# PhotoShop’s filter polar coordinates

One of the great things about *Photoshop* is that it offers a lot of potential if only they make the effort to try a little.

The **polar coordinates** filter is one of the less generally used by designers, in fact, more than one occasion I have wondered what is its use and why would *Adobe* insists on keeping it. Once you have discovered its mode of operation is easy to find photomanipulations or alterations in which polar coordinates can save time and headaches, which is in general why these functions are designed.

**Polar** is a coordinate system in which **each point is determined based on the distance and angle relative to the axis of coordinates**, while in the rectangular system or **Cartesian** the point is determined based on the offset coordinates. In the picture below you can compare both systems. To the left of the rectangular system, in which each point is determined indicating the distance which separates it from the coordinate axes (these may be one or more of a shaft). The rectangular system can determine the position of a point on one, two or three dimensions. As can be seen in the polar system both the distance and the angle determines the position on the horizontal axis. The polar coordinate system can only point the position of the points in a two-dimensional plane, indicating a point in three dimensional space must be based on spherical and cylindrical coordinates.

Once it is clear how the numbers work it is time to park the whole thing and explain how to use the Polar Coordinates filter. Mathematics aside, it is useful to know it in order to predict the result of conversion.

**Y** value of the document **will become the distance to axis by converting to polar system, with the top of the canvas the origin point and the lower the furthest point.** Respect to the value **x** **is transformed into an angle to the horizontal coordinate axis located in the center of the document** to perform the conversion. From left to right starting with *90°*.

As you can see in the picture below to get a simple concentric circles form you must draw horizontal lines and transform them into polar coordinates.

You can also get smooth curves, a very simple clock or circular text, to give specific examples.

Then you can observe other photomanipulatios in which this filter was used. I will publish later the tutorials to explain step by step how it took place.

If you want to go deeper into the math involved I recommend you visit the following link: http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/Classes/CalcII/PolarCoordinates.aspx

A&8s

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### About mimoriarty

Diseñador gráfico multidisciplinar; me gustaría trabajar y compartir experiencias con diseñadores de todo el mundo