For photographers and Photoshop buffs, one of the biggest dangers of Flickr is its addictiveness. Since I first signed up a couple of months ago, I have spent endless hours posting my own images, exploring other people's work, and discovering all kinds of wonderful tools, tips, and tutorials. My latest Photoshop experiments have taken me into the realm of making amazing circles and phubbles.
Making an Amazing CircleYou can see my first attempt at an amazing circle at left above. I first noticed these dazzling spheres posted on various groups in Flickr, and a couple of quick queries led to tutorials on how to make them.
Amazing circles are not hard to make — the main challenge lies in choosing the right image. They are created with Photoshop's Polar Coordinates Distortion filter. BrilliantDays.com has published a short tutorial that walks you through the process.
Making PhubblesOnce you've mastered amazing circles, it's a good bet you'll want to refine the result to produce a transparent bubble effect. Phubbles, or Photoshop soap bubbles, are made from amazing circles that have been successively erased from the center out, to reveal just the right amount of image detail beneath. Flickr member Photopool describes the process in his popular tutorial. I followed his instructions to achieve the result you see at right.
For more examples, see Flickr's Amazing Circles interest group.