for plugins and presets > tutorials > Adobe Illustrator

Access Polar Grids in Photoshop via Illustrator

How to access amazing polar grid designs in Photoshop via Illustrator

polar grid tool and export to Photoshop

How to export the polar grid from Illustrator and use in Photoshop tutorial. The Illustrator polar grid tool can generate many different polar grid designs. You can also export the polar grids from Illustrator and use them in tools such as Photoshop in the creative cloud.

  1. Create polar grid via the polar grid tool in Illustrator (for use in Photoshop)

  2. just copy the path via the pasteboard into Photoshop where additional effects can be applied to this standard path OR

  3. Drag the path into the new CC libraries and then open Photoshop and drag the path to the open document

You can export the polar grid via the CC library feature or save the artwork and import into Photoshop or copy via the pasteboard. Once you have the Photoshop polar grid, you can manipulate the path using filters such as bas relief or fill with colors or use as a layer for overlays. This tutorial shows steps to copy the Illustrator polar grid path and export to Photoshop. The tutorial also shows a number of ways you can use the powerful designs in Photoshop such as an overlay or a background and how to use it with effects in Photoshop.

It is always the problem with any set of applications, some features are in one and you want to use that feature in another application. Perhaps one day there will be an all purpose Photoshop-Illustrator-After Effects etc hybrid (I am not going to hold my breath on that one) You can also export the grids to tools such as Affinity Photo as well such as by saving them as a vector design in EPS format etc

Use polar grid in Photoshop

polar grid bas relief in Photoshop

Once you have the grid in Photoshop, either via the pasteboard or via the library, you can then use the grid with many of the tools in Photoshop (or Affinity Photo etc)

  1. select the polar grid artwork in Photoshop

  2. Convert to a smart object via the layer menu and smart objects or flatten and use with filters

  3. use with filters such as the filter gallery and bas relief or analog efex etc

You can apply a variety of different effects on the polar grid as well as adjustments (smart adjustments). Or bas relief filter / poster edge / water color / blur filters / camera raw filters or Photoshop layer effects / styles (gradient overlays and glows and strokes etc) applied to the artwork or add paths to the object in PS such as grid custom shapes / brush strokes etc.

Use the polar grid paths as layers

oil paint and polar grid tool and selections in Photoshop

You do not need to just use effects or coloring effects with the polar grids in Photoshop, you can use them as a powerful radial grid layer to add over images

  1. Select polar grid design from CC libraries

  2. Drag to image

  3. Layer menu and layer style and color and set to white or some other color (many of my polar grids are always black paths)

  4. Go to the layer panel and change the opacity to 50% etc

Another option is to use the layer transparency via the select and load selection command and then use the selection with effects such as camera raw filter (setting the image to blue on the right) and then combine with other effects such as oil paint

Use the polar grids in Photoshop as backgrounds

polar grid cells for Photoshop

They can be used as basic backgrounds for images such as on the left and they can then be re-colored using adjustments or adjustment layers etc. You can also use the design as a wonderful guide for other fills where the individual cells can be filled with different colors or gradients or type etc


  1. Drag the polar grid to the document

  2. re-size the polar grid in Photoshop

  3. copy some type (such as an image of type)

  4. Select the magic wand tool

  5. select a cell of the polar grid tool with the magic wand

  6. Use the edit menu and paste special / paste into command (the result is a layer)

  7. Flatten

  8. select another cell and repeat


You can also combine effects such as blurs or perhaps apply transforms to the type to create more interesting fills of the polar grid Illustrator / Photoshop cells such as on the right

Polar grid as brushes etc

polar grid brushes tool for Photoshop

You can always define the polar grid from Illustrator as a new brush stroke

  1. drag from the CC libraries

  2. flatten

  3. edit menu

  4. define brush command

  5. apply using the paint tools in the toolbar of Photoshop

Other resources

1. grid shapes for Photoshop and elements

Sources and references

1. Polar grid tool for Illustrator (Adobe)

Other tutorials

1. How to create concentric circles using polar grid tool in Illustrator tutorial