How to Create Twirl Effect in Photoshop

If you like abstract photography, you’ll LOVE this twirl effect in photoshop! It’s fast and easy – SO easy you could create an action for it and make it even faster if you want to!

finished twirl in photoshop

Here’s how it’s done:

Twirl Effect in Photoshop

Start with any photo in 8 bit. This is the original:


Filter -> Pixelate -> Mezzotint -> Medium Lines


Filter -> Blur -> Radial Blur (slider = 100, blur method = zoom, quality = best)

radial blur

Repeat step 3 up to 5 times as desired. I just did it once in this example.

Duplicate Layer.

Remain on original layer. Filter -> Distort -> Twirl (angle value +80 or as desired).

Select new layer. Filter -> Distort -> Twirl (angle value = opposite of step 6, ie -80).



Alter new layer’s blending mode = lighten.

blend mode lighten

Merge layers. Fin.

finished twirl in photoshop

There you have it – the twirl effect in photoshop! Play around with it and have fun!