How to Twist Images in Photoshop CS3

By Bridget Conn

When using Photoshop CS3, twisting an image refers to a specific Warp effect, found under the Transform tool. Twisting allows you to warp the image in such a way that the edges of the image swirl towards the center, as though you were pouring the image down a drain. The tool holds many creative possibilities, and you can access and adjust it with ease.

Things You'll Need

  • Digital image file

Step 1

Open the image you want to twist by clicking "File > Open" and selecting it from its folder.

Step 2

Press "Ctrl + A" to select the entire image. Marching ants appear around the border of the image.

Step 3

Click "Edit > Transform > Warp." A grid split into nine sections appears over the image.

Step 4

Click the Warp drop-down menu that appears in the upper-left corner of the screen. Select "Twist" from the Warp options listed, located at the bottom of the list. The image instantly twists.

Step 5

Adjust the Bend Percentage by entering a value in the box to the right of the drop-down menu. This value defaults to 50 percent when you first apply the Twist effect. A value of 100 percent creates the most exaggerated twist, while -100 percent inverts the direction of this same amount of twist.

Step 6

Set the Horizontal Distortion to a number between -100 and 100. This exaggerates the twist by cropping the image as it distorts its perspective from its left or right side. Set the Vertical Distortion in the same manner to create a distortion from the top or bottom of the image. You can use the Vertical and Horizontal Distortions together.

Step 7

Press "Enter" when you are satisfied with the Twist distortion. Photoshop exits the Transform mode. Select the Rectangular Marquee tool located in the Toolbox and click outside the image parameters to remove the marching ants.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you adjust the Horizontal and Vertical Distortions, Photoshop warps the image so that it no longer fits to the edges of the rectangle or square format. By default, it fills the rectangle with the selected background color. Use a selection tool such as the Magnetic Lasso to select your twisted image and paste it into a new transparent-background image if you want the image to retain its unique shape by using transparency. When you create a new image, specify "transparent" in the "Background Contents" drop-down menu.
  • You can also freely twist the image without selecting "Twist" from the drop-down menu. Pull any of the 12 boxes that appear at the corners and sides of the grid over the image to create your own twist variation.