Photoshop Tips and Tricks: Lighting with Magical Flakes and Sparks Effect

Light Creation Using Photoshop with a Professional Touch

If you’re wondering how they create these magical sparks with amazing lighting effects on some of the designs you see, then this is your time to know how they do it using Photoshop CS.

First create a new document, normally 400*400 pixels but you can open a design that you’re working on to add this effect to it or you can start with a blank document.

I started with a time-warped photo of a drop of water with some waves I added to it.

Step 1. Apply a Layer style to your background layer. Add a radial style gradient overlay with a smooth color to add depth to your design. (For complete specification to the style see the attached photo “GradntOvrly-2”)

Step 2. Create a new Layer. Select the Ellipse Tool and create a white rounded shape over the center of your design, or over the part you wanted to be the center of your magical lighting flakes.

Step 3. Apply a Gaussian Blur to your rounded shape (Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur) and use a radius of 20px. (if your design have a dark background you may use a bigger radius up to 30px)

Step 4. On you, layer panel, on top of your layers create a new folder named “Lighting”.

Step 5. Change the “Lighting” folder blending mode to Color Dodge, then move your rounded shape into this folder. (See “Light-cdodge-3”)

Step 6. On your “Lighting” folder, create a new layer and set you foreground/background colors to white.

Step 7. Select your Bruch tool, and go to the brush engine. Then follow setting exactly as shown on “BrushEngine-4, follow the steps in order”.

Step 8. Now using the brush tool and after selecting the brush engine settings throw off some sparks as needed to your design.

Step 9. Using layer styles, apply outer glowing to the sparks. (Feel free to use my settings for it “OtrGlw-9”)

Step 10. Now you can add your touch to finish your design, maybe some smoke around the flakes and some text beside it…

Extra Step, if you want to add some smoke behind and around your fakes: (Note that this step is only for dark color background designs)

Create a new/blank layer before your “Lighting” folder.

Change the blend mode to color dodge.

Select the lasso tool with a feather of 40px, add a selection around the space you add smoke in.

Set your foreground to white and the background to black.

Apply Filters > Render > clouds and repeat this step (Ctrl + F) until you get the best effect.

Take a look at my final product “Product-10” after adding some text and fewer sparks. You can apply this technique in many cases that could have clouds, smokes and flakes. It’s not too hard to create and it really gives your design a gleam of magic and a professional touch which is a huge plus to your final Photoshop product.

Hope my description was enough and easy to follow… Until next time, have fun!