The manual tends to be a little dry...okay, a lot dry. Luckily, there are tons of tutorials out there covering Photoshop. I've included some reading links but you can also find video tutorials covering this and just about any other Photoshop subject.
Before you run that filter, you should make a black and white copy of the image you want your text or image to flow over. I usually copy one of my channels...usually green. Run blur/gaussian blur over this copy. If you don't blur this image the distort filter tends to chop rather than bend or drape the object. Save this black/white blurred image as a PSD. This filter will only "see" PSDs. I usually save mine to the desktop so it is easy to find. The numbers in the dialog are scale and are used to define how much you want to displace...move...the object horizontally and vertically.
Here are a few tutorials on the subject...
If you're the sort that wants a detailed explaination of how the filter is operating, have a look at the site I have listed below:
The last page of the above set gives detailed info on the interface.
Already, everything you said below is way over my head. Sorry, I haven’t a clue what a “channel” is, and after that I’m not sure how to change the color. Really need good instructions. ALL the software companies fall short in this regard.
That being said, yesterday I >did< learn how to extract an image yesterday, but need to go back to the video tutorial and write the instructions down. All the videos I’ve seen move way too fast, so I stop the film a lot to find it for real on my own PS file. I’m getting there, but it takes time. But, maybe I won’t have to pay $400 to take a course locally. I’m beginning to understand a little better how PS works. I wish some of the commands worked the same way as Illustrator and InDesign. Those two are very close, and PS has every reason to fall in line. It doesn’t.
Thanks for writing! I’ll check out those links you sent, too.
ALL the software companies fall short in this regard.
Car manufacturers are not responsible for teaching you how to drive, are they?
Adobe does provides quite a quantity of material:
Those two are very close, and PS has every reason to fall in line.
Photoshop is a different program for different tasks (focused on pixel images as opposed to vector based graphics).
But as I don’t know which commands you are referring to specifically would you mind elaborating?