I have decent experience with Illustrator and Photoshop (mostly Photoshop though) but I can’t think of a way to do something like I have described in the image I made above and I don’t know how to express that in words to be able to search online for help.

I’m more confident in Illustrator’s ability to work with vectors to accomplish this task but maybe it could be done in Photoshop too.
Basically, if I start with a 2D circle, I want to be able to flatten it into a 2D line. Image taking a metal bracelet/ring, making one cut in it, then grabbing both sides and flatting the round bracelet into a metal line.
What I want to work with is not gonna be a simple perfect circle - but if it can be done with a simple circle, then I should be able to do it with a more complex circle.

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Anybody have any ideas??

This below is the example I actually want to work with. I just did this very roughly by hand but the final result I want to be as similar to the original as possible... except not round.

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