How to Spherize Photo Subjects in Photoshop

by Brian Richards
Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images

Adobe Photoshop is a graphics design and photo manipulation software program that allows users to edit and create images. It features a number of tools that will automatically apply artistic and stylistic manipulations to photographs. Many of these tools produce 3D effects that give an illusion of depth and texture to an image. One such tool, the Spherize tool, lets users create a sphere-shaped bulge in their photographs. This effect can be eye-catching for advertisements, inclueding flyers, or can create fun distortions of facial features for a real-life caricature.

Step 1

Open the photograph you wish to edit by going to the "File" menu in the Photoshop toolbar and click "Open." Find the image file, click on it to highlight it and press the "Open" button.

Step 2

Click and hold your mouse button down over the "Rectangular Marquee Tool" until a pop up menu appears. Select "Elliptical Marquee Tool" from the list.

Step 3

Click and drag your cursor over the area of the photograph you want to spherize.

Step 4

Click on the "Filter" menu, and choose "Distort" and then "Spherize."

Step 5

Enter the amount of spherization you want by inputting the value into the "Amount" box, or by moving the slider left or right. A negative number will produce an inverse sphere (one that goes inward). You can see the effect by looking at the grid in the bottom-right of the window, or by watching the image preview pane in the top-left of the window.

Step 6

Choose your desired "Mode." "Normal" will produce a standard sphere, while "Horizontal Only" and "Vertical Only" will produce cylinders.

Press the "OK" button to apply the changes.


  • This alteration is destructive, meaning the image will be permanently changed. Do not overwrite your original file or you will not be able to later return and undo the changes you have made.


  • You can enhance the effect by using lighting. From the "Filter" menu, select "Render" and then "Lighting Effects" for the lighting menu. Experiment with different lighting options that will create a shadow, making your sphere look even more three-dimensional.


Photo Credits

  • Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images

About the Author

Brian Richards is an attorney whose work has appeared in law and philosophy journals and online in legal blogs and article repositories. He has been a writer since 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from University of California, San Diego and a Juris Doctor from Lewis and Clark School of Law.

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