Mini PS Tutorial Series Vol.1 – Create Simple Abstract Shining Wave Line in Photoshop

Get started with Basic scbcd Tutorials to pass icnd exam and complete your network+ certification to become expert.

After some thoughts about future articles/tutorials on PSD Vault, I decided to start a new series: Mini PS tutorial. In this series, I will include some very simple Photoshop tutorials designed for Photoshop beginners. The aim of those mini-tutorials are simple: to familiarise you with a variety of Photoshop tools and show you how to combine them to produce great effect for your design.

The effect are mostly abstract, and you can apply them to a wide range of design works you might have, to spice things up :)

In this first volume of Photoshop Mini tutorial series, I will show you the steps I took to create this Simple Abstract Shining Wave Line in Photoshop in just 5 steps. Have a try!

Here is a preview of the final effect we will be creating:

Alternative version:

PSD File Download

You can download the PSD File for this tutorial via the VIP Members Area for only $6.95/Month (or less)! You will not only get this PSD File, but also 70+ other PSD Files + Extra Goodies + Exclusive Photoshop tutorial there. Signup now and get exclusive :) Find out more about the VIP Members Areas

No Stock image is required for this tutorial. This tutorial is best for Photoshop CS2 or +.

Ok let’s get started!

Step 1

Create a new document sized 470px * 330px, fill the background with black color. Create a new layer called “baseline” and grab a big white brush with 0% hardness, do a single-click on this new layer:

Hit Ctrl + T and enable the free tranform tool:

Compress this dot with the free transform tool, make sure you hold the “Alt” key while drag the top edge:

Reduce the layer opacity of this baseline layer to around 60%, you will have the following effect:

Step 2

Duplicate this baseline layer once. On the duplicated layer, again we use the free-tranform tool to scale it to a smaller size, and position it to the place as shown below:

Grab a smaller soft white brush, and do a few single-clicks along the baseline for some variety:

Step 3

Ok let’s make a new brushset. Hit “F5” and bring up the brush window, apply the following brush presets:

Shape Dynamics

Other dynamics:

Make sure to tick the “airbrush”, “smoothing” and “protect texture” settings. Save the brushset if you wish.

Then use the Pen Tool, draw a work path as shown below:

Hit “Ctrl + Shift + N” and create a new layer called “abstract lines”, right-click and choose “Stroke Path”:

Make sure you tick the “Simulate Pressure” on the new window:

and here is the effect you will have:

Step 4

On this abstract line layer, apply the following “Motion Blur” settings:

Hit “Ctrl + F” and re-apply this blur effect a few more times, and you will have following effect:

Use the free transform tool to scale it as shown below:

For variety, we can duplicate this abstract line layer a few more times, and scatter them around the baseline:

We can also add some highlights to the abstract line by duplicate the baseline layer a few times, and drag the duplicated layers to the top, resize each of them to smaller sizes and rotate them 90 degree clockwise: (increase the opacity to around 90% for the duplicated layers)

Step 5

To fine-tune the image, we can add the following adjustment layers to the image:


Color Balance


To add some particle effect around the lines, we can use the smart sharpen filter: (settings shown below, make sure you flatten the layers first)

and this is the final effect I have for this tutorial:

You can also experiment different colour scheme, here is an alternative version for this tutorial:

That’s it for this beginner-level mini Photoshop tutorial! Hope you enjoy it and find it useful. Until next time, have a great day!


  • My name is James and I have been using Photoshop since version 5.0 (long time ago!). PSD Vault is my spare time hobby and I write majority of the Photoshop tutorials and articles here. I hope you enjoy my blog, and feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.

  • Show Comments

  • Assem

    Awesome tutorial for beginners like me

  • Compared to other tutorials from the vault, this is quite simple and has a great effect. You can experiment with it too because it’s abstract! Nice job :)

  • eriah chiware

    this is a wonderful site, I have just discovered that, 0f late I ve been using about less than10% of this wonderful program & there is plenty more to be discoverd, thanx for the generosity!

  • This is an awesome tutorial! It’s fun to play with, easy to do, and you can use it to enhance photos or other designs!
    Thanks for sharing :)

  • Pritzstik

    Thanks for this AWESOME tutorial…..question: What would be a good font that could go with this?

  • rafychuy

    its wonderful abstract designed..great and elegance..easy to apply in any aspect of designing..

  • Mohamed Samir

    Cool design, i like it so much :)
    i try it now

  • Hi

    i’m tarun from india. i like ur photoshop effect plz send me the other file i want to use ur effects.

    tarun kumar

  • Ruth

    Why can’t I get the abstract blur layer to take the color balance? It’s on its own layer.

  • dinesg

    hai l ike very much.this design

  • Nathan

    I hate this website!! It is the gayest website!!

  • Erik

    I just F***ing hate this site

  • James Qu

    @Erik, @Nathan: could you let me know what sort of difficult you have with this tut, perhaps I can help you out a bit? Let me know.

  • Metallic Exorcist

    they just cant use photoshop thats it…they totally sucks….
    But I also think some tutorials steps are skipped (not totally described), that is sometimes horrible (at long step editing)!!!

  • O man! I wish I new Photoshop that well… Really interesting.

  • Gonzalez Emmanuel90

    fuck you asshole

  • Fagetforlife10

    you funny dude lol

  • Gonzalez Emmanuel90

    omfg who ever made this can suck my f****ing toe

  • You have done a great work, very nice tutorial it is. Thanks a lot for sharing these awesome tutorial with us !!

  • Afsheen

    nice,quick and easy

You May Also Like

Essential Photoshop Shortcuts All Beginners Should Learn – Part I

Although it's not necessary to remember all Photoshop shortcuts, some are essential to learn ...

Create Beautiful Abstract Coloured Falling Lines in Photoshop

In this video Photoshop tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to ...