I have been working in Photoshop CS5 with this particular image:

enter image description here

What I am trying to do is generate a circle from this, such that the top edge collapses down to a central point and the bottom edge forms the outer radius of the image. How would one go about this, ideally without changing to another piece of software?

2 Answers 2


That's exactly what the Polar Coordinates filter does (Filter → Distort → Polar Coordinates...).

Since you want a circle you'll need to distort the image in to a square first (otherwise you'll get an ellipse). The filter will repeat any pixels on the outside edge so you can make your canvas a few pixels taller on the bottom edge so that you get the isolated circle*.

enter image description here

enter image description here

* Otherwise you'll get something like this:

enter image description here


The method with polar coordinates seem already been shown in other texts. But if you use Filter > Distort > Spherize after that, you get a bigger central part.

enter image description here

Not much imagination is needed to see that you could get maybe fully satisfying result also tiling circles that have transparent gradient fill. That job is most easily done in Illustrator.

Here's an example. One circle with transparent radial gradient fill was drawn. It was rotated & copied 8 times. Rotation angle = 40 degrees. A bigger circle was drawn to the bottom.

enter image description here

  • thanks, now that's a good little extra insight I will take advantage of
    – Skyler
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 12:08

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