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Posted on January 13th, 2010 in Abstracts.
In this tutorial, I will show you how easy it is to design this very eye-catching, Laser Particle abstract effect in Photoshop. This is a beginner level tutorial and steps are really simple, have a try!
I made this tutorial fin order to show you how you can use dynamic brush settings, motion blur filter and cloud filter to create great looking effect, which can be used widely in all sorts of occasion to spice up your design :)
Here is a preview of the final effect:
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OK let’s get started!
Firstly let’s make a really simple Photoshop Brush to use later on in the tutorial. Create a new document sized 70px *25px (actually the dimension is not important here, as long as you keep the width roughly 3 times to the height and make it a rectangle shape).
Press Shift + F5 to fill the background layer with any color you like:
and go to Edit > Define Brush to create a custom Photoshop brushset:
Press “Ok” to proceed, you will see the new brushset appearing in the brush list:
Now let’s create a new document (size doesn’t matter here) in Photoshop, fill the background layer with Black color. Create a new layer called “on top of the background layer (always a good practice because if something goes wrong you can simply delete this layer) and, let’s now apply some brush dynamics to the brush we just created.
Brush Tip Shape (Make sure to reduce the brush size to a smaller one around 20px)
And use this dynamic brush to paint some patterns of the new layer, as shown below:
Hit Ctrl + T then right-click on this layer, choose “perspective” and alter the shape of this layer into the one shown below:
This step can be a bit tricky, you might want to try a few times ( to get the right feeling. Ultimately what you want is a kind of splashing/exploding effect. I adjusted a few times myself and this is what I have after the adjustmet:
Use a soft brush eraser to erase the left edge of the dynamic shape, so it blending into the background, therefore creating more depth:
Duplicate this “Particle” layer once, apply the following motion blur setting to the duplicated layer:
Make sure the Angle of the motion blur match the angle of the previous particle layer.
Here is the effect you should have after applying the motion blur filter:
Reduce the opacity of the duplcated layer to around 80%, you will have the following effect:
To tune-up the effect a bit, we use the cloud filter to add a bit of smoke around the laser particle. To do this, create a new layer called “smoke effect”, use the Lasso Tool with 30-40px feather to draw a selection around the particle, go to Filter > Render > Cloud and fill some cloud inside the selection:
Hit Ctrl + L and apply the following levels adjustment to this layer:
Resize this layer to a very small size, change its blending mode to “Screen”, positon it to the location as shown below:
Make a few duplication of it and scatter them around the particle, you will have the following effect:
Add some color over it by creating a new layer on top of all previous layer, set the blending mode to either “color dodge” or “overlay”, paint some colour over it: (Hint: use color balance adjustment layer for more control)
To finishing up the image, we can flatten the layers, then apply the following “Smart Sharpen” Filter on the flattened layer – this will make the image look more crisp:
and you will have the following effect:
That’s it for this tutorial! Here is a final image I made afterwards:
You can apply this effect to tons of occasions – photo retouch, web headers/footers, manipulations, etc. Just to add extra flavour to your design :)
Hope you enjoy this tutorial and find it useful! Until next time, have a great day!