Create a new document.
The size here is really important because it will determine the angle of the coil. In this example I used 600×600. Look at the 2 examples at the end of the tutorial, the variation was created on 800×600, notice that the angle is a little wider and less round. Personally I think I prefer the 800×600, but experiment with different sizes and see how you like the results.
Create a new layer and choose filter>sketch>halftone pattern.
Size =2 (use higher for a higher res image)
Push the contrast pretty high
To give a more frayed look add some noise: filter>noise>add noise
Make a selection with the rectangular marquee tool.
This will be a strand of rope
Press Cmd/ctrl+J to copy the selection to a new layer.
Hide the layer underneath by clicking on the eye icon.
Position the rope near the center of the page
Lets make it coil… filter>distort>polar coordinates and choose rectangular to polar.
Te contrast between the black and white is too strong, lets tone it down a bit by choosing the levels control. Cmd/ctrl+L
Move the bottom slider (shown) to the right to tone down the shadows.
Also add a drop shadow as shown.
Duplicate the layer 4 or 5 times and stack them as shown, we now have the coil.
Now for the end of the rope:
Show the pattern layer again and make a selection and copy it to a new layer just like we did before. (cmd/ctrl+J)
Rotate the rope 90 deg.
Let’s blend it in.
Add a layer mask by clicking the new layer mask icon in the layers palette.
Choose a large soft black brush and paint the very end of the rope and notice it will fade smoothly into the coil.
To the left is our final rope with a little hue/saturation added to give it a hint of color.
Here is a variation with a wider canvas width and a different hue/saturation value applied. I also nudged a couple of the “coils” so they were not so perfect. This results in a more natural finish.
So there you have it “yehaw” round ‘em up cowboy!
Have fun with the rope and see you at the café
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