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In this tutorial, I will show you the method I use to design a simple, yet elegant abstract spectrum lines in Photoshop. You will see how easy it is to achieve this nice effect and you can use it a wide range of occasions including perhaps site header backgrounds, logos, or add extra flavor to your photo manipulations.
This tutorial is suitable for beginners and I included the ways of creating new brush presets and also the use of Pen Tool. You will ample opportunities to practive layer blending, filters and Free Transform Tools. Have a try!
Here is a preview of the final effect: (click to enlarge)
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Ok let’s get started!
Create a new document with black background, for size I chose 980px * 400px however you can change this according to your own preference. Use 72 pixel/inch for resolution since we’re creating an image used for website.
Now let’s make a new brush preset. To do this, firstly select the brush tool with the following brush:
Then apply the following brush dynamics to it:
Make sure you also select the Airbrush and Smoothing option.
After finishing making this brush, let’s save it as a new brush preset so that we can use it in the future too. To do this, left-click the down tri-angle on the top right and click “new brush preset”:
And Enter the following into the window popup:
Then you will see the brush preset appear in the brush selection window:
Create a new layer call “lines”, grab the Pen Tool and draw the following working path:
Hint: hold down Shift key and drag your mouse upwards approximately 45 degree for both archor points.
Then right-click and select the option “Stroke Path”:
Then choose the option “brush” and tick the “Simulate Pressure”:
And you will have the following effect:
Still on this “lines” layer, go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur and apply the following settings:
Then hit Ctrl + F and apply the motion blur filter again, and you will have the following effect:
Apply the following Gradient Overlay blending option to this layer:
Then duplicate this layer 4 times and merge the duplicated layer together, you will have the following effect:
Rename this layer as “lines” after the merge.
Again we duplicate the “lines” layers 3 times, and you will see the colour of the the spectrum become clearer:
Then we merge those duplicated layer together, then use the Free Transform tool to resize it into the following:
Then we can use the Warp Tool (Ctrl + T and right-click select “Warp”), transform it into the following shape:
And here is the effect after warping:
Now we can really just use our imagination and simply duplicate this “lines” layer a few times, rotate and resize each duplicated layer until the outcome is desirable:
Here is my effect so far:
Merge the duplicate layer together.
We can also add a bit of glowing effect to the spectrum lines. To do this, simple duplicate the merged layer and apply the following Gaussian Blur settings: (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur)
Change the blending mode the duplicated layer to “Linear light” and you will have the following effect:
To add some final touches, remember we created a new brush preset in Step 1? We can use it to add some nice dots on the abstract line.
Create a new layer called “dots” on top of all other layers, grab that brush preset and simply paint over the lines:
Then Change the layer blending mode to “Overlay” and you will have the following effect:
Duplicate this “dots” layer and change the blending mode of the duplicated layer back to “normal”, then reduce its opacity to 15% and erase some excessive parts.
You will have the following final effect:
Ok that’s it for this tutorial! Of course you can further enhance this image by adding some more effect, textures and filters.
Here is my final version for this tutorial: (Added a bit of cloudy effect and sharpen the image )
Hope you enjoy this tutorial and find it useful, drop me a comment if you have any question, I will try my best to help you out.
Cheers and have a nice day!