In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to Design this Sci-Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop. A beginner friendly tutorial, this effect can be widely used in a range of designs (not just sci-fi) to add extra effect, have a try :)

The process of creating this is really quite simple and can’t be done in just 3 easy steps below. Techniques include some basic layer blending, selection, painting skills.

Here is a preview of the final effect I have for this tutorial:

abstract sci fi line 2 500x335 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

abstract sci fi line 1 500x293 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

(Background image used: Enter the Inferno by alexiuss)

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vip sign up 250 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

OK Let’s get started!

Step 1

Create a new document with black background (size doesn’t really matter in this tutorial), create a new layer and use the rectangular marquee tool to draw a selection, and fill it with a colour of your choice:

1 fill 500x353 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

Deselect the selection, apply the following Gaussian Blur filter setting to this layer:

1 gau blur 500x434 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

Then use the free-transform tool to compress it down, as shown below:

1 compres 500x106 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

If you’re not quite happy with the colour chosen, you can use the Hue/Saturation Adjustment (Ctrl + U) to adjust the colour slightly. Then use a soft eraser to remove some parts of the line as shown below:

1 erase 500x142 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

Duplicate this layer once, further compress it down until it forms a slim line:

1 dup 500x130 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

You will have the following effect:

1 visible line 500x164 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

Step 2

Create a new layer, use a soft white brush to paint a dot over the line as shown below:

2 paint 500x397 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

Set this new dot layer as a clipping mask to the previous layer, you will have the following effect:

2 set 500x226 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

Create another create on top, again use the white brush to paint a big dot, compress it down as shown below:

2 compress 500x256 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

Change the layer blending mode to “overlay”, duplicate this layer around 3-4 times, you will have the following effect:

2 overlay 500x226 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

Step 3

Now we want to add some air flow around the laser effect – you will either use the cloud filter (mixing with a 30px feather Lasso Tool) to render some cloud over the laser, or you can use a free cloud/smoke brush (you can find lots of those on the internet), add some cloud effect over it:

3 cloud 500x211 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

Then use the warp tool to warp this cloud to make it stretched, and form a flowing effect:

3 warp 500x170 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

and here is the effect you’re aiming to achieve:

3 effect 500x230 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

OK we’re done! Group all these above layer into a folder, and add it to your design!

3 attach 500x169 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

You can adjust the layer opacity of the original laser base layer (the very first layer we created in this tutorial) to fade the effect, or compress the layer group with free transform tool to reduce it’s height and width:

3 attach 2 500x251 Create Sci Fi Style Flare Special Effect in Photoshop

That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy it and find it useful! Till next time, have a great day!