Backlit Beech Leaves - Boris FX Optics S_WarpFishEye Filter
Macro,  Photo Processing,  Software

Give Your Macro Images a Creative Abstract Look with Boris FX Optics

Boris FX is known for its editing and special effects software for films.  Boris FX has also released software that enables these special effects for photography – Boris FX Optics.

Boris FX Optics Works great for producing creative, fun, and abstract macro photography images all done in post processing with your current images. Using Optics on your existing macro photographs makes for a fun stay at home, winter photography project.

Boris FX Optics has 7 filters that I really like for distorting, warping, and creating tiled patterns of your macro photographs. Producing macro images with these creative effects is easy using the included presets which can also be customized using the sliders in the parameters panel.

Holcocephala Calva Robber Fly with Enlarged Head
Holcocephala Calva Robber Fly with Enlarged Head

These filters tend to work better on more abstract macro images with patterns and lines than subjects like insects.  But I have created some pretty interesting and creative images with insects and flowers as well – like the above photograph of a Holcocephala Calva Robber Fly with an enlarged head created using the S_WarpMagnify filter.

Here are my favorite Boris FX filters to give a creative, warped look to your photographs.

  • S_WarpFishEye
  • S_WarpMagnify
  • S_WarpPolar
  • S_WarpTransform
  • S_Kaleido
  • S_KaleidoPolar
  • S_KaleidoRadial

In this blog, I’ll describe each of the above filters, where they can be found, and show you before and after photographs using the filters.

Boris FX Optics Screen Organization
Boris FX Optics Screen Organization

How Boris FX Optics is Organized

Before we get started, here is how Boris FX Optics is organized.  Optics has 160 filters that are organized into categories at the bottom of the screen.  Most filters have presets at the right side of the screen when you press on the presets tab at the bottom of the right panel.  Each filter also has sliders to change the effect which are accessed when you press on the Parameters tab at the bottom of the right panel.

Preset and Parameters Panels Side by Side
Preset and Parameters Panels Side by Side

Optics also uses layers so multiple filters can be applied to a single image.  Masks can also be applied to each layer so the filter can only be applied to certain areas of the image.

Topaz Labs

Boris FX Optics also supports Photoshop Smart Objects.  That means that if you duplicate the base layer in Photoshop and convert the layer to a Smart Object (Right click on the layer and select Convert to Smart Object), you can relaunch Optics and it will remember all your settings and layers. You can also save the in Photoshop format, preserving the layers so you can go back and re-edit the image later.

Boris FX Optics Warp and Distortion Filters

Indian Rupees Before & After - S_WarpFishEye Filter
Indian Rupees Before & After – S_WarpFishEye Filter

S_WarpFishEye Filter

The S_Warp FishEye filter expands the center of the photograph like it was taken with a FishEye lens.  The area of the image that is distorted can be changed by moving the red circle in the center of the image.

The S_WarpFishEye filter is located in the Lens category.

Interesting Sliders

Amount – The Amount slider adjusts the amount of distortion under the area of the red circle.

Z Dist – Zooms in or out of the image.

Rotate – Rotates the image around the placement of the red circle

Shift Orig X & Y – Moves the image left and right, and up and down

Wrap X & Y – Determines how the pixels outside the border of the image are handled.

  • No – Renders black beyond the border
  • Tile – Repeats a copy of the image with lines separating the image inside and outside the border
  • Reflect – Creates a more seamless mirrored copy of the image
Circuit Board Macro Before & After - S_WarpFishEye Special Effect
Circuit Board Macro Before & After – S_WarpFishEye Special Effect

Special Effect

If you set the amount slider to 0 and have Wrap X and Wrap Y set to Reflect, move the Z Dist slider to the right to create an interesting pattern that replicates parts of your image on a larger scale.  You can rotate the image and shift left / right to create the desired look.

Water Drops Before and After - S_WarpMagnify Filter
Water Drops Before and After – S_WarpMagnify Filter – 3 Times

S_WarpMagnify Filter

The S_WarpMagnify Filter magnifies the area of the image under the circles / ellipses.

This filter can be useful if you want to emphasis a portion of your image by enlarging it.

The magnified area can be relocated by moving the star in the center of the green and red circles.  The shape and size of the magnified area can be changed by adjusting the green and red circles.

