Whirlpool in Photoshop

In this Instructable, I'll show you how to make a whirlpool in Photoshop. Sorry I haven't made any instructables in a while, I've been messing around with k'nex and rubik's cubes, but I'm back!

Step 1: Video

Download this video, It'll show you how to make the whirlpool

Step 2: Water

If you can't download the movie, or are too lazy to, here are the instructions. Set your colours to black and white. Go to Filter>Render>Clouds. You should now have, well, clouds. Then, go to Filter>Sketch>Chrome and tinker with the settings. Detail 10 and Smoothness 7 works well.

Step 3: Colour and Twirl

Now it looks like black and white water, but we want blue water (and possibly for the daring, red water). To make our water coloured, hit ctrl+U. Check colourize, then move the top slider to the left till your water is blue (or red). Slide the middle slider to make the water more or less vivid (I used hue 205 and saturation 80). This looks fine on its own, but we want a whirlpool. To do that, go to Filter>Distort>Twirl. Twirl till your happy (again, I used 140).

Step 4: The Hole

Now to make our whirlpool seem like it reaches the bottom of the ocean. Get your gradient tool, set it to black to transparent, and drag from the center of the page, out to the rim of your whirlpool (make sure reverse isn't checked and set it to radial (upper left)).

Step 5: Tada!

That's it! Have fun with your whirlpool, and wait 1 hour after eating before getting in the water!



    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Beauty Tips Contest

      Beauty Tips Contest

    10 Discussions


    Question 6 months ago

    When I try to make the gradient nothing happens. I am using Photoshop 2017


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I prefer to add the gradient just before the twirl, then again after. I just think it looks nicer =]


    11 years ago on Step 3

    For mac users, you hit apple-U instead of ctrl-U :)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    This is pretty sweet, I did it exactly like you said but the color is slightly darker. And when I tried red IT LOOKED AWESOME-ish.