Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kaleidoscope Tutorial PS CS3 - Part 2

I'm assuming you have followed part 1 to choose your representative triangle. You can see mine below:

I need to make a copy of this triangle on its own layer. So I click and drag Layer 0 to the "Create a New Layer" icon in the bottom of the Layers palette (see the red arrow in the picture below).

You now have two layers - see how the copied layer is selected in the Layers palette (it is blue). You now need to align these layers.  Go to Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical. See picture below.

You should have the move tool selected in the tool bar. In Photoshop if you want to move something and keep it perfectly horizontal or vertical while moving you hold down the shift while dragging.

I like to get a small smace between the two triangles and then with the move tool still selected, use the arrow keys on your keyboard to nudge the one you are moving into place. In this case I used the up arrow.

The next thing I want to do is merge these two layers. Holding the shift key click on the layer that is not blue. Now they both are blue. Go under the flyout menu it is a small down pointing arrow with three short horizontal lines next to it at the top right in the layers palette) as shown in the next picture and choose merge layers.

Now we want to rotate this layer so that when we duplicate it we can flip horizontal to line up straight edges. Go under Edit > Transform > Rotate and up in the options bar enter -67.5º. See the pix below. In the third picture I put a red arrow pointing to the little box where you enter the -67.5º.
After you are done rotating to accept the transformation you can either double click inside the bounding box on the picture or click on the check mark up in the options bar. Now it becomes a bit routine as we are going to be doing some of these things over again. First drag your layer in the layer palette down to the create new layer icon in the bottom of the palette - you now have two of these shapes each on its own layer. Go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.

Now you are going to use the move tool while holding down the shift key to constrain movement to the horizontal and drag the top layer over next to the bottom layer lining up the edges. I move just a tad past and then use the right arrow tool to nudge them together.

Again holding down the shift key select the other layer so that both layers are selected, use the flyout menu to merge layers. We have to rotate one more time to get a vertical side to line up with. Edit > Transform > Rotate and in the options type 45º. Drag the layer down to the create a new layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette. Flip horizontal. Drag to align. Merge layers. No rotation needed at this point. Drag the layer down to the create a new layer icon, flip vertical, align and merge. You are done.

When I am done I generally crop, then load the selection, modify the selection, expand by about 20 pixels, add a layer under the current layer and fill with a color from within the kaleidoscope, in this case I used a yellow. For purposes of posting it to my blog, I go to Image > Image Size > and change the larger of the two numbers at the top of the window to 750 px. And that is it.
Here is my completed, cropped and matted kaleidoscope:

I hope this has been easy to follow. Feel free to print out these instructions and practice a bit. After you have done it a few times (or for those of you who know where to go to rotate, merge, etc.), here are the abbreviated instructions.
choose triangle
rotate -22.5º
duplicate, flip vertical, align, merge
rotate -67.5º
duplicate, flip horizontal, align, merge
rotate 45º
duplicate, flip horizontal, align, merge
flip vertical, align, merge
Sorry this took just about all day to write. For one thing it is a lot of stopping and screen captures, and we lost electricity for a couple of hours and then my son came out to do his Algebra homework.....
You know, life happens!
That's it for now.


  1. Of course, my eyes are now spinning uncontrollably around in my head, but I love the way your kaleidoscope turned out. You rock! hugs, nancy

  2. WOW thanks so much for the tutorial. I actually have the software but like the idea of making it myself

  3. Thanks so much! I have had a wonderful time (and a very long time) learning from your tutorial.
    I am using PScs so some of the stuff was a little different and I had to figure it out as I went. Thanks again for your generosity!
    Love and Laughter,

  4. Aha! Maybe trying the arrow keys to align the triangles will make the difference for me.
    Thanks for the tutorial. I have Elements 6, but directions are translatable/adaptable.

  5. The way you did the rotating of sections beyond the first one is way better than my hit-or-miss guesswork in my initial attempts based on someone else's tutorial.

  6. Thanks for this tutorial, it is very instructive and a great help.