The S_WarpMagnify filter is located in the Lens category.

Interesting Sliders

Magnify Amount – Changes the amount of magnification of the area under the ellipses.

Magnify Rel X & Y – Allows you to independently change the magnification of the X and Y axis.

Lens Radius, Lens Edge Width, Lens Rel Height, and Lens Rel Width – change the shape and size of the red and green ellipses providing different magnification looks.  This can also be accomplished by adjusting the circles themselves.

Edison Light Bulb Before & After - S_WarPolar Filter
Edison Light Bulb Before & After – S_WarpPolar Filter

S_WarpPolar

The S_WarpPolar Filter warps the image into a circular shape. This filter creates unique circular patterns out of your image that can be used as artwork and graphic design elements.

The S_WarpPolar filter is located in the Lens category.

Interesting Sliders

Angle – Rotates the circle.

Angle Repeats – The number of copies of the image to wrap around the circle.

Inner and Outer Radius – Sets the radius of the inner and outer circle.

Circuit Board Macro Before & After - S_WarpTransform & S_WarpFisheye Filters
Circuit Board Macro Before & After – S_WarpTransform & S_WarpFisheye Filters

S_WarpTransform

The S_WarpTransform filter allows you to transform the image in several ways including scale, rotate, tilt, and the perspective. Use this filter when you want to change the perspective of your image and give it a 3D look.

Interesting Sliders

Scale X and Y – allows you to independently change the scale of the X and Y axis.

Swivel – Rotates the image around the vertical axis giving a 3D look

Tilt – Rotates the image around the horizontal axis giving a 3D look

Perspective Amount – Zooms the perspective in or out.  Used with the Swivel and Tilt sliders.

Watch Movement Before & After - S_Kaleido Filter
Watch Movement Before & After – S_Kaleido Filter

S_Kaleido

The S_Kaleido Filter creates interesting kaleidoscope patterns allowing you to choose the shape for your pattern.

The S_Kaleido filter is located in the Stylize category (scroll down in the filter panel)

Interesting Sliders

Pattern – Choose whether to use a diamond, triangle, square, or octagon pattern to create the design.

Inside Z Dist – Zoom the image in or out inside the kaleidoscope prior to being reflected.

Inside Rotate – Rotates the image inside the kaleidoscope before it is reflected.

Kaleido Amount – Adjusts the overall distortion amount applied to the image.

Watch Movement Before & After - S_KaleidoPolar Filter
Watch Movement Before & After – S_KaleidoPolar Filter

S_KaleidoPolar

The S_KaleidoPolar Filter creates a circular kaleidoscope pattern.

The S_KaleidoPolar filter is located in the Stylize category (scroll down in the filter panel)

Interesting Sliders

Angle Repeats – The number of copies of the image to wrap around the circle.

Kaleido Amount – Adjusts the overall distortion amount applied to the image.

Watch Movement Before & After - S_KaleidoRadial Filter
Watch Movement Before & After – S_KaleidoRadial Filter

S_KaleidoRadial

The S_KaleidoRadial Filter produces the results from a 2 or 3 mirror kaleidoscope where you can adjust the number of slices.

The S_KaleidoRadial filter is located in the Stylize category (scroll down in the filter panel)

Interesting Sliders

Slices – Sets the number of slides the image will be broken into.

Rotate Kaleido and Rotate Inside.  Two different methods to rotate and change the look of the image.  One rotates the kaleidoscope and the other rotates the image inside the kaleidoscope.  Try rotating both to get the desired look.

Boris FX Optics is a lot of fun!  You can spend hours and hours playing with these filters and presets, and adjusting the sliders on your macro images in Boris FX Optics.

Written by Martin Belan

Related Posts

Winter Stay at Home Photography Project – Try Black and White Macro Photography
Creative Ways to use your iPad as a Light Source and Background for your Macro Photography
Winter, Stay at Home Photography Project – Circuit Board Macro

The Site may contain links to affiliate websites, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you on the affiliate website using such links. Our affiliates include: Amazon, Skylum Software, Topaz Labs, DxO, Viator, Hotelopia, and Langly Co.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

12 − three =

error: Content is protected !!