Photoshop Tips & Tricks
If you are an Illustrator user, you may be satisfied with all the transformation options you have and how easily you can control them. And sometimes, if you're like me, you may wish to have those options in Photoshop. Fortunately, some transformations work in the same way in both applications, though they are in different places and may use different commands. Today I will show you how you can copy and place any object around a circle in Photoshop to complete a full rotation. The best part is we will make Photoshop do all the math for you, so don't worry about how many degrees to rotate your object to get the specific number of times around the circle.
Open the image you want to use as a base in Photoshop. Here I will be using a simple base badge in which I will place objects around the outer circle.
Draw or place the shape you want to duplicate around the circle in a new layer above your base design.
Set the object on a initial place anywhere around the circle. Here I will place mine in the top center of the circle to show you in a more clear way how this technique works.
Add a Vertical and an Horizontal guide at the center of your circle to use it as a reference in the upcoming steps.
With your object layer selected, go to Edit > Free Transform.
In the top toolbar, enable the Reference Point.
Drag the reference point of your object where the 2 guides we added meet. If needed, zoom in to be sure that the reference point is indeed at the center.
If you want to add 50 copies of your object around the circle, in the top toolbar set the rotation to "360/50" and then hit the Enter key on your keyboard to commit the changes. As I want to add only 20 copies, I will write "360/20". Here, Photoshop will do all the math and set the correct angle rotation for you.
Now simply press "Ctrl+Alt+Shift+T" on your keyboard to repeat this transformation while making a copy of the object as many times as you want.
If you want to complete the full circle, keep pressing "Ctrl+Alt+Shift+T" on your keyboard until you complete the rotation.