tornado-drawing tools will have you saying, "There's no place like home."

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Open Photoshop. Click the "File" menu and select "Open." Enter "Tornado" into the "Name" box. Type your preferred "Width" and "Height" into their respective boxes, such as "4" and "7" respectively. Select "inches" for each drop-down and click the "OK" button. This creates a vertical canvas for your art that is 4-by-7 inches.

  2. 2

    Double-click the top-left square of the two overlapping coloured boxes at the bottom of the "Tools" pane to open the "Color Picker." Choose a black or dark grey paint colour and click the "OK" button.

  3. 3

    Click the "Brush" tool -- it looks like a paintbrush -- in the middle of the "Tools" pane. Pull down the unmarked brush head menu, second from the left on the top toolbar. Choose the round, fuzzy-edged brush head and slide the "Size" bar to "30."

  4. 4

    Position the cursor at the middle of the bottom edge of the "Tornado" box, making sure to stay on the white canvas and not the grey Photoshop working area. Click and hold down the left mouse button. Draw one loop of a spiral in an upwards direction.

  5. 5

    Continue the spiral into another, slightly wider loop. Without lifting up on the mouse button, continue drawing the spirals, larger each time, until you reach the top of the "Tornado" box again, without going into the grey. Release the left mouse button.

  6. 6

    Click the "File" menu, select "Save As," choose a place to save the tornado file and click the "Save" button.

Tips and warnings

  • Add flying items into the tornado such as the classic cow scene in the movie "Twister" after creating the tornado. Click the "File" menu, click "Open" and browse to a picture. Double-click the file name. Click the "Lasso" tool and draw an outline around the image to put in the tornado. Press the "Ctrl" and "C" keys to copy it, then click the "Tornado" box and press "Ctrl" and "V" to paste it in. Use the "Edit" menu's "Transform" option to shrink and rotate the pasted item into scale.

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