Smearing Glow Effect in Abstractions


1. We are going to go over how to do some glowing atmosphere effect in your work. For instance, I have this little abstract I did real fast (in 1 min to be exact so excuse the ugliness.) This was from my tutorial “Smear Text Effect” and i’m just going to use the same file. So open your favorite abstraction or just start one.

2. Make a new layer and we are going to get your favorite brush tool and preset and scribble (or draw) something over your text or anywhere you like. You can try using other colors but I am going to use white for now. We are going to blow this up into an explosion soon.

3. Now we are going to go the BLUR filter tool. Go to FILTER > BLUR > RADIAL BLUR. Adjust the setting to something like you see at the top example. 80~100 percent amount value works just good. Here are some of the settings I like to use.

Blur Method: Zoom
Quality: Best
Amount: 80 ~ 100
Blur Center: Right at the center

4. We are going to repeat the RADIAL BLUR process about 4 ~ 5 times. Press the COMMAND + F key to repeat the process. CTRL + F for PC. Now you see that the blur happens over and over again.

5. Now duplicate the explosion layer. You should get two of the same smear or blurred white smear. And then we are going to flip that upside down by going to EDIT > TRANSFORM > FLIP VERTICAL.

6. Now I applied a radial blur once more on the new duplicated layer to get a bit of a variation going. We’re not done yet even though mine came out pretty cool already.

7. Another effect you can try laying out is the DISTORT > SPHERIZE filter effect. I know that we are depending alot on filters here but it really does some neat tricks if you use it right. I applied a strong sphere effect on mine.

8. Now you are going to dulicate one of the blurred (or both) layers and apply a OVERLAY or MULTIPLY effect to it depending on your abstraction. I applied a overlay on mine. You can clearly notice the difference in the above picture. Stack that overlay version ABOVE the original blur version.

9. Now on that overlay layer version, which should be on top, we are going to apply some color to it. The good reason why you want to keep the smear white is because we can go back and adjust the color to it anytime. Althought you can always desaturate your colored blur and colorize it over again, that is more work then we have to do. Go to HUE AND SATURATION control. IMAGE > ADJUST > HUE AND SATURATION. Or it’s usually COMMAND + U / CONTROL+ U for PC. (I say “usually” because you can fully customize your shortcut keys data in Photoshop). Apply the settings kind of like how I did. MAKE SURE, MAKE SURE, and MAKE SURE that your COLORIZE checkbox is checked IF you are working with a white smear. Brighten up the SATURATION but it is pretty important to keep the LIGHTNESS in the lower values since we are working with a white object.

10. There is the result so far. I am going to do it on all my smears now.

11. My result so far with all smear layers colorized. We are not done yet!

12. Now add a new layer and name it circle. Make sure your foreground color is set to white again. Now get your ELIPTICAL MARQUEE tool and make a small circle like you see on the top image. Now go to EDIT > STROKE. Set the setting how you see on the top image.

13. Now once you created a circle stroke, DESELECT the selection and we are going to go back to the SPHERIZE filter effect. Apply that effect about two times or three. Your circle should turned out something like mine. I applied a layer blending mode of OVERLAY once again.

14. Now after you placed the circle to where you want it (mine usually flows along the smear), apply a 2.0 pixel GAUSSIAN BLUR. (FILTER > BLUR > GAUSSIAN BLUR).

15. Now up to this point it’s your choice to continue further or not. Make a smaller circle and do the same thing. Apply a stroke on it and apply a spherize filter effect.

16. My final result. I added more rings, flipped it upside down and there we have it.

2 Responses to “Smearing Glow Effect in Abstractions”

  1. Enamul Hoq said:

    really awesome photoshop tut ..thanks for sharing with us..keep it up

  2. Monalisa Matache said:

    As a professional designer, I have to say your work on Smearing Glow Effect in Abstractions is rare and effective process. Thanks for sharing it.

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