My English is pretty basic, please don't mind. Wondering how to make the liquify wave and distort color effect in Photoshop? I'd tried using distort>shear/wave/zigzag, but still can't make it similar like the photo below.

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  • The tool to use is "filter->distort->displace..."
    – joojaa
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 10:35
  • 2
    Nothing is going to get you close to that in one step. There's no "magic filter" to pull off every possible visual alteration out there. It's going to take a process which you'll have to determine. My guess would be that image is a result of physical warping to the photo negative during processing (someone folded/rolled a negative and it curled and distorted) and was not made digitally in its original form.
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 10:49
  • @Scott: as the zoom shows, the printing dots are also distorted, so it would be photo > printed image > photo > distort negative. (It would explain where the color fringes come from – the original b&w would not be able to cause that.) I find myself wonder what the original did look like, though. A simple passport mug shot?
    – Jongware
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 11:39

1 Answer 1


It looks a bit like one of those images taken using the Slit Scan Camera Lite app available for Android, there's probably an iOS version too. You can move the camera white it scans. Here I simply pointed it at an image on a monitor.

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As for the colour changes/fringing - you could use Photoshop's liquify filter on some of the RGB channels individually.

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The original image is here

Perhaps you could get better results using an actual scanner, and move the copy while it scans.

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