Photoshop & Illustrator Tutorial: Distorted Lines Effect

Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with a quick video tutorial One of the latest free downloads I shared over on my Spoon Graphics website is a set of Abstract Stripes Backgrounds, featuring a series of distorted lines in a variety of wavy layouts

One of the commenters on the post was curious to know how they were made, so I figured I'd use the topic for this week's video tutorial Follow along with this quick and easy process using Illustrator and Photoshop to produce these abstract creations yourself, which can then be used to make artistic posters or to add visually backgrounds to your design work Start off in Adobe Illustrator Create a new document of any size I'm just using the preset A4 layout in landscape

Clear out the default white stroke, leaving just a black fill, then grab the Rectangle tool Starting from the top left corner of the artboard, drag a rectangle across to the other side One of the things you can experiment with is using different sized stripes, or make a blend from a thick to thin rectangle Switch back to the Selection tool, then hold the ALT and Shift keys while dragging a duplicate downwards Leave a bit of space between them

The amount of space you leave is another factor you can experiment with to achieve different results each time Repeatedly press the CMD+D, or CTRL+D shortcut on Windows for Transform Again, until you have filled the artboard with a series of evenly spaced stripes Draw a selection around all the shapes and hit CMD+C to Copy, then switch over to Adobe Photoshop Create a new Photoshop document, which will default to the pixel size of the vector artwork in the clipboard Chances are it will be quite a small document, so use the Crop tool to enlarge it, holding Shift to constrain the proportions

Press CMD+V and paste the stripes as Pixels Scale the up to fill the canvas before hitting Enter The main effect is produced using the Liquify tool under the Filter menu Zoom out so you can see all of the stripes, then click and move the liquify tool around to distort the lines into wavy shapes You can also use the Twirl tool to really distort the stripes

As they're rotated they form completely new concentric shapes You can change the size of the effect tool as you would a Photoshop Brush, using the square bracket keys to increase or decrease the size Switch between the different tools and go mad bending, warping and shifting things around until you're happy with the overall effect In some areas the pixel based distortion has resulted in blurry edges To fix this, and to make the backgrounds more versatile as vector graphics, we'll take them back over to Adobe Illustrator

Press CMD+A to Select All, then Copy the artwork Back in Illustrator, delete the straight lines and paste in the distorted graphic Open up the Image Trace window to convert the raster art into vector graphics Clicking the Ignore White option in the Advanced settings will convert just the black lines, without the background To permanently apply the vectorisation, go to Object > Expand to convert the object into a series of individual shapes

The entire effect is now made of crisp outlines which can be scaled to any size, making it suitable for all kinds of design material You can also easily change the colour by applying a different fill Experiment with the effect by using thicker lines, thinner lines, more warping and less warping to achieve different results each time You could also use different coloured stripes to create a real psychedelic design! If that sounds like too much hard work feel free to download my free set of abstract stripes backgrounds from Spoon Graphics While you're there you can join my mailing list to keep up with all my content, and grab my free design resources bundle

As always thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one!

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