Long ago I created what is now my profile picture here and many other places. Back then I never saved my .psd files, just images. I am now trying to re-create it in higher resolution and other colors. However, I don't know how I made that radial effect.

Image with radial effect

I used wind to create the lines in the Y and X directions, so at the moment i have this.enter image description here

It looks like it might have been radial blur, but it gets way to blurred when i use it. It feels like it some sort of radial effect, but sharper than blur. Any ideas?

Edit 1: I have tried to use polar coordinates to distort it, while it is similar, you don't get the same burst effect in the center as in the original picture.

  • 1
    Polar coordinates is almost certainly the right route, but the burst effect (and text, obviously) would have to be added separately afterwards.
    – Westside
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 7:50
  • The person who down voted should really specify why so that there is an opportunity to improve. Otherwise there is no point.
    – Skillzore
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 18:31

2 Answers 2


It's the Radial Blur, used at least twice in different ways

  • spin mode creates the curves
  • zoom mode creates the rays

Both ways reduce radically contrast, if theres solid background in the work layer. If there's a transparent background, the opacity is reduced. Reduced contrast can be restored with the levels tool. Restoring the reduced opacity is more complex. One method is to make several duplicates and merge them. Another way is to apply the blurring to the layer mask and restore its contrast. The layer itself has a solid fill.

To get distinct rays from the radial zoom blur, the target must be separate blocks that have empty space between them. One easy way to get something pointillized is to paint with a scatter brush to its layer mask.

NOTE: this is quite complex composition, you need easily 10 layers to make it rich enough and have spare copies of your original non-filtered items

  • It is probably possible to do it as you describe, but I'm pretty sure this is not the way I did it way back when. It was in my beginning days of PS and I certainly did not play with 10+ layers and masks back then.
    – Skillzore
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 10:39
  • @Skillzore of course that much is not needed if you do not want to easily go back without losing the intermediate steps and adjust something which was inserted few steps before.
    – user82991
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 10:47

There are certainly many ways to accomplish what I asked for. Here is the way I finally did it. I'm gonna state this in more general terms, not in a "push that button and do this" manner.

I wanted to use more pictures, but can only use 2 links at my current level.

  • Create a black background of the size of your choice.
  • Write your text in white and duplicate the layer, make the duplicate text black and hide it for now.
  • Rotate the image 90 degrees in any direction.
  • Use Filter->Stylize->Wind, use it 3 or 4 times, depending on how long you want you radial rays. I used it 3 times in the final result below.
  • Rotate the image 180 degrees and use Wind again as many times as above.
  • Rotate the image back to its original position and use Wind again 1 or 2 times depending on how big you want the "pulses" on the rays. I used it 1 time in the final result below.
  • Rotate the image 180 degrees and use Wind again as many times as above.
  • Finally restore the image to its original position again. Should look something like this (if you turn the black text on):

enter image description here

  • Duplicate your Wind effect layer 3 times and hide the duplicates for now.
  • Rotate you image 90 degrees in any direction again.
  • Use Filter->Distort->Polar Coordinates..., set it to Rectangular to Polar and use it.
  • Hide the current layer you just polarized and switch to one of the 3 duplicates you created earlier.
  • Rotate the image 180 degrees and use Polar Coordinates... again on the new layer.
  • Rotate the image back to its original position and merge the two layers that you just polarized, don't hide them yet.

  • Select one of the 2 remaining duplicated Wind layers.

  • Use Filter->Blur->Radial Blur..., set it to Spin and Good or Best, doesn't really matter.
  • Set the Amount to as much as needed to cover the letters in the polarized layer with the blur. I used about 26.

  • Hide the new blur layer, but keep the polarized layer and select the last duplicated Wind layer.

  • Use Radial Blur... again but this time set it to Zoom and Good or Best.
  • Set the Amount a lot higher, so that you get a burst effect in the center of the polarized "semi-circle". I used about 75.

  • Now show all the layers, including the first duplicate with the black text and you should have the final result, but in black and white. The order of the layers should be (from bottom to top):

    1. Background
    2. Polarized "semi-circle"
    3. Spin Blur
    4. Zoom Blur
    5. Black text
  • If you just want a solid color on the effects simply put a Hue/Saturation... layer below the black text with the color of your choice.

  • I choose to use Inner Glow on all the effect layers to keep some white in the middle and then also put a small Outer Glow of white on the text to make it pop a bit.

I think I got pretty close to my original in the question, but a bit sharper.

enter image description here

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