How to Draw a Muzzle Flash in Photoshop

Written by filonia lechat
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How to Draw a Muzzle Flash in Photoshop
Set off sparks by drawing muzzle flashes in Photoshop. ( Images)

While training to obtain, properly hand and shoot a gun may take months, the moment of that explosion as the weapon propels the bullet is gone in the blink of an eye. If you did happen to blink, you may have missed the moment called a muzzle flash --- a near-blinding spectacle of light similar to a firework explosion. Re-create the muzzle flash for perpetuity using Adobe Photoshop. Draw a muzzle flash directly onto a gun picture to simulate that weapon firing, and go out guns a-blazin'.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open Photoshop. Click "File," then click "Open" on the menu that appears. Browse to a photo of a gun in profile you have saved on your hard drive, and double-click the image file name. When the picture opens on the Photoshop canvas, press the "Ctrl" and "+" keys together repeatedly to zoom in so the firing end of the gun is large and takes up most of the canvas space.

  2. 2

    Click the "New Layer" icon, which looks like a square with a bent corner, at the bottom of the "Layers" palette on the right side of the screen. Note that a new Layer 1 appears on the palette.

  3. 3

    Double-click the top-left square of the "Color Picker" at the bottom of the "Tools" palette. Select a bright yellow paint colour, then click the "OK" button.

  4. 4

    Click the "Brush" tool, which looks like a paintbrush, on the "Tools" palette. Click the brush head drop-down menu, second from the left on the toolbar at the top of the workspace. Select one of the round, fuzzy brush heads.

  5. 5

    Hover the cursor over the firing end of the gun without clicking. Check to determine whether the current cursor size is accurate to draw the muzzle flash. If not, slide the "Size" bar on the window to fit the proper size.

  6. 6

    Click the cursor directly next to the gun's firing end. Draw a small circle. Click the "Paint Bucket" tool on the "Tools" palette, and click inside the circle, filling it with the yellow you chose in Step 3.

  7. 7

    Double-click "Layer 1" on the "Layers" palette. Click the "Outer Glow" line, which checks the "Outer Glow" box, adds a glow to the flash and opens the "Outer Glow" window. Click inside the unmarked coloured square next to the radio button --- by default, the square may be a light yellow. Click an orange colour, then click "OK."

  8. 8

    Slide the "Spread" and "Size" bars slowly to the right to expand the width of the muzzle flash. Check the differences in the image. If you desire, add an extra inner glow to the flash by clicking the "Inner Glow" line. When the "Inner Glow" window opens, change the colour to a fiery red or something else to suit your image. Click the "OK" button when satisfied.

  9. 9

    Right-click Layer 1, and select "Flatten Image." Click the "File" menu, then click "Save As." Type a new name for the gun image, then click the "Save" button.

Tips and warnings

  • You need not have an image of a gun to draw a muzzle flash. To draw only the flash itself, open a new Photoshop image by clicking the "File" menu, selecting "New" and filling out the small canvas set-up box. Then follow the normal instructions to draw a muzzle flash.

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