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In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to create this Final Fantasy VII Lifestream Like Abstract Design in Photoshop. This is a beginner level tutorial with lots of detailed screenshots. Have a try :)

If you happen to be a fan of Final Fantasy VII like me, you will know what I’m talking about and where the idea came from. If not, check out this image here.

I tried to keep the steps as few as possible for this tutorial – so if you’re a Photoshop beginner, you won’t be overwhelmed with information. In this mean time, you can check out my other basic Photoshop tutorials here.

Here is a preview of the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

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Ok Let’s get started!

Step 1

Create a new document with black background, size doesn’t really matter in this tutorial. Press the “P” key to select the Pen Tool, draw a work path as shown below:

Hint: you can check out this Pen Tool Guide if you happen to fresh to Pen Tool.

Once you’ve drawn the path, select the brush tool and apply the following settings: (5px, 95% hardness)

Press “P” to select the Pen Tool again, right-click on the path and choose “Stroke Path”:

Stroke the path with the brush we selected, tick the Simulate Pressure setting:

Here is the stroke effect: (I used the green colour here)

Duplicate this layer once, hit Ctrl + T and rotate it slightly counter-clockwise, move it to left a little as shown below:

Repeat this process, duplicate a few more lines, rotate and move each line slightly to form the following effect:

When you’re happy with the shape, merge those layers together by selecting all of them in layer palette, right-click on one of the layers and choose “Merge Layers”. Duplicate the merged layer a few times, rotate, resize them with Free Transform Tool to form the effect shown below:

Adjust the layer opacity of each duplicated layer to create some image depth:

Step 2

Now we can paint some crystal dots around the stream symbolising some sort of life form. We can use brush dynamics to achieve this effect. So grab the brush tool with the following settings:


Other Dynamics

and make sure you tick Airbrush and Smoothing options.

Use this brush to paint some dots around the stream lines with green/blue colour:

After you’ve done the painting, apply the Sharpen filter on this dots layer:

As you can see, now the dots look sharper and crystal-like:

and here is the overall effect so far:

Optional: You can also paint some dots on the background to add some depth for the image. You can use a softer brush as shown below and use it to paint around the canvas:

Step 3

Now we can add some starry background to the image by creating a new layer just above the background layer, and use some space brushes to paint over it.

We can then flatten the image, then duplicate the background layer and apply some Motion blur to the duplicated layer:

Change the blending mode of this motion blur layer to “Screen” and drop its opacity to around 60%:

and here is the final effect of this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

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

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