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Tutorial: Structure based deformation (adaptive distortion)

Written by , translated by devvv · Created on May 28, 2014, last updated over 2 years ago CC BY-NC License

Motivation

This tutorial shows how you can distort a logo in a realistic way so that it seems to be lying directly on a surface. We're using a distortion mask to create this effect which "tells" the image what is being distorted with the depth information.

Tutorial details

  1. 1 01_logo_struktur.jpg

    What you basically need is an image of a surface that has some realistic depth (such as stones, a wall or even a picture of a face). It is important that the image has dark and bright spots which indicate the structure. In my example the contrast between the stones (bright) and the spots between them (dark) helps us to determine the structure.

  2. 2

    The next step is to prepare the mask that is used for the deformation.

    Duplicate the surface layer, rename it to “gaussed” and blur the image using

    • Filters / Gaussian Blur / 5 – 10px. Then desaturate using:
    • Colors / Desaturate

    Tip: The higer you blur the image (higher values) the softer will the distortion be at the end!

  3. 3

    Disable the visibility of the “gaussed” layer.

    Open any image that should be deformed and import it to you structure picture. The easiest way is to use

    • File / Open as layers /

    I opened the logo of our open source Android app “DAVdroid” for this example.

  4. 4

    Important: You need to make your logo exactly equal-sized as the deformation mask. Otherwise you’ll be unable to choose the mask in the “Displace” filter. To achieve this select the logo layer and use the menu

    • Layers / Layer to image size

    Now we’re using the deformation mask to distort the image based on the structure.

    • Use Filter / Map / Displace. (see values on the image)

    Choose the deformation mask (“gaussed”) for X and Y. The X value displaces the image horizontally, Y does it vertically. The higher the values the more deformation you get. In most cases values between 10 and 30 will fit your needs. The “Polar” option instead of “Cartesian” deforms the logo towards the corners and edges. Just experiment with it!

  5. 5

    Now use the layer mode “Grain merge” to blend the logo layer with the background structure. You can also lower the opacity to around 70-80 if you feel the colors are looking too strong. This process will merge the contrast of the structure with the logo.

  6. 6

    Now if we’re looking closer on the image you can see that the white arrow of the logo is “melting” over the stones. As intended the ground is a darker area which lets the logo sink down to it at the space between the stones.

  7. 7

    This is our final result. I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial ;)

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AllstarSeaworthyofNBC member for 7 months AllstarSeaworthyofNBC 4 comments rated this topic with 4/5
7 months ago

Look, this tutorial is a bit great, but I feel used to it. I used the Wave 103 logo (fictional radio station in Vice City) and displacing it into a wall. Very thanks!

devvv member for over 10 years devvv 1463 comments
about 2 years ago

Glad you like it ;) You should have upladed this picture, hehe.

AxureAdam member for about 2 years AxureAdam 3 comments rated this topic with 5/5
about 2 years ago

Great tutorial. Works really well. I put a starbucks logo on Brad Pitt's face.

Take that Brad!

minima member for over 2 years minima 2 comments rated this topic with 5/5
over 2 years ago

Awesome tutorial.

Thanks Devvv

Stirling
over 2 years ago

Great tutorial, will look at using better images next time as this was a quick make do. Great effect.

josephbupe member for almost 6 years josephbupe 19 comments
over 2 years ago

Hi Devvv,

This is a cool tutorial.

Thanx for sharing.

Lyle member for almost 5 years Lyle 86 comments rated this topic with 5/5
over 2 years ago

Nice tut Devvv. :)