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Photoshop – How to draw (sine) sound waves

Photoshop – How to draw (sine) sound waves

While writing an article for Tweaking4All, I ran into exactly this problem: How the heck do I draw a nice sound wave?

Initially I looked at Google Images to see if I could find a suitable sine image. It did come with nice results, but not exactly what I was looking for.

So I decided to give Adobe Photoshop a try …

Sine sound wave with Photoshop

Making a sine wave in Photoshop can be pretty straight forward and simple when using the Photoshop Wave filter.

The process is simple:

  1. Create a new document, say 600 x 600 pixels.
  2. Draw a straight horizontal line on a new layer.
  3. Right click layer and select “Rasterize layer“.
  4. Select from the top menubar: “Filter”   “Distort”   “Wave“.

    Photoshop - Use the Distort - Wave filter

    Photoshop – Use the Distort – Wave filter

  5. Tweak the settings to your liking and click “OK“.

    Photoshop - Wave filter settings

    Photoshop – Wave filter settings

Simple, fast, and a not unlikable result:

Photoshop Wave - Straight line to Sine Wave

Photoshop Wave – Straight line to Sine Wave

So what are the downsides to this method?

Well, first of all, when using more extreme values the sine seems to fall apart – all kinds of holes appear and lines can even become a collection of dots, which of course in certain situation can be desirable.

Next point is that the line is not equally wide throughout the curves. In the high and low maximums you’ll see that the line is thicker, but in the middle they get kind a thin.

And last but not least: it’s a raster or bitmap image. Scaling it will not be pretty.

But … it will probably sufficient for most applications.

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