Photoshop Tutorial: Transform Signatures into Fun, Stunning Spirographs

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. I’m going to show you how to transform signatures into beautiful Spirographs and create an Action that will do it automatically. Scan some signatures into your computer. This will also work with fonts, as well.
Experiment with different styles such as outlined fonts and scripts. Next, create a new document by pressing Ctrl + N or WIndows or Cmd + N on a Mac. Make the Width and the Height 870 pixels each and the Resolution 300 pixels per inch. We’re making the resolution this high in case you want to print the results.
Open the fly-out list in the Background Contents and choose, “Other”. If you don’t have this option, I’ll tell you a workaround in a second. Pick black and click OK. If you don’t have the “Other” option, press Shift & the F5 key at the top of your keyboard. to open the “Fill” window. Open the fly-out list and click Black. At this point, if you’re using a font, type out the name using White for the color. If you’re using a signature, open the file that you scanned in. Open your Levels window by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + L. Drag the Input black to the right and the Input white to the left. This ensures that its black and white
and it also gets rid of distracting specks. Go to Select and Color Range. Choose Highlights and click OK. This will make a selection of the signature. To see it as a quickmask, press the letter “Q” on your keyboard. We need to invert it, so press “Q” again to make it back into a selection and press Ctrl or Cmd + Shift + I. Click the New Layer icon to make a new layer. On this empty layer, we’ll fill the selection with white.
Make sure your foreground and background colors are black and white, respectively. If they’re not, click this icon. Since White is the background color, press Ctrl or Cmd + Delete. We can now deselect it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + D. The signature is actually there. You just don’t see it because it’s white on a white background. With your Move Tool, click on the signature and drag it up onto the tab of the black background that you created earlier. Without releasing, drag it down onto the background and then, release. If the name is too large or small, Open your Transform Tool by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + T. Go to a corner and when you see a diagonal, double-arrow, press Shift + Alt on Windows or Shift + Option on a Mac. as you drag it in or out. Then, press Enter or Return. Next, we’ll create an Action that will automatically remember the next bunch of steps, so you don’t have to repeat the steps to create a Spirograph for each signature. Click the Actions tab. If you don’t see it, go to Window and Actions. Open the fly-out list and click “New Set”. Name it, “Spirograph” and click OK or press Enter or Return. Open the list again and this time, click”New Action”. Name it, “Spirograph 1”. Then, click “Record” or press Enter or Return. Immediately, you’ll notice that the “Record” icon is now red. This is telling us that your steps will be recorded until you click the “Stop” icon.
It’s important to note that it won’t record the time in between steps. It only records the steps themselves, so, you can take as much time as you want in between steps. Press Ctrl or Cmd + J to make a copy of Layer 1, which is the signature. Open your Transform Tool. You can choose
to leave the anchor point in the center or choose to drag it to another location within the Transform. The location of the anchor, will change the look of your Spirograph. When you rotate the Transform, the word or object rotates around the anchor. I’ll undo this last rotation. Since there are 360 degrees in a circle, go to the rotation field and type in a number that divides equally into 360. Just remember: the smaller the number you type in,
the more compressed your Spirograph will be. Since I typed in 20 degrees,
the Transform rotated 20 degrees around its anchor point. To accept it, press Enter or Return. We’re going to rotate copies of the signature by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Alt + T on Windows or Cmd + Shift + Option + T on a Mac. Continue to do this until your Spirograph is complete. Next, we’ll place all of the rotated signature layers into a folder. To do this, scroll to the bottom signature and Shift-click on it. This highlights all of the signatures. Then, press Ctrl or Cmd + G. To center your Spirograph on your document, press Ctrl or Cmd + A to select the Spirograph and click the “Align Horizontal Centers” icon and the “Align Vertical Centers” icon. Then, deselect it. We’re ready to colorize it. Click the Adjustment layer icon and choose “Gradient”. Click the gradient bar and click on the gear icon to open your listed gradient presets. Feel free to use any preset. For this example, I’ll click the “Spectrum” gradient. Open the “Style” list. You have 5 styles from which to choose. For this example, I’ll click “Radial”. Change the Blend Mode to “Multiply” and click the “Stop” icon to stop recording your actions. The next Spirograph we do will use this
action to automatically apply the steps we used to create this one. Click on the icon at the upper right corner of your Layers panel and click “Flatten Image”. Go to Layer and Duplicate Layer. Choose “New” and type in the name of your Spirograph. Then, click OK or press Enter or Return. You’re finished Spirograph file is now added at the top. To save it, go to File and Save As. Save it as a Jpeg.
To make another Spirograph with a different signature click on the tab of your original Spyrograph document and open your History panel. If you don’t see it, go to Window and History. Scroll to the bottom and click “Blending Change” just above “Flatten Image”. Since we saved this Spirograph, we can now trash the top two layers. I’ll open up another signature and repeat the steps that we applied earlier to the first signature. As before, drag it onto the black background. Open the Actions panel and scroll to the top. Click “Spirograph 1” and the “Play” icon. The action that we saved automatically repeats all the steps. As before, we’ll flatten the image, duplicate the layer, click “New”, name it and click OK or press Enter or Return. Let’s see what happens when we use the same signature and resize and reposition on the background, drag the anchor to another location and change the angle. As we did earlier, I’ll center it and add color. As you can see, this Spirograph looks totally different, even though we used the same signature.
This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!

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  1. Another GREAT video Marty. My question is about the action record. Can this be used on text effects ?? Like the other day I followed a video and took about 10 minutes to make my txt look like glass letters filled with glitter. If I recored that and saved it could I use it on other text thank you in advance !!!

  2. Amazing Marty! I still have my original Spirograph and have always thought that Photoshop would be an ideal environment to make spirographs even more dynamic than ones done years ago. Thank you so much, Marty.

  3. when i follow your steps the translator on your screen cover things  you do … thank you great videos …. 

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