Create displacement maps using shapes in Photoshop tutorial

How to create displacement maps / distortions using Photoshop custom shapes tutorial in CC 2018 2017 2015 2014 CS6 etc

Create displacements using custom shapes

Create displacement maps using shapes in Photoshop tutorial
  1. Open a new document for the custom shape created displacement map

  2. Select custom shape tool and select a preset and apply using the pixel option and set color to gray / black etc

  3. Apply multiple custom shapes (avoid the seams of the document)

  4. Filter menu and offset filter

  5. Set offset such as -1000 and 500px and set the wrap option and OK

  6. Add more Photoshop custom shapes

  7. Use offset filter again

  8. Save the document as a PSD

  9. Use the PSD in texturizer filter / glass filter / displacement.

videoVideo tutorial on the subject by (youtube)


Using vectors : metallicYou can use any number of vector presets and you can find them on the web as well as many on this site. The great thing about the vector presets is that they can be any size so you can create a super large files with the tool as well as very small files.


You can use the artwork as a layer and then combine that with layer effects and more. If you add layer effects or any effects then you may wish to flatten the design before you continue as I have often found unusual seams happening with the vectors if you use that with offset filter.


The key thing to remember is that they are grayscale designs


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Offset filter : offsetYou can create basic files using the vectors without the offset filter but the offset filter does allow for more complex seamless tiles


You can use the artwork multiple times and then use the filter menu and others and offset command and wraparound to shift the pixels around the image and then free up more space for additional graphics (the same otherwise to be added). Set the horizontal to -50 / 50% but the values don't need to be that as -10 / 90% is just as valid.


Pixels : pixelsYou can also create designs using the pixel option but then you can only use solid colors and no gradients or styles etc to the artwork. You can quickly change the blending mode as well as the opacity of the graphic added to the image.


Again, you can use the offset filter as well as other effects (use selections and feathering to control the range)


PSD files export : saveThe key thing is that you save the artwork to a PSD file for use with the texturizer / displace / glass etc filters. Other applications also have their own distortion files and they often use other file types or all file types as well as a native format.


In the case of Affinity Photo, you will have to quickly convert the files from PSD to PNG


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