How to Make a Laser Beam in Photoshop

Written by daniel ketchum
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Photoshop is the top graphics program in the world for creating all sorts of interesting special effects. It’s used in movies, TV and advertising to make everything from hair to flowing water. But one trick you definitely need to have in your arsenal is the ability to make a glowing laser-beam effect.

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  1. 1

    Open Photoshop, go to “File” and click “New.” Make the size and resolution settings for the new document whatever you like. Go to the bottom of the “Tool” bar, and make sure that the “Foreground” colour is set to black. Then select the “Fill” tool, and fill the canvas with black.

  2. 2

    Go to the “Tool” bar again, and select the “Pen” tool. Click on one side of the canvas where you want your laser beam to begin, and then click again where you want it to end. You will now see a “Path” line on the canvas.

  3. 3

    Go back to the “Foreground” colour and change it to red. Now go to the “Paths” tab next to the “Layers” tab, right-click on the path you see listed and select “Stroke Path.” Now right-click on the path and select “Delete Path.”

  4. 4

    Go back to the “Layers” panel, right-click on the top layer and select “Duplicate Layer.” Do this again. You should now have three identical layers and the background layer.

  5. 5

    Select the bottom copy, go to “Filters” and then “Blur,” and select “Gaussian Blur,” setting it to 2. Do the same thing with the next layer up, but make the setting 4. Finally, do it again with the top layer, but make the setting 6. Now you have a laser beam.

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