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index « tutorials « photoshop : Sparkles


posted : 2006.Feb.19 @ 11.31pm

I get asked about the stars and sparkles in some of my pieces
quite a bit. I learned the technique from Steve Firchow back in
my comic book coloring days and have put it to good use ever since.
I'll do my best to polish this thing over time and clarify any hazy areas for you.

I have already come up with a better / faster way of doing this.
I posted it below this version but will leave this one up because there
are a couple helpful techniques in it that may come in handy sometime .


1 - Open a new document, fill with black, create a new layer
and use the Eliptical Marquee tool to make a selection like the one below.


2 - Fill with white on your new layer.


3 - Use Retangular Marquee tool to select and delete half of the shape.



4 - Use the Free Transform tool in Perspective mode to narrow the thin end even more.




5 - Switch to Quickmask mode ( just hit "Q"), select the Gradient tool in Linear mode,
click your starting point, hold down shift to keep it straight, pull to your end point and release.

It should look like this.

Hit "Q" again to get back out of Quickmask mode.


6 - Delete selected area.


7 - Use Free Transform tool (holding Alt/Shift or Option/Shift) to make the shape thinner.


8 - Free Transform Copy (Control/Alt T or Command/Option T), right click,
Flip Horizontal and drag new layer to the right until the flat vertical edges are touching.


9 - Free Transform Copy, right click, rotate 90 degrees and merge layer down (Control E or Command E)


10 - Free Transform Copy, rotate 45 degrees holding Shift to ensure perfection of angle,
hold Alt/Shift or Option/Shift and scale the copy down to desired size. Then merge layer down.


11 - Use the Airbrush tool set to a simple round brush
with Hardness at 0% to add a puffball in the center of the sparkle.
A small one surrounded by a bigger one works best. Feather your
brush clicks by hitting Control/Shift F or Command/Shift F.
A slider will appear that will act as a Fader. This Fader for many things in PS.


12 - Select All (Control A), Copy All (Control/Shift C) and Paste (Contol V).
Open your Hue/Saturation window (Control U), Click Colorize, max out your Saturation
and move Hue slider to the desired color. Having it on one layer with a black background is crucial.


You can right click/copy/paste or just drag the image above right into a file you are working on.
Set the Layer Property to Screen. These things will show up much better on darker backgrounds.

I use the two files below as brushes.
>> SparkleBrush01
>> SparkleBrush02
Open them in Photoshop, go to Edit/Define Brush Preset, name them and save them.
It makes it a lot easier to drop sparkles in a piece when you don't have to make each one Very Happy







posted : 2006.Feb.20 @ 8.12am
thank you air, i am so excited to practice all of these things!







posted : 2006.Feb.20 @ 9.45am
Wow !
These are great !
I'll be sending my Digital Media students here.

Thanks
Deep respect







posted : 2006.Feb.22 @ 8.26am
I'm happy to pass on what I have learned Very Happy

The creation of the first element just got a lot easier!
So, for this one I'll add a little halo ring to mix it up a bit.


1 - Open a new document, fill with black, create a new layer
and use the Airbrush tool at a hardness of 30% (adjust to taste)
to make a big puffball like the one below. Using the mouse gives
more control over the various puffball steps (versus using a pen).
Building the elements on seperate layers allows for ease
of Free Trasform steps and more freedom of customization.


2 -Use Free Transform tool (holding Alt/Shift or Option/Shift) to make the shape thinner.



Notice how using this method eliminates the need
to taper, fade, duplicate and flip the pointy ends Very Happy


3 - Free Transform Copy (Control/Alt T or Command/Option T),
right click, rotate 90 and merge layer down (Control E or Command E) .


4 - Free Transform Copy, rotate 45 degrees holding Shift to ensure perfection of angle,
hold Alt/Shift or Option/Shift and scale the copy down to desired size. Then merge layer down.


5 - Use the Airbrush tool set to a simple round brush
with Hardness at 0% to add a tiny puffball in the center of the sparkle.


6 - Enlarge the brush size a bit and add another puffball.


7 - Feather your brush click by hitting Control/Shift F or Command/Shift F.
A slider will appear that will act as a Fader. This Fader works for many things in PS.




8 - Now for the halo ring! Select the Eliptical Marquee tool,
place your cursor in the center of the sparkle, hold down Alt/Shift or Option/Shift
and size to the desired diameter to make a selection like the one below.


9 - Invert Selection (Control/Shift I or Command/Shift I)


10 - Feather Selection (Right Click)




11 - Use the Airbrush tool at a size smaller than the inner circle
of the selection, place in exact center of sparkle, click once and fade if desired.

Feel free to download the file below, Invert Color (Control I or Command I)
and in your top menu bar Edit / Define Brush Preset. Do this for all your sparkles
and you will only have to build each one once.


12- Select All (Control A), Copy All (Control/Shift C) and Paste (Contol V).
Open your Hue/Saturation window (Control U), Click Colorize, max out your Saturation
and move Hue slider to the desired color. Having it on one layer with a black background is crucial.









posted : 2006.Feb.22 @ 10.26am
aaaah yes - very sweet Buddha i sekond that - aren't we all so lucky to have air teaching us these beautiful things??? even tho you've heard it a lot of times, air ... thaaaaank you!!!!!






    

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