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How to Do This Cool Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop

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Photoshop is great to edit your photos. Subtle adjustments can take your photos to the next level.
You can also take it a step further and create something surreal.
Today, I’ll show you how to do a cool bend and warp trick in Photoshop.

How to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop

It starts with picking the right photo. Photos with a straight and clear horizon work best. Once you know the different steps, you could try and step up to more difficult projects.
I’ll use a photo of a surfer in Australia for this bend and warp trick…
How to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop - a surfer walking on rocks by the coast
To create this surreal photo:

Step 1: Open and Duplicate

Open the photo. Right click on the background layer and select ‘Duplicate’. Do this two times.
How to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop - open and duplicate

Step 2: Rotate

Rotate the two new layers. One needs to rotate clockwise and the other, counter clockwise.
Select the layer you want to rotate and go to Edit > Transform. Select ‘Rotate Clockwise’ or ‘Rotate Counter Clockwise’. It should look something like this.
I’ve made the layers transparent to show you the position of each.
How to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop - rotate photo
Here’s what it looks like in the layers panel.How to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop - layers panel

Step 3: Delete the Sky

Select the Quick Selection tool from the toolbar on the left. If the toolbar is not available go to Window and select ‘Tools’.
How to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop - delete the sky
For each of the rotated layers, select the sky and hit ‘Delete’.
How to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop - deleting the sky in a photo
This is what it should look like. Don’t worry if it doesn’t match up yet.
A screenshot showing how to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop

Step 4: Match Up the Layers

Set the opacity of the rotated layers to around 50% and try to match them up as well as you can by dragging them.A screenshot showing how to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop

Step 5: Create the Corners

To finish the bend and warp trick, we need to create the corners.
Select each of the rotated layers and select ‘Add vector mask’.
We’ll use this to match up each of the layers perfectly and to erase objects that don’t look right.
A screenshot showing how to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop - create the corners A screenshot showing how to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop - creating corners
Select the Paint Brush and set the colour to black.
A screenshot showing how to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop - select paint brush tool
For each rotated layer, select the layer mask thumbnail and start painting in the photo to erase the parts that don’t match.
A screenshot showing how to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop - painting the photo
You need to make corners in the bottom to create the surreal box effect.
A screenshot showing how to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop
Painting with black is the same as erasing. If you make a mistake, paint with white and you make the erased pixels appear again.
Notice how the layer mask thumbnails change while you paint. The black areas are the erased areas.
A screenshot showing how to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop
TIP: Click on the link icon between the layer thumbnail and the layer mask thumbnail to unlink them. Now, you can drag and move them separately from each other to match up the layers even better.
A screenshot showing how to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop - unlinking layers

Step 6: Clean Up

Keep using the Paint Brush to erase any objects that don’t match. It will take a while to get it right but the details are important.
Here’s a thin line that doesn’t belong in the picture, for example.
A screenshot showing how to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop - erasing objects that dont match
Next, select the Clone Stamp tool to get rid of those objects you can’t remove with the Paint Brush.
A screenshot showing how to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop - clone stamp tool
Alt + Click on an area next to an object you want to remove and start painting over it. Photoshop will use the pixels next to the object to cover it.
Always make sure you’re in the right layer or it won’t work.

Step 7: Crop

Now crop the photo and there it is. You just did a cool surreal looking bend and warp trick in Photoshop.
A screenshot showing how to Do a Bend and Warp Trick in Photoshop - surreal photo of a surfer on a square beach

Conclusion

For most projects, you need to use Photoshop with care. You don’t want photos to look fake or over edited.
However, sometimes you need to explore the boundaries of your creativity. The possibilities of Photoshop are only limited by your imagination.
Experiment to create new and cool looking effects for your photos.

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