Photoshop Tutorials for Light Orbs

Written by robert godard
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Photoshop Tutorials for Light Orbs
Make light look as if it is bursting from an orb. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Adobe Photoshop is a graphic editing program designed for image editing and touchup. It features a variety of tools and filters that can be applied to an image. One effect that can be produced with these tools is a light orb, a ball with light escaping from it so it looks as if it's about to explode. This can be accomplished in just a few steps and can be manipulated in a variety of ways.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Start a new document in Photoshop by selecting "File" then "New" from the top menu. Choose your desired size, then select "Black" as your background colour.

  2. 2

    Click on the shape tool located on the tool palette at the left side of the screen and select the "Ellipse Shape Tool." This will be an icon that looks like a small circle. Hold "Shift" while creating your shape to create a perfectly round circle in the middle of your document.

  3. 3

    Select "Layers" from the top menu, then "Layers Style." Choose "Drop Shadow," then "Gradient Overlay" from the Layer Styles menu. When you have applied both these filters, select "Layers" then "Rasterize" then "Shape."

  4. 4

    Use the "Lasso" tool located on the tool palette to make thin, zigzag stripes inside the shape which start at the edge of the circle and move inward. As you are making these stripes, hold "Shift" so they are all combined. Hit the "Delete" button to delete the colour from these stripes, then "Ctrl-D" to deselect the image.

  5. 5

    Select the "Elliptical Marquee" tool from the tool palette. This can be done by holding down the Marquee icon, which looks like a small box with a dotted line. Select your circle with the tool. Go to "Filter" then "Distort" then "Spherize" and set the amount to about 80%. Select "OK" to apply the filter. Go to "Layer" then "Flatten Image."

  6. 6

    Add different effects to your light orb by going to "Distort" then "Polar Coordinates" and selecting "Polar to Rectangular." Next add light streaks by going to "Filter" then "Stylize" then "Wind." Select "From the Right." Apply this effect again, but this time select "From the Left." Lastly, to ripple the light effect slightly, select "Filter" then "Distort" then "Ocean Ripple." Under ripple size enter 10, under magnitude enter 2.

Tips and warnings

  • Try using different colours to create bluish balls of ice or reddish balls of fire.
  • Each time the layer is flattened or rasterised, you will not be able to remove a layer selectively. Make sure you are happy with the results before rendering these effects.

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